According to the environmental protection agency 290 million tires are worn out, discarded and replaced each year. Isn’t it strange millions of tons of rubber can disappear from hundreds of millions of tires each year and the EPA doesn’t have a clue as to the whereabouts? Do you?
-- Travis L. Middleton
Colossal portraits of Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson hung in the elementary school I attended, near an image of Mary and baby Jesus. Once, these images would maintain the highest degree of legacy as long as the world lasted, but times have changed.
Coinciding with the month of their birth, local historic organizations will honor the memory of Lee (Jan. 19) and Jackson (Jan. 21). The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. has memorial stained-glass niches and inscriptions honoring these men. Jackson is described therein as walking “humbly before his Creator, whose Word was his guide,” and Lee as a “servant of God, leader of men, general-in-chief of Confederate Armies, whose compelling sense of duty, serene faith and unfailing courtesy mark him for all ages as a Christian soldier without fear or reproach.” Absent are hints that they fought for a controversial cause. The window honoring Jackson depicts him reading the Bible under the Confederate battle flag.
The niches were proposed in 1931 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and dedicated in 1953, when Americans had almost stopped thinking of these men as Southerners. Lee and Jackson seemed absolved of sectional politics, ensconced into the American political landscape and wrapped in a spiritual mantle. They were honored in the cathedral, not because they were soldiers, but because they were Christian soldiers. Now, it’s easy to pass judgment on the past. That is not constructive, fair to historical personages, nor useful to us. History should include all.
-- John Wayne Dobson
Black synonymous with crime
When a doctor uses medical data to screen and monitor black adults for cardiovascular diseases because their mortality rate is 30 percent higher than that of white adults it is considered to be beneficial. When a doctor uses medical data to screen and monitor black males for prostate cancer because it’s occurrence is almost twice as common as it is for white men, it is considered to be beneficial. When security forces use historical data to predict that a white women who purchased a round trip airfare ticket with her credit is less of a threat than a young Arab male who bought a one way ticket for cash on the day of the flight they are considered to be using due diligence. When educators use test results and graduation rates to identify failing schools so they can provide additional resources, they are considered to be good managers. When taxicab driver organizations warn drivers, who are mostly black or a minority, not to pick up thuggish customers they are praised for keeping cabbies safe. When pizzeria managers instruct their delivery personnel not to deliver pizzas to high crime areas or to neighborhoods controlled by gangs, they are assumed to be protective of their employees.
When police use data to try to reduce the 80 percent black on black murder rate they are considered to be racist by minority agitators. When police use data to try to reduce the 90 percent black on black crime rate they are considered by social justice mobsters to being overly biased. When police use data to try to reduce the ability of gangs to sell drugs they are considered to being overly aggressive by race mongers. When police use tactics like frisk and search and gun checkpoints they are condemned of not being sensitive of community values by social justice activists.
What do all of these efforts have in common? They are profiling. They are using easily observable physical information and behavioral characteristics to identify a trend or predict a probable occurrence. If individuals do not want the police to use all available tools, how do they expect the police to do their jobs? Do they want the police not to arrest a young black criminal if he resists being arrested and becomes belligerent? Are they willing to live in neighborhoods controlled by drug gangs? Are they willing to tolerate nightly drive by shootings? Are they willing to accept high murder and crime rates?
Police have a responsibility to be aware of their actions. They must not create an environment where people think there are two justice systems. The police know that most blacks are law-abiding. Therefore, they must direct their efforts to the tiny number of individuals who prey on both blacks and whites. And the protesting community must acknowledge that it is this violent minority who have made black synonymous with crime.
-- Jim Costello
Every American should be gravely concerned about President Obama’s apparent disdain for the constitutional principle of separation of powers. In less than 6 years, he’s issued 195 executive orders. That’s 33 percent more than George W. Bush issued in 8 years, and 45 percent more than Bill Clinton dispensed in his two terms.
These numbers may not seem terribly imbalanced, but the tip of the iceberg is always deceiving. President Obama has also issued 198 presidential memoranda, more than any other chief executive. A presidential memorandum has the same effect as an executive order in terms of how agencies in the executive branch of government conduct their business. Of course, “memorandum” sounds much more innocuous than “order.”
Like executive orders, presidential memoranda are usually translated into the Code of Federal Regulations as binding rules for executive agencies. With presidential appointees dictating content, the creative folks who draft the rules transform vaguely worded one-page orders and memoranda into voluminous regulations with meticulously crafted mandates, restrictions, and penalties. The devil is always in the details, and there’s never a shortage of details.
Some will argue that President Obama has been forced to take matters into his own hands because the House of Representatives is stonewalling him. That knife cuts both ways. House Republicans are rank amateurs compared to master obstructionist Harry Reid, who has killed 300 House bills by keeping them off the Senate’s agenda.
As of this writing, President Obama has been in office for 2,158 days. If you do the math, you’ll see that he’s issued an executive order or presidential memorandum every five days, and that includes weekends and holidays. It’s a wonder the poor guy has time to play golf.