Secret police on American soil?
Portland appears to be an experiment for using unidentified security forces. Reports of citizens being picked up off the streets smacks of a dictator's secret police roaming the streets. I want to know if arrests are being made, if Miranda rights are being read at the time of arrest and if legal representation is present before any questioning.
Homeland Security and Border Patrol was never intended to be the president's personal police force. And there is no valid reason for any federal service to operate unidentified. If they really are intended to protect federal property, all the more reason for them to be identified as such. And I want all national news services to record and ask every federal senator and representative on the record what they are going to do about the use of a secret police force on American soil.
Lookout Mountain, Georgia
Proud to support local journalism
I've subscribed to the printed New York Times for a few years and recently started subscribing to the printed Times Free Press (based on the great in-depth reporting of local news). So I was attracted to the story on the front of last Sunday's Perspective section discussing the cancel culture at the Times (mostly because of the history with the Chattanooga Times).
Regardless of my thoughts on Michael Goodwin's commentary, I was thrilled to see an editorial response from both the Times and the Free Press — both discussing the legacy and history of the other. A great discussion, informative and thought provoking. It adds to the uniqueness of the TFP and reaffirms my decision-making in subscribing to this newspaper.
More importantly, however, it adds to the legacy, relevance and meaningfulness of the TFP to give the news impartially, without fear or favor. I'm proud to support local journalism.
Yes to discretionary: Give us all $100,000
I've changed my mind. I'm now for the discretionary spending program with one minor change. That would be to also give every citizen in the county $100,000. After all, aren't we citizens as deserving as our humble commissioners?
Trump's performance is abysmal; out he goes
Trump has consistently stated and demonstrated his disregard and rejection of free speech, a free press and several other provisions of the Constitution.
Trump does not believe in a free press, regarding it as "fake news," stating in a meeting with Gen. Mattis on Oct. 23, 2018, that reporters should be executed.
The U.S. attorney for the Lower District of New York was fired by Trump with indictments threatening him. This clearly was obstruction of justice, the same charge made in the Mueller investigation.
Trump publicly calling on China to support him in the forthcoming presidential campaign was further confirmed by John Bolton, who reported hearing him make this same request of the Chinese president. Some will view this as treasonous.
Trump continues his long standing support of Putin even after disclosure of Russian bounties paid to the Taliban to kill our troops in Afghanistan. He has shown no interest in protecting those sent in harm's way.
Anyone still without doubts of Trump should read Mary Trump's new book in which she said her Uncle Donald was a dangerous narcissistic sociopath, while also reporting family members saying Trump is a "dead beat," and a "clown."
Calling on our 'better angels' now
In our current social upset, it stresses me to see many, maybe a majority, are in a sweat to place the blame on someone or the other. It's deeper than that. You will say it's in our nature and limited understanding. That's true, but there's more, I think.
As Jesus left the temple for the last time (in Matthew chapter 23), with anguish he said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone them that are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not! Even so, you outwardly appear righteous ... Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the tombs of the prophets ... and say, 'If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Fill up then the measure of your fathers.'"
And so, here we are, in a world of turmoil, hate and violence.
Can we do better? Yes, but only if "our better angels" are unshackled by an infusion of Jesus' love.
Constitution draws from moral people
Reacting to a "Pastor Bo" article, a letter writer said that context matters. "Pastor Bo" should not, apparently, have assumed the Constitution "was made for only a moral and religious people." Why? Because John Adams was a rationalist, and the Constitution depends upon human reason, not God. Well, as far as it goes, that's context. But it doesn't go far enough.
The enlightenment of the 17th-18th centuries borrowed heavily from the moral and religious sphere that had shaped Western culture and which, in turn, had been shaped by biblical principles. These include respect for life, justice, and clarity regarding good and evil. Man's fallen nature, unrestrained, tends to disorder, moral chaos and meaninglessness. The framers of the Constitution, in appealing to reason, knew all this about human nature. (More ought to know today).
A full context points up that enlightened moral reasoning does not arise from a merely rational and materialistic basis. As C.S. Lewis said, "a stream ... [cannot] rise higher than its own source." The capital of biblical principles, whether acknowledged or not, underpins our culture and heritage.
Thus, the Constitution obtains from and implies meaning to "a moral and religious people."
Gov. Lee fiddling while state suffers
Would someone please take Gov. Bill Lee's fiddle away from him?
Silence deafening; does Mekhi matter?
"14 killed in Chicago, among them a 3-year old boy and a 13-year old girl ...," said the TV headline reader. Guessing each of these victims had a name, I found the story online. I scrolled past the headline and something about "another violent weekend in Chicago." I stopped at the picture of a baby boy named Mekhi James. I felt rage ... rage that black lives matter when murdered by a policeman but not when murdered by a gang-banger. The silence is deafening. When will protests begin? Riots? Garbage cans on fire? Windows broken? Where are the talking heads on cable? Where are the clergy? Where are elected leaders? So black lives really don't matter unless they serve a political purpose?
Shame on me for not learning the names of other young victims like Mekhi. Shame on people of faith for doing nothing radical to prevent this. Shame on politicians who have yet to mention Mekhi by name. Shame on all of us for allowing this to become commonplace. Surely, in a nation of almost 330 million humans with brains there is one who holds the key to stopping this ... surely. Mekhi's life matters.
Dr. James D. Wilkins