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Individual Rights

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NEWS
September 25, 2009 | By CHRISTINE FLOWERS
DEMOCRATS apparently don't like to be told that they embrace a culture of death. It's insulting and inflammatory, they say, and in at least one respect incorrect. (They usually oppose capital punishment.) So I wasn't surprised when irate Dems flooded me with e-mails a few weeks ago, after I mentioned that the party supported both liberal abortion rights and euthanasia as an end-of-life option. The writers seemed to be much more offended by the euthanasia reference than about being labeled the party of abortion.
NEWS
August 25, 2003
By Gregory J. Sullivan It is clear that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas striking down that state's antisodomy law has triggered a massive effort to fully legitimize homosexual conduct. Every day, it seems, there is a new development in the area of homosexual rights. A special high school for homosexual students is established in New York City; the Episcopal Church names an openly homosexual bishop; the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is due any day to rule favorably on the issue of homosexual marriage - It is unquestionably the homosexual moment in American life.
NEWS
December 27, 1997 | By Thomas A. Bowden
In Sunset Boulevard, silent-screen star Norma Desmond listens as a young admirer tactlessly recalls her faded glory. "You used to be in pictures," says the fan. "You used to be big. " "I am big," replies Norma, her voice dripping with contempt. "It's the pictures that got small. " If only our fading Constitution could speak, it would summon all the grandeur of its illustrious past and say, echoing Norma Desmond, "I am big. It's the Supreme Court that got small. " Have you wondered why the Supreme Court's docket always seems to be littered with arcane issues of little consequence, while our vital liberties are being continually eroded by government?
NEWS
December 10, 1998 | By David Kelley
The United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights, 50 years old today, is a testament to the power of individual rights as a political idea. Individual rights, embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, have been an American ideal for 200 years and have been widely embraced in the rest of the world. The principle of rights has become an international standard of political legitimacy: Even governments that routinely violate the rights of citizens find it necessary to cover up, make excuses or claim that their actions reflect a "higher" concept of rights.
NEWS
May 14, 2006 | By Ron Hutcheson INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
President Bush has assured Americans that their government isn't spying on them, but history explains why many remain uneasy about this week's news that their phone records have been turned over to federal agents. The government has a long track record of abusing personal information that is gathered in the name of national security. From the Red Scare in the 1920s to illegal wiretaps during the Nixon era, there has been a continuing struggle to find the right balance between individual rights and collective security.
NEWS
June 30, 2010 | By ERIC C. BANFIELD
EVERY YEAR, as Independence Day approaches, I start asking almost everyone I meet , "What are the first words of the Declaration of Independence?" This cheeky effort often surprises. You expect dirty looks and sneers. But nobody minds my asking. Over 15 years now, I've observed various reactions and responses. Typically, the face first yields a brief, pained expression and slight squint, as if summoning a memory of an old classroom. Many say, "I know I know this. " About 98 percent can't say how the Declaration begins.
NEWS
March 26, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
WHIPPANY - Gov. Christie described his political philosophy, including his belief that individual rights are derived from God, in front of a crowd Tuesday that included several people he grew up with. At a town-hall-style meeting in a packed community center in Morris County, the Republican governor - who said he would decide on a 2016 presidential campaign in "the next three months" - responded to a question from a gun-rights supporter by saying his authority to change existing state laws was limited.
NEWS
April 18, 2000
What's more important - individual rights or the common good? The schools in Lockney, Texas, have instituted random drug testing for all students, not just athletes. All but one, that is. A 6th-grader's father refused consent, calling it an invasion of his son's privacy and a violation of civil rights. Parents in his town say students don't have rights, at least not like older citizens - and besides, if rights are being violated, it's for the common good, since testing deters many students from taking drugs.
NEWS
April 22, 1992
WHERE FOES ON ABORTION CAN MEET Seventy-three percent of Americans polled in 1990 were in favor of abortion rights. Seventy-seven percent polled also regard abortion as a kind of killing. . . .In other words, most Americans are both for the choice of abortion as a principle and against abortion for themselves. . . . Pro-choice advocates are often surprised to hear themselves speak of the immorality of taking a life. Pro-life people are surprised to hear themselves defend individual rights, especially women's rights.
NEWS
April 27, 2000 | By Glenn Woiceshyn
Antiabortionists are making a comeback. A woman's right to abortion is rapidly being eroded by the proliferation of state laws banning certain types of abortions. On Tuesday, in a case known as Carhart vs. Stenberg, the Supreme Court began to consider the constitutionality of one such law: Nebraska's law banning "partial-birth" abortions. State laws banning "partial-birth" abortions establish a precedent for criminalizing other types of abortion - as America slides down the bloody slope to "back-alley" abortions.
