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The Northside Sun from Jackson, Mississippi • Page 4

The Northside Suni
Jackson, Mississippi
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Thursday, July 1,2004 Page 4 A Tl IE NQRTI ISIDE SUN, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI a i mmr-mmm ia i I jg mmmmm mm America no novice at defending liberty PUBLISHER By WYATT EMMERICH r7 ernment would always be superior in the long run. No other large nation has a decentralized government like the United States. Not only does this keep the government closer to the people, it provides a check on unlimited federal power, which can be dangerous. In this day and age of mass communication, it is popular to look to tlie federal government as the solution. We must resist that temptation and keep government local.

The most important values to our founding fathers were political and economic freedom and liberty. Our country's emphasis on inalienable individual rights has set this country apart from any other in the world. This means we are free to speak, write, do business, goof off, make millions and whatever else we please, so long as we don't hurt other people in the process. Our founding fathers envisioned a religious country, a Christian country, but not one in which religion was forced on disbelievers. The recent court rulings trying to kill the slightest bit of religion in our schools are way off-base and have no legitimate basis in our Constitution.

Our founding fathers perceived a land of equal opportunity, not equal results. All men are created equal, but that doesn't mean they will end up equal. The difference is what you as an individual make of your life. It is that basic concept of reaping what you sow that has made our country great Of course, the founding fathers did not at the time, include women and slaves in their designs. This was a glaring omission that stuck out like a sore thumb from the start But our great nation was able to overcome that handicap and include women peaceably and African Americans through a bloody civil war.

THERE IS ONE THING I don't think even our founding fathers envisioned. I don't think they envisioned the incredibly creative dynamo that would be created by the infusion of dozens of different cultures from around the world into the great melting pot called the United States of America We Americans kicked and crawled and scraped our way here on the hope of a better life. There is not an American here that doesn't have that kind of blood flowing in hisher veins. It is that one trait that binds all Americans, regardless of our national origin. IT SHOULD NOT BE surprising that on this July Fourth, llie United States is shedding blcxxl around the world for freedom.

Time and time again, America has stepped to the plate when crunch time arrived. Time and wc have been the lone bulwark against tyranny whetlier it be Nazism, communism or Islamic fanaticism. Threats to freedom are real. They will not magically go away. Liberty has always exacted a high cost in blood.

America is the only world power that has not wanted to conquer. Americans generally want to be left alone to enjoy life, liberty and die pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, it's not always possible to ignore the rest of die world. We tried to ignore Hitler, but Pearl Harbor put an end to We tried to ignore Islamic fanaticism, but 91 1 put an end to that. America has once again been put to the test.

The whole world watches. We cannot back down. We mast complete this task in its entirety or face global chaos. Although there is much dissension, the U. S.

is nowhere near backing down. The casualty rate is a tiny fraction of the Vietnam War rate, plus we now have a volunteer army. The draft was the main fuel of the anti-war movement in the sixties. Vietnam had nothing but rice paddies. Iraq sits on the second largest supply of oil in the world.

Oil is indeed crucial not because we want to steal it, but because global prosperity depends on stable oil supplies. Millions of lives are at stake. Poverty is a cruel, relentless killer. Oil is also critical because it confers great destructive powers in the wrong hands. Al Qaeda was created by the wealth of oil.

We could not stand by and allow a thug like Hussein to grow ever more powerful through the sale of oil. Speaking in Jackson recently, Assistant Mississippi National Guard Adjutant General Ike Pylant noted the huge role Mississippians have played in the Iraq conflict. He talks to soldiers every day who have been on the ground in the hottest areas of the conflict He hears story after story of grateful Iraqis who are glad we are there. "These troops have run thousands of missions. They have built homes, schools, hospitals and clinics.

They man not want us there forever, but they want us there right now to help them get their feet on the ground. "When things settle down and the journalists are able to get out in the small towns and talk to hometown Iraqis, I believe there's going to be another verse to this chapter. I really do." You hear a lot about Americans imposing their Western values on alien cultures. Noasense! Liberty and freedom are fundamental to every human being in the world America is the shining beacon of hope for billions beyond our borders. THESE LATEST CONFLICTS are still pretty minor when compared with other stresses placed on our country since its inception: world wars, a civil war, epidemics, depressions and the like.

Through it all, our country and Constitution have stood the test of time. Not perfectly, but better than any other country in history. We need to remember that the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were signing, in all likelihood, their death warrant. Few expected our ragtag colony to prevail over the greatest power in the world The punishment for treason was to be shot or hanged. These were successful men with families in the prime of life.

This country was founded on the principle of personal sacrifice for a greater good, not just as a concept, but as something only fulfilled with one's own flesh and blood There were several basic themes dear to the hearts of our founding fathers. These themes are still relevant 226 years later. Our founding fathers were nervous about centralized federal power, believing that local gov Putting prisoners to work is a policy worth pursuing Mississippi is making the right move by increasing the incentives for inmates to work while they're behind bars. Starting July 1, when the new law takes effect, most nonviolent offenders will be able to earn one day off their sentences for every day they work. That one-to-one match is three times more generous than the current law allows.

