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Hillary's potential court picks are a calamity in the making

To The Daily Sun,

It is usually very hard to make predictions, especially about the future. But I am going to take my chances about the U.S. Supreme Court, about which I know quite a bit.

Many voters, including me, are so disgusted with the presidential candidates at the top of the two major parties that they have expressed their intention either (a) not to vote for the top of the ticket, or (b) simply to stay home and not vote at all. Either choice could spell disaster for the future of our country.

The nine-member Supreme Court, now at eight justices because of the untimely death of Justice Scalia, will likely afford the next president the opportunity to nominate at least four new members to the court. Since the average length of time a justice serves on the court is 16 years, the new justices almost certainly will change the direction of the court and the country for long after the next president has retired and even after their successor has been elected, served and retired as well. In other words, the new court will have a multi-generational effect on our country.

Trump has issued two lists of prospective individuals from which he would nominate justices, all of whom have been vetted by The Federalist Society, of which I am a member. The Federalist Society, founded in 1982, is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It was founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities. This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law.

Keep in mind that the Constitution does not require that a justice be a lawyer. While Trump has told us the pool from which he would prick new justices, Clinton has not. But you can use your imagination. So if you like Hillary (whether intending to vote for her or not voting in the presidential race at all), you will absolutely love her possible picks for the U.S. Supreme Court, none of which are that farfetched:

— Loretta Lynch, current attorney general.

— Eric Holder, former attorney general.

— Huma Abadin- close confident and possibly the first Muslim to ascend to the court; U.S.-born daughter of Syed Zainul and Saleha Mahmood Abedin, who moved to Saudi Arabia at age two and lived there until she returned to the U.S. for college. Married to disgraced former congressman and serial sexter Anthony Weiner.

— William Jefferson Clinton — that well known disbarred lawyer.

— Barack Hussein Obama — that distinguished former constitutional law professor.

— Sidney Blumenthal — so bad that Obama barred him from being hired by the State Department.

— Cheryl Mills — close confidante and defender of Bill in his impeachment proceedings.

The list can go on and on, but you get my drift. It's a calamity in the making.

So, if you do not vote for president or do not vote at all, this is likely what we can expect. Mark my words.

Norman Silber

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Hope can be dangerous placed in the hands of political phonies

To The Daily Sun,

I just finished watching one of the recent revisions of the Peter Pan story. Like most action movies, it was stuffed with plenty of special effects. But the story line seems to have been subverted to the embellishments. It reminds me of the over-the-hill treatment of most Hollywood creations these days. The more the headlines scream at you, the more crime, revolt, unrest and excess of all stripes invade your living room, the more people seem to recoil into fantasy.
You see this mass exodus from reality in all facets of society. Comic book heroes are depicted acting out the fantastic imagined adventures of immature young boys who seek fake glory. Most markedly, craven politicians preach quick and certain fixes to leverage decreasing self-esteem in a world that continues to devalue individuals. Subsequently, the politeness and mutual consideration curve of general society continues to erode.
For me, the whole phenomenon seems to explain two huge problems: the drug culture and the recent allure of fascist politics (i.e., "...take my word for it, dummy — I'm gonna get THEM and fix IT"). The common thread here is the need to escape, and, the stunting of adult sensibilities.
If that's true, then what is it that most people want to escape from? I believe that, for now, the modern world has walked away from normal humans. It is simply too complicated a place for too many people to cozy up to. We are truly left standing in the lurch watching the slow vacuum of formerly third-world countries absorb industrial production at rock bottom costs. Centuries old religious beliefs and allegiances are drying up with the emotionally unsatisfactory remains of 'mere' philosophy or scientific facts — all of which are the domain of scholars, engineers and scientists. Not very uplifting or consoling for the common Joe.
If you want to have serious conversations about how to move forward, it seems to me you must look the tiger square in the eye. No one politician is going to solve the major problems of the world. Not in two terms and certainly not in one term. These issues must be addressed by placing adults in office who remember how to address complicated issues in America's ongoing experiment in democracy. This leaves plenty of competition in the arena of political ideas. But few are joining in.
Please don't ever forget that virtually all human advances start as an idea. In this country, the system used to work because the best ideas got their candidate in office. It's where the phrase "American Pragmatism" was born. In cases where different or opposing ideas shared equal representation, the miracle of compromise, once a revered art, had prevailed.
In theory, the idea process starts with support from the electorate — 'We the People' — and not with the corporations and other special interests. Recently, the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling equates "freedom of speech" to unlimited corporate political funding. If you believe as I do, this is an egregious and specious argument. I can't imagine my employer giving unlimited funds to candidates on behalf of the business. What if you don't want that candidate? That's the money you and I earned for them that they're giving away! It is I and my co-workers who vote. When was the last time you saw a corporation walk in and pull the lever for a candidate? I'll tell you — it's when candidates' coffers are stuffed with obscene amounts of money from their Citizens United super-pacs. Makes your vote seem kind of puny, huh? Not to mention insulting all the hard work you do.
Most politicians and law enforcement people agree that the drug wars have been a failure. That's easy enough to swallow. When I graduated from high school in 1967, the word marijuana was not a household term. Fifty years later, all sorts of drugs are prevalent in high schools and beyond. What has changed so dramatically from the 1950's until now? Well, hope has seemingly vanished. People want to escape this dreary landscape but there are no exits in sight — for many, that means drugs and/or alcohol as a way of life.
Hope is a strong motivator but when the need for it is so strong, it can be dangerous when placed in the hands of political phonies who promise the world without an adult plan of attack.
Personally, I do not believe that shutting down government or running campaigns that are based solely on personal trash talk get results. I don't have to prove that — just look at the past couple of decades.
I urge you — do not be afraid of complicated, long-term and reasonable solutions to our problems. This election offers you two choices and one of them wins. Do not make the child's mistake of placing your trust and admiration in a man who offers P.T. Barnum advice and who clearly does not have the personal control required of the office. Do not be duped by fake patriotism. If you have watched the Trump campaign you cannot push aside your most basic feelings that he is worthy of the office. I here so many people argue, "...well, he's not a saint, but..." Listen to the "but" part of your deepest soul. It's telling you that this man cannot possibly be president of the United States without inflicting disaster on us and the rest of the world. For me, all other arguments about the opposing side pale in comparison.
I'm writing this two days before Halloween. News has just been released regarding the FBI Director's renewed interest in the Clinton e-mail "scandal" — all against the dictates of his boss, the United States Attorney General. Mark my words — WikiLeak's will pile onto this just days before the election for a double-whammy. It will take months to sort all of it out. By then, possibly the most significant election of this era will have passed.
Do not fall for this obvious political intrigue. Hmmm. I wonder what dirt bag Sen. Frank Underwood's complicity is in this?

Paul B. Utiger

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