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2/1/2006 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

By the time you read this Judge Samuel Alito will probably be confirmed as the newest member of the US Supreme Court. President Bush and conservatives are overjoyed. They won. The ordinary people of the United States lost.
There is no question that Judge Alito is qualified. He’s certainly no dummy. But there is a question as to whether or not the people should be forced to accept a judge with his ideology.
In reviewing the judge’s past rulings, a definite pattern was revealed.
Judge Alito consistently ruled in favor of governments at all levels and against the individual. He consistently ruled in favor of business interests when pitted against individuals. Judge Alito’s rulings indicate that he would probably continue ruling in favor of established institutions and against individual rights.
In the case of eminent domain, the taking of private property for public uses, judging from his past rulings, it is likely that Justice Alito would grant further power to governments in the confiscation of private property.
I say it again: That is a logical conclusion based on his past rulings.
That’s what the conservatives wanted.
That’s what we’re going to have to live with.
It is also likely that Justice Alito will do everything in his power to weaken or perhaps even strike down Roe vs. Wade, which held that a woman’s right to an abortion falls within the right to privacy protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Roe vs. Wade decision gave women the right to abortion during her entire pregnancy and defined different levels of state interest for regulating abortion in the second and third trimesters.
The conservatives want the federal government to make every decision on abortion, not individuals. More power for big government. Hooray!
Most everyone agrees that abortion is not a good thing. I personally wouldn’t want anything to do with it. But I’m not so arrogant as to demand that everyone adhere to that same belief. Circumstances may make an abortion the best alternative. That is for the individuals involved to decide — not the government.
Some call abortion murder, and to be sure, in their eyes, it is murder.
Others are not so certain. Truncating the development of an embryo before it can survive outside the womb is not murder to some. The issue is not as cut and dried as abortion foes would have you believe.
Philosophical arguments against abortion can be made. Helen Shatynski has done exactly that in some of her letters which have appeared in this newspaper. But most of the arguments against abortion are religious arguments.
Government and religion make a volatile mixture. We only have to view the Islamic governments which impose Islam on believer and non-believer alike.
Having the US government impose religious doctrine on all its citizens is simply un-American in my view.
Did Jesus go to the Roman authorities and ask them to impose his teachings on the people? He absolutely did not! Yet that is exactly what the conservatives are trying to make government do in the case of abortion.
Those who oppose abortion should rant and rave against it. They should do as Jesus and his disciples did and convince one person at a time rather than demanding the government do their work for them.
I’m amazed sometimes at the outrageousness of some country-western songs.
But I guess they’re relatively tame compared with some other "music." Here are the top 16 country songs of 2005:
16. It’s Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chewed Your Ass Out All Day Long 15. If I Can’t Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You 14. If The Phone Don’t Ring, You’ll Know It’s Me 13. How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?
12. I Liked You Better Before I Got To Know You So Well 11. I Still Miss You Baby, But My Aim’s Gettin’ Better 10. I Wouldn’t Take Her To A Dog Fight ‘Cause I’m Afraid She’d Win 9. I’ll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let’s Honeymoon Tonight 8. I’m So Miserable Without You, It’s Like You’re Still Here 7. If I Had Shot You When I First Wanted To, I’d Be Out Of Prison By Now 6. My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend And I Sure Do Miss Him 5. She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger 4. You’re The Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly 3. Her Teeth Was Stained But Her Heart Was Pure 2. She’s Looking Better After Every Beer And the Number 1 country song is . . .
1. I Ain’t Never Gone To Bed With Ugly Women But I’ve Sure Woke Up With A Few!

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