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Voice of the People

Apr. 26, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

Lawmakers must drop presumptions

HB 2856, which would have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation, recently died in the House of Delegates. In the debate surrounding this bill (and many others), it is the complete certainty each side possesses in their absolute correctness that is most disturbing.

Both sides frame the discussion in their respective terms and appeal to their authority -- whether religious, philosophical, scientific or political -- to support their respective answers. Both sides know the answer before the question is asked, because the assumptions -- whether "faith" or "values" or "fairness" -- frame the question, which in turn provides the answer.

There is no neutral metaphysics whereby an impasse like this can be solved, no neutral authority or assumption that all recognize as true. However, we can try to reflect on what assumptions we have, where these assumptions come from, and whether there is another possible point of view we have not considered. We can try to see these things through someone else's eyes -- with their assumptions instead of ours -- so that we can at least try to understand why they believe what they do, why they do not see things as we do, and why they are no more evil than we are.

Joe M. Fincham II


Cabell County Young Democrats


Stop giving breaks to DUI repeaters

Why do convicted DUI offenders keep getting breaks from the court system and are not followed up on? If a person convicted of DUI is convicted and fines and court costs are to be paid, why are they not arrested for nonpayment of these fines after a certain amount of time?

Take the case of a man recently charged in a fatal traffic accident, who had three convictions where fines and court costs were unpaid. If the court system would have locked him up after nonpayment the first time, some of this could have been avoided. Our system is broken!

Also shame on you, The Herald-Dispatch, for showing his picture on the front page kissing his wife. What about Deborah Rakes and her family? They won't get that opportunity again because of a selfish individual who thinks drinking and driving is OK at least five times before he killed someone.

I wish our court system would take this more seriously and stop giving people like this a break. Why wasn't he convicted as a repeated felon DUI offender and put in prison for a long time?

William Campbell

Ironton, Ohio



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