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September 16, 2010     Lovell Chronicle
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4 I The Lovell Chronicle I September 16, 2010 www.LovellChronicle.com ur00ew Selective outrage? Do we have selective outrage in America? It would seem so. Last week's brouhaha about the idiot in Florida who wanted to burn 50 copies of the Quran - the Muslim holy book - on Sept. 11 is a prime example. From national reli- gious leaders to President Obama and General David Pe- traeus, the top United States general in Afghanistan, many condemned the act with press conferences and news releas- es. And well they should. The burning of the sacred Muslim text would have been a despicable act. The pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, a tiny church in Florida, should know better. Burning books is for Nazis and goes against ev- en/thing America stands for. But would it be allowed as a right of free speech? Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, where nearly 3,000 people perished in the 9/11 attacks nine years ago -victims Jones purportedly wanted to "honor" on Saturday - brave- ly said that, while the act would be distasteful, "the First Amendment protects everybody," adding, "And you can't say that we're going to apply the First Amendment to only those cases where we are in agreement." But others paraded to the microphone condemning the planned act, reacting to flames fanned by our modern age of 24-hour cable news, the Internet and ratings-based tele- vision journalism outlets that are always looking for a juicy story. The pastor eventually backed off, reacting to a supposed promise that a planned Islamic Center near Ground Zero in New York City would be moved to a different location. There are several problems with this entire chain of events. First, media outlets fanned the flames of this issue to the point where a publicity-seeking pastor of an insignifi- cant church with a handful of members - about 50 -- was able to turn his 15 minutes of fame into a week of fame, en- dangering American servicemen serving in Islamic countries and harming relationships between Christians and Muslims and between America and the Islamic world. But the news media let this get way out of hand. A tiny church in Florida was able to blow this issue out of pro- portion and somehow become the poster child of "prove a point" media's obsession with the current hot topic - the supposed deterioration of relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims in America - a trumped up issue if there ever was one. We all should have ignored the fine reverend and his lighter. ., But here's where the "slective outrage"comes in. Would all of the myriad indignant leaders have come down as hard and paraded to the microphone if some minor crackpot wanted to burn a stack of Bibles or a pile of Jew- ish Torahs or a couple of dozen Books of Mormon? Prob- "ably not. Such an act, like those who protest by burning the American flag, would probably be defended on constitution- al grounds. As freedom of speech. Remember the uproar about years ago when a "work of art" that was a photograph of a crucifix resting in a glass of the photographer's own urine was put on exhibit in a show partially funded by the National Endowment of the Arts? There was plenty of outrage expressed about that art show, but many others defended the work as a matter of freedom of expression and freedom of speech. If we're going to be outraged about issues, let's be con- sistent about it. Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of all faiths deserve the same level of protections by our courts, our media and our elected officials. In an increasingly slanted world, let's fight to level the playing field. --David Peck Letters to the editor The Lovell Chronicle welcomes letters from its readers and will make every effort to print them. Letters longer than 400 words may not be printed. Letters must be signed and include the address and telephone number of the writer. Unsigned letters will be discarded. Writers are limited to two letters in any 30 day period. All letters must conform to the law of libel and be in good taste. They may be mailed to The Lovell Chronicle, Box 787, Lovell, WY 82431, or delivered to our office at 234 E. Main St., Lovell. A strict 1:00 p.m. Tuesday deadline will be enforced. 2010 MEMBER I 2009 AWARD-WINNING NEWSPAPER Postmaster: Send address changes to: The Lovell Chronicle, USPS 321-060 234 E. Main, Lovell, Wyoming 82431 (307) 548-2217 Published every Thursday Periodical postage paid at Lovell, Wyoming Editor and Publisher: David Peck News Edito Brad Devereaux Sta: Gladys ;McNeil, Pat Panner, Dorothy Nelson, Erin Hanson, ManNyn Layne, Kymbre Moorehead, Teressa Ennis, Jason Zelle. THOSE I00GGS WON'T BE RECALLED, WILL THEY? Letters to the editor Thank you for the weed work Dear Editor, ing the weeds around the 14A cor- thank you again for taking care of We want to thank Gerald ner. We're sure that the property it. Brinkerhoff for pulling and hoe- belongs to the Town of Lovell, but The Millers, Bill and Linda Bike rodeo serves 157 kids Letter to the Editor: The Lovell Police Department would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Bike Rodeo this year. Thanks to North Big Horn Hospital, Lovell Rec. Dept., Wal- Mart and the Big Horn Co. Sher- iffs Office for donating the seven bikes that were given away; Big Horn Engraving for the t-shirts and stickers; Big Horn Coun- ty Health Coalition for helping with advertisement and goodies; C.A.R.E.S and the Byron Rec. Dept. for goodies for the goodie bags; W.Y.D.O.T. for providing bike helmets, and North Big Horn County Search and Rescue, Byron Police Dept., School Districts One and Two and the Lovell Elemen- tary School for their time and re- sources. A special thanks to all of the Volunteers who gave up their Saturday to help us. Without all of you we could not have