Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Thu, Oct. 29

Gay discrimination vs. American ideals

Recently President Bush announced his support for including discrimination against gays and lesbians in the constitution.

I thought our constitution was based on the principle of not discriminating against any of us, including one of my cousins.

Indeed, our constitution is based on the principle of non-discrimination. This amendment would bar the courts from protecting the rights of some of us. We all want to be treated with fairness and equality. We don’t want this ban on these precious American concepts.

Tonia Brown

Eloy, Ariz.

Where’s loyalty to US workforce

I saw the George Will column applauding sending our jobs oversees. According to this expert, the American worker is supposed to reinvent the automobile, learn a new way to plow fields, just retrain our workers.

He cites the auto plants of Europe moving to the Carolinas and other parts of the South. He fails to say that most of these auto factories have robots in the jobs that people used to do. The reason they moved the factories here is because they have better labor protection in Europe. We have a second-world country, soon to be a third-world country.

He says retrain our workers. Tell me what he would retrain thousands of workers to do. How do they pay a mortgage, car payments, utilities, food while they are retraining? Who will pay for the retraining? What happened to loyalty to country? What happened to loyalty to your workers who built your company? Let’s hope we can bring about change in 2004 and answer some of these questions.

Dan Lavielle

Seattle, Wash.

Criticizes Nader’s election antics

It looks as though Ralph Nader is pulling the same stunt that he did in 2000.

At that time, Associated Press Writer Laura Meckler noted in the Friday, Oct. 27, 2000 edition of the Washington Post that The Republican Leadership Council was funding the Nader campaign by launching TV ads in Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington, showing a speech made by Nader which was critical of Bush and Gore—but only airing the segments that were critical of Gore. This was done in a deliberate attempt to siphon off Gore votes in states that were favorable to Nader.

Nader must surely be aware of what happened in 2000, so why is he attempting another run? What is his true motivation? Does he really want to be funded by Republicans again, in order to ensure another four years of Bush?

Walter Maloney

Los Angeles, Calif.

Federal user fees affront to freedom

Seven Congressmen led by Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) introduced legislation to permanently authorize the Recreation Fee Demonstration Program. This horrible legislation would have affected all Americans and forever changed the way public lands are managed.

HR 3283 represents the culmination of a 20-year effort by powerful corporations representing the recreation and petroleum industries to privatize and commercialize outdoor recreation on America’s public lands. This bill proposed creation of a recreation Passport that would have been required by all Americans to visit our federal lands, (Forest Service, BLM, etc). If HR 3283 had passed on 2/11/04 as Mr. Regula hoped, it would have:

• Made User Fees permanent for five federal land agencies.

• Created three levels of user fees, the Basic Recreation Fee, new Expanded Recreation Fee and Special Recreation Permit Fee.

• Criminalized failure to pay. Currently failure to pay recreation fees is an infraction, like a parking ticket. HR 3283 would have made it a crime punishable by a penalty of $5,000 and six months incarceration.

• Disregarded Constitutional protection of “presumed innocent until proven guilty.” The owner of a vehicle illegally parked on public land would become automatically jointly liable.

• Repealed an important section of the Land Water Conservation Act.

• Made it virtually impossible to track the connection between the fee paid and the service received. These user fees would become a regressive user-tax paid by anyone visiting public lands.

• Repealed the Golden Age, Golden Access and Golden Eagle passes for people over 62 years of age. (Price breaks for senior citizens).

HR 3283 was an affront to freedom. What’s up Ralph, have a fight with your granny?

For more information see: www. wildwilderness.org.

Richard Tingelstad

Twisp, Wash.

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