Our Readers Write

Utility should pay for generator rental

I am a retired, 100-year-old physician, former director of education at Huntington Memorial Hospital with honorary degrees from Johns Hopkins and various other places. Recently I received a printed card in the mail informing me that the electricity to my house was to be turned off on Aug. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since I am on obligatory oxygen all the time I asked Southern California Edison for advice. They suggested that I rent a generator. However, nobody was willing to install it.

Consequently I asked a private electrical company who furnished a generator but the total bill was over $1,000. The upshot is that I personally had to pay this amount as a result of the intransigence of Southern California Edison Co. I have written to a board member but I have received only denials.

I could let this all be business but I know injustice when I see it and as a physician it does not feel right. I would be willing to pay money for the electrician who furnished the generator but in this case my principle which I've fought all my life is at stake: human consideration for all involved.

Richard J. Bing, M.D.

La Cañada


Don't be fooled by Committee for Truth

The Committee for Truth in Politics. I like that! Truth is what we could use in politics these days. There is way too much innuendo, deception and downright lying going on. Alas, The Committee for Truth in Politics is probably not really a committee, and most definitely does not seek the truth — although it is about politics, so that's something.

The former chief of staff, legal counsel and political director for the North Carolina Republican Party is the individual who incorporated "the committee," but for some reason he doesn't deem "the committee" worthy of mention in his on-line profile. It appears he formed "the committee" to put buckets of money toward discrediting anyone with whom he disagrees. He buys ads, mainly TV ads. Whether these ads are literally dishonest, or whether they simply do everything possible to deceive the viewer without crossing the truth line doesn't really matter. The effect is the same. The intent is to appear honest and forthright, while actually massaging the facts and manipulating the viewer.

To make my point, I must digress. Recently, financial reforms were enacted. These reforms protect consumers from the predatory practices by financial institutions. For example, legions of people (often young adults, not savvy to the rapacious tactics of big banks) have been fined hundreds of millions of dollars in "overdraft" fees on their debit cards, because they bought a Coke, cup of coffee — whatever — without the funds to cover the cost. Did the bank simply refuse to process the $3.50 for the coffee? No, way. The banks delighted in processing those charges and taking a $35 fee for each such overdraft. So a couple of cups of coffee, and maybe a rented movie and what should have cost $20 now would cost $125. With the new regulations, banks can no longer loan us money without our permission and then charge us usurious levels of interest on the loan we never said we wanted. We consumers are now protected.

Back to the Committee for Truth in Politics. In an attempt to bury financial reforms, which "The Committee" wanted to prevent, it started running ads last February that framed the proposed regulatory reforms as, paradoxically, "one big bailout" for banks. Calling the reforms a bank bailout was designed to get the public to oppose financial reforms that, in fact, were in its best interest. This was done by seeming to explain the reforms in a phrase that did not explain them at all, was designed to deceive. George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language" demonstrates how words can be manipulated to obscure the truth without actually telling a factual falsehood. What we really have here is The Committee for (obscuring) Truth in Politics.

When you come across an ad sponsored by the Committee for Truth in Politics this election season, if you believe what you see or hear, you are being manipulated and duped — don't be fooled.

Carol Stewart

La Cañada

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