Thanks for Memorial Day help
To the editor:
On behalf of the Salem Memorial and Patriotic Association, I would like to thank all of the volunteers and leaders that accomplished many tasks which made the Memorial Day activities a huge success. I am especially grateful for the young men and women that so freely contributed to the memorial services.
Most importantly, I am thankful for a grateful community which attended the parade and memorial service as a remembrance of those who gave their lives so that we may enjoy the freedom and liberties that we have in our country today.
SAMUEL A. McKINNEY,
Memorial Day chairman,
Responds to letter to the editor
To the editor:
Regarding the "letter to the editor" dated May 31 in which the author found some of the goods sold at the Rogers sale "disturbing."
It is not my intent to humiliate the author but this is an excellent, everyday example of the smug sense of moral superiority that I as a reasonably intelligent human being find "disturbing" and have addressed in recent letters to local papers. I am pointing it out to show just how pervasive it has become in our culture, how blind we oftentimes are to it and the effects it has on society as a whole.
To be fair, I know how difficult it can be to condense one's thoughts down to 500 words or so and I considered the possibility that this was the author's dilemma. However, if I take the author's own words at face value I am left with the impression that she is opposed to the freedom of the marketplace and for people, just like her, to freely choose for themselves who they associate with and/or engage in commerce with. As long as people do not use violence, force or coercion I do not see how it is any concern or business of anyone other than the parties involved. Her words are couched in a very subtle way but the meaning is there nonetheless.
First, there is the categorical mistake; economics and morality are not equivalent. One can certainly use the allocation of scarce resources that have alternative uses for immoral purposes but this does not make them equal. If they were we would all be guilty. After all, don't we all have our own self-interests in mind when we make choices in any marketplace? People freely choosing among a variety of goods and services is the most efficient and effective way of ensuring that as many people as possible benefit. Capitalism, whatever its faults, is the best system involving finite human beings there is compared to the alternatives.
Where would we get the angels to run an alternative economic system? The Russians, Chinese and many others have tried and looked what happened to them. Our economy is in the state it's in due to slow, steady federal and state encroachment through many avenues that were, and still really are, the rightful and proper domain of the common man, business owners and investors; contra popular beliefs and laws used to circumvent individual rights.
Second, while the syntax and textual structure of the second amendment right to keep and bear arms keeps scholars, academics and the justice system busy, the simple fact is, guns exist. There is a market for guns. I would like to see more liberal gun laws even though I do not own one because, as counter-intuitive as it seems to some, they make a great deterrent to crime and criminals when properly used. Peoples' poor, yes, sometimes evil choices end innocent lives; not inanimate objects. Cars and baseball bats can be lethal but we don't stop innocent people from driving to ball games. Should a crime be committed there are more than enough laws in this country to deal with criminals effectively, should we chose to.
Third, while no one in their right mind doesn't find what the Nazi flag symbolized repulsive for a number of what should be painfully obvious reasons, the vendor has the right nonetheless to possess it for whatever reason(s) he/she wants without justifying themselve to anyone. In what should be just as painfully obvious (and ironic!), the same circumstances the author finds "scary" are the same ones that helped give rise to fascism in western Europe under Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's Italy; certain people thinking they were superior to others. Now that is truly scary.
Fourth, the animals. Is it prudent or wise for just anybody to own or handle wild animals? Probably not. If the vendor is not breaking a righteous law the free-market will resolve the issue on its own. It always does. If nobody purchases the animals there is no incentive for a vendor to try and sell them. Having said that, some animals can be, and are, saved from extinction and dwindling populations from people buying and selling them for the profit motive. Profit becomes the incentive in the free-market to preserve and protect some animals.
Lastly, the real reason I write these letters (other than the fact that I love this country and human liberty) is because I have three daughters that I want to teach to think critically about the world we live in. I do not want to see them celebrate banality masquerading as profundity or prejudice and bias under cover of intellectual rigor and integrity. Truth has fallen in the streets ... truth is nowhere to be found. Isaiah 59:14-15.