News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, JULY 2, 2006


Alabama law prohibits gambling

I can answer all of your questions about gambling in Alabama. Publications like yours all across this state rant and rave about following the "rule of law" and cite examples of why "no one is above the law," but when it comes to gambling, they suddenly forget the "rule of law" and wonder how we can be so "dumb" as to not follow the lead of others. Then to add insult, THE DECATUR DAILY publishes that if 38 states, D.C., Mississippi and Nevada have it, gambling can't be all that bad.

Here is your answer: Read the law. Section 65 of the Alabama Constitution of 1901:

"Lotteries and gift enterprises prohibited.

"The legislature shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purposes, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale in this state of lottery or gift enterprise tickets, or tickets in any scheme in the nature of a lottery; and all acts, or parts of acts heretofore passed by the legislature of this state, authorizing a lottery or lotteries, and all acts amendatory thereof, or supplemental thereto, are hereby avoided."

What is it about this law that politicians don't understand? The current administration — to include the entire executive branch, the legislature and the judiciary — of this state apparently cannot read. We know that because "no one is above the law."

You can pay a lawyer $500 per hour to conjure black into white in the "dark of the night," but that does not remove the power in the wording of Section 65. The people are blinded by the lack of real reporting by the press and guess what? We are left to those who have an agenda, like this publication and others, to do what is illegal and morally wrong. Just remember: "We are a nation of laws."

J. Holland


Minimum wage hike affects prices, jobs

There's nothing ugly about the American soul, thank you. What is misguided is the logic behind a call for an increase in the minimum wage. Those making the argument make the mistake of thinking an increase affects only those at that level of pay. This is nonsense. It affects everyone.

An increase begins a ripple effect that immediately puts inflationary pressure on consumer prices. Then employers look at their total employment situation. Can we lay off employees to cut payroll? Can we cut benefits such as health insurance and/or retirement? Can we hire temporary workers to replace permanent employees? Can we buy machinery that will replace employees?

And then there's the psychological effect for all employees who say "What about a raise for me?"

The American soul is the most compassionate, giving soul in the whole world. Workers at minimum wage need more than just a feel-good law that puts a few more dollars in their paychecks but in the long haul takes away their jobs, their benefits, their status as permanent workers and makes buying a loaf of bread and a gallon of gasoline much harder. They need first-class education, job skills, and the psychological power of knowing they can make much more than minimum wage if given the opportunity.

Doug Chapman


Relay For Life exceeded goal

The American Cancer Society would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers, contributors and organizers of Relay For Life in Decatur. The event was a great success, and the goal set for Decatur was exceeded with donations still coming in. The event was held on May 5 on Bank Street.

On behalf of the more than 10 million Americans alive today with a history of cancer, the American Cancer Society wants to thank everyone who played a role in our success. We would like to thank all of our event sponsors. These sponsors are invaluable to the success of Relay, and we publicly thank these companies for their generosity.

Relay For Life is an overnight, fund-raising event filled with activities, fun and community spirit. All funds raised at Relay support American Cancer Society programs designed to reduce cancer incidence and mortality through research, education, advocacy and patient services.

Paige Norris

Publicity chairman, Decatur Relay For Life


First close border, then suspend legal immigration

Your article on 27 illegal aliens involved with drug-trafficking prompted me to reply.

The federal cost of incarcerating criminal aliens totaled from 2001 through 2004 was approximately $5.8 billion. Even though the human and fiscal costs of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are too great to repeat, instead of focusing on border security first, the U.S. Senate passed an amnesty bill which would allow amnestied aliens to bring in 60 million more legal immigrants over the next 20 years, plus their U.S.-born children, who will consume energy, need jobs, education, health care, and many social services that any taxes that most will pay will not cover because of their low incomes.

Sen. Jeff Sessions should be commended for opposing the disastrous Senate amnesty bill. The federal government should build the Israeli-style border wall that has proven to be very effective, enforce employer sanctions and adopt a new law to make it illegal to grant benefits to illegal aliens.

We also need some sort of time-out from mass legal immigration — nearly one million a year — so we can root out terrorists operating on U.S. soil and intercept them at our borders. Congress can re-assess the situation after three years.

Alabamians should be aware that Mexico is using migration to strongly influence American policies, our future elections and eventually to extend the Mexican nation, as shown by recent massive pro-illegal alien demonstrations throughout the U.S.

Yeh Ling-Ling

Executive director, Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America

Oakland, Calif.

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