Letters to the editor

Flag thief also stole faith

We want the unknown person(s) who stole our U.S. flag, flying from the porch of our home July Fourth, to please return it — no questions asked.

This flag, which had been flown over the U.S. Capitol, was given to us by Rep. Charles Taylor’s office in memory of our son. We flew the flag in what is known as the “distress” position, as we are very distressed by the current state of our national policies, particularly the tragedy in Iraq, and felt this would be an appropriate statement on this Independence Day. More important, we flew it to honor our son’s memory and to acknowledge the person thoughtful enough to have attained that flag for us.

That someone would unabashedly walk up to our home and steal this flag on Independence Day is disgraceful. Does the person who stole the flag even know what freedom of speech and expression are? [They are] rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Is the First Amendment completely dead?

Returning this flag to us and restoring some faith in our fellow Americans would be the honorable thing to do. I look forward to finding it back on our porch!

— Anne Craig

We must reclaim our liberty

Thursday, June 23, 2005, was an important day in history. The Supreme Court handed down a ruling which essentially took away the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. This ruling gave government the right to take our property and sell it to someone else for the purpose of building a commercial business on the site. This is socialism or communism, depending upon exactly where you draw the line between the two.

Socialism is rampant in the United States. Slowly and quietly, our freedoms have been eroding over a long period of time. Most of us work hard all the time in an effort to have a decent life; consequently, we have let this happen to our country by default. It is time for us to reclaim our liberty. We must fight to preserve and protect it. It must be a priority in our lives.

I am prepared to die defending my property rights, if that is what it takes. Our Founders had the guts to stand up and fight for our God-given rights. We have to do the same, or we will lose this precious gift we call America.

Many concerned citizens have already met to formulate a plan of action. Please join us in this effort. Call me at 626-3368.

— Kathleen R. Lack

Boil down the politics of water

[The writer of] “No Choice, No Service With Water Monopoly” [Letters, June 29] sounds like she needs to blame her neighbor and not her water service.

As human beings, we are not guaranteed the right to running water. Get out and see the world a bit more. You don’t have to go far. There are still outhouses in WNC.

Water is a basic-needs resource, but running water is a luxury. Some people dig wells and install septic systems to achieve this luxury. The costs are installation, maintenance and vigilance of ground purity. Some people pay a provider for water and sewer supply and service. Others instead collect rainwater and dig holes, staying off the grid. There is choice.

All the political arguments between county and city should boil down to the business of water. Every business has expenses that they must recoup through income. The costs associated with water supply and waste service are what they are. Cost is finite, it’s real, and it has numbers. If one group of consumers costs more to supply than another, so be it. That is the truth of the expense, and it in turn should be the truth of the fee.

That is plain, simple math. It is honest; it is fair. Exorbitant fees for one group and discounted fees for another is not fair, honest or simple.

Water fees should be relative to what it costs, and any profit margin should be used to ensure the continued success of the business of water. [This] will get more expensive as pollution escalates. If county residents pay lower property taxes than city residents, it stands to reason that it’s because the county’s relative expenses are lower. That’s simple math, with no political motive. It’s the cost of doing business — the business of providing infrastructure for the people. Water should not be an exception. (And as a side note: If cost is not relative to fee in property taxation, revolution should ensue.)

— Chantal Saunders

Trade lies and deceit for dignity and speed

Where do our responsibilities lie? Is it not patriotic to take care of our own nation by taking care of our troops? They have gone into harm’s way for what reason? The president can’t seem to make up his mind; therefore, he continues to reach into his bag of scary tricks to explain why there is no exit strategy from Iraq.

Sure, it was an awesome thing how the most powerful nation on Earth quickly entered the country: shock and awe at its mightiest. And what has happened since? An educated, secular nation has no power or running water, and is now a hotbed for insurgents who daily terrorize and kill the citizens (many children included) as well as our troops.

I’m proud of the men and women who protect our nation. Let’s bring them back home and honor them by letting them be with their families who so love them, and by letting them “be all that they can be” outside of Iraq.

Show some responsibility, Mr. Bush. Finish with dignity and speed what you rushed into on a wave of lies and deceit.

— Rosalind Willis

No more fish out of water

Why are fish always the last ones to be eliminated from a diet when one becomes a “vegetarian”? Perhaps it is easier to justify taking their lives because they are unable to vocalize pain that “we” can hear.

They are not cute and cuddly, so we separate them and label them as beings that do not feel pain. Of course, they are 100 percent capable of feeling pain. How would they survive otherwise? Fish actually have the same fully developed nervous systems as all vertebrates. They do have personalities, and they are actually quite sensitive.

I used to enjoy jogging around local lakes, but now I find it difficult due to the large numbers of individuals that are fishing. I often wonder how one can encourage their child to use such violence. Fish belong in the water. Imagine the fear and pain that the little fish feel when being torn from their natural environment. How would it feel to be suffocated in the air and to have a sharp hook stuck in your mouth on top of that? What a slow, horrifying and violent death. There are endless other activities to enjoy with your children. Teach them to respect life and their environment.

Please don’t think that eating fish is healthy. Fish flesh stores large amounts of toxic contaminants such as mercury, lead and arsenic, to name a few. These chemicals are stored in the body fat of humans and can remain there for decades.

There are not any justifiable reasons to put the flesh of fish in your body or your child’s body.

Fishing hurts. It hurts the innocent fish, our precious environment, and it will hurt you as well. Make a compassionate and intelligent decision — say no to fishing and to eating fish.

— Jodi Mann

President offered nothing new

It was extremely difficult to watch as the president addressed the nation recently, offering no new information. Most importantly, he didn’t even touch on an exit strategy. He proceeds to point America’s attention toward the men and women of the military, when his lies are the reason they went to Iraq in the first place and continue to lose their lives.

Things are getting worse each week. More than 1,700 Americans have been killed and more than 12,000 wounded, not to mention the numerous Iraqis.

U.S. occupation is only stimulating the growing insurgency. There are tens of thousands of insurgents who have even more supporters. Bush’s policy is not going to be effective in this type of climate, and realizing this is the first step in creating a real exit plan.

The United States needs to turn control of training Iraqi forces and the rebuilding of Iraq to the international community. It is time we began demanding accountability from our leaders.

— Maren Bramhall

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