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Founding Fathers

June 2, 1985
Thank you for publishing a superb letter from the chief of naval operations, which responded to Bob Toth's article (Dec. 30, 1984), "Role of Religious Faith at Pentagon." The admiral alludes to a problem that is more menacing to America's survival than is the combined threat of Russian missiles, pollution of the environment, crime in the streets, and deficit spending. A more grave challenge, by far, is how to reverse a steady trend toward the corruption of basic American values.
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...
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