LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Consider the consequences
I feel for the parents and family of the teenage boy who was shot and killed last week. The fact that he was shot and killed while committing a felony is something the community needs to remember.
He wasn't pulled over because the police officer wanted to congratulate him on his upstanding citizenship. He is now gone because he stole a truck and didn't pull over when the police caught up to him; he was a criminal, and being a teenager doesn't change that.
Where was the concerned family when he was out on Saturday at midnight stealing a truck? Had he been home with his family, this wouldn't have happened.
Now, should the police officer have shot and killed this young man? In today's society, if you commit a crime, anything may happen to you. The young man accepted those terms when he stole the vehicle. I, too, have a 15-year-old son to whom I have clearly explained that if he commits a crime the police are not going to jovially request that he come into custody. A judge is not going to discuss his options over lunch. He will get chased, he will get arrested, and he may get shot. A judge will sentence him, he will do time, and he may die in jail. This is the reality of committing a crime.
Does anyone remember `consequences of your actions' any more? If we're looking to blame someone, put it where it belongs.
HEATH A. WILKINSON
Democrats can't be trusted
This is in response to the June 30 letters about President Bush's speech.
My first thought was to thank God that these people and some of our elected Democratic politicians were either not around or in power during World War II. Our national language would either be Japanese or German!
These people are the Jane Fondas of the 21st century with their hatred of President Bush, with their rhetoric of blaming and hating America, and with their hopes that we fail in Iraq and in our war on terror! You would think they would be thankful that we haven't had an attack on our country since Sept. 11, 2001, because of President Bush's strong leadership. But then, why would a terrorist want to attack us when they have such willing allies here in this country with their constant barrage of hate Bush, blame America editorials and letters, and with elected Democratic officials such as Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, Robert Byrd, Chuck Schumer, Patrick Leahy, Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi? (Some of their remarks, in my opinion, border on treason in time of war.)
The terrorists just have to sit back and we will be defeated from within, just as we were in Vietnam. If President Bush were to admit to a mistake, as the left so desperately wants him to do, it would be that he made the mistake of trusting the Democrats to stand with him on America's war on terror.
Limit eminent domain powers
The June 28 Register-Guard editorial about the Supreme Court's ruling in the Kelo eminent domain case swept crucial issues under the rug.
The Fifth Amendment says simply "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Five members of the U.S. Supreme Court have now effectively expanded the definition of public use to include private use for public good. The court ruling states that if a parcel of land is not developed to its highest and best use, now defined as that use which generates the highest possible tax revenue stream to a local taxing authority, the taxing authority can force the property owner to sell his property to any party that claims to be able to generate higher tax revenues.
The diminution of private property rights that had been ensured by the plain language of the Constitution should be of concern to anyone who values our liberties. To expect government to exercise self-restraint in using its now-enhanced condemnation powers is naive. The state Legislature should abrogate the power of governments to condemn property for anything other than public use. Public purpose or public benefits are not valid criteria. Had they been, they would have been included in the text of the Fifth Amendment.
The framers of the Constitution were better writers than five members of the Supreme Court are readers. Until a law is passed to restore meaningful limits on governmental powers of eminent domain, our homes may be for sale, whether we know it or not.
Iraq question is simple
The situation in Iraq and what America must do seems pretty plain:
1) The positions of both Sunnis and Shiites are hardened. Sunnis want autonomy and power. The Shiites are in the ascendancy. The oppressed will now rule as the new Islamic government, with a security force to come. Both sides want America out. And our leaders know it.
2) Both groups can't rule at the same time.
3) Our precious sons and daughters are being devoured and we're hemorrhaging billions, hoping something good will happen.
4) What needs to happen in Iraq is not in America's power to bring about. More time is not needed. We need to call a meeting of tribal elders and put it to them: "Obviously we need to be leaving. So you have a choice: Do you want to continue this mindless slaughter, or do you want to live in a country filled with the blessings of peace and prosperity for your families and children? You choose. You get real busy. Changes need to be made, like running the jihadists out. We'll help; we'll bring in the world's resources." (If they make real progress, and beg us to stay longer, we can consider it.)
5) We can't make this decision for them.
6) We can set our own benchmarks of departure and hopefully shock tribal chieftains and Iraqis into reality.
The question for Americans is simple. Are we going to force the decision now, or keep playing the same horrible record and force the decision 16 months from now?
Court's decision was wrong
I disagree with The Register-Guard's June 28 editorial regarding eminent domain.
I think the Supreme Court decision was in error and that it significantly reduced our private property rights under the Fifth Amendment. I believe in the concept of eminent domain, as it relates to government need of private land for public purposes. But the Supreme Court decision opens the door for a city or county government to take private land, deed it to another private entity solely because it believes that it's for public good and that the entity to which the land is deeded may build something that will eventually increase the local tax base. In this case, the land remains private land. That's wrong!
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has introduced Senate Bill 1313, which, if passed, will protect us at the federal level. Sen. Tom McClintock from California will be introducing a bill to amend the California constitution. I believe it's imperative our state amend its constitution to codify property rights originally granted Oregon citizens under the Fifth Amendment.
Parker is ignorant of military
As an American who served his country for nine years in the U.S. Navy, who hurts every time one of our servicemen or women are injured or killed, I feel Kathleen Parker's June 30 column is way off base. I do wonder if she and other journalists who rant and rave about the conduct of any war have ever served their country in combat. And, who is Elaine Donnelly of the nonprofit Center for Military Readiness? Does her group know anything about the military? Have its members ever served in the military? How many people belong to her group? Two or three? But let's get down to business.
All people in the military are not combatants. Some are medics, others are in charge of supplies, others are photographers, others do payroll, some are mechanics, some are electricians, etc. For a woman to volunteer for any position that might put her in harm's way is her prerogative. Thus, for Parker or any other journalist sitting behind a desk to speak out about something they evidently know little about is just too much.
I personally feel women should not be put into a position where they might be wounded or, worse, killed. Why? Because I don't feel women should be in combat. It's as simple as that. But as long as they volunteer and desire combat duty, they serve with the rest of the troops.
Don't print spiteful letters
I object to the printing of Rita Jost's letter in the July 1 Mailbag.
Her predictions that "some day, the cowardly liberals are going to suffer" are poisonous and mean-spirited. She is, of course, entitled to her private opinion, as we all are in this country. However, The Register-Guard's choice to print her letter serves no logical purpose, unless it is to prove to people like Jost that the newspaper isn't really the "Red Guard" after all.
I read the Mailbag to hear what other intelligent members of my community are saying about current events. I welcome diverse points of view and appreciate well-researched arguments. I do not expect to read the Mailbag and come away with my feelings hurt. I urge the editors to file such spiteful letters in some appropriate place where they can do no further harm.
What are OPB's priorities?
It was interesting to observe that Oregon Public Broadcasting was asking our Legislature and other friends of National Public Broadcasting to make sure the federal government is helping to fund public broadcasting. It was also interesting to note that it was showing a children's program, "Cyberchase," rather than the president's talk to the nation about the Iraq war and what we're doing to keep terrorists out of our country.
What are the priorities of Oregon Public Broadcasting?
HERBERT N. NILL
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Jul 10, 2005|
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