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Letters, Dec. 21

Soft on crime, or equality?

This is in response to Larry Mendte’s Dec. 15 column stating that voters must share in the blame for increased crime since they are electing soft-on-crime candidates.

The crux of his argument is: Crime is up, prosecution policies are becoming more lax, therefore voters who elect soft-on-crime candidates take some blame for the increase in crime.

I would propose an alternate argument: Crime is up, economic inequality continues to produce a huge gap between those at the top vs. the bottom, therefore voters who elect candidates who are soft on economic equality take some blame for the increase in crime.

The real question is not who is to blame. The question is which causes more crime — the knowledge that punishment may be more lenient or the feeling of hopelessness and lack of opportunity caused by economic disparities. I think the answer is clearly the latter.

John Felling


Bentz response disingenuous

U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz contacted me regarding a letter about net neutrality he received in my name from a third-party advocacy organization whose wording I had signed on to, saving me time (unlike Bentz, I do not get paid to inform debate about matters in the public interest.)

His tenure-long track record in that regard renders his response disingenuous. Not only has he never even acknowledged receiving my original comment compositions submitted via his website — thus belying his claim that “(my) thoughts and comments are important to (him)” — he once again now responded to a less direct, unoriginal composition in the manner which he always has:

Although writing he “favor(s) protections for internet consumers but regulating today’s internet with (an 87-year-old law) is not a good idea”, Bentz was deafeningly silent regarding what he would propose as means to do so instead.

I say he is either fibbing about caring, or can think of no other workable ideas for doing so. Or both.

I wish Bentz would show me, and the rest of the country, that I am wrong about him. I can’t wait to retract my criticism and apologize for its tone and approach.

Jim Wells