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Your Views for August 10

Police powers

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed a surge in reports of police behaving badly throughout the U.S. — reports of raids at the wrong address, dogs being killed, houses entered without warrants, and innocent men shot for holding hoses or checking on their neighbors.

Nineteen states recognize some form of the “Castle Doctrine,” which allows an individual to defend himself, his family and his property from burglars and invaders in his home. Even Hawaii recognizes a form of this doctrine but specifically states, “The use of force is not justifiable … to resist an arrest which the actor knows is being made by a law enforcement officer, although the arrest is unlawful” (Hawaii Revised Statutes).

But suppose they have no warrant? Doesn’t that simply make them armed invaders with no right to enter your home? Can we be subjugated just because they’re wearing a uniform? What if they’re plainclothes officers? Suppose they aren’t even police officers but impostors wearing fake or stolen uniforms, as in Wichita, Kansas, earlier this year?

Are we expected to get a close look at badges and call the station (while potentially at gunpoint) before we react? I’m aware of one older gentleman who was almost shot by an FBI agent for trying to get a closer look at her identification, and that was a legitimate officer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been on good terms with the local police. I just feel that we need to address these issues sooner rather than later.

Michael Valentine


More women?

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read the editorial in the Tribune-Herald (“Democrats love their perverted politicians”) by Sherman Frederick on July 28. He either has a short memory or only takes selective aim at issues. It is true that there have been several high-level Democratic office holders who have aired their sexual peccadilloes in public lately. But one would have to have been living on the moon over the past few years to miss some of the incredible scandals to which Republican officeholders have treated us.

Who can forget Republican Sen. David Vitter, who admitted using the services of a Washington, D.C., madam while happily married to his wife? Not only did he not resign from office, he went on to co-sponsor the “Marriage Protection Amendment” with Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig, who was arrested soliciting sex from a male undercover cop in a Minneapolis airport men’s room. Then there was married Republican South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who left his office without telling anyone where he was going and used state money to fly to Argentina for a rendezvous with his mistress. He also did not resign and was recently elected to Congress. And let’s not forget Republican Congressman Mark Foley, who had to resign from office over sending sexually suggestive e-mails to underage male congressional pages. So far I haven’t even mentioned Bob Packwood’s sexual harassment or Newt Gingrich’s infidelity.

This isn’t a Democratic or Republican problem. It seems to be a male problem. Perhaps the answer is to elect more women to office (and have more women writing editorials for the Tribune–Herald) because they seem to be able to do their jobs AND keep their libidos in check.

Brad Clark



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