In every nation, there are those individuals who are thoughtful and careful in their search for information on which to base beliefs and form opinions.
In every nation, there are those individuals who seek no wisdom and ignore the world around them in the belief that ignorance is not only bliss but also the basis of a trouble-free life.
In every nation, there are those individuals who seek out only that information that supports the opinions and beliefs that they have adopted from whoever their particular political guru might be.
Finally, and most sadly, there are those who form opinions availing themselves of neither facts nor information nor even a sense of history or reality. If you would like to visit the cultural center for these individuals, I would direct you to the Editorials & Letters section of the Daily News; Los Angeles's other newspaper.
Here you will discover that due process of the law does not apply to terrorists. In fact, the writer isn't even aware that there still is a federal death penalty system functioning in America since he finds he must ask, "Isn't it about time to reinstate the death penalty for these evil creatures?" Earlier in his rather banal missive, he wonders why we incarcerate terrorists like those found guilty of the first of the three planned or executed attacks on the World Trade Center. Doing so, according to this misinformed writer, is "a mockery of justice."
Okay, first of all, this wee little fellow apparently believes that there are some crimes that are so abhorrent that he would this nation waive all Constitutional rights for the defendants.
Secondly, he is obviously tragically misinformed about this nation's history concerning the death penalty. There is still a federal system of execution in place although it has been seldom used under the Clinton Administration.
Third, it is not a "mockery of justice" when all defendants in all criminal trials are afforded Constitutional rights and protections both during the trial phase and the sentencing phase of their judicial encounter. To refuse to offer that most basic of American freedoms, the right to a trial by jury and punishment that does not present a cruel or inhuman sentence. If the judge or the jury ascertains that the death penalty is applicable to the crime, then that is the correct sentence to set down. (FYI - I am still against any implementation of the death penalty until it is proven that it is evenly applied across the scope of race and gender and economic status as well as being applied in a perfect manner in which not one innocent human being is ever executed ever again - high standards but it involves human lives).
Let's move on to the next example of America's most common and that lowest of all denominators.
The next writer is also, apparently, completely uninformed about the Constitutional rights of defendants in non-drug related criminal cases. He wants to "sequester" the funds of any terrorists that we can find in America and use that money to "offset the damage they have caused - both physically, as in buildings, and mentally, for the loss of the loved ones." He closes his message with, "This would help our people and keep the terrorists from ever using that money in their schemes."
First point to make, of course, is the sad reality that this government has been stealing the funds of Americans without due process of law or even a trial for the last twenty years or more. The difference is that the government declared war on Americans Who Use the Wrong Drugs rather than terrorism. Innocent Americans have been deprived of their property and privacy for decades without even the pretense of Constitutional protections and all that it has resulted in is the government gaining the wealth of Americans illegally.
Second, doesn't anyone else find it stunning that only after the attacks last September did the government seize the accounts of known terrorists, accounts that they had been aware of for years? If the government so easily steals from its own citizens, what was the obstacle to stealing the funds of individuals and groups that it already knew existed and could be used to fund attacks and training?
Frankly, though, I find myself in opposition to the idea that the government should retain even a penny of any seized terrorist funds. Doing so will only result in the exact same conditions that those innocent Americans who have been dragged into the stupid and defective war on Americans in which the government and law enforcement steals from Americans with no connection to drug crimes. This theft is solely performed in order to abscond with the money and to use it to increase the funding for the various agencies. In other words, the government and law enforcement agencies have discovered a new source of income, a source that never has to be revealed or explained. Allowing them to now have the power to steal funds from anyone they proclaim is a "terrorist" is simply giving it the go ahead to steal even more from innocent Americans.
Finally, another writer shows just how hypocritical the lowest common denominator in America can be.
Attacking the "warped mentality of some peaceniks in objecting to our widespread displays of the American flag...", he goes on to assert that it "represents all of us who enjoy liberty and freedom..." That, I'm afraid, is just too general a statement to allow to stand. I both enjoy liberty and freedom as an American. I do not, in any manner, declare that some colored cloth has any relation to that delectation, however. I enjoy these liberties and freedoms and wish to offer all nations my support in their quest for equal measures of these same human rights. Only when my nation actively champions the spread of these advantages to all nation without the requirement of providing free or low cost labor for Corporate America's giant maw will I offer any respect to this nation or its icons.
Finally, the writer has exposed himself to be just another unthinking conservative who probably advocated that stupid "America! Love it or leave it" mentality of the Vietnam War era. He does this by proclaiming his support for "Emma Lazarus in her immortal poem on the Statue of Liberty; "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore." If this writer is so enamoured of that ringing invitation to the world to come to America and to enjoy its freedoms and opportunities, does this person also support the right of Mexican workers to cross the border in order to live and work in America? Would this fellow accept with open arms a few hundred thousand Afghan civilians who "yearn to breathe free"? Would this individual demand that the Coast Guard bring to our shores all of the thousands of Haitian and Cuban citizens, the very definition of "the wretched refuse of your teeming shore"? Why do I doubt it?!?
That, ladies and gents, is the extent of the variety of opinions that the Daily News offers its readers. I happily waste my four bits to buy this rag simply because I think it is of absolute importance to know and understand what the most thoughtless and uninformed Americans are saying. Once I can ascertain where the bottom of the barrel begins, then I can begin anew my search for those who actually think before forming an opinion. In fact, it greatly narrows the search for those who think before sending off letters to the Daily News since all of those who do so are automatically excluded.
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