Re: Neal McCluskey's An Unconstitutionally Teachable Moment:
To observe Constitution Day, our local Junior College had a forum on the Patriot Act. One of professors contacted the local Republican Party looking for someone to speak for the act and I drew the assignment. The forum consisted of four professors, a local retired judge, and the token Republican, me. Most of the attendees were students getting extra credit for a class and there were some faculty as well. Each panelist was given 10 minutes to present some aspect of the Patriot Act. One compared it to the Alien and Sedition Act, another talked of the danger to privacy, and another discussed the detainees and the search warrants. The Judge zinged me about Republicans having once favored limited government. I had maneuvered to speak last (read Shakespeare's Julius Caesar). I opened with a joke about the parking and the students who so far were mostly bored perked up a little. I discussed that the Constitution was written because the central government under the Articles of Confederation did not have enough power to manage the needs of the country. The founders were concerned with giving too much power to government so they submitted the Bill of Rights. There was and is a tension between effectiveness and liberty. I argued that the Patriot Act shared that tension and that the government needed the tools to fight terrorism.
The professors and judge who participated in the forum were very civil. They were not your MOVEON.org types at all. I only wish that all political discourse was as civil.
-- Mike Bergsma
While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment in "An Unconstitutionally Teachable Moment," my copy of the 10th Amendment does not include the word "specifically." A similarly narrowing adverb, "expressly," was "specifically" excluded by the framers of the Bill of Rights. Madison objected during the congressional debate on the amendment that that word (included in the old Articles of Confederation) would unduly constrain the federal government's powers. That distinction set the stage for the argument that the feds have not only those powers expressly -- or specifically -- enumerated, but also those arising by necessary implication from the enumerated ones. This argument, already advanced in the Federalist Papers by the Constitution's supporters and variously attacked by its opponents, was taken up by the Supreme Court in McCulloch v. Maryland, in retrospect possibly the case most corrosive of federal-state balance.
-- Joerg Knipprath
Very true. The very fact that there was a need to have the Constitution read in public school shows the federal government's involvement in the schools has been a failure. Teaching the Constitution should be a given in teaching citizenship. Another example of how right the founders were in sorting out powers.
Legislators, presidents and judges have to use the Constitution as justification for their actions. The problem is they have not been protecting and defending the constitution as their oath of office demands. Of course when they violate the constitution they are violating our constitutional rights.
PARKING THE PORK
Re: John Tabin's No Porking Zone:
As I read Mr. Tabin's excellent article the thought struck me that success is all about time. Americans work fast, live fast, and have been programmed to listen for probably not more than 30 seconds to anything. We take less vacation time, less sick time and live life for less time than most of our modern neighbors. Now we have been attacked by a foe possessing the same zeal for murdering Americans that Hitler had for murdering Jews: all of us must die.
Now we have Al Gore, appearing to be mentally unstable, wanting to get out of Iraq now, leave Afghanistan now and proclaim our murderous problems solved now. That has an appeal to Democrats -- they hate America anyway; it appeals to Joe Sixpack -- hell his kids are fighting and dying. But most of all it appeals to the murderous Islamic scum that will continue to kill us where we sleep; and kill our mothers, wives and sisters; our children; our religions; and our way of life. Thank you, Mr. Gore. Your talk is exactly what we would hear if we "bugged" those mosques where the new generation of murderers is now being brainwashed and recruited.
Wake Up America. Take the time. The time to win. Not just because winning is what we do, but because if we surrender to immediacy, we may perish from the face of this earth.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Since most road projects proceed out of matching state and federal monies, it will be interesting to see what the states will do with their unused matching portion of the federal money that is converted to hurricane relief. States love pork projects if they see most of the wasted money as being federal. States (except Florida, Tennessee, and California) might more wisely spend what they consider their money.
-- Danny L, Newton
LOOKING TO SIMON
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Simon Wiesenthal, RIP:
In the late 1960s I was studying history at Howard Payne University, a conservative Baptist university, in West Texas. The university possessed a revered Social Studies institute named after Gen. Douglas MacArthur. It also possessed professors who stepped us in WWII history. One such professor introduced our class to a man he revered, Simon Wiesenthal. He told us of the bravery and heroism of this man and how he rooted out people who produced evil that killed so very many. This professor made Mr. Wiesenthal such a legend in my heart and mind that over the years I would look in newspapers to see his current findings.
It was with great sadness I heard he passed. I am sure he caused many to be reckoned with here on earth, who otherwise would have lived anonymous and undeserving lives. May Mr. Wiesenthal be blessed this day in Heaven.
-- Beverly Gunn
Great tribute to Simon Wiesenthal. Indeed a great man has passed from our midst and a true believer in justice. Without him and people like him, the horror that occurred in Nazi Germany would only be a footnote in history. The perpetrators would have all gone free, with no one to hunt them down as he did. Thank you.
-- Pete Chagnon
Re: Lawrence Henry's A Reader's Lament:
Please say it ain't so! Can you try any one of the following three to jumpstart your reading blues?
1. Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King. I could not put this down. A true, harrowing tale of one's worst fears coming to life. No Hollywood horror picture or faux tale like "Papillion" can even come close. This also puts to rest any notion that Islam's hatred of the West is a recent event. It's a way of life going back hundreds of years.
2. J.R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar: A Memoir. Though the author is younger than you, I think you'll identify with parts of this wonderful book.
