Letters to the Editor 06-25-14

A MIXED MESSAGE?
When I saw Monday’s front page picture of Deborah Spero pouring wine into a glass, my first impression was, “hic,” looks like a bar scene.
I know there are many “fence sitters” out there possibly who are wondering if it’s OK to drink alcohol. The recent craze about red wine’s health benefits is a certain excuse and a probable reason for allowing the “Wine Tasting Festival” to occur at Riverside Park.
But I want to ask Findlayites and the mayor and City Council members what message the festival and “Boogie on Broadway” is sending to our youth.
Is it that alcohol is acceptable as a drug of choice? It appears so.
This presents such a double standard that kids must be laughing their heads off over the hypocrisy.
Also, as I was taking a walk by the river the other day, I noticed the park rules posted: “No alcoholic beverages permitted.” Hmmm. But one day a year is OK?
There are those who say Jesus drank “wine.” Yes, the fruit of the vine, most likely 100 percent grape juice, non-alcoholic or very little, as the custom of the day.
Pure grape juice is loaded with antioxidants and does not damage the liver.
This letter is a plea to reconsider the dangers of promoting alcohol in any Findlay event.
It makes no sense to prosecute people who drink and drive if you are providing the drink. It’s utterly hypocritical, in fact, it sends an extremely harmful and confusing message to kids.
In America, our drinking water is safe and alcohol is used socially to get drunk. That creates moral, spiritual and other problems in its promotion.
I strongly recommend Findlay change its course in these events. It makes no sense to have articles on drug use in Findlay and then serve booze at city events.
How about promoting homemade lemonade? Now there’s a fun and healthy idea for the entire family!
Deb Peterson
Findlay

SHOULD BASEBALL BATS BE BANNED?
What Troy Lane wrote in The Courier (letter, June 20) was interesting regarding the number of people killed by guns. Yet he failed to say how many of these crimes were done with legally-purchased firearms compared to illegally-purchased or stolen weapons.
The right of gun ownership is given to any citizen who meets the qualifications to own a firearm. This is part of the Constitution that was fought for by our forefathers and every fighting man and women from the Revolutionary War until the present.
If you want facts, look up the facts of how many good men and women died protecting not only the Second Amendment, but the first 10.
As for the ownership of machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, silencers, etc., Lane’s information is incorrect.
Yes, any legal citizen can purchase any of the above, but they first have to purchase special permits to own them and owners are under constant watch by the ATF, which has the authority to check a person’s collection at any time.
Now let’s look at a few facts from the MADD website:
• 10,228 people were killed by drunk drivers in 2010.
• Almost half the people killed in auto accidents tested positive for drugs and alcohol and one-third were repeat offenders.
• 1.2 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in 2011.
Should we ban all drugs and alcohol? Let’s ban golf clubs, knives, forks, power tools, baseball bats and any other blunt objects that could be used as a weapon. Check the stats on murders committed with these objects.
Barry Tidd
North Baltimore

THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS FUNDAMENTAL
The term “voter fraud” has no rational relation to socioeconomic “isms.” See “Vote Fraud in the Eye of the Beholder” 121 Harvard Law Review 1737 (2008). The suggestion is a profoundly flawed rationalization. For a correct view of “voter fraud,” a contemporary “judicial” view is illuminating.
The United States Supreme Court has held the right to vote is “precious” and “fundamental” under our Constitution, Harper v. Board Of Elections (1966). “Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined,” Wesburry v. Sanders (1964).
The right to vote is one of our protected liberty interests. Anderson v. Celebrezze (1983). Thus, the right to vote is a fundamental right protected by due process and equal protection found in the 14th Amendment. Burdick v. Takushi (1992). A citizen has a constitutionally protected right to participate in elections on an equal basis with other citizens. Dunn v. Blumstein (1972).
The Supreme Court acknowledged that detecting and preventing “in-person voter-impersonation” fraud is a legitimate state interest. Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008). The problem is: Virtually no cases of actual voter fraud exist.
Review of “voter fraud” cases reveals the term is most often used when a poll worker places an indication that a person has voted next to the wrong name in the poll book. In Frank v. Walker/LULAC v. Denninger, Case 2:11-cv-01128-LA (2014), the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin found “cases of potential voter-impersonation fraud occur so infrequently that no rational person familiar with the relevant facts could be concerned about them.” Id. at 12. This finding must be considered in view of the U.S. Supreme Court holding in Williams v. Rhodes (1968) that states cannot burden the right to vote in order to address dangers that are remote and only “theoretically imaginable.”
A safe conclusion may be found in words selected by the U.S District Court in Frank: “… a person would have to be insane to commit voter-impersonation fraud.”
Of course, insane beliefs in myths is nothing new to local political rhetoric.
John Kostyo
Findlay

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