Walters The Socialist
It's ironic that you print David Walters' column of fiction ("The Greedy Grinch," December 22) on the back of Tara Servatius' column of truth ("Season's Bafflers"). Sen. Patrick Moynihan declared that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own set of facts.
Walters needs to own up to the fact that he's a socialist and works with the rabid environmentalists in the Smart(?)Growth movement of central planning.
As for growth not paying for its way, the evidence speaks for itself when Charlotte continually annexes subdivisions to increase the tax-base. Try telling those residents that their taxes do not pay for far more than basic services.
For those who want more government control, please take into account the boondoggles that Charlotte has had to pay for with hard earned tax dollars: City Fair, the disaster of the old convention center, the arena deal for a billionaire, and $6-plus billion for a light rail that all transportation experts say will fail to deliver any promises.
Yes, Mr. Walters, the unintended consequences pile up with central planning!
-- Suzanne Stallings, Charlotte
Capitalism Becomes Anarchy
Mick Mulvaney's position on unfettered capitalism and his inference that those who oppose it are communists ("The Greedy Grinch") brings to mind a quote from Tom Robbins' last book -- "When socialism is pushed beyond a certain point, it becomes totalitarianism. Capitalism, on the other hand, if carried to its extreme, becomes anarchy."
-- Steve Foley, Charlotte
Sprawl Equals Pollution
I really admire Tara Servatius' writing in Creative Loafing and agree with her on probably 99 percent of the points she makes. But I disagree with her in the "Breathing Vs. Shopping" segment of "Season's Bafflers" (December 22). Sure, it sounds odd to force urban development that makes the "burb dwellers drive into town, thus creating air pollution. But by doing this, the city is addressing the much, much bigger problem of sprawl and "empty boxes" and is encouraging the use of existing development. Why should we allow commercial developers to slap up a new strip mall by 485 when there are plenty of existing strip malls and empty boxes in town that simply need to be revitalized?
I live off the intersection of Albemarle Road and Sharon Amity and have to drive past the rundown, mostly abandoned Coliseum Center on Independence everyday. I think about what a waste it is to have this land sitting vacant -- an embarrassing eyesore to so many Charlotteans -- when acres of trees have been mowed down and a new Target built just four miles up Albemarle Road. If Target had revitalized the old Haverty's in this shopping center instead, my neighbors and I wouldn't have to drive those four miles. It sounds to me like the city planners are encouraging protection for the people in the interior neighborhoods that have been victimized by the dime-a-dozen, cookie cutter neighborhood developments that are raping our countryside and drawing people out of the city (not Dilworth and Elizabeth but the likes of Sheffield Park, Medford Acres, etc.).
Allowing so much suburban development encourages people to spread out (SPRAWL) and is the main reason for such air pollution in the first place. I'm surprised she can't see the big picture.
-- Ben Adams, Charlotte
Backward Into Superstition
I just read Hal Crowther's excellent article ("Believing in Miracles," December 22) on the European dismay over the current American march into superstition and ignorance. This return to purposeful unknowing and religious literalism is well explained in Perry Miller's 1965 classic work, The Life of the Mind in America.
As early as 1801, American Protestantism (and yes, we are talking about Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians) discovered the camp meeting and religious revivalism. From then until today, it has been its specific intent to evangelize the world and reject the more intellectual and enlightened theocracy found in the Unitarian and Congregational churches of our colonial days. Biblical literalism is not a new idea and goes right back to Charles Grandison Finney and the camp meeting at Cane Ridge Kentucky on August 6, 1801. Today's fundamentalist "Christians" have worked long and hard for this neo-Elizabethan, pre-scientific ignorance.
I am looking to Europe and Asia to keep the Scientific Revolution, human progress, and the Enlightenment alive while America watches for signs and portents in the skies and rockets itself backward into superstition.
-- Peter MacMonagle, Charlotte