Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, September 18, 2016


I was deeply disappointed to see The Telegraph editors use a fallacious, straw man argument attempting to discredit N.A. Pietrzak’s letter promoting voter verified paper ballots (VVPB). The paper trail The Telegraph described is Not “voter verified.” And that is not what Pietrzak spoke about. Shame on the editors.

Georgia’s electronic voting machines can be modified to produce a VVPB, but there is no political will nor wisdom to do so at this time. The League of Women Voters, the vast majority of computer scientists and investigative reporters agree with Pietrzak.

Concerned, knowledgeable citizens want a voter verified paper ballot. The only way to do this in Georgia right now is to request a paper absentee ballot by submitting a short application form to your county Board of Elections. The paper absentee ballot is delivered to your address by U.S. mail. Vote in privacy at your convenience. Mail your double-sealed ballot back to your county Board of Elections.

For more information: www.macon-bibb.com/voting.htm

Lindsay D. Holliday, Macon

N.A. Pietrzak, in his letter of 9/13, was asking for a “paper trail to verify the actual vote.” He never mentioned a voter verified paper ballot.


Verified by whom?

My, my, it looks like The Telegraph editors bought a pig in a poke. The Georgia voting machines do not keep a paper trail of each vote. They keep a record of what the software of each machine records as a vote. It is very possible for the software to be corrupted and for example record every second or third vote for candidate X as a vote for candidate Y. On an amendment vote, to record a yes vote for every third no. Just enough to change the results without raising suspicion.

Any recount recounts just what the software recorded. For a real paper trail, the voter has to be able to see how his vote was recorded on a printed paper tape, that is saved separately. In the case of a recount, the printed tape can be compared to the electronic tally. That is what makes a verifiable election.

At this time when some state governments are doing whatever they can to restrict the vote, we need to know we have votes that we can count and recount.

N. A. Pietrzak Sr., Macon

Trump letters

The letters in The Telegraph lambasting Trump continue and that is to be expected in this polarized political season. What is not to be expected, at least by savvy political debaters, is the ease with which these letter writers inconveniently ignore the rebuttals already made in total disregard of the usual rules followed in policy debates.

Take for instance, Len Gregor of Kathleen who anticipates the lack of “backbone” of House Republicans and takes exception with the aphorism of “voting for the lesser of two evils,” supposedly championing the Libertarian candidate. The problem with Gregor’s arguments is that state voters democratically chose Trump (not the GOP leadership in a smoke-filled room as Gregor and others have implied). Trump would be the main contender, the popular choice of Republican grassroots voters, a virtual mandate to be seriously taken into account — if the election were sent from the Electoral College to the U.S. House of Representatives — regardless of lack or possession of “backbone.”

As to voting purportedly against evil, it would be effectively Republican votes the Libertarian candidate would largely siphon off, not from “some disaffected Democrats,” who only have an insignificant challenge in Jill Stein of the Green Party. So Gregor’s effort would go to “Crooked Hillary,” as much as he would want to deny it. But much of this argumentation has already been alluded to in a previous article. I wish he had tried to refute it instead of modifying previous objections to the proverbial “lesser of two evils” contention.

That same day we also heard from Jack Bernard of Peachtree City, a letter writer who has identified himself as a retired health care executive. The problem here is that in every letter he has penned that I have read, Bernard has always come from the left side of the political spectrum, antipodal to conservatism and republicanism. For example he has argued for Obamacare and socialized medicine, and yet he insists he’s a Republican.

This time, Bernard fulminates against “two flawed candidates” but initially praises Trump for side issues. His real intention, to sink Trump, finally reveals itself by playing the 1964 Johnson versus Goldwater fearmongering card — pondering Trump’s “fingers on the button controlling the bomb.” With Republican friends like this, who needs Democratic foes.

Dr. Miguel A. Faria, Milledgeville

Any justice?

By now most of you heard about Wells Fargo’s reward programs to open fraudulent accounts (over 5,000 employees) directed by an aggressive lady in management (who was paid $125 million in the form of a golden parachute. Obviously, crime pays well if you are the head crook at the bank. I have yet to hear the number of accounts or people abused. The bank has terminated the program.

If there is any justice in this world, Wells Fargo will pay $190 million to both the abused and to bank regulators.

Carolyn Effie, Macon

No benefit

Ref: Blaming the sugar industry, Telegraph Sept. 13, 2A

The connection between sugar intake and cardiovascular disease and mortality is questionable. A July 23, 2002, article in “Circulation” reported a Scottish Health study of over 10,000 men and women that showed no correlation between intake of “intrinsic or extrinsic sugars” and coronary heart disease. The nine-year Iowa Women’s Health study of over 34,000 women showed no relationship between sweets and desserts (though sodas not included). The 10-year Nurses Health Study showed no ischemic heart disease related to simple carbohydrate intake (though a high glycemic diet did have some risk). It is my conviction that switching from sugars to non-caloric sweeteners is of uncertain benefit.

Richard A. Ulrich, M.D., Bonaire