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Letters to the editor – Friday (1-9-09)

Columnist stokes fires of bigotry
You do your readers a disservice by publishing comments like those featured in Cal Thomas’ recent (Jan. 3) column “Hamas must be defeated.” Mr. Thomas’ comments do not inform, but serve only to stoke fires of fear and bigotry.
Let’s be clear: the West Bank and Gaza constitute territory that is illegally occupied by Israel. Even after the Israeli withdrawal from the territory in 2005, it continued to control all access to Gaza, plus much of its infrastructure. We also do well to remember that Hamas made an effort to play by the rules in 2006, when members of its party won victories in the Palestinian legislative elections. The result: many of its elected leaders were jailed by the Israelis, and the world community initiated an economic boycott to punish the Palestinian people for electing the wrong party.
Regarding the recent ceasefire agreement: for several months, the rocket fire ceased, yet Israel’s stranglehold over the Gaza Strip continued ó depriving the population of needed food and medical assistance and creating a humanitarian disaster.
Granted, Hamas’ rocket fire is unacceptable and counterproductive, but a massive bombing campaign against a starving, desperate population is outrageous.
The political issues that underlie this conflict are complex. Americans need to depend on our news media to provide us with accurate, balanced information that enables us to take responsible action to bring about a just peace in this region. Please avoid the hate speech.
ó Anne W. Lipe
Spartanburg. S.C.
More on thrift sales
I am responding to the Jan. 7 editorial Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and its effects on thrift stores and consignment shops. Although this article states the facts, it doesn’t tell the entire story.
As a consignment shop owner (Kid’s Corner Consignment), I have a responsibility to the community to educate myself about new laws and how they affect me as well as my customers. As a grandmother to four precious boys, my heart goes even further to protect them from any and all unsafe products as well. At this time, there is much confusion as to the interpretation of this law. The goverment gave no clear guidelines as to how the resale market was to comply. This has forced the resale industry to flood Washington with our cries for help, as we want to obey the laws, protect our children and protect our businesses at the same time. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has heard us and today voted to tentatively exempt clothing, toys and other goods made of natural resources such as cotton andwood. There are other exemptions, but due to lack of space, I’m unable to list them here. This means we will not have to close due to this law!
This issue has been creating panic among customers that are just now hearing of this. Rest assured that I have been on top of this situation for months and the safety of your children as well as my grandchildren will always be my primary concern.
ó Robin Cain
Granite Quarry
Railroad rent
I saw in your paper that the railroad is charging rent to property owners on land that they already own.
I would find this very unusual except that I am a history buff, and I know of the railroad injustice from the westward expansion of the railroads. Back in those days, they just took the land fom anyone they wished. The railroad would murder people, take their land, buy it for pennies from those that didn’t want to die for their land. Eminent domain was settled at the end of a Winchester.
Some things never change … like the arrogance of the rail companies. They even have their own police who carry guns and have the power (or more power, in some cases) than the sworn officers of our towns/counties. Some things do change however. The advent of the video camera is one, the information age and the ability to broadcast the injustice at the speed of light across the land. I wish that I had land next to the railroad track. Their billing me rent for my land that I already owned would be quite entertaining.
ó Chad Kirkman
Rockwell

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