Letters to the editor (07/25/12)

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Rio Communities is fine the way it is
Editor:
We have lived in Rio Communities in the same house since 1985.
We have seen the incorporation issue before. Nothing has changed. Rio Communities can not sustain “city” services without an increase in tax base.
Yes, there may be 5,000 homes here, but how many are derelict? How many are inhabited by folks who are on set incomes and can not afford a tax increase?
Taxes never go down, to say that they won’t go up is specious reasoning.
It is only necessary to look at Belen and see how they have been struggling to maintain any city services. I believe we would be better served by helping Belen if you want to find a use for your money, so that at least the Belen Library, which is very nice and which we use, would be able to sustain decent hours.
I, for one, do not want city lights, city manners, city zoning and city taxes. I moved here to live outside of the city.

Loretta Torres
Rio Communities

Optimist Club helped many of us to succeed
Editor:
I have several folks and organizations to thank for my positive mental attitude (PMA) and optimistic outlook on life.
I could thank everyone from my parents to Zig Ziglar, Og Mandino, Lou Holtz, W. Clement Stone, Napoleon Hill and many others.
To this day, the works of the aforementioned authors sit on my bookshelves and are well-read.
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank the Breakfast Optimist Club of Belen.
It was with great sadness I read that the Optimist Club was disbanding after more than 30 years of impacting lives and the quality of life in Valencia County.
The Optimist Club was generous and awarded a scholarship to me (and many others) as I left Valencia County to attend New Mexico State University in 1988.
I remember receiving my scholarship and a beautiful copy of The Optimist Creed. I was grateful and still specifically apply one of the promises in the Creed to “be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.”
The Optimist Club left its impression on me and its fingerprints are on any success I enjoy.
Hopefully, I wrote a thank you note back in 1988 (in accordance with my parents’ teaching), but if I didn’t — MIL GRACIAS from my family to each of your distinguished members and supporters throughout the decades!
Valencia County is a better place because of your good work.

Brian S. Colón
Albuquerque

Obamacare is just another tax
Editor:
At the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Ben Franklin was stopped as he left Independence Hall and asked what type of government had just been established.
He responded, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
The final answer to Franklin’s challenge came with Judge Roberts’ opinion released on June 28.
Regardless of where you stand with regard to the government imposing itself even further into health care financing, the Supreme Court action (it was more than just a decision) … ought to sadden every American.
The mandate demanded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act (“Obamacare”) was introduced as a penalty for people who could afford health insurance and did not choose to buy insurance (“free riders’ according to Nancy Pelosi).
The contents of the bill, including the mandate, was fashioned, introduced, and passed first in the Senate on December 24, 2009. It then went to the House, where it was passed on March 21, 2010. (This may or may not be an important sequence of events — depending on whether or not the Constitution matters.)
On June 28, the Supreme Court announced their decision that the mandate as proposed — a penalty imposed under the authority of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution — was in fact, unconstitutional.
However, they did not stop there. Judge Roberts then sided with four other justices to say that the mandate, as a tax, would be constitutional. His reasoning?
Not buying insurance was “just another thing the government could tax.” He then went on to explain why he felt is was necessary for the court to change the law —  it is the duty of the Supreme Court to “find a way” for the will of the majority to be enacted, and that if people wanted a different outcome they should vote differently.
President Obama proclaimed this as a “victory.”
So, what is the problem?
The Supreme Court abdicated its role of judicial review in exchange for claiming the power of the Legislature.
In claiming this power, the court established the precedent that the court must do what is necessary to find a way to enact the will of the majority — even if that will would violate the Constitution.
What now limits the will of the majority?
Based on this decision … a new majority.
The Constitution — once the rule which defined the function and limits of the government (and thereby the protector of individual freedoms and rights), according to Judge Roberts now is relegated to a role of being the guideline the court now uses to rewrite legislation.
If voters don’t like the old unconstitutional law vote for someone else who will enact a new unconstitutional law. The court will then “find a way” to make sure that law is enacted as well.
The Constitution once protected our freedom against intrusion by government. Now, if the majority wants to intrude,  it is the duty of the court to find a way” to make sure that happens.
I recognize there are people, perhaps a majority, who think it is only right that “free riders” be forced to pay something — it is a position supported at some time by both major parties and both major party candidates.
But casting out the Constitution in order to gain this outcome should have been unthinkable.
So, we have an answer to Mr. Franklin’s challenge — we did for 227 years.
The Republic might have withstood the law, surviving the decision is less likely. It appears President Obama has succeeded in his desire to “fundamentally change” the country.
We are being transformed from a Constitutional Republic into a  tyranny of the majority.
This should be really great news for those of you who hope to steal … er … redistribute wealth from those evil rich people.
Just remember to get out and vote … the will of the majority is now the law.

Dana Davis
Los Lunas