Aug. 16, 2013: Secularism; Zimmerman; voters; Corridor H; carbon tax

Haught skews truth about secularism Editor:I would like to make a few comments concerning Mr. James Haught's editorial. Mr. Haught tells his readers that all the progress the United States has achieved is because of secular liberals.Many of us remember that it was liberal Senator Bob Byrd who opposed all civil rights efforts for minority people. Informed readers know that the Gazette's heroine, Margaret Sanger, was an avowed racist who oppressed handicapped citizens.I remember it was Jewish and Christian people, led by Pastor Martin Luther King, who marched and prayed for justice and equality.Father Patrick McDonoughSt. Albans Zimmerman trial a media embarrassmentEditor:When is it OK to kill? The shameful behavior of the media in the George Zimmerma murder trial is an insult to network broadcasting.The pundits embarrassed themselves again. The liberals to convict, the conservatives to aquit was a trial of opinion in the public domain along partisan lines in the land that constitutionally guarantees innocence until proven guilty by a jury of peers, not a circus by opinionators not seeking justice but trying to create a ruckus.Steve Kopa Weirton 
West Virginia voters should read this bookEditor:I want to recommend a book to every West Virginian, young and old. John Grisham is quoted on the cover as saying, "I wish I'd written it." It's not a novel, but it reads like one. It's titled "The Price of Justice," by Laurence Leamer.Two lawyers take on the Hugh Caperton-Don Blankenship lawsuit and all the ramifications of that struggle, going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, when Brent Benjamin refused to recuse himself from the appeal.It includes the Warren McGraw political campaign and loss of his seat on the W.Va. Supreme Court when the state was inundated with scurrilous political ads accusing McGraw of knowingly supporting release of a child sex offender.
The disastrous Upper Big Branch Mine explosion figures in, as does the Justice Spike Maynard and Blankenship's Rivera encounters.
Some of the heroes are still around, some of the villains are still in high places - some very high and quite surprising. If you live in this state and vote, or ever plan to, do yourself a favor and read this book this summer.Elinore TaylorHuntington Stop wasting money on Corridor HEditor:At more than $15 million a mile, spending more money to "finish" Corridor H is a huge waste of federal and state taxpayer money, tearing up national forests, farms and the Blackwater Canyon area for no good reason.The area's light traffic doesn't even justify the segments that have been built. A four-lane road would not help tourism in Davis and Thomas. It would just rush traffic on by the towns.The money could be used, instead, to repair the many dangerous roads and bridges around the state.  Bonni McKeownCharleston Gazette correct on carbon taxEditor:Kudos to The Charleston Gazette on their endorsement of a revenue-neutral carbon tax which will lower greenhouse gases and revitalize our economy by creating well-paying clean-energy jobs ("Warming: Ugly peril," Aug. 7).If we do not want extreme weather such as Superstorm Sandy, which resulted in almost 100 deaths and a price tag of over $50 billion, and wildfires that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona and the droughts that plagued the Midwest last year and increased food prices to occur each decade instead of every century, we need our elected officials in Washington, D.C., to pass legislation to stop climate disruption.To head off these disasters scientists point out that we must transition from fossil fuels quickly. Economists (including George Shultz of the Reagan administration) agree the best way to do that is to place a steadily-rising tax on carbon that is 100 percent revenue neutral, refunding everything to American households to offset rising energy costs. This policy would apply equally across all fossil fuels and not single out coal, like the EPA regulations. It also provides certainty for businesses to transition to cleaner energy, in turn, spurring private investments and making the marketplace truly free.Ashley Hunt-MartoranoMedford, N.Y
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