- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 6, 2004

Kerry and numbers crunching

Regarding “Kerry pledges to add soldiers” (Page 1, Friday): Sen. John Kerry proposes to increase the Army’s size by 40,000 troops, double the number of Special Forces, cut the missile-defense program and increase funding for local first responders.

Also, his general approach is to concentrate on “Fortress America,” while de-emphasizing action to prevent terrorists outside the United States from building up their capabilities and getting nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and ICBMs.

It is a shortsighted approach that concentrates on the short-term, moderate threats at the expense of coping with long-term, catastrophic threats. If this campaign rhetoric actually was put into effect, the terrorist threat could grow in size and capability, as the enemy develops nuclear ICBMs. This would overwhelm our ill-prepared missile defense.

ARNOLD ANDERJASKA

Gaithersburg

How out of touch can you get? Sen. John Kerry, Democratic candidate for president, proposes to cut our missile-defense shield in favor of funding 40,000 more troops. Sounds like a great idea if you want to employ more people at government expense, but it doesn’t make any sense from a military or planetary defense perspective.

First of all, our missile shield is our first line of defense. It was one of the primary reasons that the Soviet Union collapsed. Even Mikhail Gorbachev admitted that.

There are still ICBMs around that could reach our cities. More important, however, is a future terrorist weapon that could be fired by a rogue state like North Korea if we let our guard down.

Missile technology is our first defense against the asteroids that yearly threaten life on Earth.

Missile technology means fewer soldiers will be needed to keep the peace. Well-placed missile strikes can rid us of threats to our homeland, or terrorist groups abroad, without sending troops.

Missile technology can keep our planet free of any aggression from outer space. We cannot count on being alone forever in this universe.

Missile technology adds to our ability to explore space, which is something the future of mankind depends on. Our solar system is not finite, and neither are our resources. Space is our future.

We have the choice of making politically-motivated decisions or reasoned decisions that protect the future of our nation and our planet. Which is wiser?

If our descendants are to survive as a free nation, we must learn to think ahead.

Politicians rarely have prepared us for future crises. Now is the time to stop that practice. It costs American lives.

CHARLES E. THOMANN

Annapolis

Justice for all?

In response to Thursday’s editorial calling for the impeachment of U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton (“Impeach Judge Hamilton”), it is a silly and misleading argument that a judge’s ruling is wrong on his face simply because it is unpopular.

The fact is that “supported by 75 percent of the public” is not supposed to factor into the ruling on the constitutionality of laws before the court. If judges were simply to rule according to how the political wind is blowing, there would be judicial chaos and no real sense of justice or upholding of the Constitution.

Critical rulings such as Brown v. Board of Education (ending segregation), Miranda v. Arizona (protecting the rights of the accused) and Gitlow v. New York (free speech) were often made in spite of the popular attitudes of the day. In retrospect, we see the wisdom of the court and wonder how, regardless of popular opinion, they could have ruled otherwise.

Like you, I abhor abortion and decry the misleading argument in support of a “right of choice.” But we live in a society that has valued the importance of individual choice, even in something this repugnant. Therefore, the burden on those opposed to this practice is to argue why it is in the public’s compelling interest to restrict this “choice” for the greater good.

Heated political rhetoric that borders on personal attacks of Judge Hamilton will only contribute to the poisoning of the political and cultural waters. The solution here is in the courts, not through demonizing individual judges or calling for their removal whenever you don’t get the ruling you want.

JEREMY D. BROUSSARD

Silver Spring

With regard to your call for the impeachment of U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton: get real. The two examples you’ve provided simply don’t meet the justification for impeachment. She simply found room in a “living document” to justify her personal political agenda. It’s not like she committed perjury.

But on a serious note, selecting Judge Hamilton from the current crop of wacko jurists isn’t realistic. I have a hard time believing she is even the most egregious example of judicial legislating in California — still home of the 9th Circuit. As outrageous as her decisions have been, they don’t meet the current standard for gross stupidity set by the Massachusetts Supreme JudicialCourt.Oreventhe Supremes in Florida. Or decisions authored by a couple of the U.S. Supremes, for that matter.

As much as I dislike the decision and distrust the legal process, we need a different solution. Maybe elections?

MICHAEL BECKER

Phoenix

Thank you. Impeachment is clearly an extreme action, yet you are right — impeachment is the only available, effective response. There has been an unfortunate lack of support for the only remedy that truly exists for the over-reaching, appointed-for-life judiciary.

When self-restraint is not being applied and one’s personal worldview is being interpreted as license to modify the Constitution, then impeachment is the only available option. Other options, such as the tack being tried with respect to marriage, amending the Constitution to address explicitly the instance of overstepping bounds, might “fix” that overstep, but does not address the fact that the true concern is a judicial branch that is out of control and needs to be reined in.

The Constitution has explicit checks and balances between the branches of government. Since it is simply not feasible to try to amend the actions of a judge who overreaches, the only check available against a sitting federal judge is impeachment. There is no other, and an unwillingness to use impeachment means throwing away any hope of balance.

GARY STONEBURNER

Gaithersburg.

Morality and the law

Maggie Gallagher, in her column “Deadly quasi medical veneer” (Commentary, Friday), writes, “If suicide is a legal choice, it is a moral option.” That is not the case. Being a legal choice does not make it a moral choice.

It is one of the terribly destructive beliefs of our time that government decides morality, a consequence of our Supreme Court demoting God from His sovereignty. Without God, of course, only civil government looks big enough to take His place, so it can make a seemingly plausible case for itself.

However, civil government logically cannot decide morality. God does. The task of government is to administer the moral principles God already has given us, the bedrock principles upon which our our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written. Not a single Founding Father would dissent from this.

Without God, there is no objective morality. (Subjective morality is a self-contradiction.) Only our “reason for existence” can supply the objective basis for moral obligation. It is a logical fact that civil government cannot create our reason for existence; only He who gave existence to us (and our government) can do that. A godless world is an amoral world, where, as Mao Tse-tung allowed, morality comes out the end of a gun barrel.

EARLE FOX

Alexandria

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