Stockley protests are reminiscent of the Tea Party
I just finished reading a chapter of early American history on the Whiskey Rebellion of the early 1790s. Citizens of Kentucky and western Virginia objected to the excise tax on alcohol imposed on them by the newly formed federal government. It was more complicated than just the alcohol tax and involved states’ rights and the political machinations of the Republicans versus the Federalists. President George Washington sent militia from three states whose presence pretty much put an end to the insurrection.
Currently, Missouri’s governor brought in the National Guard to help deal with the Black Lives Matter uprising in St Louis. Those demonstrations have taken on a violent bent that vandalized 23 businesses along Delmar.
TV news stories about those broken windows pointed out that some of those business owners were non-white and that it made no sense for demonstrators to target them.
That makes sense. But let me compare the St. Louis acts of civil disobedience to that of the Boston Tea Party.
While these BLM demonstrators can’t get at the corporate offices at the upper level of an economy that isn’t fair to them they strike out at the bottom level shop owners. Early Americans could not get to King George with their frustrations, so the lowly tea merchants were the victims.
To the St. Louis demonstrators, the broken glass on the Delmar sidewalks is symbolic to the tea dropped in Boston Harbor. Is that too much of a stretch for us white Americans or am I reading too much American history?
Ray Hollmann, Fairview Heights
Military disability laws and rules need to change
This letter isn’t a criticism of military retirees. It’s a slam at the Veterans Administration and some poorly written laws and rules.
Up to the day of retirement, almost all of the military members are physically and mentally fit for duty. However, upon retirement, the VA apparently declares that 92 percent suffer some degree of disability, which opens the floodgates to all kinds of benefits for them. Let’s use a realistic but fictitious retiree to illustrate.
Col. X retired on $95,016 dollars a year. Even though the VA declared him to be totally disabled, he works for a base contractor for an additional $146,085 dollars per year. His disability allows him and his wife to receive an additional $36,816 in disability benefits.
These three sources total $277,917. In addition, his retirement and disability pay are exempt from federal and state income taxes. Also, Illinois law exempts him from paying property taxes on his $350,000+ home. This means all of us have to pay more to make up for his exemption.
In O’Fallon Township there are over 50 military retirees with homes valued in excess of $300,000 exempt from paying property taxes. Ten of these homes are valued at over $400,000. The township also has approximately 400 other military homes of lesser value exempt from paying property taxes.
The laws and rules should be changed. If a military retiree is able to work, he or she should not receive disability benefits and should pay property taxes just like the rest of us.
Tell this to your elected officials.
Ted Farmer, Belleville
Speech you disagree with is important to hear
A long-time liberal Democrat, Professor Alan Dershowitz has expressed his concerns with the left and the party over free speech. The University of California Berkeley, decades ago, was a vital part of the free speech movement, however, not today with the new generations of progressives, strongly leaning toward Socialism. They are shutting down those who disagree with their views, primarily Conservatives. This is not just in Berkeley, but in colleges and universities all over this Republic.
Dershowitz on Berkeley states, “Berkeley, as a state university, is bound by the First Amendment. It has a constitutional obligation to protect the speaker and allow him to address his audience.”
Dershowitz, prior to Conservative Ben Shapiro recently speaking at Berkeley stated, “What is at stake is more than Shapiro’s personal freedom of speech, important as that is. What is at stake is the right of every American to participate in the open marketplace of ideas. If a great university shuts down that marketplace, the rights of all Americans are endangered.”
The BND is a private business, which allows the public to contribute in the debate of ideas through the “Letters to the Editor” and “Sound-Off.” On Sept. 15, letter writer Lee Pitzer expressed his opinion of banning religious expression from the public square. These opinions should be “introduced and expressed in the individual’s prayers and perhaps their church settings.”
I believe Professor Alan Dershowitz, as I, would consider what Pitzer suggests assaults our constitutionally protected religious liberty.
Russell C. Fette, Collinsville
Obama responsible for today’s gas prices
Watch out for all petroleum prices.
The hurricanes have affected pricing somewhat, but what you are not being told is our country is exporting petroleum products at an enormous rate. The big energy boom promoted by the last administration is not helping the average American family at all. The facts are our country’s petroleum product inventories are well below the five-year average. There are more and more export terminals expanding and being built. Wait until you see your heating bills this winter. Everyone was so busy watching his left hand no one was watching his right. I had the privilege to speak with an energy executive a couple weeks ago. We spoke about fracking and how other countries have the technology but are waiting to see how badly it affects the United States before doing it. Everyone was watching how he adamantly was fighting the pipeline; meanwhile, the petroleum companies were going online with fracking. This is far worse than any pipeline could ever be. We are now selling off all of our natural resources to other countries while the average American will suffer the consequences of higher and higher pricing. I could go on, but do the research. Write your congressman and senators; exporting needs to be slowed until we have the necessary inventories to support the average Americans needs with responsible pricing. Big business is getting rich off the backs of the working class, and it was not the current administration that put this in motion.
William Daniels, Belleville
We should rename the capital city Roosevelt, D.C.
We should change the name of our nation’s capital because George Washington was a slave owner. I would suggest Roosevelt D.C., after all Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected four times, and change the memorial to FDR Monument. In addition, knock Thomas Jefferson’s head off (he was a slave owner) and replace it with Theodore Roosevelt’s, then rename it the Teddy Memorial. That way the Democrats, Liberals, Republicans, and Progressives should be satisfied — FDR (Democrat and Liberal) Teddy Roosevelt (Republican and Progressive).
Rodney Fant, Swansea