Gun lobby, U.S. citizens
Did you know what President Barack Obama really meant when he said that we need to contact our elected representatives to go up against the gun lobby? Well, if you insert “American citizens” instead of “gun lobby,” it becomes clear.
Let’s try it: President Obama says we need to contact our elected representatives to go up against American citizens. How does that sound to you? After all, the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association consist of millions of law-abiding U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike and not some inanimate Wizard of Oz behind a curtain.
The Bill of Rights was a list of items that was meant to prohibit the government from oppressing the citizens of the newly formed union. The Second Amendment: “... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
While Mr. Obama was not mentioned specifically in the Bill of Rights, his ideas and actions were and are specifically prohibited. If President Obama were as interested in disarming al-Qaida as he is about disarming U.S. citizens, I would feel somewhat better about it.
Abortion, gun violence
Two hours spent watching a violent movie is just entertainment. But actors or cartoon characters smoking will encourage kids to try tobacco.
Days spent playing violent video games have no influence on a person’s behavior. But 30-second Super Bowl commercials are worth millions to those selling beer, burgers and cars.
Armed teachers in schools are too dangerous for kids. But school buses without seatbelts are fine.
Depression is a leading cause of suicide in teens, so doctors prescribe Food and Drug Administration-approved antidepressants with warnings about increasing thoughts of suicide.
Better mental health care could help, but where do we start? What could possibly lead a troubled young adult to enter a building to kill innocent children?
Ask the Supreme Court. The justices ruled 40 years ago that life wasn’t a gift from God as written in the Declaration of Independence but merely a choice made between a woman and her abortionist.
Perhaps 40 years of being told that life isn’t intrinsically sacred but only a choice has made it that much easier for our children to exercise a similar choice with a different weapon.
Gun control needed
Will someone explain to me how the gun-control measures outlined by President Barack Obama are against the Constitution? Requiring background checks, limiting magazine size and forbidding assault rifles do not take guns away from anyone.
Those restrictions allow responsible gun owners to have as many as they want. The problem of violence in this country will not be solved by gun control, but the proposed restrictions are just common sense.
Laws against drunken driving do not ensure that I won’t be hit by a car driven by a drunk. But they do provide a mechanism for possibly stopping that driver from hurting other people.
Until the day when all Americans can be nice to one another, we will have to have limits and laws. My freedom to drive a car is limited by my need to pass driving and vision tests and obey the traffic laws.
The freedom to own guns must have similar restrictions.
Obama wrongly blamed
It is sad that President Barack Obama gets blamed for everything that happens, even though our do-nothing Congress will not allow him to do anything that would better our society.
It is the Republicans who control Congress who want to do away with Social Security, our entitlements as they call it, even though we paid into it all our lives.
Congressional Republicans want to do away with our meager 1 percent cost-of-living raise that was handed out this year, too. Another entitlement for retirees.
They want to cut Medicare and Medicaid, too. President Obama fought hard for Obamacare, which Republicans want to do away with, too.
President Obama finally got it, even though some benefits will not happen now, but he got it passed. I feel for the people with pre-existing conditions, as I was one who was denied insurance for those reasons. But that will not happen to others after next year.
I urge people to contact their congressmen and senators. Also, remember we are the ones who vote for them.
It seems to me that Bishop Robert Finn made a mistake, admitted it (not a molestation or blatant cover-up) and was punished. It’s time to move on, but I know there are those who want to burn him at the stake.
As far as the views of the National Catholic Reporter and some of its readers, well, it seems there are those who would like to rewrite the Bible and faith to have it their way. Isn’t that a lot like a national fast-food chain?
The flu epidemic has invaded 48 states, overwhelming medical facilities, exhausting vaccine supplies and killing some children and thousands of seniors. Both the problem and the solution to this disaster hinge on how we relate to animals raised for food.
Indeed, 61 percent of the 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans originate with animals.
The more recent contagious, deadly viruses among these include Asian, dengue fever, Ebola, H5N1 (bird), HIV, SARS, West Nile and yellow fever. The pandemic Spanish flu of 1918 killed 20 million to 50 million people worldwide, and the World Health Organization predicts more pandemics in the future.
Today’s factory farms are virtual flu factories. Sick, crowded, highly stressed animals in contact with contaminated feces and urine provide ideal incubation media for viruses.
As these microbes reach humans, they mutate to defeat the new host’s immune system.
Each of us can help end animal farming and build our immune system against the flu by replacing animal products in our diet with vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
These foods don’t carry flu viruses or government warning labels. They are touted by every major health advocacy organization and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden.
Thousands of Missouri residents currently working for minimum wage can breathe a sigh of relief knowing their elected officials are rewarding their hard work and dedication with an hourly rate increase.
One thin dime. Our Missouri Department of Labor wants us to remember that 10 cents an hour can add up to a couple hundred dollars a year if you work enough hours.
Advocates for minimum-wage increases would like to see rates in the $10-an-hour range. That would help people working hard and trying to do the right thing.
The growth in generous federal entitlement programs rewards those who do not go to work. Unemployment payments can be drawn for many months these days.
So what is right? Whatever the minimum-wage number should rightly be, neither the government nor business owners will pay this. Labor cost increases are shifted to product and service prices.
Consumers pay for the increase. You and I.
Each state decides what is fair for minimum wage. Missouri just tossed these hard-working folks a dime.
Something is better than nothing.
Ignoring federal laws
Missouri Sen. Ed Emery wants to allow states to ignore federal laws (1-21, A1, “States push back against federal laws”). He wants to make it a felony for any law enforcement officer to follow the federal Constitution. If he believes that, he could be in violation of the oath of office he took to defend the Constitution.
He may want to go back to high school, where he should have learned that in our form of government, which is a representative democracy, there are three branches of government: the legislative, which passes laws; the executive, which enacts the laws; and the judicial, which interprets the laws. Judges are the ones that decide whether the laws the legislature passes are constitutional.
A great musical
We saw the musical “Hair” recently and loved it. The performance was just as great as it was when I saw it 40 years ago. It makes a great statement about peace, love and acceptance. Therefore, to the gentleman who tried to pick a fight with me during the performance, you should never have been there in the first place.