pulled it off and because of you we were able reach out to 157 kids from our area. It is nice to live in such a wonderful com- munity. Officer Randy Davis Lovell P.D. School Resource Officer Even tourists must obey traffic laws Dear Mr. Indiana, While reading our local pa- per this week your letter struck a little nerve. Having been born in Wyoming and currently living in Byron, I feel I need to correct a couple of Bull**** statements made in your letter to the editor. First, just because you are a tourist does not give you the right to break the law. The speed lim- it is set in place for certain rea- sons and for the protection of our community. Your saying that the signs were not visible piqued my interest and I decided to go check for myself just to make sure. Any- one who was paying proper atten- tion could obviously see the signs and the warning Signs to decrease your speed ahead. Second, just because there are four lanes does not mean that the speed limit should be, what, 65? I don't think so. Byron is a small town and our four lanes go right through the heart of our town in front of the school and lo- cal church. So obviously there are children and local families and business people that are out and about who should not have to wor- ry about people barreling down our four-lane highway. Thirdly, the "unmarked four- door Dodge pickup" with the lights on the top and il,ice onthe side i, hardly unmarked alnd bright blue;; might I add. So in closing I would like to say I'm thoroughly pi**** off that you believe you have the right to break the law, to drive and I quote "excessively speed- ing", risk the chance of hurting or, heaven forbid, killing someone on your fast paced vacation. So by all means feel free to never visit our town again. Happy in Byron Marie Acton Amused by irritated speeder Editor, I read with amusement about the tourist from Indiana and his encounter with the so-called speed trap in Byron. To my think- ing this tourist should not even be driving, as I believe he must have at least two maladies. First, he must have a vision problem as the speed limits are clearly posted and even a speed reduction warning sign prior to the speed limit signs on each end of the town. Second, if he did see the signs he must not be able to read and did not know what the signs meant. Also, he complained about a speed limit of 30 mph on a four- lane highway. Apparently he must believe that small commu- nities cannot have a four-lane road through the center of town with a posted speed limit. I am sure the Byron police officer was well inside the town limits parked in the shade of his favorite tree and the police pick- up that I have always seen does have a light bar and police de- partment markings on the door. It is obvious to me that this tourist has little respect for the laws of small communities or thinks he is above the law just because he is from out of state. I would be willing to bet that if anyone from this area was caught speeding through that person's town in Indiana, the fine would just be paid and there would be no mouthing off or dis- respect, as did this irate tourist. The speed limits in smaller communities are there to protect the town residents from harm and possibly their lives from speeding tourists or any speed- ing driver. Frankly, I am glad this tour- ist has vowed never to return to this area because the life that may be saved from the actions of that speeding driver may be yours, or even mine. Jim Szlemko Happy to be living in Lovell It's now been a year since my wife, Jan, and I relocated from the city of Cave Junction in Southwest Oregon to the Town of Lovell, and we have found that living in Lovell is lovely. Literally. Our cats like it here, too. More about them a bit later. Although Lovell has twice the popu- lation of Cave Junction, the town has a more noticeable small-town feel, and we like that. There also are significantly few- er calls for responses by ambulance, fire district or law enforcement. We like that, too. It seems that rural Wyoming folk are more inclined to avoid emergency prob- lems. They (now us included) prefer to take care of themselves; there seems to be less of a take-care-of-me attitude here. Many people have asked us how we chose Lovell. The answer is that for two years Jan used the Inter- net to research small towns with specific criteria. We were looking for open country in a red state with low population. Johnson Home & Land provided a lot of help. Besides those criteria, we enjoy the patriotism, the friendly openness, willingness to help and the church-centered situation here. Plus the communi- ty events. They count for much. Another question people ask is why do we have Bob Rodriguez five cats. Actually, we moved here with four. By the way, traveling by car with four cats, and finding cooperative mo- tels, is a challenge. But that's a cat of a different stripe, so to speak. Anyway, around four months ago we "inherited" our fifth feline, a muted Cal- ico that we named Tasha Tiny-Dancer, from a teen-age couple who found her in the middle of Main Street. She joined our formerly all-male crew: Bubba Big Foot, a six-toed Siamese; Jellibunny, a grumpy Tuxedo; Flint Eastwood, a total- ly black and shy Bombay; and Scrappy, a large Tiger Stripe. They all came to us by chance. And they get along. Mostly. Although having a quintet of carnivorous mammals around the house provides endless hours of entertainment. Depending on your definition of entertainment. Not sure if watching them playfully trying to disembow- el each other falls in that category. Lately, they've been bringing us the prey of the day: grasshoppers. As everyone knows around here, the grasshopper herds are substantial, although there don't seem to be as many as when we first vis- ited in mid-2009. The cats thoroughly enjoy hunting the hoppers. Sometimes they eat them, which pro- vides an interesting crunchy sound. We are all happy to live in Lovell.