June 6 1998

As a concerned American citizen I am appalled that our President would visit China. The Chinese government has made no apologies for Tienenmen Square. They continue to hold political prisoners without trial simply because they speak out against the corruption in their country. They trade nuclear technology to other countries. They supply missiles to other countries capable of delivering nuclear warheads, all of which is illegal according to treaties the Chinese government have signed onto. They refuse to remove their forces from Tibet, and allow that country's people to determine their own fate. The list of their atrocities could go on and on, yet an American President is going to visit them. This should never happen! Nixon should've never gone to China. The United States will pay for that blunder in blood. Clinton is only adding to the folly, and should stay home

June 14, 1998

I am deeply opposed to the house and senate legislation trying to alter the constitution, and permit prayer, again, in public school, and will oppose it with all my efforts.
As a young man I was a confirmed atheist. Many teachers tried to force their religious views on me. One teacher especially, for months, embarrassed and humiliated me by trying to make me say The Lord's Prayer in front of the other students. It took a confrontation in the principal's office between the teacher and my mother to end the daily torment and humiliation.
The teacher's excuse was she was determined to save my immortal soul. My mother told her that my immortal soul was her concern, and not the school's.
I greatly fear giving religiously fanatical teachers the power again to try to force their opinions and beliefs on those of other students that do not follow their particular faith. I do believe that the teachings of morals should return to the schools, but not those teachings of any specific religious sect.
The place for prayer is in the home and in the church, not in the public schools where the population is diverse and many religious philosophies must coexist.

Gerald A. Polley

I've got to tell you what's been happening to us on the streets of Portland. I'm sure worse things are happening in other cities, but this is such a nice little town we hate to see it going to pot....literally!
Thursday before last, the tenth of September, we had to go to the library on our twice monthly CD expedition. We had barely gotten on the street when my sinuses began to freak, and my wife began to comment "I smell pot!"
I began to realize this was indeed what she was smelling. Ahead of us on the street were two young men with a big pit bull puffing away on a joint, passing it back and forth.
As I am violently allergic to marijuana, I could get nowhere near them to confront them, but several other people did, and it was obvious from their reactions and the young man's gestures, that he was threatening them with the pit bull.
We went into the auxiliary police station to report what was going on, but the young lady stationed there was too busy discussing her sister's medical problems on the phone to speak with us, so we continued on to the library, where I used a pay phone to call the police.
The police officer I spoke to seemed almost amused by my complaint, and told me that they already knew about it. An officer was there and taking care of the situation. I said "Fine!" and hung up.
We finished our business in the library and proceeded home. Ahead of us were the same two young men still smoking marijuana. Absolutely nothing had been done.
This seems very strange considering smoking marijuana IS illegal and so is threatening someone with a dangerous animal. But apparently the police didn't want to bother to do their job.
The following morning as I was walking to work two bums approached me on the street, one big stout one, and a short, thin one. The fat one waddled over and said, "Hey, give me some change!" I said "No." He repeated his request more aggressively and I answered, "I said NO, get out of my face!"
Whereupon the short and thin one began to scream "Hey! You don't talk to us like that! We've got rights!"
"I said shut up!" I told him. "Get out of my face, now! If you want money go get a damned job!"
"I've got a job!" the little man screamed.
"Yes," I answered, "leeching off from people on the street! I'm not going to feed your habit. Get out of here!"
The bigger one grabbed his little friend and finally led him off. The next day I saw them again in the little park I pass by going to work. They were with several others. The little one pointed to me raising his fist in the air and screamed something unintelligable. I just ignored him and continued on.
Everything was quiet for the rest of the week, then last Thursday the seventeenth, we had to go to the second hand store to see if I could find a pair of shoes for work. We went to the grocery first, then started back. As we were crossing the intersection another bum came up to us and said "Give me a quarter!" I said "No!"
Suddenly at the top of his lungs he screamed "You damned cheap b-------s on the street with your f 'n b-----s s--k!"
I turned around and said, "Hey, shut up! You don't talk to us like that!"
The man ran up to me screaming "Don't you tell ME to shut up! I'll pound your damned face in!"
I handed my wife the stuff I was carrying and said "Really? Come on man, try!"
The man stared into my eyes for a few moments and said "What're you going to fight with?"
I answered, "Do you really want to find out?"
The man backed off and raised his fist screaming "You're a b-----d! You're a b-----d!" and ran off down the street.
When we got up to the pay phones a little further up the street, I called the police. The officer I spoke to was very cordial and said he would send somebody up to cruise the neighborhood, but there wasn't much they could do.
I understand what he meant. The police are having an awful time dealing with the transients in our area. Every time they pick one up for being too aggressive on the streets, within ten minutes one of the free lawyers is there saying "You can't harass these poor men! They have a right to solicit funds on the street! You can't persecute them."
Something's terribly, terribly wrong here. What about the people that are being made prisoners in their own homes, afraid to go out on the streets because the lunatics have been let out of the asylums and are being allowed to run the streets uncontrolled?
WE will not be among them, we will use the public ways, and we will NOT be harassed or intimidated. We have OUR rights, too!

Gerald A. Polley

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