Attorney general's office is not a free legal clinic
Re: "Legal representative of the people?" April 29
In her column, Jonetta Rose Barras makes the argument that the D.C. attorney general should be rendering opinions every time any citizen asks for one. Specifically, she suggests that Attorney General Irvin Nathan should have responded to Peter MacPherson, a Ward 6 resident, who wanted an opinion on whether D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson's redefinition of a "small school" was legal.
Then Barras suggests that Nathan could have offered at least "a cursory review of the law for MacPherson." To me, that would have been even worse than no response, and seems more like what Barras does when she writes her opinion columns without having all the facts.
The attorney general's office is not a place where every resident in the District can go for random legal opinions. If it were, they would never get their actual work done. And who would be the arbiter for what is a legitimate request and what isn't?
I am sure if they started taking some requests and denying others, Barras would be the first person to complain. I am just glad that under Nathan, the office has finally regained its credibility with the public and the courts and is doing the work of the people in a quiet and efficient way.
Peter D. Rosenstein
Pharmacy interpreters will also help environment
Re: "Advocates to seek law requiring interpreters for D.C. pharmacies," April 21
It's about time pharmacies get interpreters. With new immigrants coming to America, it's frustrating for those who have to communicate with non-English speakers or those having difficulty understanding different medications.
Interpreters can also help the environment by informing those who cannot speak or understand English about the proper way to dispose of unused medications, which are now being dumped into the toilet and affecting fish in local waters.
This is an ongoing problem. There have been studies that show that in the Potomac River near Washington, D.C., about 80 percent of the male bass have eggs in their testes or other reproductive problems due to dumped medications.
Educating immigrants on their proper disposal will add to a cleaner and safer environment free from water pollution for future generations.
Government censorship is the real threat
On his morning radio talk show on WMAL-FM last Monday, host Chris Plante was discussing the new up-and-coming surveillance state, all in the name of "making us safer".
The worst surveillance of all to fear is government surveillance over the First Amendment rights of free speech and a free press. The pretext for doing this would surely be that because ideas give birth to actions, government must be empowered to act as our speech- and thought-police, putting every idea through a political correctness litmus test before it can be publicly enunciated.
Let us make no mistake on this matter: political correctness is a Communist idea. Chairman Mao Tse-tung wrote about it in his "Little Red Book," calling it "right thinking".
Well, so long as I draw breath as a free American, I will think "wrong" and be proud of it.
Lawrence K. Marsh