Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for August 11

Good Samaritan in Woodstock

To the Editor:

Last week, I was driving by Walden Oaks on Kimball Avenue in Woodstock, when I saw an 8-inch turtle trying to cross the road. I stopped to let it pass as did an oncoming car and motorcycle.

The turtle got across one lane of traffic but stopped in the middle of my lane. I felt sad because I wanted to stop and help it cross but I was afraid I would be bit. The car and motorcycle went past and I went around the turtle. 

I had tears of joy in my eyes when I looked in my rearview mirror and saw that the motorcyclist had turned around, stopped and picked up the turtle to help it across the road. What a gentleman! Thank you. He is my hero.

Beverly Puotinen


Assistant fire chief in Union

To the Editor:

A recent correspondent to this column reports that, as of last summer, 40% of those in immigration detention have a criminal record. 

The huge percentage quoted by the author should arouse the curiosity of any normal person and lead to some questions.

What exactly is immigration detention?

Is there more than one kind of immigration detention? (There are two: immigration detention for migration-related reasons and criminal detention for criminal charges or convictions.) 

How many illegal immigrants are in the U.S.? 

What percentage of them are in immigration detention? 

How many of the former have criminal convictions?

The actual fact is that (using figures reported by The Cato Institute, a conservative think tank and no friend of liberal causes) all immigrants have a lower criminal incarceration rate and are half as likely to commit crimes as native-born Americans.

As to how many are in immigration detention, the Cato Institute estimates that of the estimated 11,000,000 immigrants living illegally in the U.S., only an estimated 32,000 are in immigration detention. That means that only two-tenths of 1% of illegal residents of the U.S. are in immigration detention (and less than half of those are in criminal detention). The writer has confused immigration detention with criminal detention and would have us believe that the sky is falling!

A recent news article reported that the assistant chief of the Union Fire Protection District said on social media about four congresswomen of color: “No, they are way too lazy and stupid to be slaves. Please don’t put slaves down like that.”

Both the assistant chief and the chief have not commented, and the post has been deleted.

This raises an interesting question: Suppose I’m a person of color involved in a flaming auto crash in Union. If the expressed opinion truly represents the sentiments of the assistant chief, the chief and others under their command, would any of them risk life and limb to rescue me?

Would they risk life and limb to rescue a white person?

Don Metivier


Diversity of thought

To the Editor:

Recently, a letter writer pleaded with readers to vote exclusively for Republicans.

But I ask that writer to consider the following: Suppose you have been stopped by a policeman for exceeding the speed limit. The officer asks to see your license and registration. He does not ask you if you are Republican or Democrat. That is why.

When the bill establishing the speed limit was considered, the legislature had representatives with different points of view.

A conservative might have said, “We’re supposed to be free. I should be able to drive as fast as I want.”

A liberal might have insisted that we drive slowly because there might be an endangered turtle on the road.

Neither of these extremes would represent the best choice for the country as a whole. You and the officer are discussing the resulting compromise.

It is not the purpose of government to establish a dominant ideology. The purpose of government is to establish and maintain a compatible and sustanable society.

Walter Enoch


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