Letters to the editor 09-09-2011

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Marriage: What is it?
What should it be?
That which we call marriage has been around for as long as man has formed community. According to the American Heritage Dictionary the obsolete definition is “the formal declaration or contract by which act a man and a woman join in wedlock.” The more recent definition is stated as “the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.” This is where the contradiction occurs.
Marriage is foremost a legal, civil union between people. Tax laws, inheritance laws, community property, medical decisions between partners are just some examples that support the fact that marriage is a legal civil union. Marriage requires a license from some level of government whether the ceremony is performed by someone authorized under civil authority or by a representative of a church approved by the same civil authority. Dissolution of a marriage is not a religious action. Divorce is solely a civil legal action and so should marriage be.
Some want it to be otherwise: that marriage is a religious act to be defined only by religious beliefs. Simply put — that marriage is only between one man and one woman. The contract of marriage was taken over by religion as a means of control. In some religions such as the Roman Catholic Church marriage is a sacrament to be entered into by two baptized individuals for the purpose of procreation and mutual support.
These two different outlooks on marriage is one of the blurring factors in the separation of church and state. It is time to sever this mixed view of marriage and make it truly a civil act.
There is one simple solution. All marriages will be performed by civil authority only. If you want to have this union blessed to comply with your religious beliefs, you may have that ceremony performed as well. However it will have no legal standing.
This will stop the conflict between different groups in our society. Marriage will become for everyone a legal civil union, defined as society sees fit and not by any non-secular group. Keep true to the Constitution and separate church and state in this matter once and for all.
James Merrick

Running, not qualified
I am going to run for Congress, then the Senate, and then for president. Everyone will think I am well qualified. I won’t be qualified to do anything except take care of myself which I will do like everyone else in politics.
I have been studying how people get elected and now it’s my turn.
“A chicken in every pot.” Did he mean food every day or once a week? No one knows what that means but it sounds good and won an election.
“I will lower taxes.” That’s always a good one. Anyone can lower taxes by cutting services so people end up spending more.
“I will fight for you in Washington against the vested interests.” As soon as they are elected they are one of the vested interests.
I will always look clean and well groomed for those who vote for looks. I will quote the Bible to make a good impression. Nobody will kiss more babies than me when the cameras are on. I will kiss the mothers when the cameras are off.
Today, people don’t check candidates. No one uses the computer to type a name and complaints. I am a guaranteed winner who will follow the actions of something called some kind of party. Is it coffee? I’m not sure.
I will receive grateful donations from corporations who no longer pay hundreds of billions in taxes under the belief that they provide jobs. Do you know anyone who got one?
Alan Gold

Where are the jobs?
As CEOs ask, where are the jobs for the workers of America. They don’t remember that in the past these same CEOs sent these jobs overseas because the costs are lower and the profits are higher.
We can blame these CEOs who made these decisions in the name of company profits that keep their stock holders happy with a high rate of return on their investments.
These investors wanted profits to increase their wealth regardless of the costs to the workers who made the products. Is what’s good for the investors also good for the country?
We are starting to see the results of this short sighted thinking of taking jobs away from America and giving this work to foreign countries. As an example in the news recently it was noteworthy to read that Honda is building a manufacturing plant in Mexico to produce their automobiles. How long will it be before the American Honda manufacturing plants in the south are closed because these automobiles can be built cheaper in Mexico.
The CEOs and stockholders have been taking jobs from America since the early 70s and we are now at a point where there are no crumbs left for the American worker.
If you remember just a couple of years ago the Republicans worked tirelessly to allow our American automobile industry to go bankrupt.
The Democrats only won this battle in Congress because they held the majority at that time but now that Republicans have taken over you can forget about protecting the American workers.
We must keep the American automobile industry relevant in producing great cars and trucks for here and around the world.
Let’s remember this lesson at the next national election.
Jerry Segovis

Why blame the GOP?
Why is it that liberals insist on blaming previous Republican administrations to justify the problems America is in today? This strategy hasn’t worked in the past and it certainly won’t work in the future … yet liberals continue to do so. Instead, they should admit that problems do exist and propose and undertake ways to get them resolved.
In the letter “Nothing good ever came out of Texas” (Aug. 26, 2011), the writer states that “the president doesn’t have the power … as do the members of congress.” I agree with that statement.
However, the president must present himself to the world and too the country as a leader; as an inspiration. These things are not being done.
The writer then says that “Bush squandered $19 trillion dollars.” Huh? Don’t know which history book that figure came from; I certainly can’t identify it.
Now, here are some facts using some easily verifiable figures:
When the Democratic-controlled congress took power in January, 2007 — while, incidentally, Bush was still at the helm — the federal budget deficit was $248 billion, it has now grown to $1.645 trillion. The Dow closed at around 12,600; it then began its downward-trend to about 7,060.
It is now 11,600 but once again is in a downward-trend. Unemployment was 4.6 percent … Bush’s economic policies set a record of 52 months of job creation; unemployment is now hovering around 10 percent. America had experienced 54 straight months of economic growth … look at the mess we’re in today; which would have been much worse if John Boehner and company hadn’t won the House in 2010.
You liberals can tune-up your “El Toro Poo Poo” scoopers and continue searching for imagined Republican doo-doo. We conservatives will embrace the positive things required to restore this great Republic to its original splendor.
This is called ‘using ones initiative’ … a quality that is sorely lacking in the current administration.
Oh, by the way! Your next president will most likely be a conservative one; you can almost bet the ranch on it! He could even be from Texas!
Joe O’Hara
On Top of the World