3. The Children's Blizzard written by David Laskin. Please draw your own "disaster bureaucracy" parallels between the Signal Corps of the 1870s and Louisiana state and New Orleans local government of today. Some things never change. Except, of course, for the looting, mayhem and murder that has become acceptable (and necessary) for liberals within the past 50 years.
Good luck. And try some Bobby Flay recipes on that grill in between chapters!
-- Joe Weldon
Juno Beach, Florida
Oh you like mysteries and humor, you have GOT to pick up some of Janet Evanovich's books, start with the first one, One For the Money and work your way thru, great fun and laughs. The only problem I have with her is she just does not write as fast as I can read.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s Why So Glum?:
Three words for you: spending, illegal immigration.
Believe what you want but I intend to send a message in the coming elections, and will continue to do so until these two issues are dealt with. I will NOT vote for Republicans unless they stop spending like Democrats and start defending our borders from invasion. I would rather hasten the demise of this country by voting for Democrats than have it drawn out by voting for Republicans. At least by destroying this country we will have a chance at reform, even if it means a revolution.
I voted for Republicans because they are supposed to be fiscally conservative. They have proven themselves to be only barely better than Democrats. Expanding the size of the federal government by 33% does NOT make me happy! Democrats tax and spend. Republicans borrow and spend. Democrats hurt me. Republicans hurt my children.
Republicans are supposed to be tough on defense. Then why isn't anyone protecting our borders? They are more interested in saving businesses money than protecting our culture and our people. If the War on Terror requires us to give up civil liberties, then why are our borders still open?
Believe what you want sir, but I think the Republicans had better get ready for some losses. If anything saves them from defeat, it will be the fringe left. Better hope that Howard Dean and his crew stick around because that is the ONLY thing the GOP has going for them right now. As for me, I despise the Democrats. But I despise betrayal even worse. Right now, I feel VERY betrayed.
Good day to you,
-- Bob Martyn
Although Texas experienced a category 2-3 hurricane (Rita) on Saturday, there is some very good Texas news that you may not know about: Texas was the first state to warn women that prior IAs (Induced Abortions) are linked to higher risk of CEREBRAL PALSY (CP). Details about this are in the Appendix. The key article that Dr. Martha Garza (Texas) used to convince the Texas Dept. of Health about the APB (Ab. Premature Birth) risk was a 2003 piece by myself and Dr. Byron Calhoun. (http://www.jpands.org/vol8no2/rooney.pdf ) Premature birth is an accepted risk factor for CP. (Texas also warns about 'ABC' (Ab. Breast Cancer)). Two medical doctors and I estimate that prior IAs cause over 1,000 U.S. cases of CP in newborn yearly.
At some point the female senator from New York will have to choose between supporting IA quackery and protecting babies from birth defects like CP.
-- Brent Rooney
Research Director, Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition
If this is the best defense for Bush that R. Emmett can mount, Bush is "done for." Bush, just another Repubocrat or RINO.
-- Sandy Usher
SPECIOUS OR SPACIOUS?
Re: David Hogberg's Endangered Specious Acts:
I read this article yesterday and was interested in not only Hogberg's position but the whole matter of the Courts, government, endangered species, and the supposed right of possession of personal property with the (used to be) implied freedom of use thereof.
The Republican Party has supposedly been advocating for LESS intrusion upon us civilians but yet here is one who is proposing MORE, all in the name of compensation for restricting our freedom of use of our property. His concept has great merit in what it proposes to do for conservation and the preservation of species. In fact, it resembles what some private organizations, such as Nature Conservancy, have been accomplishing for several decades. Perhaps the federal governmental agencies could "suggest" to the owners of "sensitive properties" that they participate in the programs of these NGOs. Most counties and states give property tax reductions for conservation lands. The feds should encourage more of this "local" incentive but be less involved on the "personal" level.
The evidence stated in this article illustrates that enticement (compensation) under CRP is way better than confrontation under ESA but I'm not sure that it should be administered solely by the feds. You know how they can get. And a tax funded CRP administered only by an NGO would not be a good idea either.
We citizen property owners should continue to reprimand the Supreme Court for its decision on Kelo v. New London! I sincerely hope that the legislation in Congress is enacted to reverse and forevermore forbid such a blatant land grab by "the rich and influential" and their local political cronies. But then who should make final decisions in cases regarding endangered species lands and the private landowners of such? Should eminent domain be valid for these cases? I don't know. Are we trying to play God and in doing so violating Darwin's survival of the species? Even I have trouble trying to arrive at an answer to that.
I just want to thank Ben Stein for his support of the president of the United States. We need more citizens to stand up and be counted for the good that has been done as well. I have to agree that if the people of this great nation would spend one half as much of their time trying to find good and do good we would not have the problems we currently have. It seems as if everything that happens under the sun is blamed upon this good man. It is time we pray for him and our nation and start working together.
Please continue to write your great articles. I just wish there were more like you.
-- Jim Cumberland
Re: P. David Hornik's A Tale of Two Cities:
P. David Hornik's insight into Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and how the two projected images from those cities are competing for the heart of Israel, is both acutely observed and beautifully delivered -- not to mention very timely.
-- Jay D. Homnick
North Miami Beach, Florida
Re: Reid Collins's Stop Already :
Are you kidding? I'm 55 and I barely remember her.
-- Howard Hirsch
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