Rush to judgment
EDITOR: It was gratifying to read the excellent commentary by Chris Smith on the career, accomplishments and dedication of the Rev. John Crews ("Hanna's band of brothers without its father," Sunday). Crews is dedicated to his church and to the residents of the Hanna Boys Center. I am certain the positive influence Crews had on Walter Linares and J.T. Trainor are not isolated examples.
In this litigious world in which we live, it has become practice to consider one guilty upon accusation; to remove the accused despite years of exemplary service. Is this a rush to judgment without due process?
EDITOR: A drunken driver kills himself, and you eulogize and martyr him on the front page ("Friends: Crash victim was getting life back on track," Saturday). Would your article have been the same if he had killed someone else, perhaps an entire family? Luckily, he only killed himself. That was a poor choice of a front page article. Your readers deserve better.
EDITOR: Regarding New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg's retirement, how can an 89-year-old man even consider in good conscience running for re-election in two years when he will be 91? Shouldn't we have a mandatory retirement age for Congress? Or is the effort they put out on our behalf so little that even a 97-year-old senator can do it?
EDITOR: In Sunday's editorial ("Drone strikes: Death without due process"), The Press Democrat said neither the president nor any other singular authority should be able to issue an order to kill a U.S. citizen suspected of terrorist activities abroad. You think that our citizens are entitled to the full protections of the Constitution even if they have joined a terrorist organization and are suspected of posing an eminent threat to the United States. I think not.
An act of terrorism is the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce. In this person's opinion, when a citizen turns against his country and becomes an imminent threat against its security, then he/she is no longer entitled to the protection under its Constitution or laws. Therefore, I find that the president, or anyone he passes the command to, should have the power (and support of the people) to take out anyone or anything that poses an eminent threat to the United States.
Don't hold your breath for the party-of-no in Congress to have a hearing and vote on this.
A dystopian world
EDITOR: Are you familiar with the dystopian novels "Brave New World," "1984" and "The Hunger Games"? Could such a dark world be developing here and now? Picture a future world in which only one all-purpose super store exists in every American city, a store that sells almost anything a person could want, everything from apple peelers to zoot suits. This store is the brainchild of a corporation that seeks to export this business model to every corner of the earth, a model that demands cut-rate prices built on human misery.
At the wholesale end of the model is the insistence that all suppliers provide goods priced so low that workers' wages, safety rules and environmental laws must be sacrificed. Consequently these goods can be produced only in developing nations where laws can be easily dodged. At the retail end, workers are paid poverty wages, most work only part-time, few receive health benefits, and none are allowed to unionize.