Letters to the Editor, July 26, 2012

Truly sorry for my behavior

Dear Editor,
This letter is to the president of the American Legion in Oroville and I’ve agreed to have it published in the local paper:
I am writing you to apologize for the incident that occurred on July the 4th regarding the property of the Legion.
On the evening of July 4th, myself, my wife and two friends headed to Oroville to participate in the fantastic celebrations of which we had heard tell for Independence Day in America. After the trip from Kelowna, Canada through the border, we arrived for the evening’s festivities at the Lake Osoyoos Veterans Memorial Park. We stopped at Prince’s and purchased red-white-and-blue flashing necklaces, rings and sunglasses. We wanted to celebrate American Independence Day alongside Americans and fully show our support. The store sadly did not carry July-the-4th T-shirts or American Flags.
Later on in the evening after the main fireworks display, we had purchased our own fireworks to continue the celebration. Following the instructions from the park rangers, we walked up the small roadway to the highway to let off our fireworks.
Unfortunately, this is where my usually grounded decision making skills let me down. There, hanging from the telephone pole, was a beautiful American flag. Removing it from the pole, and with smiles wide, we posed for some pictures. The local Border Patrol agent even stopped with us for a photo in his Chevrolet. We had every intention of putting the flag back where it came from, but before we were able to, we were stopped by the local police.
When the police arrived, we never envisioned for a second that their motive was to press charges. We didn’t run away. We were very polite, and were cooperative in every manner. We simply assumed that we would be told to put the flag back and the matter would be settled. No Harm, No Foul. I was astonished to be read my rights and thrown in jail for posing respectfully with the American flag! I understand that it was not my flag to take but I never had any intention of stealing the flag, desecrating it or even simply allowing it to touch the ground.
I come from a family whose service in the Royal Services is distinguished. My grandfather fought with the British Navy in WWII on the flower class destroyers protecting the Atlantic fleets. My father served in the Royal Air Cadets, training to become a pilot before a tragic eye injury ended his career. I too have personally served with the Air Cadets in Australia, achieving the rank of Leading Air Cadet. It was whilst I was in the cadets that I was placed in charge of the flag party for 17 Flight Brighton. I have a tattoo on my back of the war memorial in France dedicated to the Australian Diggers that died there, with the Latin words for loyalty (Fidelitas) emblazoned above it.
I therefore completely understand the level of respect warranted to a nation’s flag. I certainly did not come to America on your national day of celebration to steal, destroy or desecrate your flag.
Unfortunately my lack of understanding on how Americans “do things differently,” has now led to me being charged with third degree theft. I am to appear before a judge on July 23 at 8 a.m. This is of great concern to me because in my 31 years on this planet I have NEVER had any run-ins with the law. I have not even had so much as a speeding fine. I am more than willing to provide a lengthy list of references who are happy to provide you with either a verbal reference over the phone or provide one in writing. I can provide copies of both my Australian and Canadian driver’s history and criminal record on request.
I understand that my behavior in your country on the evening of July 4th was unbecoming and not what is to be expected of me. Whilst my intentions were sound, my actions were not, and I do not believe that they should go unpunished; however, I do think and hope you can agree that creating a criminal record for a model citizen in their community for a small, harmless act is unsubstantiated.
I implore you to please drop the charges against me and contact me personally. I am more than happy to pay my penance with the local legion. As one of Kelowna’s up and coming chefs, maybe I could provide my culinary services for a fundraiser for your local (American Legion) branch? Or perhaps scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush would seem more fitting to you? Either way, I hope that the criminal aspect of this altercation can be extinguished and we can settle this as gentlemen outside the courts.
Yours in humble apology,
Nigel Rhys Tearle
Kelowna, B.C.

Obamacare like Cash for Clunkers

Dear Gary,
Now that the Fourth of July and the Supreme Court decision on the Health Care Program are behind us the thought has occurred to me that the Health Care Program is a remake of the Cash for Clunkers Program…with a few variations.
One was optional and the other isn’t. One allowed you to trade for something that would work better than what you had, the other promises you something that will work better, but as with most government programs the results will tell a different story, but this doesn’t matter because the intentions are what count. The One is a tax that we were told wasn’t a tax, the other just used taxpayer money to fund its plan and we understood that. CFC plan didn’t have a Death Panel and HCP doesn’t either, it is called a Medical Advisory Board. Advisory in this application is not the right term to use, mandatory is more appropriate. This board will have the authority to fine a doctor if they don’t follow the “advised” treatments for their patients. With the CFC program you decided when to stop repairing your car as it got older, the HCP will relieve you of any decision when it comes to repairs you may need as you get older. The CFC program lasted only a short time, but that won’t be the case for HCP. I doubt that any of the politicians who put the CFC program in place actually used it and I doubt any will use this HCP either, they will be riding in health care vehicle that doesn’t look or operate anything like the one they mandated for us.
The HCP will need between 16-60 thousand new IRS agents make sure everyone is paying for this new “medicine” called the Health Care Program/Universal Health Coverage for All/Obamacare, the Cash for Clunkers plan only needed Hank at the dealership with some sand to destroy the engine of the car you brought in.
As I think about the Fourth of July and the importance of our young nation declaring its independence from the tyranny of England and compare that to the tyranny caused by a congress that “had to pass a bill to see what was in it,” I wonder what new tidbits of tyranny will the Benedict Arnold Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will bring upon us when she signs the United Nations small arms agreement this month. The “long train of abuses and usurpations” described in the Declarations of Independence keeps getting longer. Hopefully it will be derailed in November.
Steve Lorz
Tonasket, Wa.

Shaping real health care reform

Dear Editor,
If there is anything you don’t like about Obamacare, if you think it needs major surgery if not outright repeal and real reform, then start voting for change in the August primary and vote for Dr. Art Coday to represent Washington in the U.S. Senate.
We have two good men running for the Republican nomination. One is a practicing physician and small-business owner with a solid grasp of the Constitution, a working knowledge of health care and the ability to make a difference in shaping real health care reform.
The other has good intentions and a business ba
ckground, but just not the experience to command respect at the health care negotiating table. This is the year to send our best medical expertise from Washington to Washington: Dr. Coday.
In a year when negative campaigning is the norm, we need a candidate with a positive difference. Coday is a practicing physician, caring for seniors and the disabled on Medicare and Medicaid. Coday has a calling to serve, and now he is ready to serve the people of Washington.
Sue Lani Madsen
Edwall, Washington