Regarding “We are a house divided” (Steve Otto, June 16, Metro): It’s hard to have a “civil debate” with someone who, instead of defending his or her position in a calm and logical manner, immediately labels you a xenophobe, a homophobe, a misogynist, a racist or some other derogatory term that implies your position is solely based on prejudice and is evil and does not deserve to be debated at all.
Sun City Center
A reasonable resolution
Regarding “Faceoff, Same-sex marriage” (June 16): The LGBT community has successfully turned same-sex marriage into a civil rights issue, and they have a point. Societies throughout recorded history have rewarded the traditional marriage relationship, and this remains true today. However, this is inconsistent with our tradition and constitutional mandate for equal treatment before the law.
Anyone who has served in the U.S. military knows that married folks with children receive a higher level of compensation than their single colleagues of the same rank and seniority, particularly if they live with their families off base. The recognition of civil unions is a common-sense proposal that legally recognizes domestic partnerships to correct these inequities, gives everyone the same rights regardless of lifestyle, and neutralizes the civil rights argument.
Sadly, it probably won’t happen as evidenced by several recent federal appeals court cases. Fact is, the activist fringe in the LGBT community will accept nothing short of full recognition of same-sex marriage. Social conservatives, on the other hand, see same-sex marriage as an assault on traditional marriage and the slippery slope that descends into the legitimization of “anything goes” sexual relationships. This is an argument between ideologues. Most of the rest of us recognize that in our diverse society, thoughtful people of goodwill can and do tolerate behavior that they might otherwise find offensive on religious, cultural or philosophical grounds. It takes a while to change a cultural tradition that has been recognized and practiced since the dawn of recorded history. It’s an evolutionary process, and forcing the change with coercive instruments such as the courts incites resentment and fractures societies. Recognizing domestic partnerships with legal civil unions would be a reasonable resolution.
T.S. “Mac” McDonnell
Lerner’s ‘lost’ emails
Regarding the article in Saturday’s Tribune about Lois Lerner’s lost email (“IRS lost official’s emails in tea party brouhaha,” Nation & World, June 14):
This is the IRS employee who appears to be blocking the investigation into political favoritism (at best). Her claim is the electronic equivalent of “the dog ate my homework.”
She claims that when her desktop PC crashed last year, the emails being sought in the investigation were lost and unrecoverable. It does not take an information technology professional to know that email systems do not store your email on your desktop PC, and haven’t for decades (if ever). Email is stored collectively on an email server. Therefore, it does not matter whether her desktop PC “crashed;” the originals are all still in the server along with everyone else’s email.
Most modern government agencies even have a secondary means of storage, called an archive server. It is highly unlikely that either of these servers would selectively erase only Lerner’s email. Document retention laws are in place to discourage accidental or deliberate destruction of these public records. What about the backup tapes of their systems? Would these not have copies as well?
Are we to believe that the IRS is so far behind in technology that it is a desktop PC crash or two away from complete collapse? The alternative is equally disturbing — that the records being sought are either deliberately being withheld or have been destroyed. Neither scenario gives one much confidence.
Solving VA crisis
There have been numerous articles and letters lately about the long waits at the VA facilities, and it makes me wonder whether I am missing something.
Didn’t we just get Obamacare for everybody? Why can’t the veterans use Medicare and Obamacare like the rest of the citizens? What is the need for the VA facilities now that we have these two fine health care programs for all?
Had the veterans stayed for retirement, they’d have Medicare and Tricare, but they didn’t stay the course and should be considered like the rest of the citizens blessed with Obamacare. So close the VA facilities and let the politicians find some other foolish way to buy votes.
Aubry D. Pope
The writer is a retired U.S. Air Force major.