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Paul Jenkins

You know what's wrong with this country? Really wrong? Forget President Obama. Forget Harry Reid, or spandex on the mirror-challenged, or nosy do-gooders or even cell phone users yakking in the fast lane. Forget all that.

It's lawyers. There are too many; too many who went to Ivy League schools; and, way too many who went to Ivy League schools and ended up on the Supreme Court so they can plague us for the rest of our lives -- and theirs.

Not everybody is happy about that. There is simmering agreement between Democrats and Republicans in the nation's capital that the next court vacancy should be filled by someone sans an Ivy League education...

Paul Jenkins

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

-- First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will take up a Kansas case this fall certain to test Americans' dedication to the Constitution and the depth of our humanity; a case that could allow the worst among us to continue wrapping themselves in the law of the land to torment the grieving among us. Or it could silence them at great peril to our freedom...

Paul Jenkins

Our government is broken, perhaps beyond repair. It spends too much. It taxes too much. It is too much involved in the minutiae of our lives. It is not so much about governing; it is about paying off friends, destroying enemies and staying in power.

It is, on its best day, a narcissistic monster pampered by powerful unions and fed by insane deficit spending. It offers something for everyone and now has half of the nation leeching off the other half. "Here's something for you, pal, vote for me."...

Paul Jenkins

A U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing mentally ill, "sexually dangerous" inmates to be held on a federal court's civil commitment after completing their prison sentences is one of the court's worst decisions in recent memory.

Those inmates now can be held perhaps forever by a civil commitment, perhaps for reasons having nothing to do with their crime, and all of that should make the rest of us uneasy. It mocks what we believe is right.

Don't get me wrong. Sexual predators are a waste of oxygen. I've seen what they do. If it were up to me, there would be a lot more oxygen for the rest of us.

But what is almost as troublesome is a legal system that has become, in too many ways, a crapshoot...

Paul Jenkins

Here's a lousy idea: Let's lock up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's 1.5 million-acre coastal plain as a wilderness so the evil oil industry can never search for the estimated 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil believed pooled there.

After all, the Energy Information Administration says this nation only imports 9.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, up more than a half-million barrels daily over the same period last year. About 5.9 million barrels come from our good friends at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Our oil hunger is 57 percent fed by imports. During the Arab oil embargo it was 36 percent.

With all that, who really needs to find and produce new oil? That's easy. We do...

Paul Jenkins

It gets me all warm and fuzzy when President Barack Obama steals a moment from his busy golf schedule to counsel Americans on hate speech and to urge that we tone down our heated, anti-government rhetoric. It seems the left, ever wrapped in its cozy mantle of hypocrisy, is intent on stifling criticism, especially of Obama or the government.

The president even chided in a speech at the University of Michigan that inflammatory rhetoric endangers our "democracy designed by Jefferson and the other founders. ..." (We live in a constitutional republic, but how is a Harvard scholar to know?) "At its worst," Obama said of the rhetoric, "it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response."...

Paul Jenkins

The federal government's abdication of its duty to protect our borders is coming home to roost. Its refusal to act has forced Arizona -- Ground Zero for illegal immigration -- to protect itself from a slow-motion invasion by enforcing its own new, stringent immigration law.

The beleaguered state has no choice. One estimate puts the number of illegal aliens already in Arizona at more than 475,000 -- at a cost of at least $1.3 billion annually. Despite yammering from talk show hosts and others who should know better, what we are seeing in Arizona is frustration, not racism...

Paul Jenkins

Here is the note Rep. Les Gara would love to dash off to Exxon Mobil, if he had the guts: "Dear Exxon, You lie. A lot. I hate you. Your pal, Alaska Rep. Les Gara." He'd have it delivered stuffed in the craw of an oily, dead fish.

Gara makes no bones about his visceral loathing of the oil giant. He bleats about it at every turn -- usually, sad to say, without checking the facts. His attacks must, however, suffice as good politics in quarters where thinking comes extraordinarily dear.

One can only imagine what this guy sees in his mind's eye when he starts fulminating about Exxon Mobil or the other North Slope producers -- the same folks who pay for 90 percent of the state government Gara would love to expand...

Paul Jenkins

Too many of you are nuts. Anonymously, viciously nuts. Stark raving nuts. Read the comments about the column I wrote last week on the failure of the bus bond. You'll see.

Half-baked, pseudo-conservatives decided I was a pinko for having the temerity to wonder whether voters missed the bus in turning down the bond and its bank-breaking tab -- about 75 cents a year for an average house. The bond totaled less than $1 million, but would have netted $4 million or more in federal funds for a bus system needing all the help it can get. Maybe, I said, we should be smarter...

Paul Jenkins

Apathy, mopery and a suffocating lack of excitement made the municipal election about as enthralling as a Sean Parnell speech on the economy.

Only 16.71 percent of the city's registered voters even bothered to show up at the polls. That means a shade more than 8 percent of the city's 201,368 voters made all the decisions Tuesday in five Assembly races and on bonds totaling more than $38 million, and their attendant taxes -- and they goofed.

What mischief, after all, tripped up Proposition 4, the Areawide Public Transportation Capital Improvement Bonds for $932,000? The title may well have been part of the problem. In plain English, it was the bus bond...

Paul Jenkins