Flaw in church defense
The flaw in the 'Blame Woodstock Defense' [and the 'Twinkie Defense'] :
From the New York Times, an article headlined "Church Report Cites Social Tumult in Priest Scandals:
"A five-year study commissioned by the nation's Roman Catholic bishops to provide a definitive answer to what caused the church's sexual abuse crisis has concluded that ....priests who were poorly prepared and monitored, and were under stress, landed amid the social and sexual turmoil of the 1960s and '70s."
Perhaps the first half partially explains child molestation. The second does not. There is no overwhelming evidence that child molestation occurred in the last four decades among public school teachers, Protestant ministers, Jewish rabbis, boys and girls club coaches, etc. ... as there is overwhelming evidence among RC priests. ...
The silent streets
Where have all the children gone? Long ago, in better times, before the world went mad, the city streets and sidewalks rang to the sweet sounds of children's noise and laughter. Now those streets and sidewalks lie still and silent.
In those distant, halcyon days children played long and hard in the fresh open air. An old-fashioned childhood could be very dangerous, but, surely, that is the essence of youthful adventure and infinitely better than wasting away in front of a computer screen playing mindless video games and generally drowning in a sea of useless technology.
Technology was intended to enrich lives, but, instead, it has stolen their childhood away. Why, for just those few precious years, can't children be allowed to be children instead of being pressured overnight into adulthood?
William G. Carlyle
I wonder if, as my son commented, there is a group of animals roaming around in human form, desecrating houses of God. Do they think He doesn't see this?
One of the churches here in Heber Springs is hit each spring by plant thieves. When they put in new plants or shrubs, someone sneaks in under cover of darkness and helps themselves.
I saw the pain on Rev. Hezekiah Stewart's face when his church, for the second time, had its copper plumbing taken. If I were these low-life, sorry excuses for humans, I would be looking over my shoulder. I believe that what goes around comes around.
We hear every day that individual families have to balance their budgets so why can't the federal government? It is a valid analogy but it doesn't go far enough. The position of the right seems to be that a family shouldn't buy a Cadillac when it is over its head in debt. That is a part of the budget problem, but only a part. The cuts that the most extreme are advocating are more akin to the parents in a family keeping all the money to take a trip to Europe, because they are earned it and they need the rest, while the children are taken out of school because there isn't enough money left to buy them shoes or lunches; or the parents, while in Europe, canceling the medical insurance for the children because they are healthy and are not likely to need it.
The result is the children that never leave home because they are unable to support themselves, or the family goes down the tube anyway as a result of the catastrophic cost of an uninsured illness or accident. Some cuts in spending are smart, some are just stupid.
Most Americans agree we must dramatically reduce the money we spend, but to cut investment in the future is shortsighted and foolish. If we want to leave our children and grandchildren a debt-free future we need to make sure that it is a future with possibilities as well. What good is a debt-free society where opportunities are reserved for only those few at the top? They used to call that feudalism.
Use chicken litter
I would like to see the poultry producers in this state properly compost some of their chicken manure and market it to users, large and small.
There is a huge and growing need for organic fertility by urban and market gardeners. Selling them compost would bring profits to the industry.
To make the animals' waste decomposable may require modifying the growing system so that fewer additives are needed and all are biodegradable. Even if the cost is somewhat greater, the meat might taste better, really be better and easily command a much higher price.
Arkansas calls itself the Natural State, but it is not. It is actually a place poisoned and polluted by agribusiness and the energy industry. Just reducing the pollution from one major source and supplying organic horticulture with good fertilizer would dramatically improve our state's image.
Polly D. Davis
End public unions
The debate now raging in Wisconsin is purely and simply about political power, not merely cutting state government budgets. The public employee unions recognize that this is their Armageddon and are reacting accordingly.
Taxpayers, voters and some elected officials have finally caught on and are demanding an end to the incestuous relationship between public employee unions and the Democratic Party. Simply put, tax dollars pay public employees, who then make mandatory union "contributions," which the unions then give to the Democratic Party.
Public employers are not exploitative, capitalist profiteers, but rather all of us: the voting public and our elected officials. There are historical, economic and moral reasons for the development of private employment unions. While their days may have passed and their numbers are dwindling, no one is arguing that they should be abolished. However, public employee unions now exist primarily to benefit the unions and the Democratic Party and should not be allowed.
Michael J. Emerson