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Issue Home August 26, 2009 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

The SPAMs Vs. The WHAMs

If President Obama has his way, 27% of law-abiding Americans will be reclassified as law-scoffing felons. And how is this mass conversion from Jekylls to Hydes to be achieved? By making certain thoughts criminal acts. They're called hate crimes, but thought crimes come closer to the mark.

A thought crime is any offense committed against a person or property that is motivated by hate because of a person's - here comes the list - race, color, origins, nationality, religion, gender (that's PC for sex), sexual orientation, or disability.

And who are these federally sanctioned minorities: African Americans (14%), Hispanics (15%), Native Americans (1%), Asian Americans (5%), handicapped (12%), and women (50% minus half of the other minorities = 26%). And one more minority, those not included as a minority: 27%. That's 100%. The United States is now the Balkanized States.

Offenses against the aggrieved can grow like kudzu. A thought transgression could manifest itself as a physical attack or just the threat of one, it could be verbal or written, even congregating in a certain area could be construed as intimidating and thus a criminal act. Gestures, too, in their legions, could be illegal acts. Any of these infractions could earn one an extended stay in a gated community.

Thought crime legislation runs a fault line through the nation. The SPAMs, or Specially Protected American Minorities - that's 73% - on one side of the divide. On the other side are the WHAMs, or White Heterosexual American Males - that's the 27% - who, ironically, are now themselves an embattled minority. (Is there any identifiable group that is not a minority?)

Arguing against criminalizing thoughts is prima facie absurd, like making a case for the self-evident fact that pigs can't fly. Is the government to become a mind reader? A diviner of thoughts? Is it to pass judgment on what we think? Congress is giving serious consideration to the preposterous. And with the elevation of Sonia Sotomayor to the Bench, the preposterous becomes probable. It just might fly - thought crime legislation, that is, not pigs.

So we will argue - and with a straight face - against the absurdity of criminalizing thoughts.

There are many sound arguments against legislating thinking. It would clog the federal courts, create disrespect for the law, and necessitate another tier of laws to further protect the embattled minorities. But the strongest impediments for regulating thoughts are found in 4 amendments to the Constitution.

The First Amendment prohibits laws which infringe upon freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Thought crimes would stifle both. Any word, spoken or written, could be interpreted as hateful and punishable by law.

The Fifth Amendment states that no person shall be punished for the same offense twice. A thought crime defendant could be punished for a physical crime and then have a second sentence imposed for illegal thoughts “committed” during the first crime.

The Tenth Amendment limits the powers of the federal government to those specifically granted to it. Thought crimes expand the powers of the federal government beyond those Constitutionally mandated.

Lastly, the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of equal standing before the law. Thought crime laws would grant federally protected minorities special standing before the law.

Surely, these roadblocks will stop the government's attempts at statutory oversight of thoughts. Alas, no. As a rule, the left is not guided by the rule of law. They answer to what they perceive to be a higher calling: justice.

But beware, trading law for justice is answering the Sirens' call to anarchy. Justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It is subjective. On the other hand, law is blind. It is objective. Before the law, there are no minorities, no victim groups, no oppressed alliances demanding deferential treatment. All who stand before the law are equal.

But Congress is working on it.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

What Benefits The Many?

I love a good town hall meeting, and lately that is the place to be to see democracy in action. We are now embroiled in health care and what it will mean. I know health care is very important, and the time has come to address this. I am one of the millions who do not have health insurance. If I want to have it, I will pay dearly for it. At this time I do not have the fifteen hundred dollars a month Bluecross/Shield will charge me for the family plan. That always bothered me to pay so much, or more correctly what my old employer paid, to hear they stockpiled the money. Legalized theft. This system is corrupt. Between lawyers, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies, I feel badly for the health care providers. They can not afford the premiums charged to protect themselves from a sue happy society, geez, they cannot even have full control over what medicines they can prescribe to someone suffering because the lawyers made the weed illegal.

I have experience with two government health providers and can assure you that government and lawyers have no more idea than a turkey of what they are doing. Those of us who know the social security disability, and the veterans administration will all be nodding their head on this, if you want to be frustrated, ignored, and mistreated, deal with that bunch. The regulations the old boys came up with are so vaguely worded, and numerous, one can get the idea quick that it is designed to fail. What many folks may not realize is the level of poverty one's family endures to get the medical, financial help one has either paid in thru the payroll taxes, or in the service of their country. When you finally get thru the tortuous application proceedings, you are made to feel like you are unworthy.

This could be due to understaffed, over-worked and under paid government employees.

I have to wonder in those thousand pages, why on page 59 does it say, the government will have direct, real time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer. Page 30 says a government "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. Page 167 says, "any individual who doesn't have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be further taxed 2.5% of income." Page 272 suggests rationing of medicines for cancer patients.

I think the President should read this bill of disaster. He should use the money already in the system by not rewarding the lobbyists and get a committee of medical and private sector members to come up with a health care plan that does not punish the small business owner, not ration care, and let the doctors do their job. I go to an attorney for legal issues, not health issues. But since the lawyers profit from the doctors, and the doctors fight back by over testing, or by not practicing at all, it seems the patient suffers. Still only in America can you read the proposed bills, and argue these points. Although some of the points seem obscene, it only takes a minute to read this, and realize, hey, these unrulies have a valid point, and its time to pay attention. As this bill stands now, I have to just say NO to the current government health care bill.

There are even more disturbing sections in this bill, basically its sickening. I guess what is even more disturbing is the politicians blaming the other party for something they have been around themselves, and cannot understand the anger of their constituents. That is probably due to the fact they already have the best health money can buy, and think that we were kidding when we said its time for change, and not anymore politics as usual. The days of sheep appear to be over, and so isn't the Tammany Hall mentality.

Yes, it appears that the voting citizen is waking up, some more loudly than others, and although the issue of health care reform is complicated, I do believe a creative solution will be found that will benefit the many and not just the few.


Cynthia Allen

Summersville, PA

Re: Fluoridation

Regarding Mr. Scroggins’ letter concerning fluoridation, I would refer anyone interested in the latest scientific, verifiable information to see the Centers for Disease Control website @ CDC.gov. Community water fluoridation is recognized as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century by the CDC.


Stephen W. Kielceski, D.M.D.

New Milford, PA


Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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