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July 24-25 Letters to the Editor

Arizona was right

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French to celebrate the centennial of the Declaration of Independence, contrary to what President Obama thinks; and the poem on the pedestal on which the statue was placed had nothing to do with it, contrary to what is being taught as history today; and legal immigration has nothing to do with what is going on in Arizona.

An American vanishes every 35 minutes in Phoenix. Drug traffickers are killing people on both sides of the border, while hundreds of illegal aliens cross into Arizona, some possibly terrorists.

The Arizona Legislature could not get the federal government to enforce existing federal law despite pleas for help from Arizona residents and government. Their voices fell on the deaf ears of Congress, so Arizona introduced and passed a law that mirrors federal law.

Those are the facts, and I applaud the Arizona state government for defending their residents. I am outraged at the federal government for not defending Arizona’s residents against the real and dangerous threat to the safety of all Americans called illegal immigration.

Carter Jones



Tea Party power

Local Tea Party members turned out the vote at a July 19 special town meeting in Union to defeat a proposed $1 million road bond by more than a 2 to 1 ratio. Town officials appeared surprised as the meeting room filled with a long line of residents waiting to check in for the meeting. More voters turned out than had showed up for any of the regular town meetings in recent memory.

Since there had been no mention of the bond proposal in the town report or at the recent annual town meeting, Tea Party members felt that a one-week notice by town officials was insufficient to inform the voters. To make sure that an issue of this magnitude wasn’t decided by a few, volunteers sent e-mails and called residents to inform them of the meeting.

At the meeting, the town manager did a good job of presenting his view of the issue, and a lively question and answer session followed. In the end, Union residents were unconvinced that borrowing $1 million in this economy was the way to go.

Union Tea Party members may not have all agreed on the road bond, but likely all agree that the excellent voter turnout was good for the town.

Tea Party members vow to stay involved with town issues in the future, and it’s safe to say that business as usual is over in the town of Union.

John Field



Who are the victims?

I’ve long been puzzled by a strange phenomenon, and Brian Woods’ letter (BDN, July 19) is a good example of it. It’s a claim by some people that unless they have the special right to oppress gays, then it is they who are being victimized. It is their religion that is under attack by those seeking marriage equality. But it is never made clear what gives some folks the Taliban-like right to force their religious views on others. If any religion should be given supremacy, why not mine?

Well, for starters, there’s the Constitution. The First Amendment forbids the imposition of religion, and in the 14th amendment it says, “No state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” If you don’t think being denied the right to marry someone you love is oppression, please think again. What part of “equal” don’t some people understand?

Mr. Woods writes: “Some people fight gay marriage to protect their religion.” But when gay people can marry someone they love, people like Mr. Woods can still attend their church, pray, worship and sit in moral judgment over others. Their religion is intact. They just can’t impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

Some people believe sincerely that homosexuality is immoral. But we oppose many things such as adultery and thievery on moral grounds without forbidding adulterers and thieves to marry. If we are all sinners as some say, then why should we pick on just one kind?

Peter Rees



Definition of illegal

The BDN’s editorial page has set a new standard for hypocrisy by writing that Arizona has passed a law that criminalizes “illegal aliens” or “undocumented immigrants.”

Has anyone ever checked the definition of “illegal”?

Among its synonyms are: banned, black-market, bootleg, contraband, criminal, crooked, felonious, forbidden, illegitimate, illicit, prohibited, unauthorized.

The paper should publish a correction stating that by entering this country “illegally” the “undocumented immigrants” decided to break the laws of this country and criminalized themselves out of their own free will. They are by all definitions, except the BDN definition, “criminals.”

The Arizona law only directs law enforcement agencies to enforce the laws on the books covering the apprehension of these criminals. By trying to mislead people about this issue, the BDN has taken the standard of journalism to a new low. Why should anybody reading your paper believe anything you report if you cannot even report truthfully about one of the biggest issues this country is facing?

Peter Petersen



GOP apology needed

July 21 was perhaps the best day for all unemployed Americans who can look forward to begin collecting unemployment benefits.

While Sens. Snowe and Collins voted in favor, the majority of Senate Republicans refused to pass unemployment benefits for the past several months. Their refusal created untold hardships to families.

Perhaps those Republican families who have suffered such a fate should vote to boot Senate Republican incumbents who voted “no” out of office in November.

We need fresh new faces in Washington that are willing to work together for Americans, instead of a political agenda. Senators who voted against extending unemployment benefits will never know what it is like to be in the shoes of the unemployed, those who sent them to Washington.

It is very disappointing to hear Republican senators accuse the White House of adding to the deficit and neglect balanced spending when those same senators voted during the Bush administration for unlimited spending for two wars, giving tax breaks to the rich, including unfunded health programs, No Child Left Behind and Wall Street’s bailout. All this was done while adding to their grandchildren’s credit card.

They spent $200 billion in surplus from the Clinton administration, doubled the deficit, caused big banks to collapse, which bankrupted homeowners, causing small businesses and corporations to downsize, resulting with millions of Americans losing their jobs. That is no accomplishment to be proud of.

They need to apologize to the American people for the cleanup this administration is faced with.

Joan Gilbert-Croteau


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