The Press-Dispatch

November 6, 2019

The Press-Dispatch

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C-10 Wednesday, November 6, 2019 The Press-Dispatch OPINION Submit Letters to the Editor: Letters must be signed and received by noon on Mondays. Email: or bring in a hard copy: 820 E. Poplar Street, Petersburg I got hold of a book which stirred up my attention. It's called Secrets of Longevity, Hundreds of Ways to be 100. Since my mother is now 103 years young, I thought it was worth my time reading this 328 page book to see if the principles outlined by the author applies to what I have learned in my profes- sion and also my mom's journey of life. The name of the author is Dr. Maoshing Ni who is a 38th gener- ation doctor of Chinese Medicine and an authority of anti-aging med- icine. As I read with great curiosity the wisdom he was imparting, I think he knows his stuff. I think his un- derstanding of the science and art of Medicine is pretty sound, since his mention of anatomy, physiol- ogy, biochemistry, pharmacolo- gy, toxicology, nutri- tion and the other dis- ciplines of the field of health appears accu- rate. I am not about to im- part this piece or arti- cle as the ultimate au- thority on this subject. That's my disclaimer. Nor am I making it ap- pear I have any finan- cial interest in his book. Nothing. Nada. I'll just reiterate observa- tions that I have shared with those who have read my past articles on health matters. I am not about to expound on volumes of what the author had written but I will just mention a few. Here are some that impressed me. People who had lived long lives knew that what you eat is likely what you can be- come. So he advocates eating under the prin- ciple of the balance of yin and yang. People should eat balanced diet, at regular in- tervals or hours, and should avoid overburdening their bodies (overeating). As much as possible focus on eating fresh veg- etables and fruits and get your pro- teins mostly from a variety of pro- tein rich natural sources. Points to Ponder By Rev. Ford Bond I've got Jesus, and that's enough My Point of View By Dr. H. K. Fenol, Jr., M.D. Longevity Minority View By Walter E. Williams Gun grabbers misleading us Continued on page 11 Continued on page 11 Gun control did not become po- litically acceptable until the Gun Control Act of 1968 signed into law by President Lyndon B. John- son. The law's primary focus was to regulate commerce in firearms by prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and im- porters. Today's gun control ad- vocates have gone much further, calling for an outright ban of what they call assault rifles such as the AR-15. By the way, AR stands for ArmaLite Rifle, which is manu- factured by Colt Manufacturing Co. As for being a military as- sault weapon, our soldiers would be laughed off the battlefield car- rying AR-15s. Let's look at some FBI statistics on homicide and then you can de- cide how many homicides would be prevented by a ban on rifles. The FBI lists murder victims by weapon from 2014 to 2018 in their 2018 report on Crime in the Unit- ed States. It turns out that slight- ly over 2 % (297) out of a total of 14,123 homicides were commit- ted with rifles. A total of 1,515 or 11% of homicides were committed by knives. Four hundred and for- ty-three people were murdered with a hammer, club or some oth- er bludgeoning instrument. Six hundred seventy-two people were murdered by a hand, foot or fist. Handguns accounted for the most murders — 6,603. What these statis- tics point out clearly is that the so-called assault weapons ban and mandatory buy- back plan that 2020 Democratic presi- dential hopeful Be- to O'Rourke and oth- ers call for, will do little or nothing to bring down homi- cides. More homicides could be prevented by advocating for knife control, hammer control and feet and fist control. Gun controllers' belief that "easy" gun availability is our prob- lem ignores U.S. history. Guns were far more readily available yesteryear. One could mail order a gun from Sears or walk into a hardware store or a pawnshop to make a purchase. With truly easy gun availability throughout our history, there was nowhere near the mayhem and mass mur- der that we see today. Here's my question to all those who want restrictions placed on gun sales: Were the firearms of yesteryear better behaved than those same firearms are today? That's real- ly a silly question; guns are inan- imate objects and have no capac- ity to act. Our problem is a wide- spread decline in moral values that has nothing to do with guns. That decline includes disrespect for those in authority, disrespect for oneself, little ac- countability for anti- social behavior and a scuttling of religious teachings that rein- force moral values. Let's examine some elements of this de- cline. If any American who passed away before 1960 were to return to today's America, they would not believe the kind of personal behavior acceptable today. They wouldn't believe that youngsters could get away with cursing at and assaulting teachers. They wouldn't believe that cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Lou- is and Baltimore hire hundreds of school police officers and that in some schools, students must go through metal detectors. Dur- ing my own primary and second- ary schooling in Philadelphia, from 1942 