Misplaced morals batter country from top down
Forty-eight years ago, I became so frustrated and discouraged by the opinions voiced so loudly on Kent State University's campus, and covered so extensively in the media, that I left Kent's honors college and enlisted in the Marine Corps.
Sadly, the same pseudo-intellectuals that disgust me with their elitist thinking and enlightened knowledge are now among the leaders of our government.
It's not 1966, and I am now too old to head for Parris Island, but the events of today are even more galling to me than the ones that stirred so much anger in me some five decades ago.
What has happened to our common sense and morals? Have our values and ideals eroded to the point that we elect government representation that stands by while our once-dominant industrial base dissolves across our borders, while millions of people ignore our laws and stream across those same borders?
Worse yet, the very people we have elected to return our nation to the prosperity and the respect she has earned over her 200-plus years instead spend their time apologizing for our past while appointing candidates to our courts and cabinet posts that have shown contempt for our way of life.
Traitors like Jane Fonda are nominated for ''Woman of the Century,'' while protesters who malign our troops, like John Kerry, wind up secretary of state. Entire cities turn out to welcome home millionaire sports figures, while young veterans return home unnoticed. Stadiums and concert halls are packed with grateful citizens willing to pay for entertainment these groups provide, while local funerals and those at our national cemeteries rarely draw a crowd.
Spending on any manner of welfare reform or nation building soars unopposed, while our own infrastructure deteriorates and our defense budget is slashed. Our country's future is in the hands of our young people. Are we on track to ensure them good jobs, moral and religious values, and an education that instills pride in ability and love of country?
Look at some of the people we have provided as role models, educators and national heroes for today's youth. Wake up, America. Think hard before casting your next ballot!
Robert Cameron, Newton Falls
Hard answers are necessary
''South of the border, down Mexico way...'' That was a beautiful song in 1939, but it is heartbreaking today. The U.S. border crisis has more to it than meets the eye.
Every day, about 1,000 children cross the border into the U.S. from Mexico - leaving countries like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. They are fleeing from nearly broken societies. Honduras is the most violent nation on the planet, with 90 murders per 100,000 citizens.
Most all of the corruption and violence is directly due to the instability caused by the U.S. demand for the drugs produced in Latin America.
My information on this was taken from the Army Times, July 14, 2014, weekly newspaper. The paper states, ''Transitional, criminal organizations contribute to instability, breakdown of governance and lawlessness. Not to mention, roughly 35,000 deaths in 200 billion that drug use, primarily heroin, cocaine and meth, cost the U.S. every year. Unbelievable levels of drug profits, approximately $85 billion, are available to transitional, criminal organizations to buy police departments, court systems and even government.''
The U.S. government is trying to get $3.7 billion to meet the border crisis. Accepting the children into the U.S. is not the answer. It will only overload the U.S. population and resources. At the same time, recycling the children back into their country to face possible death and slavery to drug dealers is also inhumane and wrong.
No greater threat to this nation was ever more severe than what is happening right now!
Latin America, with its hold on the U.S. population, pertaining to drugs, will consume the U.S. in due time. China did the same thing to the U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.
A perfect storm is forming in this country. The U.S. should nip it in the bud, clean up Latin America for their people and ours, for the survival of the U.S.A.
Paul R. Lawson, McDonald
Thugs celebrate big year
Based on current events, 2014 should be recalled as The Year of the Thug.
In Chicago, thugs celebrated the nation's birthday by shooting 82 people - 14 died.
In Gaza, Hamas uses civilians as human shields; Israel kills many innocents in retaliation for bombings.
Despotic rulers and murderous gangs won't allow democracy to prosper while they're in charge - not in Egypt, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Syria, Sudan, Congo, Nigeria, Ukraine ...
One thug demands that all Muslims obey him and his version of his faith while he decapitates and crucifies his ''apostate'' foes.
Russian-backed militants shoot civilians out of the sky. Netherlands has its 9/11; Malaysia grieves again.
All over the world, children are shot for the crime of going to school. Here, it's a crazy man; there, it's the Taliban.
Adults scream ''not my child, not my problem'' at frightened children who are running for their lives.
Thugs are stealing the common ground on which we stand. We need wisdom and grace, cool heads and a steady hand to guide us through this ''shock and awe.''
Leanne Turner, Champion
We need a shift to 'common sense'
''REINS act needs passed,'' Tribune Chronicle, July 16, 2014.
In reading this editorial, it seems to show that this bill ostensibly wants to rein in the EPA. The following statement is included in the editorial: ''Major actions by the federal government should be subject to approval by Congress.''
The real problem that we have here is the attempt by fanatic groups whose intent is to make this country a ''green'' country regardless of the economic consequences of the actions being taken. The real focus for Congress should be on the EPA and the detrimental effects the EPA is having on the economy.
Further to the ''green'' problem is what can the EPA do to the 67 percent of the coal used in other parts of the world. Will they envelope the United States with an invisible blanket that will prevent the pollution from invading our atmosphere? What will they think of next? We are not alone on this planet.
It is true that coal is an inexpensive use in providing electricity to the country. It does have some serious byproducts. More profits should be used to alleviate the problems in using coal for energy production. This is an economic benefit to the entire country, and should not be dismantled by the EPA.
Congress should be working to change the mindset of those responsible in the EPA to direct their efforts to improving the use of coal without just forbidding the use of this material, which has been an economic benefit to the country for many years.
