- Your Voice
Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press. That, of course, is from the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment. We, the people, have several inalienable freedoms and rights and among them is the freedom of the press. This newspaper is an example of that freedom of the press. This column is an example of freedom of the press. My blog, which I post weekly, is an example of freedom of the press. As a free citizen of this great country I enjoy the freedom to express myself in this newspaper or on the internet. Letters to the editor in all newspapers are an example of freedom of the press.
I remember when I first heard about drugs. I’m not talking about the drugs your doctor administers when you are sick, but instead the drugs that are sold on the streets and shot up in dark alleys and flop houses. Understand, this was the fifties and drugs had not become the huge problem they are today. I was naive, of course. It occurred to me that only a moron would give themselves a shot when they didn’t have to. I thought nobody was that stupid. Well I was wrong. It turns out that many, many people are that stupid.
Did you know that 98 State Legislators from 32 different states met in December in Mt. Vernon, Va. to discuss the possibility of the states calling for a “Constitutional Convention” for the purpose of amending the US Constitution? To remind you of high school American History, our constitution can be amended by a two thirds vote in Congress and then ratified by three fourths of the states. But you may not remember that according to Article Five of our constitution, if two thirds of the states call for a “Constitutional Convention” they can make amendments to the Constitution with the ratification of three fourths of the states without the involvement of Congress. Neither the Congress nor the President can stop it or do anything about it. The amendments then become law.
Let me tell you about Larry. I met Larry in 2009 when I was researching a column about WWII veterans. He looked for all the world like the eight-plus decades of life he had experienced. But, there was a twinkle in his eyes. Even though his body bent under the pressure of his years and his toils, he was a man with a mission. I will share with you as he shared with me.
So the NAACP is upset over the jury’s finding in the George Zimmerman trial. They have even gone so far as to ask the US Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman. Eric Holder is upset. He is out and about trying to stir up trouble.
How much would you charge for your legs? How about your arms or your eyesight or hearing. Then after we had made a deal for these body parts and functions, how long would you wait for payment? One year? Two years? How about five years or even longer?
HOW AND WHY?
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard about the young football player from Notre Dame who has now divulged that he had been duped by an online relationship for some three years. According to the latest version of the story, he never actually met this young lady who was supposed to be his girlfriend but had a torrid love affair with her through cyberspace. She is supposed to have died of leukemia and he used that tragedy to make himself a better player. Some have opined that he really used this story for publicity and to make his stock go up in the Heisman Trophy selection. Whatever.
Grandpa, Grandpa, Tommy told me there wasn’t any Santa Claus. He said it was just your Mommy and Daddy. Well, I asked, what do you think? No Grandpa, I want you to tell me.
Originally called “Armistice Day,” “Veterans Day” became a federal holiday in 1938. Pres. Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as a day of celebration and remembrance of veterans of our military. This then is a tribute to military veterans everywhere.
I just finished watching the Little League World Series. I have seen some amazing baseball. It is hard to imagine that these are twelve and thirteen year old youngsters. They emulate their heroes and their champions. They adopt the mannerisms of the great stars of the game. Every now and then, though, their youthfulness comes out. They revert to their true age and play like twelve and thirteen year old kids. When that happens, one sees errors. One sees batting mistakes, base running errors, and blown calls by the umpires. But I have also witnessed some of the most entertaining baseball I have ever seen. I’m torn as I watch, though. On the one hand I enjoy watching the little kids play their hearts out and on the other hand it breaks my heart when I see one of them make a mistake that ultimately costs them a game. It invariably leads some of them to tears. Such is life and such is Little League baseball. Whoever said that there is no crying in baseball surely didn’t mean to include Little League.
Today I am ingesting and digesting the Court’s decisions. I am frankly both surprised and disappointed with John Roberts. He, in my opinion, basically re-wrote a law he was only supposed to judge. I am hearing all the spin from both sides of the argument and it is deafening. But I am not a seer. I cannot determine what the future holds any more than anyone else. I can only offer my thoughts and opinions.
It is pretty obvious that “Big Labor” suffered a “big defeat” in the Wisconsin recall election. It pleased me, but I thought I would do some investigation to see if I was justified in my satisfaction with the results. I went to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to learn who is a union member and how many of them there are.
Many states, including Arizona, have been trying to institute drug testing for individuals applying for welfare and/or unemployment benefits. Who could object to that? Employers today commonly require drug testing for employees. Why shouldn’t the state? I personally have had to be drug tested for jobs in the past, as I am sure you have. Even though I am not now nor have I ever been a drug user, that did not matter. All employees and prospective employees had to experience the inconvenience of the drug test. This was the new normal.
I am not completely sure where I stand on the issue of government-controlled health insurance. Being a senior citizen, and a veteran, most of my healthcare needs are taken care of by the government. Since I have a military service connected disability, I receive even more complete coverage, and the VA does an excellent job of taking care of me. Let me share with you an experience, which caused me some concern however.
I was raised in a much simpler time, the 40s and 50s. My father worked and my mother stayed home and cared for her children. Life was also safer then. As very young kids we went everywhere on our bicycles, never worrying about the problems we face today. There was right and there was wrong. It was very clear. No nuance. There was very little gray area. On those occasions when we broke the rules, there was sure and certain punishment. Perhaps some of the problems of today existed then, but we never knew about them.
I was recently sent an e-mail which was a quiz covering all of the Presidential candidates. Various campaign issues and positions were offered by unidentified candidates, and I was supposed to select the position which most closely matched my own. The positions ran the gamut from abortion to foreign policy to domestic issues. When all of my picks of the various candidates’ positions were tabulated, the computer then advised me of the candidate which most closely resembled my thinking. The computer’s choice was not my choice. Neither was the second or third pick. That, of course, is because the computer could not reject candidates, which I would reject based on their positions with which I totally disagree.