Actually, Wall Street protesters do have purpose
The Family Foundation's Martin Cothran rolls out some heavy cultural artillery (nihilism, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky's The Possessed) in the course of waxing nostalgic about the 1960s protesters ("Nostalgic for a time when protests had purpose, power," Oct. 14).
At least, he says, those protesters, unlike today's, knew what they were against
Nostalgia is not a luxury available for some people who recall when kids like me were forced to pick up a rifle and march off into the jungle. to kill and be killed, on missions just as useless as French ships shelling the African interior in Conrad's Heart of Darkness (see, others can also play this game).
Back in the day, of course, Cothran's outfit would have been front and center in the braying choruses denouncing the "filthy, immoral, cowardly, pinko hippies" who don't understand that if we don't stop the commies in Asia they'll be in California, and who don't remember that appeasement didn't stop Hitler, etc., etc.
Given their way, these people would have prolonged the war and gotten more humans killed.
Today, they don't see the causes of the Wall Street protests because they don't want to. They ignore irrefutable facts such as the drastic increase in income inequality in the past decade, and they blame the problems caused by the mortgage and derivative criminals on the people trying to fix those problems.
Today's protests are not complicated. Reactionaries reminiscing about the better old days they would have hated are a symptom of the self-imposed blindness the protesters are against.
Michael T. Jones
Anwar al-Awlaki was a gifted and prominent speaker who the Pentagon invited to lunch after 9/11 when reaching out to Muslims. The Washington Post had him host a chat about Muslim holidays.
But as the United States attacked Muslim countries this decade, he began to argue that Muslims had the right to fight back.
The U.S. government painted Awlaki as a terrorist mastermind. Awlaki was never charged with any crime. The government claimed he had an operational role in al-Qaida but never produced any evidence.
Put simply, President Barack Obama ordered the murder of an American citizen on the foreign soil of a neutral country without due process, without bringing any charges or without a trial.
This gangland-style killing makes a charade of our electoral process. Americans may have gone along with tough talk to assassinate Osama bin Laden, but do they support a president's right to murder one of our citizens?
This opens the door to targeting for summary execution any activist or so-called extremist who criticizes government policy. Who can agree to that if we are in no imminent danger? Who'd vote for letting the government ignore our legal system to murder an American citizen and then boast about it?
If presidents declare we are always at war, hiding behind the secrecy of the massively overfunded security apparatus, they claim the power to target any citizen who speaks out.
Needless to say, this is a deadly precedent for all Americans.
Savings in DNA
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is often found on — or in — the body of a rape or rape-murder victim.
Using DNA evidence of an alleged criminal, compared with the national list of convicted criminals, can eliminate false arrests and imprisonment, unnecessary court and prison time, wrong convictions and death sentences and many appeals.
Expert witnesses may be official or independent DNA experts, prevailing against cross-examination, again saving court time and expense. DNA evidence cannot interfere with other facts. State budgets could be eased by preventing false leads, or testimony, some appeals and wasted court time.
Sen. Everett Dirksen may have said something like "save a million here, a million there, soon you're talking about real money."
Rex J. Phillips Jr.
The Republicans in Washington are against raising taxes on the wealthy because the wealthy finance their campaigns.
Those on Social Security and the poor, on the other hand, are of no benefit to them. So if they keep cutting their income and benefits, maybe they will just crawl off somewhere and disappear.
Social Security is not an entitlement program; we and our employers paid into it all our working lives. If you want to talk about an entitlement program how about these politicians' huge pensions they get after a few years of service, which is totally funded by taxpayers. They should be required to live off Social Security like everyone else.
These mass protests that are spreading all over the United States should tell the people in Washington that we have had enough of the self-centered type of government in Washington today. God bless America.
Apparently, New York Times columnist Joe Nocera has joined the legions of pundits expressing concern over our state of bitter partisanship by launching bitterly partisan arguments about who started it. I'm not sure this is helpful.
At any rate, Nocera blames the partisanship on the fight over Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination, a nomination opposed by most Democrats and some Republicans.
He labels as "character assassination" Sen. Edward Kennedy's warning that Bork would force African-Americans back into Jim Crow and women back into unsafe abortions.
But in fact, Bork had been a long-standing and perfectly open opponent of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, calling the law one of "unsurpassed ugliness." He had said a proposed 1963 law requiring owners of restaurants to serve black people would infringe on the freedom of the owners and other patrons.
As for women's rights, Bork's opinions were not limited to Roe v. Wade; in reacting to Griswold v. Connecticut, he defended a law that criminalized contraception.
A second factor in Bork's rejection was his role in the Saturday Night Massacre, President Richard Nixon's order for the executive dismissal of the Watergate prosecutor. Nixon's attorney general and deputy attorney general refused and resigned. Bork complied, letting it be known that he thought the order was quite legitimate.
The problem in this country is not partisanship. It is extremism.
Some Democrats, on their side, are trying to link Mitt Romney's views to Bork's, which is unjustified. Romney, like every candidate, deserves his own non-partisan hearing.
Per CNN, four Republican presidential candidates claim that God gimself told them to run. God actually said, "Run into the wall! Now!"
No self-respecting deity wants to be known as the life coach for Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Son of Sam (yep, he said God told him to shoot those women).
Also, if some wild-eyed wacko stares at the ceiling and mutters, "I understand. I will obey," I call 911 on the way out the door.
Only people like the Rev. Robert Jeffress take it as a heavenly sign to vote for him.