Reader Mail

Nice People

Compliments all around -- though Oregon gets rained on. And better watch your Latin.

9.5.02

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WHERE HAVE I BEEN?
My husband emailed me an article on American Prowler, and since I have a million things to do at work and love to procrastinate, I got completely distracted and have been on your site for the last hour (there goes my lunch time...).

I just wanted to write to thank you for what you do. Thank God (literally) that there are smart people writing smart articles about what's really going on in and around our world. I appreciate the wit and detail, the humor and well-versed exposes. Living in Los Angeles, it can get pretty depressing trying to find "like minded" individuals who see through the smoke and mirrors.

Anyway, just a quick note. Sincere thanks for the fabulous website. And -- we'll read on...
-- Deirdre Dickerson

NICE JOB
Re: Lawrence Henry's America on the Eve of War:

Dear Mr. Henry: Just wanted to write and thank you for your recent article about our country and the nice people who live here. It brought tears to my eyes for I too think we are heading for war real soon. I love this country and can't for the life of me understand why we are so hated except for maybe jealousy. How sad. Anyway, thanks for saying the things that I have been thinking. I enjoy your column. May the Lord help this great nation and may we all turn to him for guidance. Thanks for listening.
-- Myrna Petersen
Cedar City, Utah

Lawrence Henry in his entry "America on the Eve of War" claims that decimate was a method of controlling subjugated populations. In fact, it was used to punish the cowardice of a Legion in battle. The Legion was lined up and every tenth man was killed as they went down the line.
-- Joseph R. L. Simkins
Richardson, Texas

CONGRESS IN MIND
Re: Robert A. Levy's reply in Reader Mail's Congress, the President and Habeas Corpus:

The placement of the habeas corpus language in Article I is not necessarily dispositive of the question. Art. I deals not only with the legislative power but also the national power. Art. I section 9, which contains the habeas corpus language also prohibits the granting of titles of nobility by the United States (note not Congress). Section 10 prohibits the states from exercising certain powers that "nation states" would have otherwise.

Storey's opinion and Marshall's dicta are more on point. I always have suspected that Taney's decision in Merriman was as much political as "legal." One should remember that the opinion was rendered when Taney was sitting as a Circuit Court Judge. Further, after Taney's legislative actions in Dred Scott, one should treat all of his opinions with some degree of caution.
-- Charles Horgan

Robert A. Levy replies:
Thanks for your comment. Of course, the "Title of Nobility" clause appears in the same paragraph as a parallel provision requiring congressional consent. So it's plausible that the entire paragraph was crafted with Congress in mind. No matter: the executive power to grant titles of nobility is non-existent, with or without Art. I, sec. 9. In a government of enumerated powers, no power exists unless it is affirmatively granted. Indeed, the "Title of Nobility" clause, even as it applies to Congress, is almost certainly unnecessary. My guess is that it was included out of an abundance of caution to ensure that the legislature would not overreach in carrying out its lawmaking role.

The habeas clause is different. It is, first, a prohibition of power, but then, second, an exception to the prohibition, which could thus be construed as a grant of power. It is not conceivable that the Framers would have conferred habeas power on the executive in such an obtuse manner -- buried in a section of the Constitution that is devoted to the legislature. That's especially true for a power that would permit the executive, unilaterally, to imprison U.S. citizens indefinitely, for any reason, without charges filed, absent judicial recourse of any kind.

By the way, seven of the nine justices thought that Dred Scott should remain a slave. Should we ignore the subsequent legal pronouncements of all seven?

MAHONY MONSTERS
Re: George Neumayr's The Cardinal's Superdome:

Great article and very direct. What is really unbelievable is that people like Mahony, Law and Egan can get to positions of power and are able to maintain themselves in these positions at unbearable monetary and spiritual cost to the Catholic Church and the faithful.

Between these three and many others they have effectively destroyed the Catholic Church for the next 30 or 40 Years.

The Dome (Cathedral) looks more like the "Seven Santini Brothers" moving and storage warehouse on 9th Avenue in New York, which will probably be its end use. I don't want to insult the Seven Santini Brothers. They had a great building.

Thanks for the story.
-- Gene Brennan
Chatham, Mass.

