Comments about ‘Letter: The U.S. moral compass has been misdirected’

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Published: Saturday, Dec. 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Heber City, UT

When unchecked capitalism is worshipped until 5 percent of the population owns half of everything (including the legislators and judges) while thousands go hungry or bankrupt to pay medical bills, our moral compass has indeed been misdirected. This downward cycle is well-known.

When bigotry is sanctioned and our grandfathers tune into a a steady stream of duplicitous fear mongering, the U.S. is on a troubled path that the next generation will correct.

This is history's greatest nation. It's future is bright. Neither fear nor despair serve anyone.

Sandy, UT

Lies! 47 percent do not rely on the government. They simply have no tax liability and simply take the deductions and credits that are allowed under law.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

Unlike many many sore-losers in Utah, I am so happy every morning when I wake up and Barack Obama is President.

We all saw first-hand the so-called "morals" of Mitt Romney. Bullet dodged!

Hayden, ID

America has been "fundamentally transformed" and declining in every way that a country can decline, morally, culturally and economically. How did the Democrats do it: entitlements, redistribution, class warfare, big intrusive government and massive debt. Its only going to get worse, so hunker down because as the author said, the compass is still pointing the wrong way!

salt lake city, utah

Ah, the good old days when a "man" could get a job at Kennecott support his family pay his taxes,( remember evethough he deducted his mortgage and his tithing.. rates were so high that he still had to pay), take a vacation..all because his income and job were protected by the union. Or..maybe you could go to school and become a white collar worker..all on Uncle Sams dime..GI bill. In fact Frank almost everyone in the neighborhood where you grew up did just that got their start via the government. Doesn't matter they had to serve in the military to get it..they succeeded because of the government.

Now we get to work for MR and his friends making $15 an hour no benefits, and no future and have to endure being called immoral by the likes of you because we fall below the poverty level and don't make enough money to pay taxes if we take a mortgage deduction. No worry though Repbulicans are proposing taking away that deduction so yipee we get to join the ranks of tax payers..we still make $15 and hour and have no benefits..but were moral.

Kearns, UT

Go to the library and check out the books The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, if you can find them. You will find some disturbing parallels with how the U.S. is now going. All you whiny liberal/progressives need to find another hobby.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Owen- can you tell us one industry in America where we have "unchecked capitalism"? Also can you provide a specific example on anyone who has gone hungry or bankrupt because of medical bills? (anyone who doesn't have a cable/internet package that is)


Americans need a hand up, not a handout. I'm starting to agree more and more with the Demos. on the DN forum. I don't agree with EVERYTHING the demos. propose; BUT- I think we should give Obama our best support we can muster for the next 4 yrs.

Unethical business persons are causing more and more problems for the general population.

Can Obama and the demos. turn things around?

I hope so.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Isn't old fashioned HONESTY still a moral value?

If so, why does this writer lie when he writes: "When 47 percent of the population is dependent upon government for their very livelihood and doesn't contribute anything to the tax base."

That is an outright and bald faced lie.

There was a study done awhile ago that determined that at least 91% of all Americans, including those at the highest levels of income, benefit directly from more than one of the "programs" many claim to despise.

When someone like this letter writer lie to try to make a point about morality, they lose all credibility with intelligent people.

Salt Lake City, UT

Legalizing same-sex marriage is a sign that the majority of Americans have achieved moral clarity about the importance of the equal application of civil rights to all American citizens.

Decriminalizing marijuana is similarly evidence that the public recognizes that including marijuana in the "war on drugs" is ruinously expensive, ineffective and a breeding ground for violent drug gangs.

I've read enough of Frank's letters over the years to conclude that were he alive in 1920 and 1933, he would similarly claim that our nation is morally adrift because women won the right to vote and Prohibition was repealed.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Frank Overfelt has just written the perfect Conservative manifesto.

He covered "going back" to just about everything black & white thing the movie "Pleasantville" had to offer.

Selective reasoning I'm sure to remember the good, and forget the bad...
Leaving out Segregation, Civil Rights, lynchings, family violence and abuse,

It wasn't a rosy or picture perfect bak then Frank.

"Leave it to Beaver", "I Love Lucy" ect, were TV shows - many of the actors were real life alcoholics.

BTW - Speaking of the "good wars" - We fought AGAINST ultra-far-right-wing-Conservatives back then who longed to go back to the Good 'ol Days.

But I will agree - Republicans now have us starting Offensive Wars all over the world for OIL and other plunder, rather than for peace, Freedom and the Constitution of the United States [that "blankey-blank piece of paper" of paper as GW Bush referreed to it.]

one old man
Ogden, UT

Red State (is that a communist state?) asks if we can identify any business practicing "unchecked capitalism." Yes. Banks and Wall Street are almost unchecked. Unchecked enough that the damage they do is horrendous.

He then asks if anyone knows anyone who has gone bankrupt because of health costs. Yes. Several people including two of my own children.

