Local Commentary

Letters to the Editor for th Week of November 6 – 12, 2008

Says Story on ‘The Family’ ‘Crossed the Line’


Regarding your Falls Church News-Press front page item, dated Oct. 30, I am on record as your personal friend and longstanding booster of your newspaper–one of the primary community development elements we enjoy in Falls Church.

But with this story, not news item, I think you have crossed over the line with intentionally vague and potentially libelous remarks designed to lead your readers to the conclusion that John Yates and his wife are somehow reactionary political operatives who have colluded with others to manipulate a few thousand individuals within their congregation to become a political machine designed to take over the country or at minimum bend it to their will.

As you know in your heart, you could not be farther from the truth.

Please read Rev. Yates’ own words quoted from this past Sunday’s church bulletin, “Because so many of us here in the D.C. area are involved in the world of politics, we feel especially strong, even passionate about national elections. We have our own stories to tell about the way this party or that candidate has operated over the years….The thing is, we may be wrong. And whether we are wrong or correct in our political analysis, we must be civil and respectful of those who disagree with us. None of us is invincible in our political views.” Enough said.

Carol Jackson

Falls Church

Hails Report On ‘The Family’ As ‘Career Best’


Plaudits to you and your article from the latest edition of the formidable Falls Church News-Press. “Palin, ‘The Family’ Linked to F.C. Defectors,” is great in depth reporting which should be picked up by the news services and spread to those who don’t have access to your great paper. I believe this article is the finest, broadest writing of your career, and your timing could not have been better.

Keep up your great work.

Jim Trollinger

Falls Church

League of Women Voters Commends F.C.


In a year when record numbers of voters turned out nationwide, we want to commend the citizens of the City of Falls Church for their commitment to exercising their right to vote. According to figures reported by the Virginia State Board of Elections, 81.88 percent of “active” voters went to the polls and 79.86 percent of “total” voters. That level of participation was much higher than our neighboring jurisdictions, and substantially higher than the numbers posted by the citizens of Charlottesville, with whom we were engaged in a friendly competition. (The comparable numbers for that city were 68.7 percent and 66.5 percent.)

More than 800 new voters were registered in the city this year. We want to commend Debbie Taylor, the registar of voters for the city, members of the Elections Board and all those who worked at the polling places on Election Day for their hard work in managing the large number of city residents who went to the polls to support the candidates of their choice.

Joan Lewis, President

F.C. Leage of Women Voters

B.J.’s Would Be a Welcome Addition to F.C.


In reference to Mr. Simonsgaard’s Letter to the Editor about B.J.’s Wholesale Club coming to Falls Church, he should not presume to speak for all of the citizens of Falls Church. It would be nice to have a place to shop in the city besides those snooty places that already exist.

Claire Carolina

Via the Internet

The Peak Oil Crisis and the Invisible Hand


As I understand the Peak Oil situation, there are no reliable production numbers available from some of the largest producing countries, making accurate worldwide depletion estimates difficult. The central conundrum then seems to be how to transmit a plausible warning to the world’s industrial companies, providing reasonably credible time estimates for the coming shortages. The problem, as in so many human situations, is that the Invisible Hand does not adhere to any particular time horizon as a criterion for success. When people optimize their own finances, they want to make a “big killing” quickly, then invest the money and get out of the game if possible. In evolutionary terms, such “flash in the pan” experiments are fine as long as there are others going on which are destined to optimize over longer times. Since humans are now so connected and globalized, our world supplies are tethered to the short-term optimization of the big producers and consumers. Thus it is hard to extend the average time scale look-ahead without undergoing some fairly catastrophic scenarios.

Ralph Dratman

Via the Internet