The pardoning isn’t questionable, the circumstances are
The evening of Aug. 25, 2017, Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. It is not the presidential pardon itself that is controversial; this is a constitutionally assigned power given to the president of the United States. It is the circumstances surrounding the pardon that are questionable.
Trump failed to follow the correct process to be used for a pardon. In the case of Arpaio, Trump pardoned him before the case had been completed. While Arpaio had been found guilty of criminal contempt of court by a federal court in July, he was not due for sentencing until October. The premature nature of the pardon in itself is unusual. What makes this act even more unusual is that the pardon did not go through any judicial review by the Justice Department.
This premature nature and the fact he did not submit the case to judicial review demonstrates that Trump does not respect the constitutional system of checks and balances. This system of checks and balances protects our democracy from falling victim to the abuse of power by any one branch. By doing this, he has set precedence that a president could prevent supporters from being held accountable for wrongdoing.
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I urge anyone who wants to ensure our democracy is protected to contact your representative in the U.S. House and senators. It is important that we urge Congress to use its constitutional powers to block any further abuses by Trump.
Bill Becker, Roscoe
Trump lacks a basic understanding of real strength
President Donald Trump has embarrassed our country around the world with his response to the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia. The president’s management style also creates a new world disorder and makes Americans less productive.
Col. Lawrence Wilkinson, a former Army officer and former assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell, recently criticized Trump for taking a hands-off approach to our current military interventions and “giving the war zones (Iraq and Syria) to the Pentagon.” He said that the military is dropping bombs in war zones like Syria without regard to whether they are a legitimate target. Wilkinson also drew a connection between the military and defense contractors. He said that in order for the Pentagon to keep its relationship with defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon they have to keep up the bombing. In the short time of this presidency, the Trump administration has dropped 20,650 bombs, or 80 percent of what President Barack Obama dropped in all of 2016.
While Lockheed Martin and Raytheon will be enriched, America is falling apart. Our economy suffers from crumbling infrastructure, cuts in research and development, lack of affordable housing and a healthcare system that leaves many uncovered. For a man who was going to make America great, Trump lacks a basic understanding of real strength.
Jason Sibert, Peace Economy Project, St. Louis
They’ve got us where they want us, and it’s our own fault
A wise sage, from Freeburg I believe, once said, “Truth withheld is worse than a lie. A lie is available to be examined, but hidden truth remains in the darkness of deception.”
Deception is nothing new. Nations, wealth and power have been created by those having access of information (or withheld information) lost to others. Wars have been won and lost, villains become heroes and vice versa. With the advent of technology, very little can be hidden from those seeking, from ancient writing to current events. That, with discernment.
Consider then, how we find ourselves in August 2017. Be it our morning paper, the internet or cable news, we’re told that the those who chose not to vote for Hillary Clinton are Nazi-loving racists who support white supremacy groups and hate people of color and homosexuals. Yet the hooded club wielding, firebomb throwing, Anarchist, Marxist and BLM thugs who declare war on police among others, are good guys. White Nationalism, read: Caucasians who are grateful for our country, are America’s real enemy.
All the while, we are caught up in unending wars overseas, polls from both sides of the isle, decades in office, taking care of themselves, their families and compadres, crime-ridden cities turning into sewers, money changers and banksters feeding off our children’s future, drug deaths taking people from all walks of life, and yet, the above two paragraphs will be tonight’s evening News.
They’ve got us where they want us, and it’s our own fault. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.
Donald Moeser, Freeburg
Put the reparations nonsense to rest once and for all
Letter writers in this forum (and nationwide) have demanded money from the white population as some kind of convoluted compensation for slavery. They babble that whites must fork over wads of cash to blacks for the abominations of those evil white bastards of centuries ago. How dare they own another human being.
Holy hypocrite, Batman, not so fast! In 1830 alone the census lists 3,775 “free Negroes” who owned a total of 12,760 slaves. WHAT? You mean to tell me it wasn’t just us white swine who held slaves, blacks owned slaves too? Yup. In 1860 South Carolina black plantation owner William Ellison owned 63 slaves making him the largest owner of slaves out of the 171 other free blacks in South Carolina who also owned slaves. Ellison and his sons supported the Confederate States of America and even donated resources to the Confederate Army during the Civil War. It’s estimated that in 1860 as many as 20,000 slaves were black-owned. Furthermore, Native Americans owned thousands of black slaves including Cherokees with about 1,500 slaves around 1838; Creeks, Choctaws, and Chickasaws had around 3,500 slaves between their three nations as the 19th century began.
Going out on a long thin limb and assuming something is owed, you couldn’t figure out who owes what to whom if your life depended on it. So put the reparations nonsense to rest once and for all.
Gary Like, Highland
Need I say more?
I don’t know about you, but I have grown tired of the J.B. Pritzker ads for governor on TV. They have been on the air for over a month and we will probably be seeing them until after the general election in November 2018. Enough is enough. Well, at least we haven’t been inundated by any other political ads — yet.
In these ads Pritzker promises many things but he doesn’t mention how they’re going to be paid for. Pritzker is a dyed-in-the-wool T&S Democrat (T&S means tax and spend, or if you prefer, tax and steal.) He has, in the past, pushed for state income tax increases.
He also doesn’t mention his reluctance to pay his real estate taxes. He has, over the last number of years had the real estate assessments reduced by thousands (maybe millions) on his property north of Chicago thereby reducing the amounts he would have to pay to the school districts, etc., in his area. In doing this he probably received a little help from the Mike Madigan Law firm. You know Mike Madigan don’t you? Yeah, that guy. The speaker of the Illinois House and claimed good friend of J.B. Pritzker.
Need I say more?
Bob Walter. Glen Carbon