President Obama placed his hand on the Bible not once, but twice, and swore to uphold the Constitution. But he again will utilize executive orders, trumping Congress, as the preferred instrument of hope and change. That steps outside the boundaries of the president’s constitutional authority.
The perfection of the Constitution lies in the checks and balances of power among the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Obstructionism, as the president describes any political opinions that differ from his own, is part of the machinery of a healthy representative republic. If the executive branch decides to arbitrarily change or ignore existing law to fulfill a political agenda, that is a dictatorship, not a democracy.
If we look back at the last five years, the Bill of Rights has been, and continues to be, put under assault. From National Security Agency spying, to the Affordable Care Act, to the Internal Revenue Service scandal, our freedom as Americans is slowly being whittled away.
The Constitution also has a provision to remove a president guilty of treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors. Misconduct would include abuse of authority, intimidation, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty and refusal to obey a lawful order.
Citizens may formulate their own opinions on President Obama’s behavior and whether it fits with any of the actions above. I think it is time for the House of Representatives to exercise its power under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution. The future of the United States depends on it.
A country of too many guns
During the 2012 election season, I saw a yard sign that said, “I miss the America I grew up in.” I have thought about that sign, and on Saturday the meaning became clear.
On that day, the front page of the newspaper showed police staging a training session, with weapons drawn, in an empty school (“School officers prepare for worst”).
I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s and walked six blocks to a Catholic school. The only thing I feared was the sister’s ruler.
Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong with the current state of affairs? I grew up being told that this was the leading country of the world.
And I guess that’s still true if we count the number of guns owned by individuals, the number of dead from gunshots each year and the number of murders by guns.
We have had more deaths by guns then military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. I guess that says we and our children are safer in a war zone.
It also says we need to wake up and stop pandering to the National Rifle Association and millionaire gun manufacturers.
Young visitor to Peoples Hospital
Reading the articles on Akron General Medical Center’s history, I remembered a feature story by Helen Waterhouse on my late grandfather, Ralph Walters.
Fondly called “Grandpappy” by fellow Peoples Hospital employees, he ran the boiler room for 20 years. At age 78, he was still shoveling coal into the fire to generate steam heat.
When our family would come from Philadelphia to Akron to visit, he’d proudly take me to his workplace. As a child, I was awed by all the unfamiliar, loud noises, the heat, fires and gauges.
After my tour, as an added treat, he would take me in hand for another awesome sight, the tiny newborns behind the nursery window.
Thank you for evoking a wonderful memory and for Akron General’s 100 years of service to our community.
Unfit to regulate
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is still expanding the list of retailers carrying meat unfit for human consumption to Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and 970 locations in California alone. About 8.7 million pounds were shipped through 2013 by Rancho Feeding Corporation of Petaluma, Calif.
The recall comes in the wake of the USDA’s new “inspection” program that allows the meat industry to increase the speed of processing lines and replace federal inspectors with plant employees.
According to the USDA inspector general, this has resulted in partial failure to remove fecal matter, undigested food and other contaminants that may contain deadly E. coli and listeria bacteria.
Traditionally, the USDA has catered more to the interests and profitability of the meat industry than the health and safety of American consumers. Consumer interests come into play only when large numbers of us get sick. Having the USDA protect consumers is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.
The Obama administration should reallocate responsibility for all food safety to the Food and Drug administration. In the meantime, each of us can assume responsibility for our own safety by switching to the rich variety of soy-based meat products offered by our favorite supermarket.
Core problem for education
I will home school my children before I allow the schools in my area to infiltrate my children’s minds with garbage and low standards of education.
Common Core will dumb down education, collect data on kids and their families and leave American kids behind in the global economy.
Since Washington politicians started running our schools, costs have exploded for taxpayers and kids’ test scores have decreased.
Standards of a whistleblower
The psychology behind whistleblowers is that people blow the whistle on issues that strongly contradict their moral standards. The converse may also be true. When we witness a crime or unethical behavior and decide to look the other way, we are no better than the perpetrators in terms of morality, even though we’ve not violated any laws.
Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest U.S. presidents, had a high moral standard in his evolving view of African-Americans. Metaphorically, he had the personality of a whistleblower because he just couldn’t look the other way while slavery was taking place under his watch.
As we celebrate Black History Month, and as we reflect on the injustices that still persist, I think Abraham Lincoln set the standards for us to emulate. Let’s all be whistleblowers on social injustices.
Explore nature and existence
This is my response to the Feb. 18 article “Area folks add voices to debate on Darwinism.” I am pleased that someone has actually decided to craft a film that analyzes both sides of the creation and evolution arguments.
Too often, in social media and society in general, each side of the debate aims to defeat the other, showing the maturity level of a toddler. There is nothing wrong with questioning different theories in a productive way.
It seems all that people ever want to do is win the argument, rather than think critically and define things. In college, we were taught to analyze different theories on why we as humans think the way that we do.
Religion, philosophy and scientific theories aside, the question of nature and existence is one of the most profound mysteries of the human narrative. This topic needs to be unpacked and studied accordingly to promote good discussion.
Antony Thomas is doing some interesting things questioning evolution, with diverse perspectives, especially with his focus on local Christians of different socioeconomic backgrounds.
I am happy to see that reasonable discussion is being promoted here. People should be able to relax and enjoy this truly thought-provoking subject.
In the fast pace of modern society, people in general do not enjoy discussion that much anymore. In the great story of mankind’s history and future, arguments just become noise. In the end, we should spread love, not promote hatred.