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Friday, July 26, 2013
As founders declared, rights are God-given
Re: Rob Davis’s “We have rights because we fight for them” (July 22 letter):
Quite simply, Davis could not be more wrong when he says our rights are not God-given. The Declaration of Independence clearly states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Those words defined our fledgling nation, and they still do. And, by the way, Thomas Jefferson is often as not credited with them.
Seeking clarity on landowners’ rights
So Paul Osborne thinks that class-action lawsuits by Mississippi lawyers “represent the best (if not only) opportunity” for coal bed methane owners to get money from escrow? (“AG has kept gas owners from their money,” June 30 commentary).
Obviously, he doesn’t know much about plaintiff lawyers (especially from Mississippi, long a hotbed for tort abuse) or class-action lawsuits, which are almost always a vehicle for enriching attorneys at the expense of plaintiffs and the public.
Ken Cuccinelli, as usual, has a better idea. It’s his job as attorney general to protect the underlying law in court, which is where he has had a run-in with the out-of-towners. But he wants to work with legislators (something he does very well) to clarify the rights of the landowners and find a way to settle their payments under arbitration.
That’s the simplest and best deal for landowners — but a terrible deal for the class-action lawyers. No wonder they are raising such a fuss.
Combat haunts those with PTSD
The Sunday, July 21, front page story on a veteran’s recovery from substance abuse (“A journey of hope and trust”) reported that the veteran was aboard a Navy ship in the boiler area and diagnosed years later with post traumatic stress disorder.
The probability of me diagnosing someone with PTSD based solely on his assignment to a boiler room is very low, unless a catastrophic event had occurred with the person aboard the vessel. I wonder what message this part of the story might have on combat veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever our veterans have fought and died.
Combat creates indelible memories for combatants. These vivid combat memories play repeatedly in the theaters of their minds, where there is no “off” switch. For some veterans, the theater plays 24 hours, nonstop, for the rest of their lives.
In part, this theater is the nightmare of PTSD.
Combat veterans have made sacrifices, endured hardships and experienced the unforgettable, which after reading and listening to my share of their combat experiences, is still difficult for me to imagine and creates within me a great appreciation for them and gratitude to them.
Department of Veterans Affairs, retired
Such an uproar over changing Sox
It is probably too late to enter sports columnist Aaron McFarling’s tongue-in-cheek contest to rename the Salem Red Sox (“Time for ballclub to change identity,” July 14). All he was trying to do was to spark sagging attendance at Red Sox games. Instead, he started a firestorm from angry Salemites (and his bosses).
As this has played out, it has brought to mind an excellent name for any Salem team: the Salem Pride. Two young lion cubs would replace those mascots sent from Boston. Both the name and the mascots could carry over to the next major league franchise that ventures to field a team in Salem.
Weather JournalBreather before next wintry system