President now doing what he was against
To the editor:
I think it's time to welcome Barack Obama to the world of being president. Presidents sometime have to make difficult decisions, and those decisions may not necessarily seem to be in the United States best interest.
Mr. Obama was vocal in his opposition to President Bush's actions in Iraq. Yet now as president, Mr. Obama has just authorized the United States to begin military operations, along side European and Arab nations, to protect civilians against Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and his regime. You will recall that one of the arguments that Mr. Obama used in opposition to President Bush getting us involved in Iraq, was that the Iraqis didn't do anything to the US, so we shouldn't be getting involved there. Well, I don't recall Libya attacking the US, yet Mr. Obama finally has learned that sometimes, as a world super power, it is necessary to take actions for the good of peoples in other countries. Saddam Hussein was brutalizing the people in Iraq and someone needed to stop him. The US and other countries did so. Now that Mr. Obama is in the White House, it seems it is perfectly fine to get involved, militarily, for the good of another country's people. I wonder if we'll see the same claims of "blood for oil" from those who cried that during the Iraq war, now that the US will be involved militarily in Libya, since they, like Iraq, are an oil producing nation.
RICHARD DRUMMOND, Salem
United Local does not need new school
To the editor:
The United Local School Board and the superintendent have been pushing hard to build a new fancy school for the students there. A new fancy school does absolutely nothing for the students. The teachers determine how good or smart the students are when they end their years at United. It appears that most or maybe all of the schools that have rebuilt in the last few years, is or was, in financial trouble. Let's take South Range as an example! A five-year forecast reveals they will have a $2.1 million deficit by 2013 and $5.9 million deficit by 2014. I am sure the United Local voters and taxpayers do not what that.
I have had two interesting things happen since my letter number one. 1 .) A local resident heard about my letter and said he never read one before. He now reads all of them and agrees. 2.) I received a letter from a lady with the following suggestions: They could hire 10 parents and pay them $10/hour for four weeks and get the job done for a fraction of the $90,000 they say it would cost to paint the building. I believe that would be $16,000 labor and I would hope that the paint would not cost $74,000. She also wrote that new tables and chairs for the kindergarten are not needed (by the way she has a kid in kindergarten at United). She agrees that whatever works fine, does not need to be fixed. Also the last time she checked, the chalkboards worked fine and last forever-why replace them? On United's "repair and replacement" projected cost, they stated it would cost us $3,908,156. That is about 10.3 percent of the $38,000,000 for a new school (These are their figures and I'm sure it would not cost $3,908,156 to fix it). Do the math taxpayers! One other thought, we could close the school and send them to West Branch, Minerva, Salem, Lisbon, Southern, Leetonia or Carrollton.
BILL GRAY, Lisbon
Unhappy with lack of work on building
To the editor:
As I travel up the hill on East State Street passed Auto Zone in the morning and I get to the light at Ellsworth, nothing brings a tear to my eye more than the sunlight glistening off the apparent "Saran-wrapped" scaffolding surrounding our very own mayor's dilapidated building. Give me a break! If this was any other business owner in Salem, City Council would be holding special sessions week after week pulling the poor owner in front of them having him/her explain why it hasn't been corrected yet.
When your vehicle is involved in an accident do you let it sit out back and wait to get it fixed? No, you get it fixed right away and then let the insurance company figure it out later. A tractor-trailer hit a concrete post and that's why the building is falling in? That's rich! I say you call the wrecking ball in and they can have it gone in a week and then a semi could make a nice gradual right turn onto East State Street. But wait, I know your answer already...You wouldn't be able to locate anyone to do the work until next spring...right?
JASON SHINN, Salem
More money spent on criminals than kids
To the editor:
Is it just me or are knowledgeable people out there who refuse to see the insanity of paying more tax dollars on criminals than educating our children. On Sunday, March 14, FOX news channel reported that one state pays out $29,000 per year per prisoner and $10,000 per year per student. Another sate pays out $18,000 per year per prisoner and $3,800 per student. It's no surprise then; that the U.S. children fall short in education; behind as many four to eight other nations depending which poll you use.
