Port protesters lost their court case
What a travesty!
We believe strongly in our Constitution. We also believe in common sense, Recently we witnessed those two beliefs brought to conflict.
During the November 2007 port protests, the acts of civil disobedience became a difficult situation for local law enforcement. As video demonstrates, numerous protesters put themselves in harm’s way, forcing officers to keep them safe from oncoming military traffic, thus putting the officers in danger.
Yes, protesters were moved back. Yes, protesters refused lawful orders and were pepper sprayed. Several were arrested and their cases adjudicated.
Two, however, chose to sue the very officers who worked to keep them safe, claiming violation of their First and Fourth Amendment rights, battery and emotional distress.
What a travesty of the judicial system!
After several recent days in Tacoma’s federal court, the eight-member jury took very little time returning a verdict that indicated how hollow those claims were.
Unfortunately, tens of thousands of tax dollars had to be spent to show how frivolous the claims were.
A simple “Thank you for saving me from myself,” would have been cheaper!
MELODIE AND RICH BAKALA, Olympia
Be nervous when one group is singled out
Alec Beal wrote a passionate letter disapproving of marriage equality on biblical grounds, asserting that gays are “redefining marriage” and studies show children do better with a mother and a father.
As such, he strongly opposes allowing gay couples to have the same secular rights as straight couples.
There are a number of misleading statements in his letter.
First, anthropologists demonstrate same-sex marriages have existed in cultures throughout the world throughout known history. Nothing is being redefined.
Marriage has always been a diverse institution uniting individuals and families into an economic cooperation that also provides a social safety net.
Second, the studies showing children do better with a mother and a father solely compared children of heterosexual couples to children raised by single parents. All studies examining children of same-sex couples find no differences to children raised by straight couples.
Third, Jesus instructed his followers to be compassionate.
Exactly where is the compassion in denying a gay person the right to unpaid sick leave to care for a dying partner or to take unpaid bereavement leave after a partner has died? These were two of the rights guaranteed by Referendum 71.
Finally, will those who desire our laws be based on the Bible work to remove freedom of religion from the Constitution, given that idolatry is a violation of the Ten Commandments?
We should be extremely nervous when some attempt to mandate laws based on one particular religious tradition.
PATRICK CHAPMAN, Olympia
Don’t let government define happiness
On Nov. 4, The Olympian said one key role in government is to serve those in need.
“Promote the general welfare” is in the preamble to the Constitution but shows intent, not law, and certainly does not imply anything like the Social Security or welfare systems we have today or the medical plan we are threatened with tomorrow.
The Olympian goes on to say “ ... we, as a civilized society, have a collective responsibility to feed the hungry, to reach out to those in need and take care of those teetering on the edges of life.”
This may be true, but that is the role of society (most often expressed in churches) and not a government function. The preamble asks government to protect my personal “pursuit of happiness,” not to insure I am happy from cradle to grave.
If government assumes responsibility for my happiness then government will define happiness. If they define happiness, I guarantee most of us will not be happy.
They will do as your mother tried to do and define happiness in terms of healthy and safe. They will insist you eat your vegetables and not climb trees. They will take away your surfboard, fast car and six pack. They will tell you who to date.
And no one will be allowed to take a chance that might make them happy because it also might make them poor.
So incentive will die. And so will anyone’s chance at true happiness.
RICK TAYLOR, Olympia
Don’t cave in to greedy insurers
Another Republican has shown that they are under the control of the insurance industry.
Rep. Dave Reichert’s claim that AARP is trying to support the health reform bill to drive business to the Medicare supplement insurance it supports is to fire up the uninformed to protect the massive profits of the greedy insurance companies.
To get a Medicare supplement policy, you must have Medicare. If you have Medicare, you won’t benefit from the proposed health reform since it is for the uninsured.
Yes, the insurance companies have bought some Democrats as well. If the legislators would vote for the people and not the big companies, we would have better health coverage.
RAY BAKER, Olympia