Wendy McElroy’s column condemning laws that seek to govern personal ethics elicited spirited support from Foxnews.com readers.
Eric Burns’ article on the ethics guidelines New York Times journalists must abide by also provoked a series of thoughtful replies.
Readers also wrote in response to Matt Hayes’ column on foreign women who illegally enter the U.S. to give birth, Steve Milloy's review of the dismissal of the obesity law suit against McDonald’s and Brian Kilmeade’s Super Bowl report from San Diego.
Here is a sample of this week’s mail.
In response to ifeminists:
Richard Garlitz writes:
It appears to me that "political correctness" has turned into a snowballing avalanche that threatens to stifle the continuing initiatives that have built this country into the power it is today. By attempting to regulate the citizens' morality choices, our government is developing deep class disparities. Hence, I believe this country is becoming more polarized and the sum of the two parts do not lend itself to creating synergy.
Doug Murray writes:
Unfortunately, your assertion that too many personal preferences are being made public policy is accurate, but nothing new. Many of today’s PC Police spent earlier parts of their lives fighting ideas that were PC at the time, yet often enshrined in laws that controlled things like the race your spouse could be, the sex your partner must be, what you and your spouse could do in your bedroom, and whether your could by liquor or groceries on Sunday. You’d think they’d have learned.
Too often we think that right and wrong, good and bad, and legal and illegal are supposed to mean the same things. I think it was Thomas Sowell who wrote something like "There ought to be a law against people who say there ought to be a law."
Jim Pileggi writes:
By restricting freedom of thought, coercion is introduced as the control, not the individual.
Craig Henning writes:
I feel that on the issue of morality people are now becoming afraid and unable to express and defend their morality for fear of retribution. Conservative moral values are counter to liberalism and are met with hatred by these hypocritical people. Isolation and withheld opportunity are tools used by the liberal establishments to maintain power in areas they control, such as the mainstream media or the school systems.
Morality is slowly drained and then fades away from those that are forced to conform. Lack of morality and lack of moral courage are the root cause of the social decay in our society. Social liberalism is being forced into our children through the public education system, and I fear this will only become worse as time moves on.
Robert Hopkins writes:
In our culture, our morality has been based on Christianity for hundreds of years. While there are many variations of Christianity, its moral foundation has remained about the same, and is based on the Ten Commandments. These commandments surely don't cover everything, but they provide a good compass in our sea of life. I am not a religious person, but I have gone to church enough to have these beliefs instilled in what I think and believe about other people.
As we all know, the ACLU and other groups that hate freedom and our culture want to destroy these core beliefs. Apparently, they believe they will then have the power, through lawsuits and their judges, to force to us to do what they want -- which they can change to suit the latest fad or idea. I believe this was a belief shared by the Communists and the Nazis. I wonder if there are any connections here?
Stephen Durrenberger writes:
By your definition of a vice and a crime, can it not be argued that, indeed, discrimination based upon race, gender, or religion ultimately brings harm to the other person by limiting his or her access to gainful employment, etc.? Has not that sort of discrimination led to the socially and financially isolated populations in this country from where the majority of our violent criminals arise? Has this not harmed you and me?
In response to Fox News Watch:
Lisa Wolf writes:
Another issue I have is that while it may indeed be good intentioned, ethics and morality will never come from laws, rules, or expectations. These traits will only be expressed by good and solid individuals at an independent level. If the Gray Lady wishes her employees, writers, editors, and reputation to be ones that she may be proud of, then she needs to look at her hiring and retaining practices. Too much passes for justice today that is merely soulless letter law.
David Z. Dent writes:
The ethic should be to convey, honestly, one's own bias in a story. Everyone has a bias. Those that profess not to have one either don't know enough about the material to be worth listening to, don't have the sense to know their own mind, or don't have enough moral courage to state their beliefs openly. The fantasy of the 'objective' observer has been exposed to the light of reason and common sense that is inherent in the American people and strangely absent in academia, government circles and those that hover too closely to these fine blowers of noxious fumes.
Patty Simpson writes:
It is abhorrent that these rules exist. I have no problem with journalists buying stock, having opinions and agendas, eating with contacts, having interests in companies of their choice and sporting their political preferences. I just want it to be disclosed, and I want journalists to report all the facts, even the ones they don't like. No amount of rules will make up for lack of character, and lack of character is truly the problem. Perhaps they should screen more for character while hiring.
Jason Huggland writes:
Isn't the utopian vision of an objective media really the problem here? I'd have no problem with the liberal bias of the major media if they didn't employ so much energy denying it and smearing those who expose it as right-wing zealots. Fairness and balance are possible. It's really just time for a new model of journalism. Trust me: this is a model the Times really has no interest in.
Dan Calabrese writes:
I find the Times restrictions rather silly because, taken as a whole, they essentially forbid Times reporters from participating in life! They make journalists more and more isolated in ivory towers. While they may make Times reporters appear less biased, that appearance will likely be shattered once we read their stories. The problem with bias is not that reporters have them -- everyone has a bias. It's their inability to put them aside in their writing.
