Readers comments 7.14.12

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Council gets it right

Dear Editor:

For those with the patience and fortitude to brave long agendas, the final item addressed at the Tuesday, July 10 meeting of the Claremont City Council proved most rewarding.

On a vote of 3 to 1 with one abstention, the council approved a resolution condemning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and calling for the adoption of a Constitutional amendment stipulating that 1) corporations and unions are not persons; 2) money is not speech; 3) political contributions should be openly reported and 4) governments have the right to limit such contributions. The discussion was thoughtful and often eloquent.

Among the impressive contributions was Mayor Larry Schroeder’s examination of the contention that consideration of national issues exceeded the province of council business and was therefore inappropriate. While admitting that the council could not and should not address all such issues, the mayor argued that as part of the political structure, it has a responsibility to “call out” decisions at the state and national levels that endanger the health of the system as a whole, and that the infusion of unlimited and unreported money into the political process posed just such a dire threat to our democracy.

In taking this action, the Claremont City Council has joined the state of California, 22 other states and hundreds of other cities across the country in this effort to seek redress from the corrupting consequences of the court’s decision. Good work, guys!

David Levering



Dial-a-Ride is a Godsend

Dear Editor:

We are writing in response to the article in yesterday’s Claremont COURIER concerning the financial concerns pertaining to this extremely helpful and valuable transportation service to those f us who for a variety of reasons, especially health, cannot drive our own cars.

For us and many of our friends who are in the same circumstances, the Dial-a-Ride service is a “Godsend.”

In order for the service to be maintained and even expanded, we would be more than glad to have the 75 cents basic charge doubled or even increased to $2. Even now we try to tip the very kind and efficient drivers at least that much.

I am sorry we cannot attend the meeting at the Alexander Hughes Center, but if we could, this is what we would suggest.

Hallam and Yasuko Shorrock



America’s maturity test

Dear Editor:

This coming election represents a true test of whether or not America is growing up as a nation. Compared to European nations, we are still quite young.

Over the first 2 centuries of our history the enfranchisement of our citizens has grown to include everyone. In the early days, only white males who owned property could vote. Now we hear echoes of the past as attempts are made around the nation to deprive people of the right to vote. In this debate we hear the word privilege used in describing the right to vote.

I have always believed that voting was a right and not a privilege. We have seen people die in wars and in registration drives in the South, to insist that everyone in our country has the right to vote. I can understand that we don’t want dead people to vote. But in the main part, it seems that this effort to deprive people the right to vote, is based on maintaining the power of the privileged against the rights of the majority. It has been said that in Texas a million people could lose their God-given rights.

Let us not kid ourselves! What lies behind a lot of this effort to take away the rights of women and minorities is the ugly face of racism.

Where else in our history has a President of the United States been accused of not being a citizen? This election for President in many ways is a maturity test to see if we can go beyond the color of one’s skin and elect or un-elect a person based upon what he has or has not done, based upon the circumstances and the facts.

These wild accusations about whether or not President Obama was born in Kenya, or whether or not he is a Muslim or a fascist, communist or socialist, seem to be code words to me.

I was raised in the South and these efforts during the last 3-plus years have been an effort to make President Obama seem to be less human. Their efforts have clearly made the statement that he is not one of us. They can’t say what they really feel, so they hide their racism in the false arguments of privilege and unsubstantiated allegations that are still present in our debate and from which the Republican Party refuses to disassociate themselves.

It is my hope that we as a nation are above that, that we have grown up and matured. If you disagree with his policies that is fine, but if your vote will based upon where he was born or if he is a Christian or if he is a Muslim, you should ask yourself the honest question of whether or not your vote is being based upon raw bigotry and bias.

May we live by those hallowed words in our Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.

Gar Byrum



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