Letters to the Editor - July 31

July 31, 2011

Support the rights of small repair shops

To the editor:

The National Grange, the nation’s oldest national agricultural organization, calls on Congress to pass the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act (HR 1449) on behalf of its more than 200,000 members in order to protect individual vehicle ownership rights, particularly for residents of farming and rural communities.

Our members value their ability and freedom to fix and repair their own vehicles, tractors and other farm equipment. Should they seek assistance elsewhere, local repair shops should have access to all necessary computer codes and service information from the manufacturers in order to properly and efficiently make repairs.

In the absence of the Right to Repair Act, our members in some rural areas would be forced to put off important vehicle repairs and maintenance, jeopardizing their safety and the safety of others on the road.

It is also important to note that our members often farm and ranch in remote locations where repair shops are just not available. Traveling long distances to a dealer for repairs or waiting days for parts from dealers can mean missing crop target pricing, costing our members in agriculture a great deal of revenue.

We believe every American has the right to maintain, service, repair and rebuild their own vehicles or farming equipment on their own accord or by the repair shop of their choice. Please join us and take action by visiting to send a letter to your members of Congress urging them to support the Right to Repair Act.

Nicole Palya Wood
Legislative Director
The National Grange
Washington, D.C.

Young people should pay attention to events

To the editor:

Every period in history has defining moments. In America in the later half of the 1960s, the moments were such that they will be remembered for all those who were above the age of 12 at that time. The events were of a nature that the country had to take stock of its values

Some of the events were a foreign war (Vietnam) that many believed we were obviously losing because of the restrictions placed on our troops. Then came the cold-blooded assassination of two leaders, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Kennedy. Not everything was negative as advances in science, medicine and the space program were occurring. Segregation was slowly starting to become a thing of the past.

Other momentous events of the late 1960s included Woodstock, the availability of the pill and the continuing decline of the inner cities in favor of the suburbs.

I turned 18 and graduated from high school in June of 1969. Graduating from a high school in Washington County, I must say for myself, and I feel many of my classmates, that we were so busy with our studies, extracurricular activities and preparing for life after graduation, we did not really grasp the enormity of these events.

I wonder if today’s students are more in tune with what is going on in the world. My guess is yes. Just the advances in technology make information more available to them.

Meredith Fouche

Some reforms that should apply to Congress itself

To the editor:

The charade now going on in Congress made me think of this wonderful quote from Patrick Henry:

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”

Congress is now engaged in restraining the people like never before in my lifetime! Consider the fact that the 26th Amendment (granting the right to vote for 18-year-old’s) took only three  months and eight days to be ratified, when the people  demanded it.

That was in 1971, before computers, email, cellphones, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven took one year or less to become the law of the land — all because of public pressure. The solution America needs to end gridlock is:

The Congressional Reform Act of 2011.

1. Congress members collect a salary while in office and receive no pay when they are out of office. No tenure, no pension.

2. Congress (past, present and future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately.

All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress members can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most Americans do.

4. Congress members will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3 percent.

5. Congress members lose their current health care system and participate in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws it imposes on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congress members are void effective July 1, 2012.

The American people did not make this contract with Congress. Congressional representatives made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

We the people must demand that Congress work for our best interests, not their own!

Victoria Ross

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