High court would serve public, itself by lifting broadcast ban
Justice Samuel Alito's arguments in favor of maintaining the broadcast ban at the U.S. Supreme Court are unconvincing. Allowing cameras into court hearings, he believes, would make his institution "as popular as Congress" and sound bites would "distort what happens during the oral argument." Not true.
The Supreme Court is already experiencing near-record low popularity, in part due to its insistence on preserving the video and live audio ban and abiding by ethical and financial standards that are the most lenient among the branches. Plus, print and online reporters are already using sound bites from court hearings; they're called "quotations."
This issue appeared before then-Judge Alito when he was on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. "We had a debate within our court about whether we would or should allow television cameras in our courtroom," he said at his 2005 Supreme Court confirmation hearing. "I argued that we should do it."
Never miss a local story.
As the justices start hearing cases again next month, Alito's 180-degree turn on cameras should come full circle — for the American public, who expect greater transparency from their government, and for the court itself, which, amidst the rancor elsewhere in Washington, would do well to broadcast its mild yet thought-provoking hearings for all to see.
Fix the Court
Treat nature as you would like to be treated
Kudos to Father John S. Rausch for his excellent op-ed explaining why climate change is a moral issue.
In his book, A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change, Stephen M. Gardiner writes that, although climate change is usually discussed in scientific and economic terms, "the deepest challenge is ethical."
According to Gardiner: "What matters most is what we do to protect those vulnerable to our actions and unable to hold us accountable, especially the global poor, future generations and nonhuman nature."
On his visit to the United States, Pope Francis urged us to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves. The pope also concurred with Gardiner when he asserted that climate change is a problem that should not be left to future generations.
Yet unless we act, we are in danger of leaving them a world that we wouldn't want to live in.
Oak Creek, Wisc.
Alumni Drive new but not improved
Unbelievable is the word that came to mind on my first trip across the "new and improved" Alumni Drive.
Unbelievable that with all of the trees cut down, the space available and the money spent, we still have only one lane of traffic each way.
Unbelievable that we still have that unnecessary light at Barberry Lane. What little traffic there is from this small residential section could use the controlled intersection at Arcadia or go across to Waller.
Unbelievable that Alumni and University drives were not remade to have at least two lanes in each direction with a turn lane in the middle. The new configuration may look good on paper, and I admit it looks better than before, but it is still a bottleneck that should have never existed in the first place. How do you justify servicing the traffic for a 50,000-plus-seat stadium with two-lane roads?
The roundabouts, like the one on Wellington, are too small. More markings should be added to the surmountable curbs in the center. Even during the day in good weather, it is difficult to see where the road ends and the curbs begin.
To borrow from the character Vizzini in The Princess Bride: Inconceivable!
Pope understands the First Amendment
By speaking out about the necessity to protect an individual's right of conscience, the pope spoke with spiritual authority and biblical clarity. The meeting with Kim Davis was arranged by Vatican officials so the pope could personally thank her for her courage and tell her to stay strong. Clearly, Pope Francis understands the U.S. Constitution does not require an individual to forfeit her civil rights in order to be elected or hold public office. His profound statements imply that he read the Supreme Court decision, specifically the part on page 27 which ensures that religions and those who adhere to religious doctrines may continue to advocate that same-sex marriage should not be condoned. Pope Francis understands the First Amendment better than most federal and state lawmakers or the nine justices of the Supreme Court.
His statements related to an individual's right of conscience and religious freedom indicate he strongly supports and advocates that religious liberty be protected as a human right and the failure by any government to protect an individual's right to conscience violates God-given and constitutionally-protected religious freedoms.
Essence of Andrew Moore is humanity
"Amino acids are the essence of life." Those words, spoken in a thick Chinese accent by our biochemistry professor on the first day of medical school in August 1972 at the University of Kentucky, have stuck in my craw ever since. With me in that lecture hall was the future recipient of the 2015 Mohammed Ali Kentucky Humanitarian of the Year Award, Andrew Moore.
