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Letters to the Editor

GOP waging war on women, middle class


Republicans in the Senate and the House (which includes Rep. Bob Goodlatte for our district) have been waging a continuous war on women, the most recent example being opposition to a bill in the Senate which would provide equal pay for equal work. This comes on the heels of opposition to women's health services, including contraception services.

This is coupled with their warfare on the middle class and lower income families through opposition to the president's proposals for job creation. And these Republicans have also been working, across the nation, to deny legitimate voting rights to Latinos, African Americans, students and the elderly. One might add: we Americans believe in the rights of all citizens, including those we disagree with, to have their say at the ballot box. Their actions indicate that they serve at the altar of millionaires and billionaires with little attention or concern for 99 percent of Americans.

I find these actions and positions to be undemocratic and abominable. These Republicans have moved so far to the right that they no longer represent the views of a major share of the American public. Even their hero, Ronald Reagan, would have a hard time being accepted by this crowd. I believe that if Americans really pay attention to what is going on and understand what these Republicans are doing to hamstring our government, even previously loyal Republicans will join in voting these obstructionists out of office. I intend to do everything I can to contribute to Cong. Goodlatte's defeat by Andy Schmookler and to Tim Kaine's election victory.

Ronald N. Landis, Basye

Reader: Romney flip-flops on issues


Mitt Romney is trying to be all things to all people. In Massachusetts he was for government healthcare. Now he is against it. He was for gay rights before he was against them. He has been both Pro Choice and Prof Life. He was for allowing GM and Chrysler to go under taking along the entire economic intrastructure of the auto industry. But when he is in Michigan he tells voters he was for saving GM and Chrysler.

Romney says one thing in Iowa, another in Florida, and still something else in Ohio. He was conservative in the primaries and is becoming moderate in he general election. Romney's own staffer alls the campaign an "Etch A Sketch" where you erase all that went before and always draw a new picture to meet the occasion.

It is in his tenure as CEO of Bain Capital that Mitt Romney reveals his true character. Bain Capital was a hedge fund Romney managed. This investment firm was a corporate raider. It bought distressed companies. Occasionally a troubled firm would be turned around and jobs would be saved or created. Often the struggling corporation would be bankrupted and workers would lose their jobs and their pensions. The assets of these enterprises would be sold in liquidation still netting a profit for Bain Capital. Taxes on this profit would be construed as capital gains and Romney and his hedge fund would pay a 15 percent income tax rate much lower than the marginal tax rate you and I pay. What is telling about Mitt Romney's character is that it never mattered if jobs were saved or if jobs and pensions were destroyed. Romney's only consistency was an amoral, single-minded, purposed, personal private enrichment.

He pursues Ayn Rand principles. The problem is Ayn Rand was an atheist, and Romney claims to be a Christian. Mitt Romney wants it both ways. For the voter there is a simple test of presidential character. Ask yourself! Would you buy a used car from Mitt Romney?
Warren D. Golightly, Winchester

Limestone used for pollution control


Larry Yates is right: letters, June 9. Pollution control is always a case of less-than-perfect solutions. The best that one can say about the environmental industry is that it is better than the alternative, letting pollutants pour into the environment without controls. But since the first Earth Day 42 years ago, which led to the passage of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, our air, water and soil have become much cleaner than they were.

At Carmeuse, at plants like our Winchester plant, we manufacture lime and limestone products that are used to remove the sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride and other pollutants from the smokestacks of power plants and factories. Limestone products are used to neutralize acid soil, treat acid mine drainage from coal mining, and counteract acid rain damage in lakes. They are used in water and sewage treatment to reduce acidity, to soften and purify water, and to remove phosphates.

And pollution control is only one market for lime products. Our products are also used in manufacturing, steel and glass-making, food processing, and a host of other industries. If you look around your house, you will see many products that were made using a lime product in the process.

It is a great advantage to Virginia to have high-grade limestone.  Lime is a local product. Transportation costs make it expensive to move long distances. Local sources keep the cost of pollution control in the U.S. reasonable. Environmental controls now account for about 2 cents of every dollar spent in the U.S. economy today.

We still have a long way to go to clean up America. Those of us in the environmental industries are acutely aware of what still needs to be done, if only because the cleanups represent a market for our products. We try to make those products responsibly, and we are happy to bring environmentally beneficial jobs to Winchester.

Jim Bottom, area operations manager, Carmeuse Lime & Stone, Strasburg

1 Comment

It's natural that Mr. Bottom likes his own product and points to its many uses.

However, he fails to understand my key point. Pollution control is always a process of closing the barn door after the cow's out. As long as we burn coal (and treat lime in kilns) we continue to add to global climate change, and we continue to produce toxic pollutants, which must go somewhere if they don't go out the smokestack.

We need to move beyond pollution control to using pollution-free methods of meeting our needs. These methods exist, and they are worth the effort. If you don't believe this old man, just ask any intelligent 13 year old.

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