Letters to the Editor

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BP: Thanks for spelling out our rights

Letter by John Nichols, Tacoma on July 6, 2010 at 11:43 am with 1 Comment »
July 7, 2010 9:14 am

Re: “BP to 40,000 oil spill workers: Talk all you want to the media” (TNT, 7-3).

Reading that little article was like my neighbor knocking on my door and telling me I can talk all I want to my roommates. Before this, BP did not allow cleanup workers to talk to the press. Don’t think me ungrateful, but what other rights can I wait for BP’s permission to exercise?

This highlights something we forget from time to time: The right to speak is an inherent right. So are the rights to think freely and assemble. We have them because we are human. Our rights are God-given, or at least inalienable.

They are not BP-given, or court-given, or even Declaration of Independence-given. We just are free. The Declaration of Independence only stated this. Its “self-evident.. The courts and Constitution simply protect this, using the word “rights.” Right?

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  1. johnearl says:

    Yes you have a right to speak your mind, unless you sell that right to someone else in a contract. In which case, shame on you.

    You also have a right to read any contract you’re asked to sign. If someone puts a contract in front of you and he large print offers you money, and the small print says you promise not to talk to the press, and you sign that contract, then you were a foolish fool fooled by the fast talking lawyer that told you “all the rest is just standard contract terms”. Read your contract!

    Whether it’s a temporary job cleaning up oil, a mortgage application with a too good to be true interest rate, or a petition that offers to lower your taxes – read what you are signing. An if you don’t understand it, don’t sign it.

    Read your contract, read your contract, read your contract.

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