News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Where is real Mexican border?

As a Chinese immigrant, I commend your April 24 editorial, "GOP having difficult time with immigration," for urging elected officials to protect American taxpayers by curbing illegal immigration.

American leaders should also keep in mind the potentially very severe social and political consequences of continued skyrocketing legal and illegal immigration.

Last December, the Mexican government published a guide advising Mexicans on how to cross the U.S. border safely. In 1997, Ernest Zedillo, then-President of Mexico, said in Chicago: "I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders and that Mexican migrants are an important — a very important — part of it."

In 1995, Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, said at a Hispanic conference: "As goes the Latino population will go the state of California, and as goes the state of California will go the United States of America. My friends, the stakes are big. This is a fight worth making."

Is Mexico using migration to extend the Mexican nation?

Yeh Ling-Ling

Executive Director

Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America

Oakland, Calif.

Spanish becoming more prevalent

A couple of weeks ago I was in a national auto parts store on Sixth Avenue. I was there about 20 minutes. They have an internal public address system, and I realized that everything coming over the PA system was in Spanish. I didn't understand a word of it. Tell me: where do I live — Decatur, Ala., USA, or is that just an illusion?

Frank L . Tapscott Sr.


Anti-lynching measure significant

I was disappointed that there was no editorial or commentary in THE DAILY on the U.S. Senate passing anti-lynching resolution after many decades of filibustering by Southern Democrats, who claim an infringement of states' rights. I read the article from Associated Press stating the Senate action, in which 85 co-sponsors who signed the statement of resolution and 15 senators who chose not to sign. I commend the bipartisan resolution from Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Sen. George Allen, R-Va., for beginning the process in February and moving to a late-night vote with little media attention on June 13.

Although four out of five lynching victims were African-Americans, other lynching victims were Jews, Italian immigrants, Latinos, Asians and American Indians. I hope this vote with its symbolic gesture will bring about healing and reconciliation in our nation that will remove racial barriers and disparities in imprisonment rates, jury selection, health care, welfare reform, housing patterns and employment practices.

It bothers me that Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, can lend his name to National Men's Health Awareness Month, which I fully support, but he is unavailable to sign the lynching resolution. Sen. Shelby states "Congress should have enacted anti-lynching legislation a long time ago." Well, he has been in Congress for some time to offer one, if he so desired. I find much inconsistency and hypocrisy in the halls of Congress. When I see the non-sponsor lawmakers come from the "red states," I understand why the GOP has a harder time in attracting the black voters.

Isaiah J. Ashe


Rezoning golf course good for city

Congratulations to Bob Stewart for following through with his proposal to rezone Point Mallard Golf Course.

On June 21, the Decatur Zoning Board passed the zoning bid unanimously. It was highly endorsed by the convention and tourism board, the Decatur/Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, the economics development authority, the Point Mallard facilities board and the tourism director of the Holiday Inn.

The zoning board is to be congratulated for seeing the impact this will have on our city and recognizing Mr. Stewart's devotion to the city and Point Mallard.

Bob McKenzie


Alabamians OK'd seizure in 2004

The ruling last week by the U.S. Supreme Court allowing municipalities to impose eminent domain to seize property for use by private developments was indeed appalling. Just as troubling is the fact that the people of Alabama had already approved such violations of personal property rights in the 2004 general election when Amendment 3 received a majority of votes. That amendment now is identified as Amendment 772 to the Alabama Constitution.

Some legislators are already voicing their outrage over this ruling, as they should. However, some of the same legislators were silent on the matter of Amendment 3. Furthermore, by the mere fact that they allowed this extremely covert and deceptive measure to get before the voters in the first place implies at least some measure of endorsement. Ultimately, we cannot blame the legislators, regardless of their level of compliance with Amendment 3. The people accepted this measure, and now it is part of our state constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court action only validated what we had already, either willingly or ignorantly, and certainly unfortunately, self-imposed.

Freddy Ard


Start by taking justices' property

Last week, our Supreme Court delivered an unbelievable blow to all American citizens' personal property rights, formerly guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. This ruling, allowing local governments the right to seize private property from individuals against their will to sell to private developers, puts Americans in the sights of salivating, tax-hungry, local, state and federal governments. Now they can seize any property if an alternate use promises more tax income!

This is a judicial travesty. It negates private-property provisions of the Fifth Amendment. It is a clear signal for Americans to get off our duffs and vote for leaders who will appoint and approve judgeships to individuals who will rule using the principles and wisdom of our nation's founders. Also, to close Pandora's box, all must vote for those who will make law to reverse these rulings and restore original Fifth Amendment property terms.

A start will be for citizens to work and vote to overcome the current Congressional obstruction blocking eminently qualified judicial appointees, like our own long-delayed Bill Pryor. This to obtain judges to take seats and counter the preponderance of "legislate from the bench" judges like Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer imposing this abysmal ruling! Surely this is a signal to vote to move power away from judicial legislation.

Are we going to follow like sheep down this road to socialism? Judicial legislation may promise what we think we want, like freedoms for taxes or apparent security. In the long term it's a sure bet that perceived gains will cost us personal liberties as this decision has. If we are to do this, start with the homes of the above five justices and develop projects to raise tax revenue. The occupants who rendered us this decision surely won't mind giving up their own personal property.

Edd Wigginton Decatur

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