Letters to the Editor, Oct. 20 issue

Required to Lie

Dear Editor,

My wife and I – with professional help – are presently involved in the restoration of a home on East 7th Street in Tonasket. As part of that restoration, I have done a lot of repairs to the electrical system which I believe are Class A repairs under the RCW. ( Class A repairs do not require an electrical permit. ) While the RCW, in my opinion, clearly exempts the simple work I am doing from the electrical permit process, the electrical inspector disagrees.

Thus I have “requested” an electrical permit in order to avoid numerous fines and penalties, As an integral part of this “request” process, I was required to, in part, swear under oath subject to penalties for perjury, that I desired an electrical inspection. I desired and desire an electrical inspection in the same spirit that a mugging victim “desires” to hand over his wallet in order to avoid getting shot. Thus, I was required to lie in order to get an electrical permit and said permit was required to avoid fines and penalties.

Couldn’t I have appealed the entire process? Of course! Unfortunately, after an eight year legal battle with the IRS, I have the firm opinion that getting an honest decision from our injustice system, for a pro se litigant, is equivalent to getting pure water from a sewer.

Incidentally, I have no quarrel with the Tonasket Building Department. The local inspector has gone out of his way to be helpful.

Mason E Hess

Tonasket

Loser pays

Dear Editor,

The paramedics hurried to her when I landed. She’d lost a razor fight over turf to another prostitute, and was bleeding dangerously. My crew struggled to keep her alive while we flew her to the trauma center. She survived.

She promptly sued the county alleging my medics took a $25,000 diamond ring off her finger in flight. She’d have had to prove she ever possessed the ring, what it was worth, and that my people stole it. Any of these were about as likely as a street walker owning a $25,000 diamond ring, let alone wearing it on the job in a neighborhood where addicts would kill you for a hockable trinket.

But her lawyer and the county attorney knew that for the county to litigate the case successfully would cost the county about $20,000 in legal fees, so the county settled out of court for $5000 which the prostitute and lawyer split 60-40, just for filing suit with a laughably meritless case.

In America, judges may order a losing plaintiff to pay legal the costs of the defendant, but it is virtually unheard of and there certainly is no universal law requiring it.

There should be.

There is precedent. Some states have right-to-farm laws. Suppose you move to the country to escape city hive jive, and elect to sue the cattleman you moved next door to because you don’t enjoy the occasional fragrance of manure on the breeze. You retain the right to recover damages if the defendant is found to be doing anything illegal, but if he is not the law demands that you compensate him for the costs and damages you have caused him with your groundless lawsuit. Indeed, unprotected by such a fair requirement, many other faultless defendants are driven out of business merely defending themselves successfully against weaponized lawsuits.

But never mind mere manure and nonexistent diamond rings. Let us hypothesize a huge western county where the major electric utility wishes to build a backup transmission line, but the line is opposed by various and sundry special interests, many of whom don’t even reside in the county. For over an interminable decade these private interests sue the utility to block its choice of route. Funded in part by outside money, they use all the shyster tricks, but they lose. They appeal, and lose again. Then they contrive a straw issue over public lands and sue still again, this time at taxpayer expense, even though they have to also sue the state attorney general- at yet more taxpayer cost – to force him to continue their political vendetta.

Meanwhile the rural utility loses millions upon millions of dollars in billable lawyer hours, studies, discoveries, motions, statements, paper storms, surveys, delays, lost electrical revenue, investigations, energy wasted by the inefficient old line, and horribly increased eventual construction costs. Moreover, the region of the county served continues to endure costly, dangerous power outages for lack of the proposed backup line. For years, and years and years.

But only in America is there is no universal right to recover those millions lost to defending against a lawsuit found meritless. Twice.

Oh. Yes, actually, you’re right. It isn’t the utility who is losing those untold millions of hard earned dollars to rampant lawsuit abusers, no. It’s the electrical ratepayer and the taxpayer. You, citizen.

