There is no IRS 'scandal'
A recent forum contributor's letter harped on the Internal Revenue Service "scandal." He opined, "Targeting a group based on their beliefs has the ring of World War II Germany."
That claim is outrageously inappropriate, and he knows that stooping to such an obscene analogy is far worse than that. Coupling President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler is inexcusably despicable.
The IRS investigation is ongoing, but premature conclusions have been offered by numerous partisans. What is known thus far is that requests for tax-exempt status by most conservative groups were processed carelessly. The bungled handling is intolerable, but what is known hardly constitutes a scandal.
The IRS's long-standing rule granted tax-exempt status only to groups that were "exclusively" engaged in social welfare activity. Years ago, that standard was altered to require that such groups only be "primarily" engaged in such activity.
But the organizations in question aren't even superficially engaged in such charitable activity. The groups exist to prod the Republican Party farther right, and they have no legal right to ask taxpayers to subsidize their partisan cause.
Justice system clearly failed
Let's see: Trayvon Martin, a young African-American, was going home (in his father's neighborhood) after purchasing candy and a soft drink at a convenience store.
On his way home, George Zimmerman noted his presence with some suspicion, although Martin wasn't doing anything illegal. At some point, he and Martin had a confrontation. It should be noted Zimmerman was carrying a concealed weapon, which Martin had no way of knowing.
It appears that during the confrontation Martin was able to take down his heavier and older opponent. At some point, Zimmerman accessed his weapon and then shot and killed Martin.
I suspect Zimmerman wouldn't have confronted Martin had he been unarmed. And I suspect Martin wouldn't have engaged Zimmerman had he known he was carrying a weapon.
The ensuing trial and acquittal of Zimmerman clearly failed to do justice in the killing of this young man. Why large numbers of African-Americans don't trust our system of justice should be no mystery.
That a young man, minding his own business, was killed and nobody held accountable should offend all Americans.
Fredrick R. Ford
Does rule of law mean nothing?
After reading the Times regarding the protests after the George Zimmerman verdict, I am disgusted once again.
The rule of law means nothing to people today. The protesters don't like the legal verdict of the trial in Florida, so they want to change it.
The people of California voted to have the definition of marriage to be one man and one woman. All of the people that didn't like the way the vote turned out wanted to change it. And they did, with the help of our state government.
Can someone tell me what's wrong with our country, when a few people who don't like an election result get judges and lawyers who think the same way they do -- even if they are the outvoted -- to change the vote of the people?
What is happening to our country?
Our future is in your hands
If your child were diagnosed with a terminal disease would you give up?
As your child's best friend, I would not watch my friend die without a hellish fight. And neither should you. Our world, our government -- that sick child in my analogy -- are dysfunctional and on an unsustainable path toward destruction.
Members of Congress fight for the next election. They fight for corporations. And they fight against one another rather than for the plight of the public or posterity.
How long will we watch America fall to last among affluent nations regarding inequality, mental health, life expectancy and poverty per capita? How long will we idle toward this terminal disease?
My generation faces a world where our fragile ecosystem has a market value that's constantly exploited. My children, those not born yet, are already in dire need of a government that will act for the good of the Earth and its inhabitants.
The future has myriad downsides for my generation and too few upsides. It's unjust to leave the next generation so unprepared and hapless. Please, save your children from this disease.
Heise is a student at Chico State University.