Courier Letters to the Editor 8-5-15

Day of shame

Dear Editor

This is in response to Senator Larry Martin’s article in the Courier regarding the Confederate flag. It was very well written. The only problem is Larry and all the other people who voted against the flag are wrong. Larry knows this, and he caved to the[cointent_lockedcontent] pressure.

An old man told me years ago the simplest way to tell right from wrong. “Right” stands on its own and needs no explanation. “Wrong” has to have excuses, and Larry had plenty of those. All politicians have a moral right to represent their constituents, and Larry ignored the wishes of the majority on the flag.

Most politicians who do something wrong try to hide in religion. Larry is no exception. My Bible says “remove not the ancient landmarks which died fathers have set.” It also says “a wise man goes to the right and a fool goes to the left.” God says the people who voted against the flag are fools. The Confederate flag is a Christian symbol. It was based on the cross that St. Andrew was crucified on. How can a Christian be against this Christian symbol?

The people who do the most harm to our Southern culture are not the blacks or Yankees, but our own people. We had a term for them in the War Between the States. They were scalawags. They had them then, and we have them today. To Larry and the rest of the politically correct scalawags the flag means nothing, but to me it’s personal, not political. It should be personal to everyone with a Confederate ancestor. I have great-great-grandfathers at the Old Stone Church, Sharon Methodist, Six Mile, Keowee, Secona and Griffin Baptist churches. I am very proud of all of them — not to mention the uncles and cousins who fought under that flag.

Gov. Nikki Haley, who has no connection to our Southern heritage, sold us out to move up the political ladder. She intends to be vice president or have a cabinet position. She just needed the national recognition, and she received it. The lady who gave the emotional speech against the flag said she was a descendent of President Jefferson Davis lied. The damage was done, and there was no retraction in the media. Sen. Clementa Pinckney, who was murdered in Charleston, voted to put the flag on the Confederate monument 15 years ago. You didn’t see that in the media.

I would like to ask everyone who reads this to answer the following question. When ISIS or the Taliban conquer new territory, the first thing they do is destroy historical artifacts and monuments. The world howls in disbelief and outrage. What is the difference in this and what happened in Columbia? You have people who do not like the flag and are destroying OUR history. The politicians in their infinite wisdom — since they disregarded our wishes — have opened up a Pandora’s Box. The best way to subdue people is by destroying their history.

Jim Bay

Six Mile

Time to reign in federal control

Dear Editor,

A federalist government divides authority between the national government and other governmental units, like states and local governments.

Since its birth, the United States has trended toward a more powerful federal government at the expense of the states, localities and individuals — be it when Alexander Hamilton first advocated a stronger federal government in 1788, Abraham Lincoln used force to prevent states from leaving the Union in 1861, Franklin Roosevelt expanded the government’s role in the economy in the 1930s or Lyndon Johnson introduced a Great Society of welfare programs in 1964. Federal control leaped forward again with Obamacare and gay marriage, as the federal courts over-ruled state legislatures throughout the nation.

Recent expansion of the federal government is alarming, but this is more so, and beyond anything Federalists ever advocated. Today, the national government is aligned with national corporations, national media and national organizations, all pushing a new national order, crushing the rights of states, localities and individuals beneath it. The aim of this New Federalism is to promote a national thought or way of doing things that will dominate not only government affairs, but all facets of life.

For example, gay marriage was pushed by the federal government’s executive and judicial branches, plus organizations like the ACLU, 350 corporations and the national media.

The national media, cable news programs and the national entertainment industry are re-defining what is acceptable and unacceptable “free” speech.

National organizations like Planned Parenthood teamed up with the Supreme Court (Roe v. Wade) and then the U.S. Congress (tax dollar funding) to abort babies on a grand scale, subjugating individual rights and the rights of states to determine their abortion laws.

Heck, the federal EPA is now telling individuals which light bulbs they should screw into their sockets.

The Constitution is no longer looked upon as a contract between the states that created the federal government and restricted it to act on behalf of the states when a unified response or solution was needed. Instead, the federal government with these national entities have worn down constitutional restrictions and used the federal courts to stretch national authority.

The representatives we send to Washington will never reel in the federal government. They no longer represent the states they come from, but instead this national establishment they are part of.

The solution lies in stronger leadership at the state level. State leaders must recognize what is going on, vocalize it and take action.

Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, the legislatures in two-thirds of the states can call for a Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution. This must be done.

The Articles of Confederation had term limits for the representatives the states sent to the federal government. Term limits must be added to the Constitution for senators and House reps. Similar to the Articles of Confederation, the states must be able to recall their representatives as well.

Senate terms should be reduced to four years to make them more responsive to the voters of their state.

Supreme Court justices should no longer serve life terms, but terms of six years, and be term-limited as well.

The federal government is $18 trillion in debt and hence $18 trillion bigger than it should have ever been. A balanced budget amendment must be added.

Such amendments may be enough to re-balance state and federal authority. If not, Article V needs to be modified as well. It should be easier for the states to amend the Constitution and tighten constitutional restrictions that have been stretched. Some mechanism may need to be added where states acting in majority could nullify a federal law they deemed unconstitutional and beyond the federal government’s authority.

The Founding Fathers would have never signed on to the Constitution if they knew the Congress could pass bills, have the President sign them into law and the Supreme Court rubber stamp them, and the states had no formable check on this federal process.

In the late 1700s, the notion existed states could nullify federal laws, and the belief was states could withdraw from the constitutional agreement at any time. Those were two strong counter-balances that kept the federal government from running roughshod over constitutional restrictions and states’ rights. Both of those counter-balances have been gone for 150 years. The result has been an ever-expanding federal government.

Agree with these ideas or not, I think most agree our federalist system is no longer working as designed, upon the basis of “we the people.” The root of the problem is the continual weakening of constitutional restrictions on the U.S. government, which must be shored up in some way.

Alex Saitta