In response to the July 1 Readers' Forum letter in The Blade by Pastor Russ Merrin regarding his negative views on the subject of homosexuality and the church, I felt disappointment in The Blade for publishing such a hateful and hurtful letter.
No good can come from such a venemous attack as that brought forth by Mr. Merrin.
Then I realized that instead I should be thankful for such a forum and its ability to expose such a sad and destructive man.
I find it pitiful that a man who has been charged with the responsibility of leading others spiritually through this life would use his voice in such a vile manner. For it is beliefs such as these touted by the pastor that cause countless families to be torn apart needlessly, raise the rate of suicide in teens by teaching them to hate themselves for who they are, and, yes, even prompt wars.
Thankfully I am not a man without forgiveness and will therefore pray for Mr. Merrin. I truly hope that he indeed does have someone special to hold his hand when he is on his deathbed.
At the same time, I urge the more enlightened of his parishioners to find a more loving and thoughtful atmosphere in which to worship.
Support funds set aside for veterans
As a disabled military retiree and a constituent, I am concerned.
For some time now, Congress has not paid enough attention to the "people's business" and I for one am tired of it.
We have sitting members of the House and Senate who are drawing full pay and allowances, while traveling across the country campaigning to keep their power in the November election. Who is paying attention to the needs of the people who elected them?
Funds set aside for the earned entitlement programs for our military retirees are being gutted and shifted from current disabled veterans to the war on terror.
It can only get worse when 77 million Baby Boomers hit age 65 in the next 20 years and all the bureaucratic government policies and programs Congress has created run out of funds. The priorities for funding then will be: 1) Congressional unique health-care and retirement programs, 2) all the government bureaucrats' retirement and health-care entitlements, 3) "pork-barrel" earmark programs, 4) all current bureaucracies, policies, agencies, and programs, and 6), finally, national defense. So by the time it comes to veterans, military retirees, and our widows, there will be not much left.
Congress tried to get pay restoration right in 2001 but got bogged down with bureaucrats more concerned about starting new programs than about disabled military retirees receiving their fully earned retirement, especially retirees from "ancient wars" like the Persian Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, and World War II.
Please support House Resolution 333 and Senate Amendment 4162 to Senate Concurrent Resolution 70.
David R. Lindsay
United States Army, Ret.
Modern journalism: No news, just rehash
Except for a very few beacons of light, journalism today is less a profession and more a product. One of the goals of making a product is to reduce costs, so reporters, especially broadcast reporters, keep repeating the same story over and over so their corporations don't have to spend money to find news that is new.
They report that flood victims will evacuate tomorrow. The next day's news: Flood victims evacuate. The next day: Flood victims evacuated yesterday. The next day: Flood victims plan to return to their homes tomorrow. The next day: Flood victims return to their homes. Then we see endless shots of mud and clean-up.
That's the serious stuff. For variety, "journalists" go on about octogenarian lesbians, celebrity baby bumps, immature and/or criminal athletes, and what politicians wear and do not wear.
Meanwhile, more soldiers sworn to protect our union decide to commit suicide instead, a drug company gets tens of thousands of dollars for a single-dose of slow-dripped liquid into a cancer patients' veins, and champions for the planet's survival prefer limos for ground travel and private jets in the air.
As Walter Cronkite said: "And that's the way it is."
Dennis P. Beck
Life of Tim Russert set a good example
Tim Russert's life was a great example to us in many ways. Not only was he prepared and accountable in his professional life, but in all aspects including personal, social, and spiritual.
Yes, we may follow our doctor's instructions as he did to exercise, take our meds, and eat judiciously. We are to be good stewards of the physical body God gave us. We may have length of years, perhaps 70-100 if it's God's will.
But Eternity - now that's a country. That's a paradise to be preparing for in this life.
We have no abiding city here. When the Lord calls us home, will we be ready, as prepared to meet our Maker as Tim was?
I can picture him there now, exuberant as ever, exclaiming, "What a paradise! Here's my Mom, here's JFK, I've communed with several popes before God's holy throne, talked with Abe Lincoln. Now I see the big picture. You still have time, America. Shape up, repent, become the nation God meant you to be. Follow God's will with His help. Be accountable, be prepared. It's more than worth it. What a paradise!"
Stop complaining; tax excessive pay
We need to stop complaining about excessive incomes of CEOs, hedge-fund operators, and sports stars.
It is unlikely that the federal government would be willing to set income limits on private individuals, business or sports. Corporation boards in many settings are not willing to set reasonable limits on pay for top executives, and I would be opposed to setting a limit on income for anyone.
However, top pay continues to escalate, as an article in The Blade reported that the highest income in 2007 was $83 million for the top CEO in America.
The approach to such excesses should be to establish a special tax on excessive income.
I would recommend all those whose incomes are above $5 million be taxed at 50 percent and all above $10 million be taxed at 75 percent.
For those who say this is not fair, consider that if you have an income of $100,000 per year for 30 years, your total income is $3 million. In fact, you would have to have an income of slightly over $165,000 per year for 30 years to reach $5 million. An article recently reported that an individual made in one hour, 30 times the median family income for a year.
Let's tax the excessive incomes and stop being concerned about income levels.
If you are still concerned about this approach, consider that an income of $10 million at my suggested tax rate would still result in an income of approximately $6 million if there were no deductions.
As noted above, if your income is $83 million as a CEO, and assuming there are no deductions, your income would be at least $24 million.
I could live on that.
Richard D. Ruppert
Funeral processions need to honored
Shame on all the drivers - and there were many of you - who cut into a funeral procession recently. But especially to the driver who cut in on Holland-Sylvania Road and then did a U-turn that almost caused an accident and another who cut in on Central Avenue and then caught the red light at Reynolds and halted half of the procession.
I hope that when the time comes that it's you or your loved one in the procession, you'll be shown more courtesy and respect than you showed our loved one. Shame on you.
Linda M. Bourdeau
The recent honor-flight trip for the World War II veterans to the World War II memorial was very well done. I would not have been able to do it on my own. It really is something to see. I hope other vets on the list can make it.
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