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NEWS
March 26, 2015 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
WHIPPANY - Gov. Christie described his political philosophy, including his belief that individual rights are derived from God, in front of a crowd Tuesday that included several people he grew up with. At a town-hall-style meeting in a packed community center in Morris County, the Republican governor - who said he would decide on a 2016 presidential campaign in "the next three months" - responded to a question from a gun-rights supporter by saying his authority to change existing state laws was limited.
NEWS
February 27, 2015 | BY ADAM ZAKHEIM
A MEASLES outbreak among more than 100 children has turned political, and apparently so has hand-washing. Earlier this month, repeating the conservative trope of an over-regulated America, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told a bipartisan group in our nation's capital that "restaurants should be allowed to opt out of certain regulations, like making employees wash their hands after going to the toilet. " This misguided belief in the primacy of individual liberty over the larger benefits of society often transcends political parties.
NEWS
February 19, 2015 | Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Republican Party, after months of trying to recruit a high-profile candidate for mayor, must now decide whether to endorse one of four virtually unknown contenders. Republican committeeman Elmer Money and businesswoman Melissa Murray Bailey pitched themselves to party ward leaders Tuesday night at a meeting. So did lawyer Rhashea Harmon, 38, who ran for state Senate in 2010, and Sean Clark, 35, who is vice president of a nonprofit called the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
NEWS
January 21, 2014
AND NOW, just in time for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, another bright idea from the Pennsylvania Legislature. A 10-year-veteran Lancaster County lawmaker wants to amend the state Constitution to free us all from the burdens of anti-discrimination laws. You could say he has a dream. Republican Rep. Gordon Denlinger, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy, an elder in the Zeltenreich Reformed Church of New Holland, Pa., is circulating a memo seeking co-sponsors for his effort.
NEWS
May 26, 2013 | By George Will
Barack Obama, vowing to elevate Washington to the level of his fastidiousness, came from Chicago, where the political machine inoculates itself from scandals by the proliferation of them: Many scandals mean merely cursory scrutiny of most. Now, notice the scant attention being given to an assault on civil liberties by the misconceived Education Department's misnamed Office for Civil Rights. Responding to what it considers the University of Montana's defective handling of complaints about sexual assaults , OCR, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, sent the university a letter intended as a "blueprint" for institutions nationwide when handling sexual harassment , too. The letter, sent on May 9, encourages (see below)
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
HARRISBURG - They can't breathe. They don't bleed. They don't digest food. But, as Mitt Romney famously blurted, corporations are people - at least under the law. In the Citizens United decision in 2010, for instance, the Supreme Court recognized that corporations have the constitutional right of free speech, something most people assumed belonged to actual carbon-based life-forms. The court struck down limits on corporate election spending, ruling them the same as banning speech.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 22, 2012 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ayn Rand, the novelist and philosophical thinker whose books have for decades been ignored by literature and philosophy departments, had her revenge earlier this month when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney named sometime Randian Paul Ryan as his vice presidential pick. "The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand," the Wisconsin congressman told the Randian Atlas Society in 2005. The attention has generated a swell of posthumous popularity for Rand that has boosted sales of her books Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead , which jumped 20 percent on Amazon.com in one day last week, according to Bloomberg News Service.
NEWS
August 11, 2012
Not everybody likes Madonna. But one reason the controversial Queen of Pop continues to be popular around the world is her compelling embrace of individual freedom. In Moscow Tuesday, Madonna urged authorities to free the three women in the punk-rock band Pussy Riot, who were arrested for staging a protest in an Orthodox church against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Maria Alyokhina, 24, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, could face up to three years in prison for storming the altar and belting out a "punk prayer" calling on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin.
NEWS
July 23, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
It isn't just policing, it's poverty Missing in a letter Tuesday, "Don't blame the police for fear," were the words "poverty" and "jobs. " Many youths in the inner city do not believe they will live to see age 25. Why? Because too many don't. The police are also victims in a society that has many ills and is dominated by an elite class that prefers simple answers to complex issues. I lived in the inner city and have witnessed suburban "conservatives" turning their backs on the fact that the money in our society comes from the cities, and when the cities are not supported or maintained — and when jobs go overseas — people will do anything they can to survive.
NEWS
July 19, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
Legend will outlive Paterno statue Babe Ruth famously said, "Heroes are remembered, but legends never die. " Joe Paterno, former head coach of the Penn State football team, was and will forever remain a legendary coach who changed college football forever. As a University of Connecticut student, I have always respected Joe Paterno and the Penn State football program. Many people feel that Paterno's legacy is stained because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. However, it is important to separate the artist from his art. As Penn State is thinking about removing his name from history books, people should remember Paterno for his work, which included 38 winning seasons, numerous bowl wins, and dozens of accolades.
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