With reference to Tony Soltero's column on November 29, 2004, I must take exception.
>From the get-go he references Frank Church, the "venerable senator from Idaho". Okay, I object. This man chaired the committee in the Senate that ran rough-shod over the CIA, effectively turning that agency into nothing less than a puppet, with the strings being pulled by the likes of Tip O'Neil from Massachusetts.
The Church committee's "reforms" of the mid-70's certainly was a causal effect of events in Iran and the American hostage situation. With the feckless leadership of President Jimmy Carter our fellow American's were held for 444 days and not released until a president of strong resolve, Ronald Reagan, assumed office.
I have traveled, extensively, and let me share a few observations. When Mr. Soltero paints the picture of Latin America he is essentially right. To Americans this is an abhorrent way of life. I have seen similar conditions in my travels to Indonesia, Macao, Thailand, and other places.
Interesting thing, though, is how we tend to see other's lives through the prism of our own life. This cannot be done, as most of the countries of the world simply lack the resources of the United States.
Would those people be happier if they had our lifestyle? Not necessarily. You see, when you don't know what you don't have, you don't tend to miss it.
It seems, according to Mr. Soltero, that America's darkest hours are upon us, with the rising Euro and the Chinese looking to prop up some other economy other than our own.
Maybe we haven't been reading or watching the same news, but, free from trying their best to elect John Kerry, the "mainstream" press is slowly letting out the news about just how robust the American economy actually is performing.
Bill Clinton touted strong 2.5% annual growth, on average, during his eight-year tenure. In the past year, the U.S. economy has surged to about 3.5% annual growth, and the Japanese and Chinese know that it is still a better investment in America than their other options, the socially and fiscally bankrupt economies of Germany, France, and other European juggernauts.
Lastly, contrary to what you see on CNN, I cast my ballot for George Bush not because I care one iota about gay marriage. What consenting adults do behind closed doors is not only none of my concern, it's none of my business.
What liberals fail to see is that George Bush won re-election because he believes in the enduring optimism that made our country great. We are not headed for the Great Depression redux, the sun will rise tomorrow, and America remains a shining beacon on the hill.
Charles Jenkins Frederick