The change is a concession by lawmakers that they went too far during the 1990s with tougher sentencing laws that drove up the prison population and the attendant costs associated with keeping some 21,000 offenders locked up. It has other benefits as well. Work programs provide inmates with skills and habits that give them a better chance of becoming productive, law-abiding citizens once they serve their time. Work programs reduce prison discipline problems, because working inmates don't nave as much idle time on their hands. Work programs give guards and other corrections personnel the one carrot that matters most in convincing inmates to behave: the prospect of getting out early.

Mississippi's truth-in-sentencing law largely took that carrot away by mandating that inmates serve 85 percent of their sentences before being eligible for release. When inmates were told, by state policy, that good behavior would not get them out of prison any earlier, it made it tougher on corrections staff to manage the inmate population. Coincidentally, Mississippi's new law takes effect just as the American Bar Association releases a critical report on mandatory minimum sentences and other get-tough approaches to crime. According to the nation's largest lawyers group, the cost of the experiment in mass incarceration has been tremendous. Prison spending by the states and federal government jumped more than 400 percent during a 1 7-year span from $9 billion in 1982 to $49 billion in 1999.

The ABA report said the evidence was inconclusive that the country was any safer as a result of that huge increase in spending that it took to give the United States the dubious distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. Mississippi, which jumped on the lock-'em-up bandwagon more heartily than most other states, is starting to pay attention. In a state with such limited financial resources, expensive Drison space should be reserved for those dangerous, violent, lardened criminals from whom society has to be protected. For non-violent offenders, prison time should be the punishment of last resort and should be of modest duration. It's easier to give benefits than it is to reduce them uproar over pending cuts in Medicaid spending is further proof of the axiom that its easy for government to give, much harder to take away.

Mississippi legislators had wonderful intentions when they expanded during the 1990s the federal-state program that provides healthcare for the poor, elderly and disabled. The state, thanks to a robust economy and the influx of gaming revenue, had money looking for a place to be spent. It was a time of rapid expansion in many government initiatives, including providing more medical services to the state's needier, sicker residents. Lawmakers enlarged the pool of people who qualified for Medicaid benefits. Instead of limiting it to those with incomes of 100 percent or less of the poverty level, they upped the threshold to 135 percent.

At the same time, the state embarked on a major initiative to provide healthcare coverage to the state's uninsured children via the CHIP program. In signing up tens of thousands of CHIP kids, though, case workers found even more children who qualified for Medicaid but hadn't been All that, plus the general rising costs of healthcare, caused an explosion in the Medicaid budget, with costs doubling in just the past five years. The state's treasury, pinched by several straight years of a stagnant economy, couldn't keep up. No 91 1 link is not a new revelation By ALLEN LAIRD They support their claim with polls, polls that show a high percentage of Americans believe there is a link. I could probably find a poll that says many Americans believe Clinton's a trustworthy guy and we'd all be just as shocked by the outcome.

Sorry to disappoint but when we went to war with Iraq I recall it being about Saddam violating UN. weapons resolutions and keeping the world safe, period. I heard someone say the other day, "it's a good thing we didn't have to prove a link between Japan and Germany during WWII." How true, there's no telling what Hitler could have done had we not gotten involved. Does this somehow mean that we should be thankful that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor? Otherwise, by today's standards, we would have had no reason to declare war on Germany? This entire ordeal, the 'no link' frenzy, only adds fuel to the fire that the national media does, in fact have a liberal bias. Why else would the national media pick up one sentence out of hundreds to plaster as headlines on an issue that has, more or less, already been determined.

If the panel has done anything, it's cleared up the issue of a liberal media bias. Thanks panel, that's two issues you've cleared up that have long been resolved. Allen Laird is a Northsider. THURSDAY'S ULTRA large headlines across the country revealed shockingly "there was no link between Iraq and 911." Did some of these reporters not believe President Bush when he said the very same thing on September 17 of last year? Responding to a reporter on that date he said, "No, we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 1 1th." On September 16, interviewed on ABC's "Nightline," White House National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice said, "We have never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 911." The only thing the current aaniinistration has alluded to is that there have been links found between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. This statement is true, there have been links found There is an entire book dedicated to the subject just released entitled "The Connection: How Al-Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America" I can't understand how this old news is now a front page story again.

The 91 1 panel said there is "no credible evidence that Iraq and Al-Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." What a revelation, out of all the 911 panel documents released, the big story is the one we already knew about. It feels like deja vu, having to listen to President Bush defend himself again on an issue that should have died almost a year ago. We get it Democrats; we've found no credible links. This shouldn't have been an issue with the panel in the first place. A 'link' isn't the reason we went to Iraq, so why is this being debated? It seems Democrats like to debate arguments they create.

