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Top 10 Letters

Gay marriage, reparations, Paris Hilton, and more.

12:00 AM, Apr 13, 2004
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THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.

*1*

In regards to Rachel DiCarlo's piece on Paris Hilton, a very wise ruler once said, "A beautiful woman without discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's nose." (Do Gentlemen Prefer Paris?) There are a lot of us who say, amen to that.

--Brian Paulson

*2*

I'm not an economist but I've been investing and trading for many years and as Irwin M. Stelzer probably knows, as soon as the oil "crisis" hits mainstream media, prices are most likely at their peak and soon to head downward. (A Chilly July?) As far as unemployment goes, the markets don't want to see robust growth due to the fact the Fed could raise interest rates. And since the market hates uncertainty, the handover of Iraq will most likely be a plus.

The only real danger for the markets this year is a Kerry win in November.

--Curt Massie

*3*

Six-hundred thousand men were killed in the Civil War, in some small part as penance for slavery. (Jonathan V. Last, What Can Brown Do For You?) This number may actually exceed the number of slaves brought to the United States during the slave trade. So if reparations are paid to the descendants of slaves, then shouldn't we also be considering paying reparations to the descendants of those killed in the Civil War?

And what do you say to the millions of people who arrived in this country after the Civil War or who were slaves but not in the United States? Not to mention the millions of African Americans who are not descended from slaves. Seems there would be all kinds of burden of proof issues and besides, how far back do we go? Do we include indentured servants from colonial times? But to a more thorny issue, if we pay reparations to slaves who were kept more alive than dead for financial reasons, what do we do for the native population which was underwent a forced population reduction and land seizure?

--Scott Jackson

*4*

Indeed, it is all so confusing. (Larry Miller, What a Nice Man)When is someone a "spiritual leader" and when are they just a killer?

It gets more confusing here in America where, if you are a conservative spiritual leader, you are a dangerous mixture of religion and state. Yet it's all right for left-wing reverends to run for president.

--Brian J. Dunn

*5*

Hugh Hewitt's argument based on the consent of the governed principle misses a more fundamental principle and one already embodied in the Constitution: equal protection. (Without the Consent of the Governed) If denying gay people the right to marry equates to denying them equal protection under the laws, then it is entirely beside the point that a majority of the governed may not favor gay marriage.

The passing reference to the 14th Amendment as one concerning the principle of legal equality between races ignores that the amendment does not limit the principle to race. And for good reason--it is a broader principle. Though the courts have not yet extended that principle to gays, that is not an argument as to why they should not.

If this is indeed an issue of equal protection, neither supermajorities nor 228 years of legal history should carry any weight.

--William Rohner

*6*

Hugh Hewitt's central theme is contradictory. He points out that the principle of equality between religions, races, and genders had, in each case, a "long and difficult passage to majoritarian and statutory status." In each case local and/or state statutory action preceded federal action.

Yet in his support of a federal constitutional amendment, Hewitt would strip the states of any rights to determine gay marriage law. This would preclude the possibility of any jurisdiction leading the way in this "long and difficult passage," and would make tautological Hewitt's point that in 228 years no "legislative body at the federal or state level [has] passed any law with the intent of establishing the proposition that two people of the same sex could marry."