I am getting ready to brace myself for an invasion of the United States by Haiti. Preposterous? President Clinton must not think so.
Why would an erstwhile draft-dodger turned commander-in-chief conceive of launching a military invasion and occupation of the sovereign nation of Haiti if not for pre-emptive purposes, to defend America from the latest group of brutalitarian thugs who rule that land of 6.5 million people and then to replace them with an anti-democratic, anti-American (when convenient), defrocked priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide?
The United States Constitution surely does not authorize President Clinton unilaterally to launch such a war. Quite the contrary. Article 1, Section 8, states specifically that "Congress shall have power to declare war."
It is within this framework that the president is to function as commander-in-chief. Since the framers of the Constitution changed Congress' authority from "make war" to "declare war," in order to give the president authority to respond to a sudden attack, President Clinton must therefore believe an attack by Haiti is imminent.
But why is it that I get the feeling that the only defensive purpose President Clinton has in mind (at the cost of a few American military and civilian lives) is to defend his credibility?
First, with respect to his continuing disastrous foreign policy as seen by member states of the United Nations.
Second, to insure his re-election vote by the Black Caucus, which has been demanding an invasion of Haiti.
It is interesting to note that more than one president stood by for 29 years as Haiti suffered the brutal regimes of the Duvaliers without invading the country. Apparently, previous American presidents didn't fear Haiti would invade the United States.
Apparently, this president elected by the citizens to best represent their interests and their nation's interest is representing the desires of the United Nations and special interest groups.
If he continues to threaten to violate the Constitution, citizens have a ready recourse of a legal class action suit against such a violation.
J. Edward Johnston, Jr.
I have some reservations about the otherwise excellent fitness article by Colleen Pierre -- "Hurry Up and Weight" -- that appeared on Aug. 16 in The Sun.
While most of the information she presents is valid and the final paragraphs are positive, some of her comments about exercise and industry professionals are inaccurate.
As a certification specialist for the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, I can state first-hand that AFAA has never advocated any exercise guidelines which were not in accordance with the gold standard established by the American College of Sports Medicine, which recommends that aerobic exercise be performed a minimum of three times per week at a heart range of between 55 to 85 percent of predicted maximum and that strength training twice per week for all major muscle groups be performed as well.
These guidelines have always been presented as a baseline recommendation, with less active or sedentary individuals starting out at the lower recommended intensity level to avoid injuries and "burnout" and those with greater levels of conditioning and experience working out at higher intensities, greater frequency, or longer duration to maintain or improve their levels of fitness.
This principle of progression is one of the many aspects of basic exercise physiology which is required knowledge for the certified aerobics instructor. There may still be unqualified instructors in health clubs, but do not fault the many organizations which train and educate those of us who wish to be seen as dedicated exercise professionals.
Second, bolstering the statement that low impact exercise will not help participants lose weight by quoting Dr. Wilmore's comment about sleep ("That's when you burn the highest percentage of fat") is also highly misleading and must have been quoted out of context.
As stated in the article, the total amount of calories expended must be greater than the amount of calories ingested for weight loss to occur. It doesn't matter if those calories come from fat or carbohydrate.
Since the body cannot distinguish the mode of exercise used when expending energy, bicyclists, walkers, deep water joggers and even low impact aerobics enthusiasts can participate in high intensity exercise without the jarring and increased injury risks associated with running or high impact aerobics and still lose weight.
UI Sleep may be low impact in nature, but it is also low intensity . . .
Sandra K. Nicht
MA The writer is aerobics director of Meadow Mill Athletic Club.
It really is a crime, Bill, to saddle the American taxpayer with another $30 billion of worthless legislation.
Herbert K. Thompson
Guns for Cuba
While this Cuban fiasco plays on and on, perhaps some thought should be given to the fact that if the Cuban people had the right to private ownership of firearms, the despotism of Fidel Castro would exist only as a long forgotten bad dream.
When will the people of this country realize that our increasingly oppressive federal government is the worst enemy we have?
R. L. Griffin
In his Aug. 24 column, Gregory Kane asserts that smokers have no right to smoke because no such right is acknowledged in the Constitution.
His assertion clearly is based on an incomplete reading of the Constitution.
The Ninth Amendment clearly states, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Since the Supreme Court has held that "the people" may refer to an individual, no mandate is required for a right to exist.
I do agree with Mr. Kane that smokers are responsible for the sorry state of their rights.
Suing cigarette companies for damages and rude public smoking behaviors have made them the target of the new crusades.
But let's frame the debate correctly. The right to smoke exists. It
is right there in the Constitution.
Michael C. Klapp
West Virginia's Legality
The debate over the constitutionality of the formation of West Virginia was the subject of my thorough legal research for my paralegal degree.
Mary Crawford Clawsey states (letter, Aug. 24) that, despite Willis Case Rowe's contention (letter, Aug. 9), the Restored Government of Virginia, which met at Wheeling, complied with all constitutional provisions.
She supports this with an assertion that, because two people sent from the Restored Government were seated in the U.S. Senate, the Restored Government was the recognized government of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The United States Constitution does not grant the power to Congress or the president to recognize state governments other than through elections.
It should be noted that the members of the Restored Government were elected only by citizens of the western counties of Virginia, occupied by Union troops.
The citizens of the eastern counties were never included in the election of members for the Restored Government. No part of a state can claim representation of the entire state while disenfranchising a majority of its citizens.
In short, though the argument could be made that the governments of the eastern counties of Virginia were in open rebellion and therefore lost their right to participate in the political process, individual citizens of the eastern counties should not be penalized and disenfranchised for the actions of an occupational, de facto (in fact) government, namely the Confederacy.
If what Ms. Clawsey states is true, that citizens of the western counties can declare themselves the legal government of Virginia, then I am now the legal government of Maryland.
I will petition the Congress to split my property from the rest of Maryland, and I will become the new governor of Central Maryland.
This, of course, depends upon my wife's vote. Pardon me, but I have some real up-hill campaigning to do.
James G. Trautwein