LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Human rights vs. property rights
June 8, 2012 · Updated 3:34 PM
To the editor:
I just had to respond to Joseph Kleinman’s “Spend wisely, respect property” letter to the editor in the May 26 letters section.
I’d like to start with a fact and not an opinion regarding the Koch brothers. Among their massive holdings they own a Georgia Pacific manufacturing facility in Arkansas. This business is pumping pollution into a local river and the air which is making people ill. Upper respiratory cancers are killing the local residents. These people are poor rural people so they don’t have the voices that the Koch brothers lawyers have therefore the Koch owned business operates with impunity. They have more money so they have more free speech rights than poor people.
That the poor people are being killed off by this “legal poisoning” by this Koch business, “by giving valuable service and taking good care of their customers; and isn’t it great that we taxpayers aren’t required to bail them out?,” is irrelevant to the Koch brothers because, needless to say these people, the Koch brothers won’t have to pay for the damage; your grandchildren will.
Which brings me to Kleinman’s comment, “we don’t believe that stealing from our grandkids is morally justifiable.” That made me laugh because that is precisely who’ll be paying for your right to pollute and poison the earth “because without property rights, no other rights are possible.” That in your mind your property rights trump the rights of human beings to be able to breathe clean air or to have clean water to drink because you have the right to “poison the earth” is beyond shortsighted, it is this arrogance and disregard for the very “grandchildren” you want to protect that is quite breathtaking.
I’ll leave you with a quote by a Mayan shaman, she said, “The world doesn’t need to be saved, the world is not in danger. We are. We humans. If we don’t change our ways, Mother Earth will shake us off like so many fleas.”
Look around you Mr. Kleinman, the shaking has begun and as far as the earth is concerned, your property rights above all other rights are quite insignificant.