At What Price Security?
Dupree for President
I find it particularly astounding that a newspaper often associated with unpopular political views and frequently espousing the need to protect minority viewpoints would suddenly advocate the “will of the people” over the rule of law. Certainly anyone can have a difference of opinion with regard to an issue itself, but for you to suggest that simply because an overwhelming majority of the County residents have previously voted for a particular document it should outweigh the legal process as set out under the law is outrageous. It also misses a critical point—that the rule of law and our legal system is precisely the ultimate protection for all of those people.
Additionally, an independent judiciary (free of partisan politics and the threat of removal from office simply because others don’t agree with their decisions) is a critical component to ensuring lasting freedom in our society. Your veiled suggestion that Chancellor Weaver should be removed simply because you disagree with his opinion sounds very much like the calls for judicial “report cards” and Congressional investigations we hear out of Washington politicians every time they disagree with a decision by the Supreme Court. Regardless of how you feel about the Charter issue, the preservation of the rule of law and an independent judiciary are more important.
J. Michael Haynes
My wife and I recently moved to Fountain City. The day we moved in, there was a notice in our mailbox requiring us (the new residents) to place a mailbox at the curb. The street is being converted from front door mailboxes to curbside mailboxes. The post office requires only new residents to make the change in order to ease the burden on long-time residents.
I understand the post office needs to cut corners and save money. I am not complaining about the inconvenience of walking 20 feet to the curb. I observe many people, including Metro Pulse readers, lament the destruction of the walkable fabric of urbanism. People desire a return to that nostalgic way of life.
Developers are often blamed for making our communities un-walkable. Now, as some city governments, Knoxville included, make efforts to encourage walkable neighborhoods, many developers are latching on to New Urbanism to increase their bottom lines. At the same time, the federal government and the U.S. Postal Service have become enemies of urbanism.
At What Price Security?
Our founding fathers would be ashamed of our complacent behavior and willingness to relinquish the freedom for which they fought. Thomas Jefferson believed, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” He recommended a revolution every 200 years to keep the government in check. As for anyone saying they would rather give up some liberty for the security of their family, Jefferson’s response would be “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty.” My favorite quote, in the face of the Patriot Act, however, comes from Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
These were the beliefs of the men who fought for the very freedoms we are willing to give away. They wrote our Constitution and the Bill of Rights in order to protect us from our government. It is never unpatriotic to question our government’s desire to undermine the freedom on which our country was founded. How complacent have we become for any citizen to actually believe that it is our “duty” to trust our president and Congress? Our duty is to every other citizen and assuring that nobody’s rights are stolen. It is not our duty to sit back and believe that as long as it does not affect “me” then I don’t care what happens.
History has proven that maintaining freedom is a constant challenge, as those who govern any country constantly seek more power and control. We aren’t going to willingly hand back our freedom to the government. We must first be convinced that we, or someone we love, will be harmed. If you disagree, then you are labeled unpatriotic and made to feel ashamed. As Edward Burke remarked in the 1700s, “The people never give up their liberty but under some delusion.” Unfortunately, this scenario repeats itself over and over, and the sad truth is that Americans fall for this coercion all too often.
This time, wouldn’t it be great if we all stood together and said no . No, we are not allowing you, the government, to take away any of our rights. We, the people, want you to repeal the Patriot Act that has effectively taken away all of our rights to privacy. We will not allow our phone lines and e-mails to be tapped. As Jefferson warned us, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” He did not mean vigilance just against outside forces, he meant also from our own government. We are lucky that our forefathers didn’t have telephones as they planned the American Revolution.
Dupree for President
Now, we have a fiasco that is worse than the aftermath that would have been had the world-denounced Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba in the early ‘60s succeeded. G.W. Bush’s decision to attack another nation without proper provocation has to be the worst atrocity that America has been into since Viet Nam.
How many people is Hussein supposed to have killed during his 25-plus year reign of terror? Fifteen thousand to 30,000 are the estimates I have heard. How many civilians have been killed since Bush took over Iraq three years ago? Hussein’s numbers are exceeded, but Hussein is the one on trial. If Bush were a Democrat, he would have been impeached many years ago….
Steve Dupree, my hat is off to you for having the balls to speak out to the public against this atrocity and trying to educate the few that will listen. You, sir, are a patriot. My salute to you is: Fighting for peace is like fucking for chastity.
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