Our legal system's defense lawyers have turned everything upside down; and may I add, mostly with taxpayers' money because surely wouldn't want to infringe on a criminal's rights. I'm well aware that prisons are not resorts, but if I ever get in dire straights I'm going to rob a bank and wait for the police to take me to jail and then prison where the taxpayers will foot the bill for room and board and also take care of my medical needs.
EUGENE R. TODD, Salem
War hero deserves better treatment
To the editor:
I would like to say thank you to Mr. Frank Buckles for his service to our country. But unfortunately he was not be honored as he would liked to. "Mr. Buckles Will Lie in Basement at Arlington, Not Capitol Rotunda!" (AOL News). What does this say about our country's government, that they are so far removed from reality and its citizenry that they can not stop bickering long enough to honor a war hero. Shame on the Congress and the Speaker of the House. I am saddened that we treat our veterans like this.
This man served his country, what do we do, tell him he was not worthy of the honor, to lay in repose at our US Capital. Shameful. "In recent years, various members of Congress have proposed to honor all the military veterans of World War I by honoring the last of those veterans to die. As fate would have it, that turned out to be my father. While Papa was still living, it was suggested that he lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol as a final, formal tribute to all the veterans of World War I.
Papa consented to this because he understood that, as the last living World War I veteran, he was expected to represent all of the World War I veterans. He looked upon this as his final duty, which he took very seriously." (from news release Mar 5,2011.- www.frankbuckles.org/release-3-05-a.html).
DAN MEANS, Salem
A need to plant the seed of kindness for all
To the editor:
To my fellow Ohioans, In reading about the "Heartbeat" bill that would limit abortions to only prior to a heartbeat being heard-I do applaud your concern for the unborn fetus. This is being reflected is other bills going through our legislature as well, I see.
Having just moved to this area a few years ago, I see here a concern for the unborn that I didn't see in California, where we lived. What wonderful Christian people populate this area. But I would like to point out just one small area of disconnect. Often times the lucky fetus that gets to be born, despite the attempt of his mother to eliminate him, is born into squalor. Sometimes, because of your concern for his birth, he's born to an unwed mother that has no desire for him at all. I would love to see the incredible love that Christians display for the unborn extend to the life of that baby after it passes through the birth canal. Please think along lines of ensuring health care to that child and his family-they probably can't afford it. I just know that your Christian love would extend this far, if only we could separate it from politics. Somehow it seems that this particular issue, health care for the poor, gets clumped in with our capitalistic mindset. I laughingly call it "Dog Eat Dog" because it seems like this is how it is now. If you're big and tough and self-disciplined and were born into a family that taught the "go get 'em" mindset, then you're doing just fine. But if the fetus was born to a family that was handed down the opposite mentality through no fault of his own, this we must address too. To not do so is to shut our eyes, put our fingers in our ears, and shout la-la-la-la! to drown out the truth that lies in swaddling clothes in front of us. Is there any way that preachers in this area can start planting the seed of human kindness for all within their words on Sunday mornings? Just guessing here, but I actually think Jesus might have come down on the side of love and human kindness. Love to you all.
