Woman's right to petition ignored
I was amazed and disgusted by the picture from the June 29 Saturday Gazette-Mail of a petition to the governor being denied. While I disagree with the intent of the petition, I believe that all governments derive their power and legitimacy from the consent of the citizens. Now consider the images and body language of the picture: a small woman with a petition to Governor Tomblin, being stopped by a bureaucrat flanked by at least three state police troopers. All the troopers are standing, arms crossed in the typical "bullying" posture -- particularly look at the facial expression of the one at the extreme right. These "men" are ready to take on a single woman who is asserting her right to petition and redress, in a state-owned building. How dare she intrude in a building owned by the citizens of West Virginia?
While this picture may lack the stark simplicity of the one from years ago in China, with the lone protester confronting a tank, it is still the same spirit -- one small person asking to be heard, and being silenced by the power of the imperial government.
Privacy violations and NASA spending
I heard that NASA paid Russia $20 million every time they wanted to send an astronaut to space lab. If I remember correctly, that statement was printed in The Charleston Gazette. Didn't that seem a little expensive for a ride into space, only about three miles?
I also heard that there are infrared cameras, which have been used to watch people in the privacy of their homes. Possibly government employees have been watched. That should not be done because sometimes things are sent that should not be seen by casual observers.
Alice Ann Jarvis