Sanders reawakening the American spirit
Let’s discuss, “Feelin the Bern.” The media explains Bernie Sanders's appeal to youth by mentioning free education. They overlook that he also resonates with “Idealistic Boomers.”
Listening to one of his speeches on C-SPAN and the responses, what struck me was the majority of listeners remarking that for the first time that we are hearing the truth. This is the heart of the matter.
Hillary supporters praise Bernie for having moved her over to the left, as if that’s sufficient. More importantly, Bernie is principled, with the moral authority to stand up to monied interests. He sets the example, which overcomes the notion that the collective is powerless.
Recently, the Koch Brothers, deciding transparency might further their agenda, declared they would “defend the individual against the collective.” Adopting the Trans-Pacific Partnership supports this goal, as it hands greater power to corporations over people, the environment and the states.
If we are going to invigorate a sustainable economy, we can no longer tolerate the current model of polluting and profiteering that pretends the Earth has unlimited capacity to accept destruction without consequence.
Bernie is a teacher, reminding us what democracy looks like. Instead of seeking a hero to save the day, he asks us to be part of a revolution.
If we want to correct injustice, end perpetual war and improve our lives, we must participate. Ralph Nader said, “Half of democracy is showing up.”
The naysayers, chanting “impossible,” lost in analysis and bogged down to the point of paralysis, miss the point. The American “can-do” spirit, stifled by the power brokers, is the revolution Bernie is awakening in his supporters.
Fueled by the truth of his message and “Feelin the Bern,” the sky’s the limit.
Language is clear in Second Amendment
Re Jan. 22 letter, “Second Amendment language is very clean”: I see that Herbert K. Spencer is liberal with his criticism of Rob Dickson’s dictionary skills from his Jan. 13 letter. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, particularly when the points that make their argument are red herrings or just plain wrong.
Mr. Dickson’s opinion is in concurrence with the DC v. Heller (2008) U.S. Supreme Court decision. The majority opinion in that case discusses the sentence structure of the Second Amendment amongst other relevant historical facts. The DC v. Heller and the McDonald v. Chicago (2010) decisions both cemented previous Supreme Court decisions that ruled the Second Amendment is an individual right, just like the rest of the amendments in the Constitution.
Chief Justice Warren Burger did not rule on a Second Amendment case. “Retired” Justice Burger made the statement that the Second Amendment is not about individual rights in a January 1990 article for "Parade Magazine." A magazine article does not set legal precedent. This is an example of the just plain wrong information being touted by much of the anti-gun establishment.
Mr. Spencer’s suggested reading is a red herring; there are books that support the individual right interpretation as well. Authors merely write their interpretation of past events. Regardless, these writings do not set legal precedent — the aforementioned Supreme Court decisions do.
Even Hillary Clinton has acknowledged that the individual right interpretation is the law. I’ve observed her stating that she doesn’t agree with the Supreme Court on this matter.
I’m not sure whether ignorance, desperation or denial is behind the continuation of the argument that the Second Amendment is not an individual right. Regardless, “individual right” is the answer. The Supreme Court has ruled it such time and again.
Any reasonable person would accept this simple fact.
Common Core at root of education problem
There are many problems with today’s education system. I believe the one that stands out the most is Common Core.
Common Core is defined as a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English. These learning goals outline what all students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. These standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in not just school, but in their lifetime.
With all the testing going on, each student is defined by a number. This is the worst part because a number on a test does not define how academically or socially smart enough you are. It is just a number.
Common Core has done nothing but add anxiety to students' classroom experiences. The government made this as a system where no student is left behind.
But what about the kids who fail because they cannot think the same way as others? Or don’t follow the same steps in order to get an answer? Each student is not the same, nor ever will be. As for this, our testing needs to be changed for the better and not for the worse.
We are not just a number, and I will not be defined as one.
The writer is a senior at Mohonasen High School.
Support for women in draft underwhelms
Re Feb. 2 Washington Post article, “Military leaders: Women should have to register for draft”: Two generals want women to sign up for the draft?
We’ve come a long way, huh?
Urge Legislature to pass GMO labeling
For the eighth consecutive year, the New York State Assembly is proposing legislation requiring GMO (genetically modified organisms) food labeling. The legislation will not restrict the meat and dairy industries. It will not negatively impact the local farming community.
Current laws require salt content in foods to be labeled — not banned. Laws require food labeling for fats (or lack thereof) — not a ban. Products containing milk, wheat or nuts are labeled — not banned. This proposed legislation (A0617) to require GMO food labeling is not ban.
GMO use is relatively recent (circa 40 years). The GMO process is not the same as the natural breeding process. We do not know yet what effects the process and presence of GMOs will have over generations. A majority of products now on supermarket shelves contain GMOs without any GMO label.
The largest producers/users have a stranglehold on politicians; independent researchers, and the public. Connecticut and Maine have already passed GMO labeling legislation, but cannot enact it until New York state does the same: food production/commerce today is regional, not isolated in individual states.
I urge Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara to vote “yes” and to co-sponsor bill A0617. I have the right to know what is in the food I eat.