Letters to the Editor: Sept. 7, 2016 

Raise wages

Many men and women will spend this Labor Day working at their second or third jobs, desperately trying to make enough money to pay rent and afford groceries.

They are forced to rely on minimum-wage jobs that do not cover the most basic of living expenses.

With wages stagnating and child care and educational costs soaring, many of my friends and family could use a raise. Too many working families are suffering because politicians refuse to raise the minimum wage.

Jobs should help people build better lives, not trap them in poverty.

It is past time to raise the minimum wage to a living wage and put the interests of working people first.

Robin Patten Oklahoma City

Bleeding-heart parrots

I get so tired of hearing how many millions are being cut from this or that school program, but nobody ever mentions how much it is percentagewise; if it’s one or two percent, who cares? Give me the full story. Don’t just parrot what the unions and the bleeding hearts tell you, Gazette.

Thomas L. Furlong Oklahoma City

Freedom stand

Re: San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem: When I’m at a football game or similar, I stand with my hand over my heart and sing the anthem out loud with full voice.

But the same freedom I celebrate is why I respect the right of others to not stand, sing or pledge allegiance.

I despise when somebody burns an American flag or when a hate group marches with vulgar signs, but I’m glad I live in a country where they can do it without being arrested or worse. Because the guarantee of free speech doesn’t guarantee one won’t be shunned or financially punished by peers or fans, I often appreciate even more those who take the risk of speaking up for what they think is right, even when I think they’re wrong.

Jack Bowen Fort Worth, Texas (formerly of Oklahoma City)

Government gone bad?

Federal and local governments have gone disgustingly bad. Asset forfeiture is a very good example of government gone awry.

People who have not broken any laws or been convicted of any crime are having their assets taken and not returned. In Tenaha, Texas, law enforcement had systematically taken assets from innocent drivers. Two sisters in Philadelphia had their home taken away after their brother who was wanted by the law showed up at their home.

At a Detroit art event, 100 cars for auction were seized because they didn’t have a liquor license. In Norman, Oklahoma, a merchant’s merchandise was seized upon suspicion of selling pot paraphernalia. How dumb is it that people lose their homes for failure to pay their water/sewer bills or property taxes, resulting in asset forfeiture?

Various states like New Mexico and Nebraska have passed laws to stop asset forfeiture, but local police get around the law by teaming up with the Feds or DEA, who have no boundaries and are willing to share the bounty.

Citizens not convicted of any crime have to spend their own money and time going to court to get their assets back.

Also, the success rate of getting their property back is not good. Innocent children are being Tasered in the break-ins being done by “government gendarme goons.”

The attempts to stop organized crime have turned into a revenue generator for those various government entities.

The “War on Terrorism” has not caused as much damage to our U.S. citizens as asset forfeiture has. Local police are armed with the latest military equipment for what reason? Why are we spending three times the amount of money for prisons than for childrens’ education? Where are our priorities?

One quarter of the world’s prison population are in U.S. prisons, but we are only 5 percent of the world’s population. Private prisons, which started in Oklahoma under former Gov. Frank Keating, are turning out to be a sham across America. Also, government spying on all citizens is out of control, thanks to legislation such as the Patriot Act. Innocent people are being shot and killed, SWAT teams are raiding the wrong houses and killing people and their pets, along with illegal strip searches are being done.

When is this tyrannical government gone disgustingly bad, going to end? Why don’t presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have debates or discussions about those major concerns like asset forfeiture?

By not voting for Hillary or Donald, you won’t be giving them a mandate when they get into office.

It’s time to throw their duopoly and our administrative state snakes back in the swamp!

Sevier White Norman

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

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