to 1954, the only time we saw a policeman in school was during an assembly period where we had to listen to a bor- ing lecture from Officer Friend- ly on safety. Our ancestors also wouldn't believe that we're now Pursuit of the Cure By Star Parker Al-Baghdadi is dead Americans need to actually read the Constitution Recent polls show just how con- fused Americans are about our system of government in gener- al and the judiciary in particular. The founders would have found this deeply troubling, as they ar- gued that the people must be "well- informed" and "well-instructed" to be trusted with self-government and to remain free. A recent poll from the Annen- berg Public Policy Center, for ex- ample, showed that just 49 percent say that Supreme Court justices set aside personal and political views to rule based on the law and the facts of each case. At the same time, 48 percent say that the Su- preme Court should be made less independent so that it "listens a lot more to what the people want." In a Quinnipiac University poll earlier this year, 59 percent said that Supreme Court justices are "too influenced by politics." And in the Annenberg poll, 89 percent say that judges should base their decisions on "the facts of the case, the law, and the Constitution." But a recent poll by Marquette Univer- sity Law School found a majority want judges to treat the Constitu- tion as "a document whose mean- ing may have evolved over time." In the Marquette poll, 37 per- cent said senators would be justi- fied in voting against a Supreme Court nominee because of "how they believe the Justice would de- cide cases." But a Gallup poll just one year earlier had a different finding: 49 percent said senators would be justified opposing a nom- inee because of "the nominee's stance on current issues such as abortion, gun control or affirma- tive action." All of this puts polls that ask whether people have "trust or con- fidence" in the Supreme Court or approve of how the Supreme Court is "handling its job" into context. It's clear that most Americans don't know what that job is. But should we be surprised? The Marquette poll showed that 57 percent of Americans haven't read the Constitution, even though it's one of the shortest in the world. In fact, I took two courses in consti- tutional law in law school and was never required to read it. Yet, I did read it and so should everyone else. Simply reading the Constitution will reveal a few things. First, to state the obvious, it's written down. That simplifies the task of trying to figure out what the authors meant. Second, people will find that some things they thought were in the Constitution aren't there af- ter all. I don't mean just the weird things such as thinking the First Amendment protects the right to own a pet (12 percent think this), as well as seriously misguided things such as the First Amend- ment supposedly creating a "wall of separation between church and state." It never actually says that. People might just see the Con- stitution is not so mysterious af- ter all. Yes, it was written a long time ago and has some words that have dropped out of popular usage. And yes, there are general-sound- ing phrases that, at least standing alone, aren't very clear. But there are also words, phrases, and pro- visions that have a commonsense meaning. You won't know until you read it. The Pew Research Center has found that, as they get older, peo- ple shift from saying that the Con- stitution should be interpreted for what it "means in current times" to what it "meant as originally writ- ten." With a little experience, a lit- tle maturity, and a little observa- tion about how easily the tides of political and social life can shift, people seek firmer ground. That's what makes for successful self- government. But that can't happen unless we read it first. Thomas is the Deputy Director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Le- gal and Judicial Studies and a Se- nior Legal Fellow. The Washington Post obituary read, "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aus- tere religious scholar at helm of Is- lamic State, dies at 48." "(A)ustere religious scholar"? How about terrorist?! A fter Twitter world went ber- serk, The Post obituary reap- peared with a new headline: "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48." At a time when we should all share President Trump's exuber- ance about catching and destroy- ing a terrorist, mass murderer and rapist — a threat to our nation and all the civilized world — The Wash- ington Post accused the president of "creating spectacle" around this great achievement. Once again we are made aware of the enormous chasm that exists in America between the right and the left. For those who see good and evil in the world, the defeat of evil is cause for celebration. But for those on the left, who re- ject the moral clarity of our Judeo- Christian ethos, we live in an am- biguous murk of moral relativism, and any claim to moral clarity is it- self the problem, not the solution, even when it comes to the appre- hension and destruction of a noto- rious terrorist/murderer. The Washington Post, the na- tion's capital's megaphone for the American left, criticized the pres- ident for not being "more mea- sured" in his tone, as was then- President Obama, per The Post, after the elimination of