I do not for a moment dispute the right to sue legitimately, nor to recover full compensation where one has a case. I’ve done it. What I damn in no uncertain terms is the uniquely American shame of there being no universal law compelling a losing plaintiff to pay the costs and damages he has caused a defendant with a legal action found at trial to have no merit. Those costs and damages are often astronomical and devastating for wronged defendants. This travesty is sheer rigged protectionism for the tort pirates’ yacht fund. It is a cancer in the soul of American civil justice. (For eye-opening research, see: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cjr_11.htm)

Predictably enactment of this purely common sense law generates little enthusiasm among those lawyers (and legislative Democrats they bankroll) who make a killing specializing in nuisance, frivolous, gold-mining, and harassment lawsuits.

Such a fairness law (called the English Rule, or “loser pays,” to which America is virtually the sole exception among advanced nations) would put an entirely appropriate and long overdue chill on tort piracy lawsuits, leaving only those of merit to be decided. Phenomenal savings would be had for the public and for victimized defendants while ensuring that legitimate plaintiffs enjoy their full rights.

William Slusher

Okanogan

Who didn’t?

Dear Editor,

May your readers show patience, but I can’t ignore this. Of all the dim-witted charges against President Obama, surely the most history-ignorant one is that Obama uses a teleprompter. Sure enough, up pops the Old Coffee? Drinker, Steve Lorz, with “…. a leader who sees a teleprompter as a way to the promised land.”

Here is a simple challenge, O Yazidi. Name me one President in the last 40 years who did not use a teleprompter.

John F. Connot

Everett

Outlawing rocks

Dear Editor,

So, a man recently killed his woman with a rock according to the local papers. (No further pain intended for the victim or her family.) The next logical thing to happen after he’s been tried and sentenced is for the activists to get involved and outlaw rocks. You say what? Well…rocks are potential weapons of murder, silly!

If the activists got their way and it became illegal to own, possess and or carry a rock, the United States First Amendment would have to be rewritten which, by the way, would no doubt account for an earthquake of giant proportions as all of our founding fathers literally turn over in their graves.

If you did seek to or wish to own or carry a rock, then you could apply for a permit that would have to be on your person every time you wished to carry or transport a rock. Felons would be excluded from this privilege; flat out no way could they ever have the opportunity to own or carry a rock. If the man gets convicted of killing his woman with a rock, serves his sentence and eventually walks out a free man to carry on with his life, he would not only be restricted from ever owning or carrying a rock he would also be required to maintain a certain distance from rocks for the rest of his life. No more gardening for you fella. Hands would potentially be too c
lose to rocks.

Ranchers would have to be particularly careful when in need of a temporary hammer. While out checking fences on the back forty they would have to think twice, or at least be very careful and look over their shoulder to see if anyone was watching before they reached down and picked up a rock hammer to pound that staple back in that had worked its way loose.

Also, potentially, a whole new avenue of taxing the people could open up. The state or feds could open up a new department governed by of course, an elected official paid for with your tax dollars. Law abiding citizens could be forced to apply for special permits before they could do any landscaping with rocks on their properties. The state could get involved here with taxes and permits on the construction companies that build our roads because as you know, most roads are involved in some way with rocks.

What say ye? I’m sure that there’s lots more avenues that could be explored here in the outlawing of rocks.

Truly…with most sincerity and inspired by conversation with brother-in-law,

Naomi Noel Alloway

Oroville

Each a facet of the jewel

Dear Editor,

After reading the latest deep thoughts from the “sage of the sage” of Tonasket, I was reminded of a couple pledges I read six years ago. The first called “Declaration of Tolerance,” reads: “Tolerance is a personal decision that comes from a belief that every person is a treasure. I believe that Americas diversity is its strength. I also recognize that ignorance, insensitivity and bigotry can turn that diversity into a source of prejudice and discrimination. To help keep diversity a wellspring of strength and make America a better place for all, I pledge to have respect for people who’s abilities, beliefs, culture, race, sexual identity or other characteristics are different from my own.”

The second one is called “First they came for the Jews,” by the Rev. Martin Niemoller, and reads: “First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unions and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Being different is not wrong. I believe we are each a facet on a jewel called America.

Equilaterally,

Dan Dixon

Oroville

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