Barbara Riely writes:
If we were not afraid of the truth, which is exactly what it all boils down to, then maybe the media and journalists would not have ever needed a refresher course in Journalism 101. Influence and power go hand-in-hand; hand outs, unfortunately, are always welcome and power naturally goes with them. What a sad state we are in today when the almighty dollar governs our intellect.
In response to Matt Hayes’ Rethinking Citizenship:
Jim Anderson writes:
Excellent insight into what is happening with the number of illegal immigrants entering solely to give birth on U.S. soil. I am a firm believer in legal immigration, after all that's how most of our grandparents or before arrived here. However, it was to contribute to the American fabric, not to rip it to shreds for selfish and illegal purposes. Assimilation was the desired goal in days gone by, now it's just, "Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie." Sad, but not too late.
Thomas Watson writes:
Many doctors in Mexico give women maps with directions to the hospitals in San Antonio so they can find their way to the emergency room before they deliver. I don't have any figures, but I would bet that the numbers you mention in the article are somewhat low. It’s correct that when the baby is delivered, it's "standing room only" for people and organizations wanting to assist them in staying by providing assistance and legal representation. There seems to be no end to the organizations and businesses, as well as government agencies that find it in their best interests to support this type of activity.
Ron Thomas writes:
This information needs to be spread on a large platform because very few people have any idea of what it is costing our country, taxpayers, and the lack of services to legitimate citizens due to the enormous cost of this fraudulent practice. We seem to be responsible for taking care of international terrorism, because few other countries have the guts to do it. We certainly can not continue to have this additional and expensive burden.
Nella Joseph writes:
I recently talked to a family of Nicaraguans who entered the U.S. illegally but are very eager to obtain a legal status to work and live in this country. They told me that in order to prove residency, they can obtain a Tax ID # from the IRS and pay taxes. That way, they can not only prove that they have lived in the U.S. for a certain time, but also have followed U.S. laws. Isn't this ironic? The INS is supposed to initiate deportation to anyone who enters and stays in the country illegally, yet the IRS, aware of the situation, has the contact information of the illegal person, but does not advise the INS. I understand that the reasoning for this is that if the illegal immigrants are here anyway, they might as well pay taxes, but the procedures of both agencies are contradictory.
Jill Seymour writes:
It's too bad that this argument against birthright citizenship has fallen on deaf ears in congress for years. I believe that the 14th Amendment states that children born to people who are under the jurisdiction of the country are granted automatic U.S. citizenship. A previous article I read pointed out that illegal immigrants can't be charged with treason and young men can't be drafted into our military. So how can illegals be considered as being under the jurisidiction of our country?
In response to Junk Science:
Jack Gostl writes:
It’s a bit disturbing to note that if you take this whole matter and substitute the word "tobacco" for "hamburger," you get the same words, but a totally different judgement.
Frank Ferro writes:
This is common sense from the American "justice" system. It seems that we have become a nation of irresponsible misfits who want to blame anyone but ourselves for our woes. I have a daughter who is quite overweight and loves McDonald's. My wife and I blame ourselves for our lack of control, not the restaurant that serves the food. Fast food franchises do not, to my recollection, pass themselves off as health food emporiums.
Steven Cordero writes:
Because it was a motion for dismissal, Judge Sweet was required to accept as true the allegations of the complaint and make all inferences in favor of the plaintiffs. On this motion, unfortunately, he was required to accept the "junk science-based" material as true. If the motion to dismiss had been denied, Judge Sweet can totally disregard this material on a summary judgment motion or at trial. I don't believe that there is a serious threat of future judges accepting such bogus materials for summary judgment motions or at trial.
By the way: the coffee’s hot, too!
In response to Clubhouse Report:
Marc Gilligan writes:
It’s all about the money. There’s no more team loyalty and no more building dynasty franchises. It’s all about the individual. Players keep moving from team to team looking for the fast money and that Super Bowl Ring and forget about building a team that will last. They forget about commitment to teammates, coaches, and even the fans. They forget about sticking through the tough times while everyone develops and grows in leadership. It's ridiculous! Unfortunately, this isn’t simply limited to the NFL or other major league sports. It is also apparent in colleges, too.
Roger W. Thomas writes:
In the last 10 to 15 years, I have quit watching pro-football because of the bad sportsmanship. It's pathetic that the players, coaches, and owners cannot see what these actions do to young kids. For these people to say and actually think that they are not role models is absurd. Kids see their actions on the field and imitate the bad behavior on the field. Now I am even at the point of not watching much college football because the bad sportsmanship has started to take over there as well. The NFL should be pressured to put some kind of standards of conduct in place and use them. When I was a kid, my parents knew that they could sit their kids down and watch sport without having us exposed to such trashy behavior.