Raise gas tax to pay for bridge, road repair
With gasoline prices at less than one-half of what they were a few years ago and far less than many of us thought we would ever see again, now is a good time to increase the federal gasoline tax by 25 cents a gallon.
None of us wish to pay higher taxes, but most drivers can absorb an increase now. Among the advantages are that roads and bridges would soon be in much better condition and far safer, probably reducing the cost of vehicle repairs, extending the lifespan of vehicles, and saving lives.
Another is that the additional federal revenues would finance a huge jobs program for working- and middle-class U.S. workers.
Stop the bully who is running for president
It seems to me that in this whole country, every school is “condemning bullies” with lectures, classes, examples of how it hurts the victims, etc.. And here we are — our whole country lining up in thousands or more — to listen to the biggest “bully” speaker of them all.
It amazes me to think of anyone who would want this man to be our president and represent us in any kind of negotiation. He is a wealthy buffoon who I would guess never did any physical labor in his life.
In case you are unaware of whom I am speaking — it’s “the donald” — not even important enough to put in capital letters, much less in any news headline.
Consider who Jesus would pick as justice
The unexpected death of conservative Justice Scalia caught America by surprise. He was a young 79, and 79 is the new 60. I expected the acerbic justice to be with us at least another 10 years.
Justice Scalia’s death should remind us that life is ephemeral. We all have to exit through that door, may we be black, white, liberal, conservative, rich, poor, gay, straight, Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, etc. It doesn’t matter.
We should then strive (I think) to be caring and giving while on this Earth, knowing eternal life and our creator await for us at the end of this short human existence.
Thinking about Justice Scalia, I often asked myself the question: “What would Jesus do?”
From my readings, I learned Justice Scalia was Catholic, a deeply religious man with strong, loving upbringing. As a previous altar and choir boy raised with Catholic dogmas and tenets, I often wondered how Justice Scalia could so effortlessly intermingle his Catholic faith and beliefs, his love of God with the condescendence and obvious dislike for the downtrodden, the blacks, the gays, and the poor he manifested during his years on the bench.
As a fitting end to his aristocratic life, he died in a luxury hunting preserve in Texas.
Jesus lived amongst the poor, the prostitutes, the downtrodden. He would today be classified as a homeless illegal immigrant. Justice Scalia would probably legislate that he should be jailed or tossed out of the country. Our lord didn’t cater to the Pharisees and Scribes (the brothers Koch of His days), calling them “Whitewashed sepulchers beautiful on the outside but full of dead men’s bones and uncleanness, Matthew 23:27.”
The private and the public lives of Justice Scalia seem to be in contradiction.
I hope the new justice will be a fair, moderate man, a man of love and mercy looking for the welfare of all Americans, not just the super rich ones. The new justice shouldn’t be an ideological caricature, a pure constitutionalist, pretending we live in an age of horses and buggies, kerosene lamps etc., instead of computers, iPads, air travel and smart phones. We need a good and fair human justice on our Supreme Court, dedicated to the welfare of all Americans.
Indeed, who would Jesus choose?
Under common law, Cruz can be president
I am writing to take issue with several points made in the Jan. 31 letter, “Cruz ineligible to be president under law.”
This letter implies that Alexander Hamilton was ineligible to become president because he was born on the island of Nevis and was not a natural-born citizen. However, the Constitution states that “No person except a natural-born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible for the Office of President.”
Therefore, Alexander Hamilton was eligible to be elected president, since he was a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. This clause was formulated by a committee at a time when Hamilton was away from Philadelphia, and it seems unlikely he had any influence on it. Please refer to Ronald Chernow’s Book, “Alexander Hamilton,” Page 238.
There were also several other immigrants of that era who were born in the British Isles, or elsewhere, and were eligible to become president because they were citizens at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. These included Thomas Paine, Albert Gallatin, Robert Morris, James Wilson, William Paterson, Pierce Butler, James McHenry and others.
The letter also implies that Hamilton favored a “monarch-like government” when in fact he had the vision to favor a strong central government similar to what we have today.
I also feel Sen. Cruz is eligible to be president, even though he was born in Canada of an American mother. Under English Common Law, if you were born outside of British territory and one of your parents was British, you were considered a British subject. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Noah Swayne stated: “All persons born in allegiance of the king are natural-born subjects, and all persons born in the allegiance of the United States are natural-born citizens.”
When Donald Trump brought up the issue of Sen. Cruz not being eligible to be president because of the natural-born clause, it was just one more example of his bullying tactics.
Paul T. Rasmussen
Educational system not serving students
As a high school senior, I have been through a number of curriculum changes during my time in high school. I have taken regular Regents exams and Common Core exams. I have even take exams on classes that I haven’t even taken yet. (They’re called pre-tests).
It seems like no one has the right answer for how the education system in America should be run. At this rate, we’ll soon be fresh out of ideas. During one of my classes, a teacher asked us, “If you were principal for a day, what would you do and why?” My idea was a bit outside the box, but at this point, I’d say there isn’t such a thing as a bad idea. If I were principal of my school for a day, I said I would give everyone that day off.
I would do this under the condition that students use this time off from school to explore an interest of their own instead of being forced to learn what the school wants them to.
The problem with education in America is that schools deny children the opportunity to learn about what is important to them. Rather than allow children to explore topics that generate interest and make them eager to learn, schools force kids to learn specific subjects, at specific times of the day, and penalize them for not wanting to learn about those subjects.
Sir Ken Robinson describes the American education system as having a “production line mentality.” In the current education system, every child is basically manufactured the same way, even though individual children might have completely different styles of learning or be interested in different topics.
No matter what topic a student is interested in during school, each student receives the same amount of instruction time on that subject and is taught the same way as every other student. Why does the education system think every child is built to learn the same way?
There are so many different types of students, all with different personalities, interests, learning styles and ways of thinking or solving problems. The education system needs to be altered in order to accommodate the millions of students who don’t learn like everyone else.
By giving students a day off, it would present an opportunity for them to explore areas that pique their interests. This could then influence students to become more interested in learning and enthusiastic about continuing their education beyond high school and into college.
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