Bible verse shouldn’t have been moved
I live in Greeneville but enjoy reading the Knoxville News Sentinel each morning. Once again our elected officials have disregarded the majority who elected them and bowed to the wishes of a small minority. In relocating the Bible verse from its place in the Knoxville Safety Building, they have once again shown their lack of knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. The Establishment Clause they like to cite simply states that Congress shall make no laws establishing a religion. That’s it. In this case, as well as the others that so often make the news, Congress has not enacted any law. Anyone, including the government and its many semi-related branches, as well as any individual, is free to practice Christianity or any other religion. All of us are free to show our faith in a reasonable way.
As for the case law that is also used as an excuse, it is unconstitutional by definition and cannot be legal. The U.S. Constitution expressly forbids the courts from enacting laws. That is left only to Congress. Judges who try to force their opinions on us as law are guilty of misconduct in office and should re removed by the Senate. Our senators need to do their duty for those who elect them and protect our Constitution. Good citizens, if we don’t stand up for our freedoms now, it won’t be long before we will not be able stand up for them.
Bill Nance, Greeneville, Tenn.
Clause doesn’t authorize health care
In my recent letter to the editor, I stated that health care is not authorized by the Constitution. A recent rebuttal says that it is allowed under what is commonly called the General Welfare Clause. Although politicians have been using this clause for the last 60 years to justify government overreach, that was never intended by the Founders. In Federalist No. 41, James Madison specifically addresses the General Welfare Clause and calls it absurd to misconstrue it to give a grant of power.
Joseph Story, an early Supreme Court justice, in his definitive work “Commentaries on the U.S. Constitution,” wrote: “If the clause, ‘to … provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,’ is construed to be an independent and substantive grant of power, it not only renders wholly unimportant and unnecessary the subsequent enumeration of specific powers; but it plainly extends far beyond them, and creates a general authority in Congress to pass all laws, which they may deem for the common defence or general welfare. Under such circumstances, the Constitution would practically create an unlimited national government. The enumerated powers would tend to embarrassment and confusion; since they would only give rise to doubts, as to the true extent of the general power, or of the enumerated powers. …the Constitution declares, that the powers of Congress shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretensions to a general legislative authority. Why? Because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd, as well as useless, if a general authority were intended.”
To continue using this “absurd” argument truly shows the lack of constitutional knowledge in the general public.
Ray Morgan, Lenoir City
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Better Deal program sounds familiar
Are the Democrats now stooping to plagiarism with the introduction of their “Better Deal” program as a way to save their party and America? Plagiarism is defined as “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.” There have been several prominent Democrats on TV lauding this “Better Deal” program that they believe will reach middle America and get them some votes back they lost in the last election when their emphasis was on having the government pay for almost everything. Now they are pushing a better health care program; lower taxes; more control within the states; a reformed immigration policy, etc.
Aren’t these the same things the Republicans and Donald Trump brought to the voters in our last election that resulted in a overwhelming defeat for the Democrats? From my viewpoint, this Better Deal program is sheer plagiarism. It would be refreshing to see Republicans and Democrats do the job they were elected to do rather than spend their time denouncing any ideas the other party has put up for consideration.
Hank Miller, Kingston
McCain praised for seeking common ground
I have seen and heard condemnations of U.S. Sen. John McCain for having voted to put Republican health care plan up for debate. He coupled this with fervent condemnation of listening to right-wing radio and TV demagogues and a clarion call to both sides to work together to find compromise.
Virtually all media coverage on health care bills focuses on whether enough Republican votes can be found to dismantle the current system, as if no proposal on earth could be found that would attract Democrats’ votes. Of course, that was Mitch McConnell’s scheme when he prevented public discussion and excluded even Republican senators from drafting the health care replacement. It has been this way since President Barack Obama first proposed a health care plan modeled on the plan from a former Republican governor of Massachusetts. When McConnell voiced opposition, his declared purpose was to ensure that Obama serve only one term. So he did everything possible to keep Republicans from seeking any common ground at all on virtually anything in the hope that this would cripple Obama’s re-election, even blocking a centrist Supreme Court nomination for a judge Republicans formerly welcomed.
McConnell failed to prevent Obama’s re-election, but his absolutist Republican ideologue allies funded by Koch brothers’ billions have tried and sometimes succeeded in blocking, obstructing and undermining the expansion of Medicare, even – as in Tennessee – against the support of our Republican governor.
I have not always been in agreement with McCain, but I do support his call to debate, work across party lines, find common ground and produce a better, more affordable health care plan for all Americans than the vicious, intransigent, heartless and spineless calls to reduce, eliminate, undercut and destroy health care for all but the very rich.
Jeff Mellor, Knoxville
Who would want to be president?
It continues to baffle me how people can criticize the president based on the words of others without any knowledge of the source. I am not saying a person should not be critical of the president but that such criticism should be based on facts. No one is perfect, but, for example, to blame the president for issues controlled by Congress isn’t fair and not what the writers of the Constitution had in mind with the three separate branches of government.
So let’s all take a deep breath and then get involved with our government by letting our Congress and president know our desires, rather than writing letters to the editor and stirring people up over matters without providing a solution. It’s said that we elected government officials to represent us, not some political party. Let’s work on a solution through those we elected, and let’s demand a conclusion be presented on investigations that have run for more than a year, wasting our representatives’ time and our tax dollars.
Jack Hall, Loudon
Instead of blue or red, aim for purple
From the letter “Uranium Processing Facility huge waste of money,” I learned that U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is an apologist for a facility that will cost “no more” than $6.5 billion. I immediately set out to find how much a billion is. I discovered that our former secretary of education is defending a budget for uranium processing that would fund the Knox County Schools (with an annual budget of $471 million) for more than 13 years. There are approximately 60,000 minds to work with each year in the schools. If we educate our children to be thoughtful, well-prepared problem solvers, we might have hope that their minds would be the defense we need.
Of course, we’ll have to raise these students to be purple. Blue or red do not work well. The blue and red people do a lot of finger pointing and belly aching. If you don’t believe me, check out U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan’s Jr.’s column where he states the League of Women Voters is an arm of the Democratic Party. The red and blues don’t seem to have figured out that it’s not the other person or group but the inability to communicate on both sides of the aisle that is the problem.
Down with uranium, up with the cranium, and let’s color them purple.
Ann Hake, Knoxville
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