Then he adds parenthetically that in order to qualify for his definition they may not have internet or cable hook-ups. Yeah, right.

But then, I guess there is some hope out there that at least some intelligent life exists in Utah when 1Conservative confesses that he is beginning to see the light.

Again, may I recommend that everyone who posts here get and read the book "Who Stole the American Dream," by Hedrick Smith.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Frank and most Conservatives seem to be worried about the erosion of our Society.
To suit their political agenda, they select and choose what they deem to the cause of it, and judge other behaviors accordingly.

The TRUTH is this --

"The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members."

The Nephites, Greeks, Romans, ect... or any other civilazation who tramples the poor, needy, sick, elderly, children, [or any other MINORITY] under their feet are doomed to destruction.

The end of the Book of Mormon has the once great Nephites - who had the truth - dispising the these, and loving WAR more than Peeace. They went on the OFFENSIVE.

In the end - the poor, commune living, pipe smoking, long haired, near naked, "liberal" Lamanites won, and kept possession of the promised land of inheritance.

I'll follow who God has judged will inherit the land,
and not fall for Conservative opinions.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@one old man- how are banks and "Wall Street" practicing "unchecked capitalism"? Is there no regulatory oversight? The Dodd- Frank legislation brought to you by Democrats simply ensured that previously "too big to fail" banks would become even more too big to fail and small, community banks would be crippled. John Corzine former CEO of Goldman Sachs was the Democrat Governor of NJ. Loyd Blankfein current CEO of Goldman Sachs is pretty tight with the White House. I wonder why?
All the hotshot super rich on the Board of Directors at Costco who all vocally support Obama's plan to raise taxes on the rich just voted to borrow 300 billion to pay out to shareholders this year to avoid increased tax rates on dividends coming next year. Is that enough hypocrisy for you?
BTW- I bet that book you recommend contains one word: Republicans.

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

Mr. Overfelt's moral compass is not pointing towards the present location of the magnetic north pole. It is a fact that the north and south magnetic poles are moving. Situation ethics also causes the moral compasses of many letter writers to move. No person (I am a person) or groups of persons have a monopoly on the truth, situation ethics or moving moral compasses.

Mr. Overfelt's moral compass is totally challenged when he states the following:

“When 47 percent of the population is dependent upon government for their very livelihood and doesn't contribute anything to the tax base, ...”

Why is the truth NOT good enough Mr. Overfelt??

Ogden, UT

I'm hoping your 47% error is an accidental misunderstanding rather than an intentional lie. The 47% is referring to people with no federal income tax liability. This includes seniors, working poor, families of 4 earning less than $50K a year. Many of these people still pay payroll taxes. Mitt Romney helped torpedo his own campaign with that statement (and for good reason--it was chock full of arrogant inaccuracies), but it looks like some of his supporters still lack the motivation to look up who the 47% really is. In fact, a fair number of that demographic probably voted for Romney.

Politifact broke down this statistic and their analysis is easily looked up if you are having difficulty understanding the difference here. Would take less time to educate yourself on this than it did to pen this letter.

Burke, VA

Communitarianism is the form of government espoused by the original conservatives, the followers of John Adams. In this system everyone relies on the efforts of the community to better their own lives. Children get in less trouble when their neighbors are keeping an eye on them as well as their own children. When someone's barn burned down the entire community pitched in to help build it back knowing that they could be in the same situation at a future time. Times have changed as have the circumstances of our lives, but the concept is still a strong one that should be practiced. In a true communitarian society everyone relies on the government and contributes their part to make our nation, states and communities strong, just like the old days. Everyone benefits because everyone contributes. Independent cowboys end up living lonely lives.

Provo, UT

I wonder how many veterans of World War II used the G.I. Bill to get a head start. It is a government program and a darn good one that helped veterans out-deservedly.

It is time to for many conservatives to take off the blinders. Government has aided many people for a long time.

Ogden, UT

Reading it again, something else really irritates me about this letter. Mr. Overfelt exaggerates the positions of many who vote Democratic in this nation, suggesting we feel capitalism is "evil" (capitalism is fine, outright greed is the problem), that we have no desire to contribute to the nation, and peddles the mythology of a morally pure America of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. The America that never existed except in the minds of certain conservatives.

Mr. Overfelt's entire lecture on our lost moral compass uses so many patently dishonest examples that it ought to be printed verbatim in the dictionary next to the word "irony".

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

I believe a poll was released just yesterday which confirmed that 51% of Americans support same-sex marriage and only about 4 in 10 oppose it. That poll is not an outlier either, it is steadily becoming the norm.

The thing conservatives don't seem to understand is they are not just fighting liberals, they are also fighting against time itself. Over time, our society always moves towards progress and that inherently defeats conservatism. For us liberals, every social issue is not an "if" but rather a matter of "when." Keep your heads up, liberal Utahns. The day will soon come when the letter writer will be the minority in your state.

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