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Letters to the editor – Monday (9-28-09)

Enhanced techniques aren’t real torture
Responding to Joe Robert’s Sept. 24 letter concerning “enhanced interrogation,” let’s take the subject slightly farther. Starting with alleged and mostly imaginary “torture” at Abu Ghraib prison, charges made against young soldiers involved with those prisoners were nothing more than excuses for bleeding hearts and the PC crowd. That fiasco provided excellent sound bites for publicity-seeking members of Congress.
What a show the liberals put on in the abstract name of humanity, willing to sacrifice American soldiers at Abu Ghraib.
Attaching a dog leash to a prisoner’s neck and leading him around naked, at worst, comes up to the level of a fraternity house initiation. This is no worse than swallowing a live gold fish on a string and having it pulled back up.
Perhaps it is humiliating according to this convoluted concept called Islam. But we shouldn’t forget who they were and what they were that drove planes into the world trade center and the Pentagon. These are people who hate Christians and particularly Americans, and they want to kill us all. Certainly no one has died from water boarding, although, perhaps, a few should have.
The IRA ó Irish Republican Army ó has the best ideas about torture, except their “torture” often consists of a bullet in the back of the head.
The CIA does a good job for this country, usually under highly undesirable conditions. Sometimes their missions need to be expedited, and unorthodox measures are called for.
But torture? Real torture probably is rarely, if ever, used. Telling a terrorist if he doesn’t talk, the interrogator will have his children killed is psychological warfare that likely would never be followed up on. But it got the job done.
Hammering a screwdriver through a kneecap ó now that’s pain and torture, far worse than our people are guilty of.
ó Bill Ward
Salisbury
Tobacco Control Act mostly a smokescreen
I’d like to thank President Obama for signing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and trying to protect children from underage smoking. By the start of this letter, you’d think it was written by someone who is firmly against smoking. Well, you’d be wrong.
I’m thanking the president for making me spend less money to obtain my favorite tobacco flavors. The new law that went into effect Sept, 22 applies to cigarettes, not cigars.
Clove-flavored varieties of cigars are already being made. The cigars are the same size as cigarettes with a filter. As an added bonus, the cigar tax is less than cigarettes, meaning that smoking my favorite flavors has now become cheaper.
These cigars are just as easy to obtain as the cigarettes that were just outlawed. That goes for both overage and underage smokers.
Also, I find it funny that the law prohibits the sale of every flavor with the exception of the most popular. Menthol, the most popular cigarette flavor in the world, is still for sale.
The only downside is that I’ll have to take five minutes out of my day to figure out what cigar brand I should buy.
The sloppy wording of this bill and numerous loopholes bring me to a single deduction. This law was never about protecting the children and adding more obvious warnings to cigarette boxes. I believe Discount Tobacco store manager Javier Esquivel said it best. “They’re trying to control everybody. They’re taking away one liberty at a time.”
From what I’ve seen, they certainly managed to pull this one away without too many people noticing. Luckily, the idiocy demonstrated when putting this bill together is easy to exploit using the all too obvious loopholes.
ó Tyler Vick
Salisbury
Many supported PFLAG benefit
On behalf of the Executive Committee, the Scholarships Advisory Committee and our membership, I would first like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to presenting sponsor Food Lion and to Novant Health (RRMC). As two of the largest Rowan County employers, these companies should be commended as champions of diversity and fair and equal treatment in the workplace. And to our other private event sponsors, to our foundation benefactors who donated generously to the scholarship fund, to the 60 individuals, artists and businesses who donated auction items and door prizes, to Catawba College and chef Matt Trexler and his staff at Creative Gourmet Catering for providing a beautiful venue, to the volunteers and members who helped organize and stage the event and to the 160 guests who paid admission and bid vigorously on auction items, our thanks for making the third annual 2009 Salisbury/Rowan Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Autumn Soirée a beautiful and successful event. A very special thank you to keynote speaker Anne Stanback and special guest Linda Ketner, who extoled so eloquently the importance and benefits of having a strong PFLAG chapter in Rowan.
This event was wonderful for many reasons. Young/old, men/women, African-American/Asian/Hispanic/White, gay and straight, leaders from our faith, business and civic communities joined together, not only to raise money for scholarships for Rowan students, but to promote acceptance and equality for our gay and lesbian family members and friends!
This event raised an incredible $12,000 and will allow Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG to award three more $1,000 scholarships for the 2010-2011 term. I encourage all senior GLBT students and their straight allies, including public, private and home schooled students, to apply for these funds.
More information and applications can be found at www.salisbury-pflag.org. Thanks again and see you at next year’s Autumn Soirée!
ó Michael Clawson
Salisbury
Clawson is PFLAG N.C. State Coordinator and a founding member of Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG.

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