Letters for August 14, 2003

Patriot Act works for now
Re “Sneaky feds need no warrants” [RN&R, News, July 31]:

By all means, let’s all gather and worry about the Patriot Act. I’ll bet that we could fill an entire page—maybe an entire edition—in your paper with possible abuses, what-ifs and worries. Probably all of them would be valid concerns. I only have one question: How much time are we going to spend on working out an alternative to the Patriot Act?

After we have listed all of the problems, what then? How do we stop a group of religious nut cases from bringing weapons of mass destruction into our ports or across our borders? Is a dirty bomb in San Francisco or New York OK—so long as we don’t have to give up any of our freedoms? Airplanes full of people can crash into cities, but just don’t do racial profiling.

I don’t believe that “people don’t give much thought to the implications of the Patriot Act,” as you claimed in your article. I believe that most people really do recognize how dangerous the Patriot Act could be. However, danger is relative. Give us an alternative to the Patriot Act. Just standing around and taking the moral high ground is a useless exercise practiced by people with too much time on their hands. Don’t tell us that we can live like we did before Sept. 11. We can’t and probably never will again. You think that the Patriot Act is bad? Wait until some nut kills tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Americans on American soil. What then?

J. Hall

A new tax system
Re “Don’t let the creeps win” [RN&R, Editorial, Aug. 7]:

I am a Libertarian, and none of the Libertarians I have voted for have ever won. Does this give me a right to complain? You bet it does. When there are no Libertarians running for a particular office, I vote for the candidate who seems closest to Libertarian views, generally a Republican.

As for taxes and paying for schools, you bet I have an opinion. I have heard of two differing Libertarian platforms on this issue. The first is that Libertarians are against free public education. I disagree with this viewpoint, but in recent years I have heard of another Libertarian idea which I am totally in favor of. Under the current system, you are taxed only on the money you make, money you spend and property you own, and on a federal level get taxed less for each child you have. This alternative plan would increase your tax depending on the number of kids you have.

Several years ago, there was a family with 11 kids living down the street from me. They seemed to be rather poor, and I imagine the only way they could get by is with financial assistance from the church. Assuming they made less money than me, is it fair that they should pay less in taxes (much less on their federal taxes with 11 dependents) than me with my zero kids in school?

Tom Troutman
via e-mail

Illegals burden taxpayers
California is in trouble. The state’s deficit is as large as almost three-fourths of all other states combined. Just today, another of the major bond rating companies downgraded the credit rating. Interest rates therefore went up.

Gov. Gray Davis is responding by giving illegal immigrants legal driver’s licenses to shore up his Hispanic support in the recall election.

Californians need to nip this political tactic in the bud and to realize that the burden of illegals on California’s health system, school system, legal system and housing environment are at the root of the economic breakdown. Illegals don’t deserve driver’s licenses. They need to produce a driver’s license from their country and prove insurance for the time they plan to be in our country. No one should fall for Gray Davis’ ploy.

Garry Cooper
via e-mail

Lobster tale
We are reminded of the theory that a lobster placed in a pot of cold water will blissfully die while the heat is slowly raised to cook it.

This is analogous to the U.S. electorate “lobsters” whose economy, social services, civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, veterans’ benefits, education, etc., are slowly dying while they blissfully bless the “Christian” fascists, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz, etc., who should be prosecuted for treason and international war crimes and imprisoned.

Finally, we can’t forget that G.W. Bush was AWOL from the Air National Guard when it was his turn to fight for his country during the Vietnam fiasco.

Walden and Betty Joura