Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16
February 15, 2018
Republicans rent space like anyone else
I was at the Douglas County Republican Central Committee meeting on Feb. 6, which was protested (picketed) by a number of people exercising their First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom to assembly. As a Republican, I respect these people who did more than just complain about something they feel strongly about. I think they are "wrong minded" but that is another subject.
The reason for this letter is to state that I hope people don't make a connection between two dots that does not exist.
The first dot is that the Elks Lodge rented meeting space to the Douglas County Republican Central Committee.
The second dot is that the Douglas County Republican Central Committee is featuring a speaker that some people don't like. I like that speaker (Sheriff Joe Arpaio) very much.
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Some people connect these two dots with a line of "The Elks Lodge is an organization that supports the Republican Party." They are "wrong minded" thinkers and that line of thinking is not true (fake news)!
The Elks Lodge is a non-political organization. They just rent out some meeting space they have available. They rent this same space to a number of other organizations (not just the DCRCC). The progressive, liberal left is very good at painting people and organizations with a broad brush that best fits their agenda but have no truth in facts.
Get your facts straight before voicing your opinion or presenting a letter.
Not the right direction
Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been invited to speak at a political event here in Douglas County. Whoever decided a disgraced former Arizona sheriff should come to Douglas County at the precise moment our own sheriff's office is facing a change in command is exhibiting questionable judgment at best.
One can only wonder if Joe Arpaio's history of monetary misappropriation, countless numbers of violations of detainees constitutional rights to adequate health care, ignoring hundreds of cases of sex crimes of which many involved children, orchestrating his own fake assassination to make himself appear as a hero which resulted in imprisoning an innocent man as a fall guy for four years, and many lawsuits from Joe Arpaio's actions costing millions of dollars for Arizona taxpayers, is the direction his invitees think is appropriate for our sheriff's department? I certainly hope not.
Judges not sources of power
In his Feb. 9 letter, Mr. Goldsmith misguidedly endorses the invalid doctrine of judicial supremacy, writing, "…the courts that decide the constitutionality of those laws…." Our Constitution begins with the words, "We The People," not we the government, or we the judges.
In 1803, the Supreme Court opined in Marbury v. Madison, a power to invalidate laws of Congress, which has morphed into deference to the courts on all matters. Recall that the Founders formed our government writing in the Declaration of Independence, "…deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
On June 14, 1788, in the Virginia Ratification Convention, while debating the power delegated to Congress by the Constitution, Delegate George Nicholas stated, "If they exceed these powers, the judiciary will declare it void, or else the people will have a right to declare it void."
The court's assertion of judicial review (practiced as supremacy) is not supported by the text of the Constitution. This doctrine evolved from the continued piling on of "precedents," the court self-validating its constitutional usurpation. The executive and legislative branches failed to nullify this doctrine, allowing it to become accepted.
Thomas Jefferson wrote to Monsieur Coray, Oct. 31, 1823, "…the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government…their decisions…pass silent and unheeded by the public at large…become law by precedent, sapping, by little and little, the foundations of the Constitution…."
In Federalist 51 James Madison, the architect of the Constitution, said, "In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates." In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton said, "the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power."
On Sept. 28, 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote William Charles Jarvis, an early judicial supremacy adherent, "You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy." He continued, "The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots."
Dr. Alpheus Thomas Mason, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Princeton University and one of the country's foremost judicial biographers wrote, "Implicit in the system of government the Framers designed is the basic premise that unchecked power in any hands whatsoever is intolerable."
Mr. Goldsmith accepts the replacement of our constitutional republic with judicial perversion by precedent, establishing an unconstitutional judicial oligarchy. American courts have become politicized, some radically, and would be totally repugnant to our Founders.
I urge Mr. Goldsmith and all Americans to learn our Constitution and stand for the truth. An anonymous quote can light the way: "Study both sides of everything, no matter how personally uncomfortable. If someone tells you not to study the other side of your beliefs, that is a huge red flag that means you should do exactly that."
Home ownership doesn't work for everyone
I don't know who started the false narrative about affordable housing being slums and hangouts for gangs, but it really needs to stop before people begin to believe that nonsense. It makes us sound like California NIMBYs, which I surely hope we all are not.
Another falsehood the fear mongers are pushing is that Douglas County is contributing money to developers to subsidize housing developments so they're more affordable than market rate housing. That's simply not true!
While state law doesn't require counties our size to address housing in a Master Plan, the authors of the plan back in 1996 were wise to include a housing element to highlight then current and future needs.
The current Master Plan Update does exactly what's needed, with goals and action items to assure that adequate housing exists for individuals and families regardless of income level, age or physical condition.
The plan includes statistics on affordable housing that's available to rent or own, housing that's subsidized by an agency of government, and housing that's accessible to persons with disabilities.
It also includes an analysis of projected growth, demographic characteristics of the community, a determination of the present and prospective need for affordable housing, and it begins to identify ways to meet the need for affordable housing for the next five years.
That's not an easy task in what I believe is the most expensive housing county in the state. I don't agree with all the proposed actions, but most of them are reasonable and attainable if there's a will to provide affordable housing for all our citizens.
In no way does the plan suggest that Douglas County needs to encourage the construction of "projects" like those found in big eastern cities.
With land use policies that direct new development to areas with access to public utilities and services, affordable housing may be located adjacent to existing developments. It may be that multi-family housing will be one method to achieve at least a portion of the affordable housing goal. Another portion may be met by requiring affordable housing be included as part of new and larger developments.
Let's face it, job mobility among today's workforce is unlike ever before, and not every person or family is looking for a house in a traditional neighborhood. But they likely want a clean, safe, and inviting place to put down roots, even for a few years if not longer. The need exists today and will into the future.
And let's not forget those who have decided to leave behind lawn mowing, leaf raking and snow shoveling, and are looking for a simpler lifestyle that affords ample time to travel or read a good book. We are all getting older and having affordable and accessible senior housing is important, too.
We are a caring community; we can do this. There are numerous successful models to explore if we do the research. I've personally seen examples that would fit nicely into our rural community. Let's stop the grumbling and get on with it. Enough of the scare tactics already.