4/23 Letters to the editor
April 22, 2006
Checkpoints not only solution for DWI
Glenda Bly’s outrage (DWI checkpoints waste of time, money in the April 12 CNJ) over being stopped and checked for drunken driving can easily be pacified.
If someone wants to drink, let them.
If someone wants to sell alcohol to the drinker, let them.
But ... the seller should be required to provide a lockable cage on their own premises, and the drinker should be required to be locked in the cage before receiving service.
He can then drink to his heart’s content, or until he is out of money or dead. In any case, the drinker should not be released from the cage until a blood test indicates it is safe to release him — zero blood alcohol content.
A tax on each ounce of alcohol should also be instituted, sufficient to treat illnesses of the drinker and his family caused by his drinking. Responsible taxpayers should not be forced to pay for his irresponsibility.
This standard should apply to everyone, from the president of the United States, visiting foreign dignitaries and ordinary visitors, congressmen, governors, judges, police, ministers, church attendees — all the way down to the local street-corner stumblebum.
It is a crime against humanity for a drunk to be loosed on an innocent, unsuspecting community, and then the drinker be allowed to use drunkenness as an excuse for injuring or killing someone.
There are cases pending in local courts where the accused have advanced this plea.
Mad dogs are hunted down and impounded because they don’t know what they are doing, but they do not become mad by choice.
Human rights basic immigration issue
Immigration is growing into a major issue. Demonstrations have been held in hundreds of cities.
When people take to the streets it is often a sign of democracy beginning to flourish. Democracy requires the public be informed and involved, and movements must be inclusive and vibrant.
Segments of the business community want access to cheap and exploitable workers. Consequences include increasing corporate profits and driving down wages and benefits for workers.
Tyrannical elements in the U.S. want to criminalize immigrants, and xenophobes and jingoists want to keep the U.S. “pure.”
Human rights are the basic issue. A critical question is around human rights and corporate “rights.” At a fundamental level of morality, human rights trump corporate rights because human rights are for flesh and blood beings — corporations are abstractions.
Fundamental to free trade is the free movement of labor. Currently, there is only the free movement of capital.
Note that people in privileged professions in Mexico are not crossing the border to compete with privileged sectors in the U. S. So, a Mexican doctor can come to the U. S. and work as a day laborer for dirt wages, but not as a low-paid doctor to undermine “elite sector” wages.
U.S. labor rightly predicted NAFTA would create lower wages and benefits for workers in all three countries and profit bonanzas for large corporations, as was the intention.
A “fair trade” agreement and international worker solidarity could improve wages and benefits for all workers, but such proposals are disappeared.
In corporate “rights” agreements the poorest suffer most. When lives and communities are destroyed people flee to “greener pastures.” This predictable consequence of NAFTA led to militarizing the U.S. border.
These are vital matters at the heart of immigration discussions.