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Founding Fathers

November 12, 1990
In the final paragraphs of his article, Steffens ridicules the notion that there is a force in society poised to wrest our freedom of expression from us. He asserts that the American people can be trusted to defend our freedoms. The danger of this argument is that it leads to the conclusion that the Bill of Rights is superfluous because "we are a good people, a fair people." Consider the philosophical thought and the historical necessity that gave rise to the Bill of Rights. The guarantees of freedom of expression (press, religion, assembly)
October 30, 2004
Re "The Electoral College Does It Better," Commentary, Oct. 27: Writer Benjamin Zycher offers that the electoral college "occasionally frustrates the will of the plurality or the majority. But the founding fathers understood the dangers of direct democracy and struggled to create a system that reflected the will of the people while constraining the majority." Actually, the founding fathers were for democracy, for one small group -- property-owning, taxpaying white males. The wisdom of our system is that we took the principles the founding fathers applied to that small group and gradually expanded democracy to include everyone.
August 20, 1996
Re the GOP platform officially recognizing English as the nation's common language, Aug. 13: English is the nation's common language, and it will, and should, continue to be. However, the fact that immigrants, especially first-generation immigrants, often speak a language other than English is hardly new. During the great steel strike of 1919 in the Monongahela Valley of western Pennsylvania, posters urging the workers to return to their jobs had...
April 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - This spring marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times vs. Sullivan, its most important pronouncement on the freedom of the press, but the ruling has not won the acceptance of Justice Antonin Scalia. “It was wrong,” he said Thursday evening at the National Press Club in a joint appearance with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I think the Framers would have been appalled. … It was revising the Constitution.” The 9-0 ruling handed down in March 1964 threw out a libel suit brought by police commissioner L.B. Sullivan from Montgomery, Ala. He claimed he had been defamed by a paid ad in the New York Times, even though it did not mention him by name.
November 22, 1998
I am appalled that we let politicians like Assemblyman Curt Pringle (R-Garden Grove) continue to run for office. Men like this who turn the American voters against someone honest and trustworthy like state Treasurer-elect Phil Angelides deserve to lose whatever office they're running for. If more lawsuits were threatened for politicians like this, our government would turn into the democratic haven originally planned by our founding fathers in...
September 2, 1990
My wise old father has often commented that of the four major American wars he has lived through in this century, the only one worth fighting was World War II, where we were physically attacked by an enemy. The others not only involved huge expenditures of American blood and treasure, but also had a number of unintended side effects that were detrimental to the United States. Today, Bush, a decent, honorable man who truly means well, has squared off against Hussein, a despicable marauding plug-ugly, who happens for the moment to be the chief snake in a nest of vipers.
July 17, 1994
How is it that Mark Petracca so frequently uses his considerable talents for such trivial objectives--in the latest case, the preservation of "historic buildings" of the Buffalo Ranch (Letters , July 3). Moreover, his objectives are generally, if not consistently, at odds with conservative principles as envisioned by our founding fathers. In this instance, he proposes that local government dictate what the Irvine Co. (one of his favorite targets) should do with its private property without compensation whatsoever.
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