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Was not the Founding Fathers’ intent evidenced, concerning census counts to determine state populations and therefore legislative representation, by, of all things, the three-fifths rule? That rule stated that “all other persons”/slaves, other than free inhabitants, were to be counted in population counts as three-fifths of a person to determine legislative seat numbers and taxation. The 14th Amendment allowed those “other persons” to be counted as “whole persons” in census counts.

The Founders, in spite of slavery, found a way to census count all inhabitants for representation and taxation purposes, not just free white people who could currently vote or be considered citizens. Hence, Alexander Hamilton contended: “They are persons known to municipal laws of the states which they inhabit, as well as to the laws of nature.”

Surely, in current census counts, we can acknowledge all whole persons living in a state or district, even those not yet naturalized due to current naturalization wait stipulations. Many of these people pay taxes while waiting. In a sense, they are taxed without representation. More so, if not even counted as any person, not even three-fifths of a person.

Bruce Braden, Carmel, Ind.

The writer is a Mt. Pleasant native.


Supreme Court overstepped on abortion

We are seeing some turmoil in regard to the abortion ban in a couple of southern states in which a federal judge has granted an injunction to stop the law from taking effect.

I am not offering an opinion on abortion. As a man, I know that many females believe I am not entitled to an opinion concerning abortion. But I would like to offer a few things for consideration.

In 1973, the Supreme Court deemed that women should have the right to decide if they want an abortion. That has been the law of the land, and some would even say it is settled law.

I don’t know if anyone on the anti-abortion side of the argument even brought to bear the fact that the 10th Amendment in the U.S. Constitution does not specify that the federal government has jurisdiction insofar as a woman’s body is concerned … or a man’s body.

That amendment reads that unless a specific power is delegated to the federal government, that power belongs to the states and the people.

In other words, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 overstepped its authority. So it would appear to me that the federal government’s decision in the matter should be rendered null and void.

Our constitution was formed and agreed upon for the specific purpose of limiting the power of the central government. It seems that we have lost our way in that regard.

N.A. Liberto, Blawnox


Trump will win in 2020

You’ve probably seen it before, that miserable sad sack sitting at a casino slot machine after work shelling out every last penny he’s got— only to get the same results over and over again.

We’ve seen similar behavior in Washington recently, and not from the big orange bogeyman who has been alleged to be anything from a hooded Klansman to a Russian agent.

A lack of transparency by President Trump and his administration has been a prominent criticism. So when Trump ordered Barr to declassify any evidence of spying on the 2016 campaign — you would think Democrats would be celebrating their victory, but no.

Unsurprisingly, they’re enraged — and some of them are entirely delusional. Adam Schiff went as far as to call Trump’s declassification order a “stonewalling of the truth” as well as “un-American.”

Get that? Releasing information to the public means you are hiding something whilst doing a disservice to your country, according to the Russiagate tinfoil hat commander in chief.

In this casino, I’m keeping my chips on red for 2020.

Bobby Harr, Beechview


Honor, integrity & Trump

In response to Terry E. Swindell’s letter — “America’s self- destruction”: This is one of the best summations I have read concerning our current leadership.

His supporters say his bankruptcies don’t matter, cheating on his wives isn’t significant, comments about grabbing genitals (sexual assault) has no relevance, sex with prostitutes (while married) and clandestine payoffs are not a concern, regularly disrespecting a deceased POW and U.S. senator is not an issue, mocking a handicapped person is not significant, evading the draft is no big deal, asking Russia to locate Clinton emails during his campaign is a joke, golfing in Japan on Memorial Day while recently siding with a murderous dictator against a U.S. vice president doesn’t matter.

Hundreds of lies have no bearing. They knowingly compromise what is left of the integrity and honor of our nation because they are frightened and they despise what America is destined to become regardless of their petty efforts.

I would like to add a quote from Nelson Henderson that applies to Swindell’s acknowledgement of limited time left in America and his own mortality: “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

Thomas C. Spallone, Hempfield


Trump trumps Obama

I know where to begin, letter-writer Al Duerig, (“Misinformed on Obama vs. Trump,”) on Ron Raymond’s letter (“Obama vs. Trump.”) Raymond’s letter speaks the truth. I support every word he wrote.

Raymond compared Presidents Obama and Trump — one was likable, loved by the media, and the other was despised. Yes, they are different, but one has worked harder for the American people. Thank you, President Trump.

Duerig is the one who is misinformed. Let’s make this simple: The liberals have created hate, wasted time and money investigating Trump, and are destroying America’s morals.

Duerig seems to believe socialism is good. I wonder if he believes in the liberals’ false promises of “free stuff,” such as college and health care, for votes. Free stuff means more taxes. Nothing of value is “free,” except free will. God dignifies us with free will, the power to choose right or wrong.

I believe the destruction of Venezuela is due to socialism. And Canada’s health care system is not all unicorns and rainbows: Over the last 20 years, Canadians’ health care insurance cost has increased by 174% while their income has only increased by 97%. This math does not equal success.

Over the past three years, the liberal politicians have chosen the wrong path for the American people. What have they done? I agree with Raymond: It is time they work with Trump and do the right thing for the American people who pay their salaries.

Obama vs. Trump? Trump wins!

Pamela Anderson, Mt. Pleasant


Socialism vs. capitalism

The reasons why socialism is superior to capitalism are obvious:

• Because the government’s control of production and wages to eliminate income inequality results in a higher standard of living for everyone.

• Because a system where people are rewarded by convincing bureaucrats of their need is better than one where they convince their fellow citizens of their merit.

• Because unlike greedy capitalists who keep everything for themselves while others live in poverty, the administrators of the socialist state are really nice people who make sure everyone gets an equal share, including themselves.

• Because millions of people are fleeing capitalist countries and risking their lives to get into socialist countries.

• Because almost all of the things that really improve the lives of people were invented in socialist countries.

Because … but wait!

As the late comedienne Gilda Radner’s character Emily Litella might say — “Never mind!”

Richard Rupp, Aspinwall


Pirates need to spend money to be contenders

With Bob Nutting as owner, Pittsburgh will never have a good baseball team; the Pirates will be average at best. Coming up on July 31, the trade deadline, don’t expect any buying from Nutting, just selling whatever good players we have left.

Pittsburgh is still a great sports city, with the Steelers and Penguins carrying all the weight on their shoulders. PNC is a great ball park; I just wish that Nutting would put some pride into the team with some good caliber players and keep them. It would be great for the Pirates to be a contender for the playoffs again, or even the World Series one day.

I hope it doesn’t come down to a fan boycott of the Pirates, which might be the only way to change ownership or open up Nutting’s pocketbook a little bit more than he has in the past.

James Illinsky, Springdale

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