Adding bits and pieces to a bill that is needed for the benefit of the country gets so befuddled that the really true reason for the bill gets lost in the added items that have no meaning on the bill in the first place. This is a problem that only Congress can fix.
Leonard J. Sainato, Warren
Killer's time needs to be up
My blood just boils over that animal Danny Lee Hill.
How many appeals does one killer get? Hasn't Mr. Hill had more than his share? Everyone knows he is not mentally retarded. He is not even stupid (lacking normal intelligence) or ignorant (lacking knowledge or experience.)
He has lived a good long time on death row. I assume he has had three meals a day since 1986. I assume we have picked up the tab on any medical costs he has incurred.
Why doesn't he just live his life in prison like he has done for the past 28 years? Why does he get to tie up the courts with these appeals? He must be smart enough to do this or is getting help from someone who knows the legal system.
So far his appeals have been denied. I am worried that down the road, some judge may look differently at Mr. Hill's claim and God forbid give him what he wants. Grrr.
I know many of my friends would gladly help in Mr. Hill's execution. Every time there is a news story about him, my stomach turns. I remember what he did to Raymond Fife like it was yesterday. Come on, people, let's just give Mr. Hill a chance to meet his maker. He needs to stand before God and atone for what he has done.
Pat Zoccali, Warren
Profit motive cramped vet care
The recent Veterans Administration problems with their health care system is bad. However, contrary to popular belief, the sad truth is those vets who died while on an unofficial waiting list most likely would have died even if they were on the official list.
The reason being the real problem is not in the accounting of veterans getting service; it is in getting the actual service itself that is a problem.
Anyone cooking the books to make it appear as if veterans were being served in a timely manner should and will be held accountable for that action. There are laws about that already under falsifying documents.
The real problem is in the veterans health care funding and that has been a longstanding problem in the country for decades. Most recently, it is the Republicans who are keeping proper funding of veterans health care short.
Everyone knows that Republicans do not want to spend any tax money for anything. All they are for is cut, cut, cut when it comes to taxes. What taxes they do want to keep they want to privatize how they are used.
You can see plainly here how ''the profit motive'' does not work in cases like this. There was a goal set that was unrealistic given the funding for the health services of veterans, and the pressure was put on individuals to make that goal a reality.
There was also a "profit motive" for these individuals to do so in the way of bonuses. If they made the goal, they get paid bonuses for it. Therein lies the real problem and the issue we now can see plainly. These individuals wanted the bonuses and they knew that the way the system was set up, there was no way they could get those bonuses honestly, so they cooked the books.
Can you see where even if the system was accounted for properly that then the wait times would simply had been extended for those same veterans as they went for care.
This problem exists everywhere in the world and especially in the U.S.A. Most businesses operate under the same reasoning and that is also why you saw the disaster in the last economic crash because of people being given a profit motive to cheat. Wall Street and all of corporate America is infested with this disease.
The Veterans Administration does not need competition to solve its problems; it needs cooperation and proper funding.
We need to get out of this profit motive belief and into a people motive system. People created this problem, people created poverty and people can change it and fix it.
Leif P. Damstoft, Warren
Liberalism is still liberalism
Liberals like to distort the English language in an attempt to manipulate public opinion. For example, in the language of liberals, abortion becomes ''choice,'' homosexuals are ''gay,'' and left-wing policies that undermine the economy and subvert our culture are called ''progressive.''
In the Alice-in-Wonderland world inhabited by liberals, if a principle, practice or policy might be poorly perceived by the public, it is simply called something else, something that sounds inherently appealing or, at least, less unappealing. Linguistic distortion has been an effective tactic for liberals.
Think about it. The word ''abortion'' calls to mind a heinous practice that would cause even its most ardent supporters to turn away in revulsion if forced to watch a video of the process, but the word ''choice'' has nothing but positive connotations.
The word ''homosexual'' is fraught with negative connotations, but the word ''gay'' is a synonym for happy. Who among us is opposed to happiness?
Finally, the word ''liberal'' has come to be associated with socialism, but the word ''progressive'' conjures up an image of moving forward in ways that will make life better. Consequently, adopting the word ''progressive'' was a smart public-relations tactic on the part of liberals because the truth is not a consideration.
One of the most effective adherents of progressivism in American politics was Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican. But progressivism in T.R.'s day meant something vastly different from the concept advocated by today's liberals. T.R. was a committed advocate of the concepts of competition, opportunity, entrepreneurship and the dignity of work.
Today's progressives do the opposite - they promote policies that subvert competitiveness, impede entrepreneurship and encourage entitlements.
Today's progressive movement is embodied by the presidency of Barack Obama. Under Obama progressivism is a philosophy in which businesses - both large and small - are treated like enemies of the state. The entitlement mentality has replaced entrepreneurship, opportunity and the work ethic.
As a result, idly living off of government handouts has become an acceptable lifestyle, and poverty has become a multi-billion dollar self-sustaining industry. T.R. was a strong advocate for small businesses and working people, but under President Obama's progressive administration, no two groups have been hurt worse than small businesses and working-class people.
Small businesses are being taxed and regulated out of business by today's progressive politicians and millions of working-class people are out of work or are under-employed because of ill-conceived progressive economic policies.
What is needed if Americans are going to save America is critical thinking and discernment. Accepting that a philosophy is progressive because liberals call it progressive is unacceptable.
Voters need to learn and understand how liberal policies have changed the foundation of a once great country. As things stand now, liberals are lying to America and Americans are letting them get away with it.
Cathy Lukasko, Brookfield