Osama bin Laden. We might recall that Obama's two terms were bookended by two notable and revealing stands in in- ternational affairs. Obama's first major internation- al appearance was in June 2009, when he traveled to Cairo, Egypt, to give a speech to the Muslim world with the objective of apolo- gizing to them for the behavior of his country. "9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country," he said. "The fear and anger that it provoked was un - derstandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals." Nowhere did the American pres- ident convey to his worldwide Mus- lim audience that there is anything unique in American principles — principles that created our strong and prosperous nation — or any- thing worth paying attention to and emulating. In December 2016, at the con- clusion of Obama's second term, his administration abandoned our friend and ally Israel by abstain- ing from a vote in the U.N. Secu- rity Council, allowing passage of a resolution condemning Israel for its settlement activity. One Israeli minister said that the U.S. "abandoned Israel, its only al- ly in the Middle East," while the Palestinian Authority called it "a victory." Anyone who loves our country and loves what it stands for will be as exuberant as President Trump was in his announcement of the death of this evil man from ISIS. Was the president being po- litical? Of course. Politics is the means through which we as a na- tion define and choose sides. You're either going to be on the side of a free nation Under God, identifying with the sanctity of life, liberty and property, or not. President Trump and American conservatives are. The Washing- ton Post and America's left are not. This is where we are today. Sen. Lindsey Graham summed it up well in his remarks at the White House. He described the operation say- ing, "(T)he best of America con- fronted the worst of mankind, and the good guys won." We need to make another dis- tinction between President Trump and his predecessor. A mission such as this requires intense focus and coordination. President Trump did this, despite daily scrutiny by a hostile press and being under con- stant siege by Democrats in Con- gress looking for an excuse to im- peach him. Sen. Graham was right to call this "a game changer." Putting fear in the hearts of terrorists is Yesterday was Election Day, and there were winners and los- ers. Most candidates in one form of another claim an attachment to some religious value[s]. There are those who assert that "if Jesus was among us, he would be a conservative [i.e. Republi- can]; while others would stress, "He would be a liberal [i.e. Demo- crat]; while others would say, "He would flog us all." Would Jesus be a conservative [liberal. Or ex-cetera]? This ques- tion goes straight to the heart of the gospel message. I am sor- ry to confess that Jesus seemed to be apolitical, for as He began His ministry, His "platform" was "repent, and believe the gospel" [Good News]. What is the good news? Paul em- phatically stated, "Christ came to save sinners! " Jesus did not proclaim a politi- cal manifesto; He did not headline a political movement. The only information the read- er has as to the political leanings of Jesus are twofold. First, when told that Herod wanted to arrest him, Jesus said "Go, tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomor- row, and the third day I shall be perfected.'" Furthermore, Je- sus acknowledged the power of the rul- ing elite of Judea: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Mo- ses' seat. Therefore, whatever they tell you to observe-ob- serve and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do." Jesus was well versed in the admonition of Samuel when he warned the Hebrews what would become of their liberties if they persisted in demanding a king. Al- low me to paraphrase to modern times: "This will be the behavior of the government who will reign over you: It will draft your sons in- to his military apparatus, and ap- point men and women to make weapons of war and equipment for his armies. The government will tax and control for its bene- fit your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give the best yields to its favorites. It will tax you and give it to businesses and na- tions it favors. And it will coerce your finest young men, and your possessions, and put them to its work. You will be its servants. And you will cry out against those whom you made rulers over you, and the Lord will not hear you in that day. Was Jesus right- wing? Progressives say no! He was a rebel rous- er who spoke truth to power and challenged powerful who killed him. Listen to what the powerful said of Jesus as He stood accused of se- dition among the Judeans; Pilate asked, "What evil has Jesus do- ne? " A fter Pilate had examined Jesus, he [Pilate] ruled "I find no fault in this Man." Jesus spoke the gospel to all who would listen-"Repent, the King- dom of God is at hand." Jesus was not concerned with the Romans, the political zealots of Judea, or the Herodians. If the values of the political right, left, center, progressive, or libertarian overlap with the values of life and Jesus Christ, then we embrace the same cause. Continued on page 11 Heritage Viewpoint By Thomas Jipping Continued on page 11

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