Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine
Regarding the Nov. 25 Opinion piece, "Liberals, too, should reject the Fairness Doctrine": I must strongly disagree with the premise of this commentary. The fundamental basis of it is that reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would stifle coverage of opposing points of view on radio, and that the current system, in which there is only one point of view espoused, should be maintained.
To be blunt, this is nonsense. When the Fairness Doctrine existed, we had some of the most robust debate that ever took place in this country. It appears to me that conservatives are simply afraid that their arguments and ideas will not be able to withstand the scrutiny of fair debate.
The Fairness Doctrine will make us a better country and allow large numbers of our citizens to make more informed decisions. If the right wing believes its position to be honest, it should not fear debate. We are a strong country; we can take honest conversation.
UN Security Council must be united
Regarding the Nov. 24 Opinion piece, "Obama, Darfur, and ICC justice": Unilateral action by the US will not accomplish much. The unrecognized problem in the world today is the polarized Security Council at the UN. Unless the US can build political bridges to Russia and China, no united policy can be achieved in the Security Council about forcing dictators to renounce their inhumane treatment of their subjects. ICC condemnation is counterproductive when there is no enforcement likely because the Security Council can't agree about policy.
Use coal waste productively
In regard to the Nov. 18 editorial, "Uneasy lies King Coal's crown": This editorial describes well the effects that burning coal for electricity have on the environment. What is missing is a practical suggestion for how the US can use coal waste productively while protecting the environment at the same time.
Ash and carbon from burning coal are valuable residual products. We should use them as such. Fly ash mixed with cement has been found to make concrete stronger than conventional concrete. Bottom ash also could be used in construction technology. And carbon can be used to make products lighter and stronger, such as in aircraft and cars. It can be used to reduce their weight and, thus, their fuel consumption.
This approach to burning coal for electricity production would make King Coal's crown sparkle and provide more jobs while saving others.
Silver Spring, Md.
What Obama should do to stimulate US economy
Regarding the Nov. 25 article, "Obama's vast jobs plan: How hard?": This piece points in the right direction. It offers good advice for how President-elect Obama can create jobs and increase public spending in the middle of an economic crisis of such magnitude.
Mr. Obama's team will find themselves struggling during 2009 to slow the deterioration of the US economy. His recovery plan must include the following: New regulations in the investment and credit sectors; a policy to protect American jobs from outsourcing and keep them competitive in the global economy; support for small businesses, which are often responsible for job creation and innovation; and tax breaks for the middle class, which would lead to increased consumer spending.
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