THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, April 5, 2012
BIRD from 19
ple martins will begin to congregate in staging areas near large bodies of wa- ter. Martins tend to drift southward each day and will eventually combine with other flocks that are also heading in that direc- tion. Concentrations of up to 100,000 birds have been recorded during this stage of migration. The purple martin is the
only bird species east of the Rockies that depends almost exclusively on hu- mans for its housing. Mar- tins will nest in almost any
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properly designed hous- ing, but the human must become a “landlord” for a successful colony to be- come self-sufficient in the future. Evicting unwanted intruders and maintaining the property are essential for the martin’s survival. Enjoy your birds!
Wild Bird Depot is located
on Rt 11 in Gilford, NH. Steve is a contributing au- thor in major publications, a guest lecturer at major conventions in Atlanta and St. Louis as well as the host of WEZS 1350AM ra- dio show “Bird Calls” with
One of the largest Pur-
ple Martin colonies in New Hampshire can be seen at the Funspot Family En- tertainment Center in The Weirs where they visit from approx. April 15th to Sep- tember 15th. -ed.
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SOWELL from 7
on interstate commerce, the Tenth Amendment’s limitations on the powers of the federal government virtually disappeared. Over the years, “inter-
state commerce” became magic words to justify al- most any expansion of the federal government’s power, in defiance of the Tenth Amendment. That is what the Obama adminis- tration is depending on to get today’s Supreme Court to uphold its power to tell people that they have to buy the particular health insurance specified by the federal government. There was consternation
in 1995 when the Supreme Court ruled that carrying a gun near a school was not interstate commerce. That conclusion might seem like only common sense to most people, but it was a close 5 to 4 decision, and it sparked outrage when the phrase “inter- state commerce” failed to work its magic in justifying an expansion of the federal government’s power. The 1995 case involved a federal law forbidding any- one from carrying a gun near a school. The states all had the right to pass such laws, and most did, but the issue was whether the federal government could pass such a law un-
der its power to regulate interstate commerce. The underlying argu-
ment was similar to that in the 1942 case of Wickard v. Filburn: School vio- lence can affect education, which can affect produc- tivity, which can affect interstate commerce. Since virtually everything
affects virtually everything else, however remotely, “interstate commerce” can justify virtually any expan- sion of government power, by this kind of sophistry. The principle that the
legal authority to regulate X implies the authority to regulate anything that can affect X is a huge and dangerous leap of logic, in a world where all sorts of things have some effect on all sorts of other things. As an example, take a
law that liberals, conser- vatives and everybody else would agree is valid -- namely, that cars have to stop at red lights. Lo- cal governments certainly have the right to pass such laws and to punish those who disobey them. No doubt people who are
tired or drowsy are more likely to run through a red light than people who are rested and alert. But does that mean that local governments should have the power to order people when to go to bed and when to get up, because their tiredness can have an effect on the likelihood of their driving through a red light? The power to regulate
indirect effects is not a slippery slope. It is the disastrous loss of freedom that lies at the bottom of a slippery slope.
Thomas Sowell is a senior
fellow at the Hoover Insti- tution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His web- site is www.tsowell.com
. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate col- umnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com
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