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Letters - August 27

Private eyes

The popular, extremist Christian Pat Robertson calls for the assassination of a head of state (Hugo Chavez of Venezuela). Can someone explain to me how that is essentially any different from a popular, extremist Islamist (say, Osama Bin Laden) calling for the assassination of our head of state (George W. Bush)? It’s all about feeling you have God on your side; that makes everything okay. And that really makes me worry, since George W. Bush has made plenty of references to his own (perceived) close alignment with God.

As for Mr. Rumsfield’s glib distancing of the administration from Robertson (“private citizens say all kinds of things all the time”), I would respectfully remind us of our public rationale for bombing Afghanistan: the presence there of extremist “private citizens” who strive for the overthrow and death of democratically elected officials in distant lands.

Tina Castañares, M.D.

White Salmon

Don’t blast CL Port

RE: “Aryan Rally,” an editorial on Aug. 20, 2005 and “No labels,” an editorial on Aug. 24.

“Amazed” is one word I could use to express my reaction to your Aug. 20 editorial that said the Port of Cascade Locks “should have told them they should express themselves somewhere else” (referring to the recent Afrikaner Charities visit to Cascade Locks).

Editor, are you suggesting that if Randal Krager had written a non-inflammatory letter to your newspaper, you would not have published it because of his association with a white supremacist group? Are you suggesting that you Google the names of anyone writing letters to your paper or buying advertisement space to be sure their beliefs are in line with yours?

Do you think for a heartbeat that any member of Port staff, Commission or any other public official would have wanted to be remotely connected to this type of event had they known what their agenda really was? Frankly, had it been that easy of a decision to make, these people would have followed their own hearts and minds and said “no way” in spite of a signed contract and strong legal counsel to the contrary. You, as a newspaper editor and publisher, of all people, should know that First Amendment rights always trump personal feelings and beliefs, especially when working in a public arena as the Port of Cascade Locks does.

Four days after the “Aryan rally” editorial, you defend First Friday policies in your “No labels” editorial. You outline an incident that intruded on someone’s free speech and characterized the situation and First Friday’s policies as “a work in progress” yet the group should not be painted in a negative light based on one incident.“

It’s too bad your editorial on the Cascade Locks event didn’t suggest similar outcomes in policy refinement instead of just blasting away at the Port. This is very disappointing coming from an organization whose whole existence is based on the very thing you would have had the Port refuse to allow a gathering of individuals to express their own opinion, whether or not you agree with them.

Marva Janik

Cascade Locks

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