I'm not sure if any of my classmates bought into that purely scientific definition of the essence of life, but Moore most certainly did not. His Surgery on Sundays program is now inspiring many others across the nation to embrace the very best tenets of professionalism. His energy and determination were born of a sense of duty and recognition of need. Pick your word — compassion, altruism, charity, sacrifice, even love. They all apply and the sum surely does equal humanity.
I'm still chasing a better definition for the essence of life, and I'm pretty sure that it will more likely be found in a book of poetry than a biochemistry lecture. Meanwhile, I take my full measure of inspiration from the work of my good friend and colleague.
P.S. Andy's wife Kitty, a special education teacher by training, shares all his best traits and no doubt plays an integral role in his endeavors.
Phillip W. Bale, M.D.
Cowardly lion Conway needs to take on clerk
When is Attorney General Jack Conway going to do his job? How long is he going to allow this rogue Rowan County clerk to be in violation of her oath of office, violate others' civil rights, tamper with Rowan County marriage licenses and thumb her nose at Judge David Bunning's order?
Where is his courage? Why won't he stand up for the rule of law, U.S. Constitution, civil rights? How can we trust him to be governor if he is afraid to do his job as attorney general? What statement is he making about his leadership abilities? I am very frustrated by his cowardly-lion behavior.
If Conway continues to avoid doing his job by not appointing a special prosecutor to charge Davis for official misconduct, how can we trust him to make sound, ethical, legal decisions as governor? At this point I certainly cannot.
Obama jive pol with socialist agenda
Once again this president shows phony concern for the horrible shooting of Americans.
While we mourn our dead, he pushes his socialist agenda of anti-constitutional gun control at every opportunity. You can't control mentally ill people.
His own city, Chicago, has one of the strongest gun control laws in the country and it's a cesspool of violence. The city doesn't have police reports of violence up there, instead they have "body count" like we had in 'Nam; every weekend dozens are killed and wounded. So far this year hundreds of black folks have been gunned down by thugs with guns.
How many times has Obama gone to Chicago to show concern for his own local citizens — none. Why? Because there's no political capital to be gained and it illustrates that gun control, as a safety measure, is foolishness.
This guy is a jive politician with an un-American agenda and fake in most of his motivations of concern. In 1771 Edmund Burke stated, "The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse."
Government is now far too big and involved in every facet of our lives; giving unelected bureaucrats control of guns will make government even more dangerous. Fight for your rights.
Gun promoters hide guilt by criticizing Obama
My hat's off to the sheriff who refused to publicize the name of the Umqua Community College shooter. I wish the media and press would do the same when future similar events occur. (If a shoe fits, wear it.)
My disdain to the Gun Owners of America, who try to hide their guilt by cowering behind chiding President Obama, for politicizing the tragedy.
Rigged system, propaganda stifle gun debate
Another mass shooting. Ten seems the final count in this latest episode of Your Second Amendment in Action.
We know little about the shooter, not that it matters. It will do nothing to bring back those 10 young people, nor to prevent the next slaughter.
The problem, as an angry President Obama pointed out, is we lack the political will to dramatically reduce the gun toll in this country.
The experience of many other countries tells us so. But too many politicians take the absolutist position that any gun regulation is an attack on our liberty, that the only solution is to give every person unfettered access to weaponry, a private militia in every household. This is vigilantism reduced to the absurd.
The worst consequence of these repeated mass murders is that we come to accept them as the price we pay to live in this exceptional country.
Exceptional it is, in the madness that allows gun merchants and their propagandists to stifle debate and bribe lawmakers into resisting gun legislation that a clear majority of Americans favor.
Talk about rigging the system. Talk about ersatz democracy. We have it, folks, and it's getting worse by the day.
Robert Emmett Curran
Do your job: Enact reasonable gun laws
The following is a letter we sent to all of our congressional representatives. Maybe others who care will follow suit:
Sen. Ralph Alvarado, Rep. George Brown, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Andy Barr:
Enough is enough.
It is time to enact reasonable gun laws to protect innocent victims from people having no business owning guns.
You are currently not doing your duty to protect these innocent victims.
Every time one of these incidents happens, you are as responsible for the death of the innocent victims as is the actual perpetrator.
Enough is enough.
Frank and Elsie Harris