Breaking parties’ grip, Paul would return gov’t to people

As the Democrats and the Republicans have morphed into one giant party, they were complacent in believing their control was absolute: We give the citizens these choices for president, and that’s it. In essence they’re saying, put a neocon warmonger up against Hillary, because it’s her turn.

After Ross Perot bought his way into past-election debates, the League of Women Voters was tossed out in favor of a Democrat/Republican panel. Perot brought charts and talked about things like deficits. The entire 1994 Republican Revolution platform could have been based on Perot’s platform. But now the candidates sign contracts down to the minutia of what can be said or the angle of cameras.

Now comes Ron Paul, a GOP congressman from Texas, whose grilling of Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is broadcast to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, causing the traders to stop and cheer! And this upstart has the gall to bring in hundreds of thousands of new political activists to the GOP and raise, in averages of about $100 each, $4.3 million in one day — a day associated with the movie “V for Vendetta” in which the people again take charge of their government.

The memos must be flying around D.C. and states’ GOP headquarters — use any ploy, any dirty trick, any manner of misrepresenting the nonviolent Ron Paul Revolution as dangerous! Why, Glenn Beck’s show implied we were terrorists. Homeland Security can wipe out all your rights if you are a terrorist, so this really isn’t funny anymore.

But their fear tactics are not working. Ron Paul is at 8 percent in a Rasmussen poll and still rising. Polls that used to exclude him as “other” (another tactic for unapproved candidates) now recognize him.

Bless this old OB/GYN’s heart. Go Ron Paul. I’m a grandmother, and you cured my apathy. There may be hope for the people to again police the government, rather than the government policing the people.

Bellevue, Neb.

Pass federal law on  teen driving

From Denny Freidenrich

Since the war on drugs officially began in 1970, tens of thousands of teens have been shipped off to juvenile hall or sentenced to prison for drug possession. Despite wearing their DARE T-shirts to elementary school, and knowing virtually everything there is to know about drug use, today’s teenagers still are hell-bent on getting high.

As citizens, we worry about a number of public health issues every day (air quality, violence and escalating teen drug use all register high on the list). Because there are federal laws governing carbon emissions and hate crimes, I believe there should be a federal law governing teen drivers who test positive for drugs.

To their credit, a few forward-thinking state lawmakers have floated similar ideas locally; however, this problem is national in scope. That’s why Congress needs to enact a law that prohibits teenagers from getting their learner’s permit or qualifying for a driver’s license if they fail a drug test. If that happens, the offending teen must wait another six months before reapplying. If drugs are detected the second time around, that teen must wait a year before reapplying.

Society needs a federal line that simply can’t be crossed. Expelling teens from school or locking them up has not been a deterrent in the war against drugs here at home. According to a 2006 report by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Teens seeking rehabilitation for smoking marijuana outnumber those seeking rehab from other drugs, including alcohol.”

The best way to win the war on teen drug use is to take their keys away before they start to drive.

Laguna Beach, Calif.