In his lecture at the Forum Club, Frank Luntz, the GOP pollster/wordsmith, says Republicans must learn to empathize with the ordinary voter (“Pollster to GOP: Start by listening.”) However, it is clear from his lecture that he is telling the GOP that, rather than empathize, his message is to employ words that obscure or cover up their true meaning.
He says use the term “business leader” instead of “CEO.” Is this because many CEOs now receive 300-plus times the salary of average workers? Not a positive picture for your average voter. He says he wants to help the GOP communicate when actually he wants to help it deceive. For instance, use the term “economic freedom” instead of “capitalism,” because capitalism begets “Wall Street, you hear greed, you hear profits.”
He should have included moving jobs overseas and massive layoffs of American workers. (See: Bain Capital, Vulture Capitalism.) Of course, all of this is true, but not good for the GOP. He would rather not have this image in the mind of the average voter. While waiting in line to vote this past November, a group standing directly behind me discussed how wonderful Karl Rove performed, especially in his negative advertising. If we judge people’s success by how effectively they lie or deceive, then Mr. Rove and Mr. Luntz are surely at the top.
Palm Beach Gardens
Regarding “Pollster to GOP: Start by listening,” wordsmith Frank Luntz suggests that right-wing politicians substitute “economic freedom” in place of “capitalism” when addressing the proletariat. “When I say ‘capitalism’ you hear Wall Street, you hear greed, you hear profits.” Wouldn’t it be more logical to tweak capitalism and make it more user-friendly to the working class? To boldly go where few capitalists have gone?
A famous bard once stated, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” We may be blue-collar, but we’re not illiterate.
Digital Domain piece
What a brilliant piece of narration was “How public’s million vanished” in last Sunday’s newspaper.
I applaud Jeff Ostrowski for this very detailed and interesting description of a downfall, and thank The Palm Beach Post for its placement on the front page. Everybody should read it, so that it gives everybody at least an idea of how (certain) businesses are run. It reminds me of the attitude the Kravis Center crowd — my seat neighbors, for example — at the Regional Arts concerts leave the theater before the musicians have stopped playing. It’s a combination of ca m’arrange and m’enfoutisme — it suits me, and I don’t give a damn if it’s criticized.
AGNES C. MUSCH
Palm Beach Gardens
Retired Martin County Circuit Court Judge C. Pfeiffer Trowbridge was correct when he said in his letter to the editor that “TJ Cunningham also a humorist.” I was always the humorous one between my brother Malcolm and me.
However, given the era in which the judge and I grew up, I am still sensitive, as an African-American, to the stereotypical reference made by Judge Trowbridge in his letter to “TJ’s comment that he was going to burn a watermelon on Willie’s front lawn.”
In my early years of law practice, I did appear before Judge Trowbridge quite frequently. I always considered him a competent, unbiased, fair-minded and no-nonsense jurist who applied the rule of law, and was not intimidated or influenced by law firms that represented prestigious litigants. As an African-American lawyer, I always felt comfortable practicing before him back in the 1960s.
In view of the above, I am disappointed in Judge Trowbridge’s “watermelon” comment, and it is he who was trying to be the humorist. I did not find his comment to be funny, and I am sure that Willie Gary or the African-American community did not consider his comment to be humorous. I would have never expected this judge, whom I have known, respected and practiced before for so many years, to have made such a stereotypical, despicable and appalling statement about two African-American lawyers who had practiced in his court many years.
T.J. CUNNINGHAM, SR.
West Palm Beach
School district should
pony up for drainage
I am a retired teacher and usually fully supportive of the Palm Beach County School District, but refusing to pay normal fees for draining is wrong. (“School district sues W. Palm.”)
Aside from the problems this will cause to students and the properties themselves, if the district were to prevail in its lawsuit all residents would have to cover this expense. We pay a school tax when we pay property taxes, so we would have to pay twice? This is not proper. The school district should pay its bill and stop running up the costs with legal fees.
LARRY R. MURRAY
West Palm Beach
Don’t ruin serene
Flagler with condo
I usually finish off my morning paper with the comics, to temper the generally dismal news of the day. However, Tuesday’s Post contained additional hilarity in the article “Flagler condo plan,” regarding the proposal for the land on the east side of Flagler Drive, to be bought from the First Baptist Church.
A representative of the developer said: “Currently, there is no lake view there. You see a parking area, the back of the amphitheater area.” Actually, you get a nice view of the lake and bridge over the very low-rise and unobtrusive parking area. The amphitheater is hardly noticed. Later was a statement by a representative of the church: “(The project) will have a great, picturesque impact on the city of West Palm Beach for years to come.”
Balderdash. I have yet to see any condos built on the waterfront as “picturesque.” I often drive the Flagler corridor and find it a soothing and interesting drive. Let’s keep it that way.
West Palm Beach
guides need examining
As you reported (“States fight green-building leader over local wood,”) a growing number of states are joining the long list of elected officials, forestry experts, conservationists and others who urge the U.S. Green Building Council to promote responsible forestry in North America by opening up Leadership in Energy and Environmental Demand to other credible forest certification standards, including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS).
As your article noted, USGBC’s exclusive recognition of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) program within LEED can discourage builders, architects and designers from sourcing wood products from the majority of domestic well-managed forests. LEED treats two-thirds of certified forests in North America unfairly while favoring the FSC. Contrary to your article’s suggestion, the FSC does not prohibit certification of plantations. And many companies are given exemptions to use the FSC’s “banned” chemicals.
SFI-certified products have been excluded from the forest certification/sourcing credit since LEED’s inception without SFI having been told the basis of that exclusion. SFI encourages USGBC to clarify why FSC meets its credit expectations and SFI does not.
Editor’s note: Kathy Abusow is president and CEO of the Sustainable Forest Initiative.
Red lights seem
to go on forever
Making yellow lights longer will not deter those who choose to run the horrific red light twilight zone. I’ve lived here for over 12 years, and I swear that the time one sits at red lights has increased considerably. The red lights seem to never change to green, and the yellow changes to red in an instant. I’ve had family and guests from out of state comment on our lights. I hope that the time will be shortened now that the snowbirds have taken flight.
GERALD R. CHERNICOFF
West Palm Beach