Bush never said Saddam was linked to 911, only Democrats claimed he said that So now they argue he lied about something he never said to begin with. Are you as confused as I am? DEMOCRATS CLAIM the administration 'misled' Americans into believing there was a link. Impossible to do the unethical ethically Mississippi try an experiment in ethical behavior. What if we decided, as a state, to make our laws and our personal decisions based upon what is right rather than on the latest ghoulish societal or personal improvement fads? What if we purposed in our own hearts to not he, steal, murder, covet or commit adultery? What if we chose to not tolerate racism, child abuse, abortion, or pornography but instead focused our thoughts and efforts on what is good and wholesome? What if we really did treat others as we wish to be treated? Here's 'what Mississippi would be number one in things that really matter. Jackson would not have to pay $10,000 to be listed on some best cities web site and maybe we would even have enough money for essential services and programs.

Let's decide to do ethical things in ethical ways and just see what impact that would have on us all. Pat Cartrette 1239 Deerfield Lane Because we do not want any suffering in any way at any time ever, we take what we think are small steps to justify unethical acts in an attempt to relieve suffering. The glaring example of this approach can be seen with abortioa In 1973 'people of good will' talked about the victims of rape or incest and the need for legal abortion to end their suffering. Now, 43,000,000 abortions later, abortion is simply a means of birth control for many. Evil has a way of growing far beyond original intentions.

Something unethical cannot be done in an ethical way. Because many of us are unwilling to label anything as wrong at all times and in all places, we are clever in finding just the right circumstance for any actioa It is not unimaginable that someone could justify an abortion with thoughts of how the stem cells of the baby could be used to help someone else with a terrible disease. However, something unethical cannot be done in an ethical way. I have a dream for Mississippi. I would like to see Dear Editor Contrary to the opinions of presidential candidate John Kerry and Mississippi Senators Lott and Cochran, it is not possible to do something that is unethical in an ethical way.

Even if, as Kerry suggests, we turn to people of 'goodwill and good unethical acts will remain unethical. This is true in the current promotion of stem cell research using human embryos that is supported by all three of these men. No matter how concerned we are with suffering from diabetes or Alzheimer's, our tender, compassionate hearts do not override the fact that it is not acceptable to experiment on human embryos. No matter how badly we want to be seen as a progressive, 'scientific' nation, it is not acceptable to use tiny human embryos, unable to give their consent in our scientific experiments. And it is especially not acceptable to demand that American taxpayers fund this unethical research with their taxes.

Write a column for the Northside Sun and win SI 00. The Sun is having a column writing contest! Once five columns are received by the Sun, we'll pick a winner. Then we'll start over. The column should be 750 to 1000 words and should be written by a Northsider. Columns on local issues get extra credit.

All the entries may be run in the Sun, depending on space. Mail to Wyatt Emmerich, P.O. Box 16709, Jackson, MS 39236 Twenty-six points in favor of free arms Northside 23. Enforce the "gun control laws" we have, don't make more.

24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves. 25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control 26. government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Got a beef? Write a Letter to the Editor. Editor's Note: The following has been circulating anonymously on the Internet 1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject 2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Glock: The original point and click interface. 4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control. 5.

If guns are outlawed, can we use swords? 6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words. 7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms. 8.

If you don't know your rights, you don't have any. 9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither. 10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791.

All Rights reserved. 1 1 What part of "shall not be infringed'' do you not understand? 12. The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others. 13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and liberals. 15. Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.

16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive. 17. 911 government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer. 1 8.

Assault is a behavior, not a device. 19. Criminals love gun control it makes their jobs safer. 20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them. 22. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for. We love 'em.

We really do. You can write USPS 598 760 Wyatt Emmerich, Publisher Jimmye Sweat, Editor jimmye Melanie North, Advertising Director Published weekly on Thursday by Sunland Publishing Company, Inc. Offices at 246 Briarwood. lackson, MS. 39206.

Mailing address is P.O. Box 16709, lackson, MS, 39236. E-mail address is Phone is 601-957-1 122. Subscription price in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties, $16 per year. Long distance rates vary slightly higher.

Single copy price is 50 cents. Issues over a month old are 75 cents. Periodical postage paid at lackson, MS. The Sun accepts no responsibility for unsolicited stories, artwork or photographs. Photos are filed according to the week they appear.

Usually those that are not published are not kept on file. If a stamped self-addressed envelope is enclosed, we will try to return such photos, if possible. POSTMASTER; Send address changes to the Northside Sun, P.O. Box 1 6709, lackson, MS, 39236. about anything you desire.

The Sun publishes all its Letters to the Editor every last one of them. There is one unbreak able proviso: You must sign your name. So dont be shy. Write us anytime, any way..

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