Letter to the Editor
Congratulations and thank you for a great message (Editor’s Page-August) that should be required reading for at least 300,000,000 people living just north of El Rio Bravo.
I want to congratulate you on your analysis (Editor’s Page-August issue) of the main cause of “Uncle Sam’s” current systemic debility. It is really unconscionable what the “Bush gang” has done to the USA — formerly the leader of the “free world” — and the ideals of democracy and decency. What has happened to the principle of “checks and balances” espoused by the “founding fathers of the Republic”? It seems that the “Bush gang” were either fools or knaves, or more likely both.
Why is there no constitutional provision to hold these people to account? It would not reverse the huge losses suffered by the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and the USA, but it might clear the air, provide some closure and put the USA onto a more constructive path — as happened for example with the Nuremberg Trials and Germany and the equivalent in Japan.
I must admit to a sneaking admiration — also implied in your article — of the strategy of Al Qaeda and “their slimy ilk”. They certainly obtained huge leverage towards their goal of weakening the “infidel” West and especially the arrogance of the USA, using a relatively very small investment in their lives and money. It was like prodding a stick into a hornet’s nest, and the chief hornet, GW Bush, reacted as anticipated. Why could not have cooler heads prevailed? They seem to be in short supply in the power structure of the USA.
So where does the USA go from here? Are the elites ready and willing to make some sacrifices of their own — not just asking the rest of the population to bear the burden — and more importantly, to fix the ethical and political standards?
Dear Sr. Grattan:
I want to congratulate you for your Editorial in the August issue. It is the most perceptive and succinct description of the U.S.’s condition that I have read. Having been away, I obtained the magazine only yesterday, and I am urging every U.S. expat that I know to read your Editorial.
Ken (Dr. Kenneth G.) Crosby
San Antonio Tlayacapan
Paul Jackson, in his August “Thunder on the Right” column, tells us that, since there is no law either permitting or proscribing abortion in Canada, abortions are neither legal nor illegal there. Mr. Jackson might have referred to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter) before writing his anti-abortion article. Section 26 of the Charter reads in its entirety:
“The guarantee in this Charter of certain rights and freedoms shall not be construed as denying the existence of any other rights or freedoms that exist in Canada.”
Peter Hogg, a noted Canadian constitutional law attorney, explains for we gringos that Section 26 is the Canadian parallel to the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution reading in its entirety:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The idea is that the people have more rights than are enumerated by statute. The respective constitutions of Canada and the United States of America are the most basic laws of the land. So, saying that Canadian law neither permits nor proscribes abortion because there is no statute regulating abortion either way misses the mark. The law of Canada, by Section 26, specifies that the fact that a right is not limited “shall not be construed as denying any rights or freedoms . . . in Canada (emphasis added).
In sum, it doesn’t take a law permitting something to make it legal in Canada.
San Antonio Tlayacapan
Paul Jackson Replies:
Jeremy Monroe is wrong on both counts: (A) I am not anti-abortion. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, and (B) The Canadian Constitution makes no reference whatsoever to abortion. As someone who both covered Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s Constitutional revamp, and also covered for the largest newspaper chain in Canada the Supreme Court of Canada’s rejection of the Criminal Code provision banning abortion and ordering Parliament to rewrite it, I humbly suggest I know what I am talking about.