October 12, 2010 in Letters, Opinion

Pace of rights is measured

 

Sept. 25, The Spokesman-Review juxtaposed articles about Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Vernon Baker’s interment in Arlington National Cemetery and Judge Leighton’s decision in favor of Air Force Maj. Margaret Witt. I experienced a moment of déjà vu.

In 1940, the Army was not integrated because to have whites and blacks in the same units would destroy morale, discipline and order. After being rejected because of his color, Vernon Baker persisted and was put in 92nd Infantry, an all-black unit. When he returned, he left his Italian wife behind because “mixed marriages” were contrary to “family values.”

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is based upon the premise that if heterosexuals and homosexuals were serving together, morale, discipline and order would be destroyed. Also, should Maj. Witt and a female partner want to marry, their union would be considered by many as contrary to “family values.”

Based upon such national principles as the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; equality; equal protection; and due process, blacks have started to attain equality in our society. It therefore seems inevitable, however long and hard the opposition is, that homosexuals will also attain equality. As it should be.

William E. Mahaney

Spokane

In response to Dick Gardner’s letter on studded tires (Oct. 3), I don’t agree with imposing penalties for using studded tires. On urban streets, studded tires are probably unnecessary. However, for those living in rural areas, the choice is difficult.

Many feel using studded tires on snowy, icy country roads is much safer than driving on studless tires. Sorry, but if the better traction of studs keeps my loved ones safer, it’s worth it. Roads can be replaced, human lives cannot. It isn’t all about money.

At the I-90 Pleasant View exit near Post Falls, is a Flying J truck stop. After fueling, trucks use the left of the two westbound lanes at the stoplight to turn and head to the freeway on-ramp. Go there. Place your car in that truck lane, then compare it to the next lane used mainly by cars. The difference is substantial. The truck lane is deeply rutted from weight (not studs). There may be wear in the car lane and it’s possibly due to studded tires, but it’s nothing compared to the truck ruts. Perhaps Mr. Gardner should reconsider where the blame lies for “the inexcusable damage done to the streets.”

Janice Stoeser

Newman Lake


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