The Dixie Chicks are coming to Portland in July for a concert, and I know there has been a lot of controversy about Natalie Maines' statement about our president.
I am a Vietnam-era veteran of 20 years in the U.S. Navy, and I served in the military for people like Natalie to have the freedom to express themselves.
That is a right we have in this country, and I would not have it any other way. Granted, we will not always agree, but be thankful we still have that right.
I just think people should be proud that Natalie can express herself, whether you are in agreement or disagreement. If you are lucky enough to have tickets, go and enjoy their concert.
We are the luckiest people in the greatest country on Earth. Just enjoy it and what other people have to express. Also call your radio station and have them turn the Dixie Chicks back on. They deserve better than this. Natalie only did what we all have the right to do.
Marvin L. Nichols
Heckling fans reflect
I want to defend Scottie Pippen's alleged actions after Game 4 of the Blazers-Dallas series, in which he is said to have thrown some water at a ticket holder.
People who heckle players during the game should be hauled out by security guards. In my opinion, this 'fan' deserved what he got. Telling an injured, courageous player to get out there and play because of all the money he is making was a stupid, disrespectful comment.
Pippen has thrown his own well-being out the window by playing on a leg that was recently operated on and jeopardizing its healing, which could have lifelong consequences. The pain alone would be hard to suffer. It is to be admired that he played at all.
These boors should be made to get out there and see how well they'd do under the same circumstances. We can't expect a player to listen to heckling and, after playing so hard, ignore the comments.
Our society is increasingly ill-mannered and boorish, a sorry circumstance. I, for one, commend Pippen for his team spirit and dedication to the sport.
Beer tax hike could spare local brewers
According to Rep. Jackie Dingfelder's Two Views contribution concerning a proposed state excise tax increase on beer, the majority of beer consumed in Oregon is imported from other states and multinational corporations (Beer tax benefits budget, health, Insight, April 22). Why not then tax only imported beer?
I see many positive ramifications from this.
Her essay also states that Oregon-brewed beer would be shielded from some of the proposed tax, though at an unspecified amount. Perhaps an incremental increase in state excise taxes, along with the brunt going to imported beer, would be a good blend of taxation.
Of course, the new proceeds would then be directed at the social programs related to the product the tax is hitting Ñ and not toward other state issues.