Letters to the Editor - April 7

April 06, 2012

Hagerstown a city of disposable infrastructure

To the editor:

In a way, it makes sense to build a stadium in a new location rather than rebuilding at the current location. It is a big step in keeping some of the city’s biggest eyesores together.

We will have a decaying stadium right across the road from a decaying power plant, both of which are just down the street from the newest eyesore — the location of the old hospital and what was the hospital parking deck.

The hotel and convention committee could develop a tourist attraction of some type and do some advertising, marketing Hagerstown as the city of disposable infrastructure. But we really don’t dispose of these items. No, we just let them sit and decay.

Recycling should include big items, not just old milk bottles.

Cliff Lane
Black Rock

Pa. candidate resorting to name-calling, mudslinging

To the editor:

It seems the ugly trend of campaigning by name-calling and mudslinging is coming to our area. It is unfortunate, because this negative way of self-promotion is what is turning off many of our voters. For the most part, we have avoided it here in southcentral Pennsylvania, but apparently no longer.

In his announcement to run for office, James Taylor spoke nothing of anything that he might have to offer the voters. Rather, he jumped into the political gutter with provocative remarks, misleading statements and character assassination. Enough already!

Taylor’s announcement that he is running for office is offensive at the very least. Along with many others, I am appalled and deeply offended by these kinds of wrongful and hurtful statements about any fellow citizen, and in particular Sen. Rich Alloway, who serves our district well. 

Is it that Taylor thinks that the majority of people who vote are so ill-informed that they will believe whatever he says? Anyone has the right to run for office, but no one has the right ethically or morally to maliciously destroy the character and good name of any citizen for any reason — and especially for one’s own personal financial gain.

Kathy Mahon
Shippensburg, Pa.

Supreme Court should re-evaluate pornography test

To the editor:

A local judge was called upon to impose a sentence of 85 years in a case of first-degree rape. Surprisingly, the defendant thanked the police for catching him and admitted he deserved to spend the rest of his life in jail. He then made a statement about how pornography had brought him to see women as mere objects and not as human beings. 

Several cases addressing pornography have reached the steps of the Supreme Court, but none has had the lasting impact of the 1973 decision in Miller v. California. In Miller, the Court addressed the issue of what constitutes unprotected obscenity for First Amendment purposes. More specifically, Miller examined whether certain kinds of pornographic material are considered obscene. This is important because “obscene” material is not constitutionally protected. The Court set forth a three-part test to evaluate whether material is obscene. This three-part test is still used by courts around the country today.  Needless to say, the pornography business has drastically changed since the Miller decision in 1973.

Since Miller, the pornography business has morphed into a $13 billion industry. The Court could not have conceived the rapid growth of pornography caused by the advent of the Internet, but maybe it’s time that the three-part test devised nearly 40 years ago to determine whether certain pornographic material is obscene should be re-evaluated.

Governors need to use the principle of “interposition,” long established in the law, whereby they place their authority to protect their citizens between themselves and the federal government. States in their sovereignty may reject a mandate of the federal government deemed to be unconstitutional or to exceed the power delegated to the federal government. The doctrine denies constitutional obligation of the states to respect Supreme Court decisions with which they do not agree.

R. Martin Palmer

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