BARB ORTEGA, Calcutta
Reasons for passage of Senate Bill 5
To the editor:
Reasons why Ohio Senate Bill 5 on collective bargaining for unions must be passed if Ohio is to survive: Public employee unions epitomize conflict of interest, kickbacks and graft. In the private sector, managers live in an environment of real world profit and loss. When negotiating with unions, they must consider the financial ramifications of their decisions. There is survival instinct pushback to counterbalance the union demands. The public sector has no such counterbalance to consider. The unions provide support for politicians at the ballot box and through campaign contributions. The politicians in turn repay the unions by capitulating to their salary and benefit demands. The difference is that the money to meet the union's demands does not come from the pockets of the politicians, it comes from the taxpayer. Neither party negotiating has anything to lose. The only loser is the taxpayer. The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don't generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. Even F.D.R. considered this "unthinkable and intolerable." The unions are rabid about claiming collective bargaining is a "right." Wisconsin Democrat Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller said "In 30 minutes, 18 state senators un-did 50 years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten." Here is a great example of someone who was elected above their ability to comprehend one of the foundation principles this great country was built upon. Knowing the difference between a "right" and a "privilege" should be a prerequisite to holding public office. Obviously, it isn't! There is no such thing as a precedence of rights. One right is not superior to another. There was a revolution in the late 1700s to win our personal property rights. Thus any act that places a burden on another American, like imposing on their personal property rights, cannot be construed as a "right." Rights are a result of our very existence and are inalienable. They do not come from legislative edicts. Collective bargaining is a privilege not a right.
Until 1962, public employee unions were literally nonexistent. As a matter of fact, the National Labor Relations Act does not apply to federal, state or local government workers. It wasn't an act of Congress that changed things. It was President John F. Kennedy pandering to government "hired help" repaying the unions for their support in his election and in doing so he put the bankruptcy of state and federal budgets into motion. That year, JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force. This changed everything in the American political system. Kennedy's order swung open the door for the inexorable rise of a unionized public work force in states and cities and the fantastic growth in membership of the public employee unions such as The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the teachers' National Education Association. Kennedy's signature on that order broke the public's bank. More than that, it entrenched a system of taking money from members' dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the political environment into one of public-sector dependency. Over the past four decades, many of the folks who run our state and local governments signed suicide pacts, spectacularly unaffordable retirement deals, with public employee unions. These pacts have committed so much of today's and tomorrow's dollars to so many pensions and retiree health benefits that not enough money is left to fund everything else. The taxpayer cannot realistically be expected to cover all of these exorbitant salary and retirement promises. Often when these retirement deals were cut, the public officials and the union leaders were, in effect, seated on the same side of the negotiating table. The seat on the other side of the table, reserved for the taxpayer, was always empty. The politicians essentially pledged future tax dollars in return for the support and cooperation of public sector unions. Because those pension and health obligations didn't legally have to be funded immediately, politicians could avoid the repercussions of raising taxes. The unions benefited from the higher government spending that skipping the pension paymConsider for a moment the absurdity of a process where neither side has to contribute their own resources when negotiating the policies that are creating this spiraling mountain of debt. We are enabling a permanent class of politicians and government workers, who conspire to steal from the productive wealth creators of society, to fill their pockets with taxpayer money. At least 43 states face shortfalls in this year's budget. This trend cannot continue if the states are to remain financially viable. There are two options. The problem can be addressed now by abolishing the power of public sector unions opening the door for financial reform. Or, the states can go bankrupt abolishing the power of public sector unions opening the door for financial reform. The fight as to which option Ohio will adopt is taking place in Columbus right now. And just so you don't think that I am a typical jealous private sector taxpayer who wishes that he had found his way to the government trough, that is not the case.
I am an employee of the State of Ohio who has benefited from these deals that the public sector unions have forced upon us. Senate Bill 5 will adversely affect me. But it must be done for Ohio to begin to return to competitiveness and begin to attract job creating businesses. SB5 is not the trampling of someone's rights, it is a return to sanity.
JACK LOESCH, Homeworth
Going through the plans that Ohio has
To the editor:
The last plan that Ohio was following toward economic recovery wasn't working. Build casinos, borrow money, build up railways, borrow money, encourage business to borrow money, continue the state tax and borrow money, etc. Ooh, yeah! Now the novel idea is to cut spending, cut taxing, quit borrowing, or just quit writing checks with your mouth (Democrats) that the body (private citizen) cannot cash!
WILLIAM E. EARDLEY, East Liverpool