No-fly list violates our constitutional rights

*No-fly list violates our constitutional rights *Nisky Day float wasn't intentional mocking Mexicans

No-fly list violates our constitutional rights

The heated and starkly political rhetoric surrounding the partisan grab for power by our short-sighted, and frankly ignorant “betters” in Washington has completely obscured the truths of the issue.

Such confusion over the actual consequences of actions hotly called for (and all too easily accepted by the uninformed, if current polls are to be believed) will be a disaster for the Republic and for its bedrock protector of liberty: the Constitution.

My harsh judgement of those legislators who call for a “No fly-no buy” law is based upon the fact that all of them swore (many on the Bible, if that matters anymore) to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States … against all enemies, foreign and domestic …” and yet their very actions would gut that same document’s protections of liberty enshrined in the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the 14th amendment.

The real tragedy of the Orlando massacre is that due to a confluence of haste, lack of sober consideration of facts, poor judgement, and outright power-mad desire to arrogate to themselves more and more of the nation’s daily comings and goings, those whom we as a nation elect to protect our liberty are, in fact, willing to destroy it.

And yet the solution is right there, for those who are not blinded by the passions of the mob, to see. I am also in favor of the concept of preventing those whom we as a country determine to be too dangerous to fly in our airplanes from purchasing firearms.

I, too, believe that this is a reform we should pursue. However, the real problem we currently face must be solved first: the “no-fly” list must be taken from the hands of nameless, faceless bureaucrats and changed to a list which is controlled by people elected by Americans and therefore subject to removal by Americans for malfeasance or incompetence.

The “no-fly” list must be subject to “due process” and one’s place on it must be subject to adjudication, since to be put on it automatically denies liberty which must never be denied without due process of law. If those who would cry out for the power to strip away Constitutional protections at their whim are unwilling to do the hard work of crafting legislation to accomplish the imperative reform to the “no-fly” list which will make it subject to due process, they should be ashamed of themselves and resign their posts in disgrace. Reform the “no-fly” list first, then use it to deny firearms purchases.

We have survived and prospered for over 225 years only because of the protections of liberty afforded by the Constitution and the fact that we Americans are willing to defend it. If we allow the passions of the moment to cloud our collective judgement, we will forever wound, perhaps mortally, this precious document which is our only guarantee of liberty and civil rights, a guarantee not enjoyed by any other country in the world.

Good citizens, this is a watershed moment: Defend your liberty or lose it. Stand against using the “no-fly” list to deny our rights until reforms which will protect our right to due process of law are included.

Rob Dickson

Clifton Park

Nisky Day float wasn’t intentional mocking Mexicans

There is a diversity of privilege among all ethnic groups, within our own country and within the cultures of other countries. What a white man in America may presume he has a right to or may conceive of as normal in society, a resident of India may find completely foreign.

A bureaucrat from Kenya has an entirely different view of her world than does a migrant cleaning woman from the same city. And that bureaucrat will have certain real or assumed privileges that the cleaning woman does not have.

This is not only the way it has always been, but is likely the way it will always be. The reason is that, as people move and migrate and as people travel and explore, understanding and perception of other cultures expands and matures for some and remains static for others.

Rev. Kinney (July 2 letter, “Seek out perspectives other than your own”) noticed a picture of people on a float during the Niska-Day parade and perceived it as, “One step away from blackface.” I can understand that, superficially, it may seem to be mocking. But these people were not disrespecting South American/Mexican culture, but were actually celebrating and affirming it. I doubt that the motive of the float was to mock Mexicans and dress in traditional garb in order to ridicule.

If this were truly the case, then Rev. Kinney’s realization may be correct. The motive behind blackface was to reduce an entire race of people to their least common denominator and demean them through stereotypical mannerisms and vaudevillian humor. Instead of incorporating black culture and people as normal, blackface only marginalized and perpetuated difference. But I presume that the idea behind this float was to showcase and participate with Mexican culture.

Was this float really a disdainful display of uncaring, oblivious white privilege, or was it simply people somewhat nearsighted in their presentation?

I know that, of late, these types of things are called “appropriation” and are, especially among college-aged students and Millennials deemed disrespectful. Some students have even complained to their college deans that the kitchen staff has not “gotten permission” to serve sushi, tacos and even Chinese food from the respective student associations. They, similar to Rev. Kinney’s opinion, believed that certain “permissions” need to be gained first before such food can be served, especially when the staff “presumes” that the food is authentic.

Rev. Kinney, in this case, who were these float makers supposed to get permission from? Who are the accepted go-to people for permission to “appropriate” a Mexican theme into a float? Who are the official go-to people to wear dreadlocks? Many Christians would rather that Santa not be a part of Christmas. Who are the go-to people for permission to have Santa close out our holiday parade? We could extend this requirement quite far, for any number of actions.

To have it your way, Reverend, we need permission to eat, drink, play, sing, produce or do anything that is outside of our own cultural perceptions or heritage. Living in America, what is our cultural heritage? It is the celebration of all of the different cultures and people that make up our great country, and participating in life with them in.

The “deep divides” that you mention are because too many people are now selfishly protecting their own or others’ cultures and demanding a narrow obedience to a perceived interpretation of what it is and means.

Dave Hart


Categories: Letters to the Editor

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