Churches shouldn’t be above the law

Dear Editor:

I write regarding Kelowna church goers refusing to obey public health orders.

No interest group is above the law, regardless of whether or not they “feel” they are pre-ordained.

Fine them accordingly and then fine them again for continuously thumbing their pious noses at provincial public health orders.

Secular laws must prevail when the question pertains to public endangerment. These “luminaries” should know better.

Curtis Lee Smith, Delta

TV showman turns into demagogue

Dear Editor:

U.S. President Donald Trump was a reality TV star, a showman, who knew how to work the media and whose easily-led supporters helped turn him into a self-styled demagogue.  

But as a president and chief executive, he was out of his depth. His personal style was dysfunctional; his administrative skill was inept and juvenile and was probably a big reason why Wednesday’s Trump-inspired insurrection in Washington, D.C., failed.

But Trump did demonstrate how easily insurrection can happen, even in the world’s oldest democracy. Will it happen again?

There have always existed on the fringes of American society a small demographic of maladjusted and malcontents and for them the social media revolution has been a great equalizer.

But these rioters represented a small group of angry, even criminal agitators, the most extreme part of the 70 million who voted for Trump, which, though it sounds like a lot, only represents one in five Americans. 

Trump was an incompetent president. But he did provide a model for a better skilled, smarter populist politician to come along and succeed where Trump failed.

 Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna

Help, compassion were appreciated

Dear Editor:

I wish to thank all the people who attended to me on Dec. 24 after an accident that wrote off my car on Gordon Drive.

The RCMP, fire and ambulance personnel acted with compassion and professionalism. Thanks especially to civilian Tom who helped me out of the car and was kind and patient to me as I was dazed and confused momentarily.

An extra thank you to officer Kim for her kindness.

M. Hanright, Kelowna

A thin blue line couldn’t stop mob

Dear Editor:

Washington’s Capitol Building was still under construction in August 1814, when parts were burned in an attack by British troops. It came as retaliation for the burning of their Canadian capital 18 months earlier, and was known as the sacking of York, today’s Toronto. These events occurred in the War of 1812, and there had not been a breach of the U.S. Capitol since then — until Wednesday.

The entire world saw how easy it was for a volatile mob to breach the Capitol Building by forcing doors, breaking windows and occupying the Senate chambers. Remarkable scenes flashed around the globe, of protesters nonchalantly posing for photos on the Senate dais, sitting in the Speaker’s Office with feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, etc.

Having seen so many reports of riots and protests around the world, but especially in the U.S. in recent years, there are always heavily-armed police and security contingents on hand for when things get out of control.

Amazingly, only one protester was killed and six injured. Despite so much advanced warning about huge protests planned in Washington, the U.S. Capitol security services seemed woefully unprepared for this onslaught. Eventually a curfew was called, and just after it came into effect at 6 p.m., busloads of National Guard troops began to arrive on scene.

Initial reports are they were ordered by Vice President Mike Pence, but it was far too little and too late for these enforcements to supplement the U.S. Capitol’s very thin Blue Line.

Bernie Smith, Parksville

Democracy under threat here, too

Dear Editor:

We fought global wars, and millions of people died to defend and protect our human rights, including our right to have democratic governments.

Last week’s invasion of Capitol Hill in D.C. was nothing but a stunning attack on democracy, perpetrated by none other than the President of the United States.

It was the end result of four years of Donald Trump’s insidious and unrelenting endeavours to undermine the integrity of the American republic while severely dividing the Republican party.

With a lot of Trump supporters, like Congressmen, police and security personnel, already working inside Congressional offices, there is virtually no security on Capitol Hill.

His 60-minute phone call challenging Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger not to adopt the electoral ballots, served well to bare his corrupt political soul to the world.

His open support of the insurrection finally exposed Trump for what he really is, a traitor to his country.

It was like an incredibly well organized inside job, virtually unimpeded by security, and it should serve as a warning for all of us to be vigilant.

Today, those same rights are being attacked aggressively here in Canada, by the very political leaders we elected, beginning with Stephen Harper, who turned the Prime Minister’s Office into a political control centre, not to be outdone by Justin Trudeau who denied us a proportional ballot.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is asking Trudeau to conduct a pointless “national assembly,” completely ignoring a very inclusive and comprehensive cross-country consultation by former NDP MP Nathan Cullen, instead of working with the Conservatives and the Green party to adopt and implement a proportional ballot that we so desperately need, to avert further erosion of our own democracy.

Andy Thomsen, Kelowna