Restraining Orders

I was glad to see that Andrew Napolitano, in his article about unconstitutional limitations on the right to travel ("Restraining Orders," January), noted that the State Department will deny a passport to anyone who is more than $5,000 behind in child support. 

Napolitano didn't mention another example of the interaction between family law and the right to travel: There have been many court cases where fathers have sought to prevent their ex-wives from taking their children to distant states within the U.S., arguing that such moves impinge on their visitation rights. The courts normally rule that the fathers are out of luck, because the mothers have a constitutionally protected right to travel. They tend to overlook the fact that fathers are challenging not the mothers' right to travel but their right to take the children with them.

Kenneth H. Skilling

Alexandria, VA

Medicare Whac-A-Mole

Thank you for Peter Suderman's article "Medicare Whac-A-Mole" (January). I'm 25 years old, and thanks to his analysis I learned more about Medicare, price fixing, government intrusion, and the socialist calculation problem in 20 minutes than I have in my entire formal education. This [stuff] is so important and it's just not taught anywhere.

Jordan Wamhoff

Fresno, CA

Who's More Anti-Science: Republicans or Democrats?

Ronald Bailey's argument in "Who's More Anti-Science: Republicans or Democrats?" (January) neglects postmodernism, which is strictly an ideology of the left. In its stronger versions, postmodern science posits that "reality" is a mental construct with no independent existence. If so, there can be no physical laws, no reliable methodology, and no truth to be discovered. Can anyone be more hostile toward science than those who deny its very possibility?

John P. Calvert

Fargo, ND

Shoot First

I was irritated by the last line of Mike Riggs' Citing about shooting incidents involving Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies ("Shoot First," January). "There was a silver lining for suspects," he wrote. "Officers missed half the time they fired at people."

Those officers may have needed to shoot to save their lives or the lives of others; missing in these circumstances is not a joking matter. In the five days prior to my writing this letter, five U.S. law enforcement officers died after being shot by armed citizens.

I am a libertarian and a sworn law enforcement officer, sworn first and foremost to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. I take that oath seriously, as do many of my like-minded colleagues. I have been reading reason for years, and I frequently share articles with fellow officers. Most mentions of law enforcement in your magazine during the last several months have had an anti-law-enforcement tone. Make your points, many of which are valid, but please do so without demeaning those of us with integrity and a desire to uphold civil liberties and freedom while enforcing the laws designed to protect them. I depend on reason to keep all branches of government, including law enforcement, accountable. That can be done without painting the profession with a broad brush. 

Sgt. Danny F. Barnes

Independence, MO

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