Letters to the editor
Fuss over ‘under God’
I don’t understand all the hullabaloo over “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. It wasn’t in there when we were kids in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, and we turned out OK. It was in there throughout the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, and they seem OK.
If the kids nowadays are anything like we were, the vast majority just chant the pledge without much meaning, like saying the rosary or the Lord’s Prayer. Not something to believe in fervently, like a football cheer. In there – out of there – it just doesn’t matter.
The vast majority believe we are “one nation under God,” and this is a (representative) democracy isn’t it? Seems a waste of time to argue over something that the vast majority believes in – something that makes no functional (as opposed to philosophical) difference anyway.
Now, if we want to alter the pledge in a way that would stop making chanting hypocrites of our children, we should drop that dishonest phrase, “with liberty and justice for all.” No need for disagreement there. Even first-graders know that’s not true. Of course, maybe first grade is not too early to learn about institutionalized bull.
Rough and Ready
Power seldom given up
A recent column by Lance Brown (The Union, Dec. 14) enumerated the expanding power of the bureaucracy at the expense of the Bill of Rights, all to fight “terrorism.” Redress of grievances, jailing of suspects, access to counsel, freedom from unreasonable searches – all have been modified in ways that threaten the rights we have always taken for granted.
And as these rights, and others to come in the name of ‘safety,’ are eroded, how will we get them back? Power once gained is seldom given up by appeals to the better natures of the power-holders.
Despite all the anti-gun rhetoric one reads about in these pages, free men are armed, slaves are not. For reference, see Nazi German, Soviet Russia under Stalin and China today – populations under the control of their leaders – and without means to be otherwise.
The creators of our Constitution knew such a time could come, that the very government they were attempting to found might grow all-powerful. That’s why they put in the Second Amendment, in their thoughts, second in importance of the rights when the Constitution was formed.
Rough and Ready
Two views of Mideast
Interesting, the two perspectives on Israel, Palestinians (The Union, Dec. 19).
To suggest that only one side in the conflict reflects a desire for peace will not contribute to the achievement of that goal. Implying that only one side suffers the senseless killings of innocent civilians is disingenuous (Gideon Levy in Ha’aretz, Dec. 15, cites the 30 Palestinians killed by the Israeli military in the first 10 days of December: a mother and two children, 4 and 15; a mentally handicapped man; two United Nations relief workers; and a woman, 95).
A real presence for peace exists in the Middle East. However, this is in the form of grassroots groups, often Israeli/Palestinian coalitions. From there peace may emerge; for just as is demonstrated daily by the leaders in our own country, those holding the reins of power and their supporters only want peace on their own terms.
An excellent source on the subject: San Francisco-based Jewish Voice for Peace (http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org). Daily updates come through its Jewish Peace News
Cascade Shores chain
This is the first year in 10 years that the Cascade Shores Recreation Area gate has been locked for safety. The only safety related incident to occur there recently was when someone drove a car into the reservoir, which had nothing to do with the water level. Every issue used to justify this breach of contract is a misrepresentation of the truth.
The chain was cut, perhaps by a boater from out of the area whose boat was still in the water when they locked the gate, because management failed to notify anyone before doing so.
The fence someone drove through has been in bad repair and falling down for years. It took two days to install a permanent barrier in that area, yet a temporary barrier for the actual area at issue (the boat ramp) can’t be accomplished.
One reason the gate was locked/welded closed is there are people who recently relocated to Cascade Shores and reside on Lake Lane who oppose anyone driving past their residence to access the reservoir. They have misrepresented the truth and flat-out lied to discredit their neighbors. Now that’s truly an example of community spirit, one we can do without.
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