Giving pols what they crave: unlimited power

To the editor:

Why did James Madison waste so much ink? If his intention was to give government unlimited power, all he had to pen was the Commerce Clause.

The courts have time and again used it to give government more and more power, and to sidestep every other part of our Constitution.

In my reading of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, I was always under the assumption the founders were in favor of a small federal government with few enumerated powers. Why else write the 10th Amendment?

Senior Judge Laurence Silberman (U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C.) recently ruled, in essence, that the founders inserted the Commerce Clause into the Constitution to get around the enumerated powers. According to Judge Silberman, government can force us to participate in commerce whether we want to our not. What other products can government now force us to buy, Judge Silberman? If we are in the market for a new car, must we purchase one from Chrysler or General Motors (they are partially owned by government)? Can we be fined if we purchase a Ford?

Although the Supreme Court has rendered thousands of judicial rulings, none will turn out to be more important than the one forthcoming on ObamaCare. It will tell us if the Commerce Clause can be used to give government something politicians have always craved — unlimited power.

Robert Gardner


More victims

To the editor:

Why were Joe Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier fired? The Board of Trustees decided they were the failure in the system for catching sexual predators?

Coaches and even presidents of universities have rights, don’t they? Jerry Sandusky hasn’t even stood trial yet, and he is considered innocent until proved guilty. So how can we assume Mr. Paterno and Mr. Spanier are guilty?

I am a retired teacher. On one occasion, I reported to the guidance counselor a case of child abuse — a child being beaten by a drunken father. The child spent his nights hiding in the woods. I went back to guidance a week later and asked what happened. I was told social services already knew about it and would do nothing, as usual.

Should I have called the police? How about going over there in the dark with a loaded gun to perform vigilante service? Should I have been fired because I didn’t do that?

Child abuse is a heinous crime, but it is no reason to bypass the human rights of the adults who may or may not have tried to report the abuse.

Has anyone wondered if this approach might lead to more cover-ups? After all, if you never report anything, you can never be blamed for failure to report, right?

Let’s start thinking smart about how to address crimes and victims. It may well be that Penn State has produced two more victims — Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier — while fixing nothing.

Paula Carnes

Las Vegas

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