Letter to the Editor

Sharp contrasts after tragedy

To the editor:

In the light of the recent tragedy in our country, there are two sharp contrasts in humanity's actions.

On the one side, one views the heroics and self-sacrifice of the passengers on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and the police, firemen, rescue workers, government workers and ordinary citizens who lined up for hours to give blood. These people represent the heart and soul of what this great nation, America, is!

In contrast is the despicable behavior and greed of the filling station owners and suppliers of gas, who saw this tragedy as an opportunity to fill their pockets. It is with disgust we regard those who, in a time of national panic and horror, did not respond to America's need but took advantage of our citizens' plight. Their actions will remain in my memory as a "moment of infamy."

To the real America, God bless.GRACE WILLE

Jackson, Mo.

Libertarian explains party beliefs

To the editor:

I am the chairman of the Cape Girardeau Libertarian Party, and I would like to respond to some of the issues raised by Mr. Clint Lacy of Marble Hill in regard to the booth at the SEMO Fair.

I would like to start by thanking Mr. Lacy for doing a valuable service for all Libertarians by clarifying the party's stand on certain issues, especially drug legalization and use. He is correct in pointing out that Libertarians believe in individual choice by responsible adults, and that we believe the government's drug war is not working.

I find it necessary, however, to take issue with his assertion that the adult at the booth was promoting teen-age drug use. I can assure everyone in our community that this is definitely not the case. I was not present on the Tuesday night to which Mr. Lacy refers, but I am a good friend of the gentleman who was there. He is well known and respected by many of the local youth, many of whom consider themselves to be outside the mainstream. Like many teen-agers, this group of youths is generally rebellious toward authority, and I believe they gravitate to Libertarians because we are perceived as rebellious toward the powers that be, as politics go. I certainly can't imagine them hanging around the Republican booth.

As Libertarians, we promote freedom. But we understand that with freedom comes responsibility. Too many people's lives are ruined by drugs, but not always for the reasons you might think. A person who abuses drugs to avoid reality is not behaving in a responsible manner. If you're high all the time, you tend to not be very productive. I personally believe that children should not be forming habits of any kind counterproductive to their ability to get ahead in life, and I tell them so as often as I can.

We are just happy that these children trust us enough to come around to hear our viewpoints. At least we are not propagandizing to them with lies and scare tactics. But we are not their parents, and we can't just tell them to move along if they say stupid things. We can, however, engage them in discussions about personal responsibility and point out that abusing drugs is a hindrance to their futures.TIMOTHY J. DOUBLETREE

Jackson, Mo.