Tell Neumayr his stuff is the aces.
-- Chris Ferrara

Writer Neumayr is certainly entitled to exercise his First Amendment right of free speech. His opinions about the "catholicity" of the new Los Angeles Cathedral are fatuous and slanderous. There is no such thing as one kind of Catholic architecture. The author is one of numerous Catholics who suppose that churches need to be Gothic or Romanesque in style in order to be truly Catholic. This is nonsense.
-- F. Jacks

EVE OF DESTRUCTION
Re: Jed Babbin's Saddam Delendum Esse:

About Mr. Babbin's use of Latin: Actually, Cato said, "Carthago delenda est," which translates as "Carthage is to be destroyed," thus, "Carthage ought to be destroyed." The gerundive plus the present indicative. Not the infinitive of "to be" ("esse") that you supposed. A Latin quibble in an otherwise fine article.
-- J.C. Shea

Not "Carthago esse delendum." It was "Carthago delenda est."
-- Matt Bartle

THE OREGON PICTURE
Re: Bill Croke's Outré Oregon:

I am a 67-year-old native Oregonian who has lived in my beloved state for my entire life. Bill Croke's article on the state of Oregon exactly reflects my own thoughts. I weep at what the liberals have done to this one great and grand state with the aid of the despicable Oregonian newspaper. Portland's mayor, Vera Katz, the state governor, John Kitzhaber, and one of the U.S. senators, Ron Wyden, are prime examples of just how close to the bottom of the political barrel we scrape for elected officials. This trio is a poster group for the tax and spenders. Our state budget is in a shambles because of a host of entitlements paid for by weary and broke taxpayers. The Oregon Education Association-dominated public schools are short changing their students by reducing the number of instruction days because of runaway spending and useless programs promoted by the left. Two of our once prime economies, commercial fishing and logging, are all but history due to the envirowackos' efforts to kill them off. We call these nut cases "watermelons" -- green on the outside, red on the inside. Ding-bat tree sitters cause no end of grief with their stupid, filthy and dangerous activities.

My childhood memories living in northwest Portland during WWII were of a city that was a great place to live. Today, it is a mess and I cannot remember the last time I went downtown. The mayor has waged war against the automobile which began with another liberal former governor and mayor, Neil Goldschmidt. It was Goldschmidt who killed a proposed second east-west freeway and instead gave us our version of the Toonerville Trolley, light rail. So, all east-west traffic is forced onto I-84, which is a very long parking lot in mornings and afternoons. Parking spaces downtown have been either slashed or rates raised to the sky. This not an auto friendly city. The city of Portland is becoming world famous for its outrageous building fees and restrictions. Owners of private property are finding out that they may pay taxes for decades, but they cannot use their property as in many cases it is labeled as a "conservation zone."

Anytime the Portland Police Department enforces the laws, it is slapped down by the mayor and other bureaucrats and activists. After the recent suppression of the riot when President Bush was in town, some have called for the chief to resign. The rioters say that they were "peaceful." This flies in the face of a published photo of a few of them climbing all over a patrol car.

My wife and I have lived in our home for more than 30 years and we have reworked it to our dreams. However, it is up for sale as we can no longer live in an area filled with gangs, illegal immigrants, bums, hobos, crime and declining property values. It began to slide downhill with the completion of the light rail that brought these creeps from downtown out to the suburbs. They can ride the light rail for free until caught by the fare inspectors but they are back again very soon. The city of Portland caters to their needs by squandering taxpayer monies on futile programs and entitlements. This is mirrored on the state level as well. The governor, a former trauma center physician, has pushed through a Hillary Clinton style taxpayer supported state health plan for the poor. The plan has been an utter disaster. Now, the governor wants to balance the state budget on the backs of tobacco smokers with a huge tax increase that the voters are currently voting on.

I could go on for several more pages, but you get the picture.
-- Al Martin
Portland, OR

NOW ANDY
Re: The Prowler's Cuomos Meet the Clintons:

As a member of the American electorate, I've noticed a couple of things about the Clintons.

1. All you need in this country is 50% +1(not even 51%) to get/keep power and get/keep it at all costs.

2. The only people you screw more than your enemies are your friends.

These principles manifest themselves time and time again. They've never cared if they insult the intelligence of the smarter half of the electorate with lies, they don't need them. And what about Vince, Web, Susan, and now Andy?

Why would anyone support them or even want to be a part of their
organization?
-- Howard Wimbrow
Ocean City, MD

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