I call your attention to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that is being negotiated in secret by the Obama administration. It is scheduled for “fast track” approval in the Senate. Under ‘fast track” the president would sign the agreement before submitting it to Congress, where neither filibuster nor amendment is allowed. The problem with the TPP is that it will establish a precedent for accepting shariah religious persecution under international law.
The Sultanate of Brunei, a tiny oil-rich fiefdom that shares the island of Borneo with Malaysia and Indonesia, adopted shariah law earlier this year. It has begun to implement religiously intolerant code of law.
Restaurant and cafe owners in Brunei’s capital city of Bandar were ordered to remove Christmas decorations from their establishments by authorities who cited Shariah Penal Code Order 2013, which prohibits exhibits of decorations that are against Islamic beliefs. Violators face a $15,000 fine and imprisonment for a term of up to five years.
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A most-favored-nation trade agreement with a regime that tramples on religious freedom signals the world that the U.S. government no longer believes that religious freedom is important. In the past (during the Cold War) Democrats and Republicans joined forces to restrict trade with countries that denied their citizens basic religious freedom.
The United States cannot be associated with any semblance of religious intolerance. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must not assist the Obama administration in the approval of this agreement.
-- Hill Kaplan
Kroger’s pros and cons
I oppose the idea of a Kroger fuel center at the intersection of Nottingham Drive and Grey Highway. But I don’t want to lose our Kroger grocery store.
Kroger has been a good neighbor to our community. The store and parking lots are clean, well-lighted, and policed. As anchor store to the shopping center, Kroger has drawn stable, desirable tenants to other spaces. They hire our teenagers, giving work experience while encouraging them to stay in school. The grocery and pharmacy prices are competitive. Employees are courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. I think it’s the best Kroger in the city.
When Kroger moved to Baconsfield from their former location on Emery Highway, that shopping center died. It was deserted until the health department moved into the vacated space. If they leave, Baconsfield will likely suffer the same fate.
We have faced challenges on the corner before: Chick-fil-A, a tax preparer who shall not be named. I think the law firm has been a good fit for the community. However, it is private property; the owner will do as he sees fit.
Other sites within the area that were proposed at the community meeting have serious drawbacks. The space behind McDonald’s would move congestion to a smaller street with a more awkward intersection. Locating the fuel center behind the existing store moves commercialization and traffic deeper into the residential area.
Kroger’s representative, Eyvonne Johnson, conducted an efficient, orderly meeting. We haven’t heard a response from Planning and Zoning nor the city/county traffic engineer. This fuel center is important to the Kroger Corporation, and answers will not be easy to find. Somebody will be unhappy.
I disagree with Kroger on the location of the fuel center. Probably all of us have smaller quibbles with the store, but let’s try to disagree without being disagreeable. The futures of North Highlands and Shirley Hills are important.
-- Lynda Pickering
Undoubtedly, many of you are just as tired of some commercials on TV as I am. Some that really perturb me are the ones that glamorize vehicle wrecks. Did you know it is more profitable to have a wreck than to hit the lottery? Yes, and do you realize why your vehicle insurance keeps increasing?
Vehicle owners are paying the fare. Things have changed drastically in the few years since advertising by lawyers became kosher, but it is what it is.
-- Guy Weatherly Jr.
Would somebody please remind the headline writers that most proper nouns have adjectival forms and that, when a proper noun functions as an adjective, the adjectival form is therefore to be used? Thus it’s “Mexican police,” not “Mexico police,” “Egyptian court,” not “Egypt court,” “Hawaiian airline,” not “”Hawaii airline,” and so on.
-- David Mann
I totally agree with the recent letter written by Charles Hill (Do black lives matter?) I am an African American and it breaks my heart to see the violence we inflict on one another. If a white American violently take the life of one black person we protest, march, and demand justice and change. Yet, we continue to murder each other daily and nothing is said or done about it. When will we realize we are our biggest enemy? How can we expect others to value our lives, when we don’t ourselves?
-- Tiffany Holloway