Letters to the Editor: May 22 – 28, 2014
Wonderful Civil War Day Event in F.C. Last Saturday
I am writing to commend the City of Falls Church for putting on a wonderful Civil War Day event at the Cherry Hill Farmhouse on Saturday, May 17. Over the past few years, I have read about their annual event in the Falls Church News-Press but this was the first time that I had the opportunity to attend. I’m glad I did.
A good crowd was on hand to learn about what really happened in Falls Church during the Civil war. I noticed that Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille was in attendance. Euille is one of many democrats vying to replace Jim Moran in the 8th Congressional District.
The Civil War history of Falls Church has tended to get lost in the shuffle over the years. It is important to stage events such as this one to remind and educate the general public. There has been a decline in the study of history at our educational institutions. It is not regarded a a “marketable” field of study. With all this increasing historical ignorance, I worry about where our culture and society are headed.
Why is Council Upset About Funding Retirement Fund?
I see some members of City Council are upset that $11 million of the $20 million received from the sale of our water facilities were invested in the retirement fund. I am reading the January 2013 report on FY 2014 contributions to the fund and notice that we had a 2012 unfunded liability of…$10 million.
You may remember the term “unfunded liability” as it featured prominently in the bankruptcies of Compton, Calif. and Detroit, Mich. Compton “invested” millions in revitalizing its waterfront on the assumption it would make up the difference in pension liabilities when the money rolled in.
I think of this cautionary tale when I hear complaints about funding the pension liability instead of “investing” the funds elsewhere.
Why Does Whipple Gloss Over Rossi’s Time in Jail?
For years, Tom Whipple has been touting cold fusion – specifically, how Andrea Rossi’s E-cat project would create “a new age” of limitless, incredibly inexpensive energy. His columns on this topic have always had three themes: the project was on the verge of commercial success; the U.S. government was incredibly short-sighted in not funding Rossi; and the mainstream media was stubborn and stupid for not covering it.
But Whipple’s April 17 column slipped in a tiny surprise – it mentions, in passing, that Rossi “came up with the idea … while sitting in an Italian jail for six months – but that is another story.”
Oh really! Talking about not covering a story, Tom, just where have you been hiding this one all these years? Were you worried that Rossi’s jail time would make us suspect him of being a scam artist, and that we’d realize that you’ve been blowing smoke all this time? Thankfully, we don’t have to wait for Whipple to provide this story. There are several websites, such as freeenergyscams.com, that go into it in detail. (That website also reports that Rossi’s U.S. patent application was turned down in mid-March.)
But don’t stop writing on cold fusion, Tom. We may never get limitless energy from cold fusion, but we’re definitely getting some laughs from your columns.
As Seinfeld would say, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
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