I find it mildly surprising that the local alternative weekly would announce its support of a candidate the local daily newspaper supports as well (Editorial, Oct. 12). A better break with tradition would be not to endorse at all. At the very least, your endorsement should provide an even-handed look at the issues and facts and your opinion about why Gore is the better choice. What is most disappointing is that the editorial gave no facts or figures, save for Bush’s $4 trillion divided into fourths. This is an explanation Bush gave in the first debate and is simply the distilled version of his plan and the easiest way to communicate it to voters. Additionally, you offer no positive figures from Gore.
To start with, you’ve incorrectly represented Bush’s plan. Assuming a surplus of $4.6 trillion, Bush sets aside $2.4 trillion (52 percent) as reserve for Social Security, another $1.3 trillion for tax reductions, and $0.9 trillion for “other priorities and debt reduction.” These figures come from Bush’s own budget plan clearly represented on his Web site. I challenge you to find Al Gore’s figures on his Web site, which is a morass of finger-pointing, back-patting, and over-promising.
Your summary also ignores facts from the nonpartisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) and Citizens Against Government Waste, both of which concluded that Gore’s planned spending is nearly triple Bush’s. There is, of course, the issue of the six Nobel Laureate economists who endorse Bush. Are they all misguided? How many Nobel Laureates advised you to summarize Bush’s plan as “doodoo economics”?
All of this budget surplus talk overlooks the real issue. If there is a surplus, it belongs to us, the people who pay the bills. To quote Margaret Thatcher, “There is no such thing as government money.” “Surplus” is what we lay people call “profit.” The government is a nonprofit organization. When it starts to make profit, we need to demand a refund. An across-the-board tax cut is that refund.
As a member of the Fourth Estate, you are charged with communicating to citizens all the facts. I assume that the Scene’s forthcoming endorsement editorials will better elucidate your opinion and correctly represent the other side.
Philip Anderson, http://www.zeropolitics.org.
The right answer
Thank you so very much for the story about TCAP (“Failing Efforts,” Oct. 12). I am a Tennessee teacher of 28 years, and for years now teachers have been saying you can’t determine a teacher’s abilityor a child’s knowledgebased on a standardized test. The variables involved are more than the politicians can imagine.
Two years ago, in my class, I had a child who was living in a car, one whose family dog died the first day of the test, and one who had broken his arm the day before. Tell me that the TCAP formula takes into consideration these types of situations.
If someone wants to see if I am accountable, come to my classroom. Come see happy children who are respectful, kind, and tolerant of others. I teach the basics, but I love to teach “stuff” that is not on TCAP. (What was Andrew Jackson’s horse’s name?) If anyone wants to question the accountability of a teacher because of test scores, come to Hot-Air Balloon Day in Murfreesboro the last Friday of April. I can assure you that not one question about how to make your own balloon is on the test. However, these children learn more aerodynamic science in one week than in a year of lectures. As a matter of fact, I welcome anyone to come and help make the balloons. It will blow you away when you see these 5-foot-tall tissue paper balloons fly!
In memoriam of 328
In response to Noel Murray’s story about the purchase of 328 Performance Hall (“Jack of Clubs,” Oct. 12), I have lots of friends who read your paper, and I want them and everyone else who has supported my shows over the years to know how much I appreciate them.
We were renovating 328 when my daughter was born in April 1990, two months before we opened. The night my son was born in September 1991, we had a sellout show with Drivin’ n Cryin’. Smashing Pumpkins played 328so did Beck, Garth Brooks, Alanis Morrisette, John Hiatt, Dave Matthews, Ice-T, Carl Perkins, Faith Hill, Steve Earle, and hundreds of others. My favorite shows were Concrete Blonde, Zap Mama, and any time Los Lobos played. Another favorite was Crowded House, which once played the night after their drummer quit. They used the drummer of the opening act. The opening act was Sheryl Crow.
We supported numerous community organizations by donating the use of the hall for everything from the first Artrageous Late Party to numerous Swine Balls. There was a Trappist Monks concert, two weddings, a Harley Davidson swap meet, and the coronation of a Nigerian chief.
I’m starting a couple of new businesses that will operate out of the building my new partners and I have purchased and renovated at 1604 8th Ave. S. GO WEST stays with me, as does the same phone number I have had for 14 years. I started out in this business with parking lot shows at Cat’s Records in 1982. One of the acts that night was and still is one of my favorites: Jason and the Scorchers. They’re still around.
I will be too. Thank you to everyone who ever bought a ticket, rented the hall, or bought a beverage. You allowed me to make a living doing something I really love, and I’m grateful.
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