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Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 09:21 am

Letters to the Editor 09/06/12


U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., leaves a news conference in Chesterfield, Mo., after he announced his plans to stay in the race for the U.S. Senate.

I really could care less what Missouri Congressman Todd Akin recently said regarding rape victims, stupid as it was, especially for someone running for office. But I do care greatly about the fact that he actually believes that any rape can be “legitimate,” and that a woman’s body can reject the occurrence of a pregnancy from such a rape.

That would be great if indeed it was true. However that premise is debunked via evidence from so many rapes that did result in pregnancy where there was a show of force (gun, knife, etc.), that I assume even the congressman would consider as being “legitimate.”

Furthermore for Akin to belittle rapes that occur when, for example, a woman is drugged, as not really being a rape is preposterous!

Dick McLane

Governor Quinn supports taking from state employees. Quinn’s Chief of Staff Jack Lavin, an ex-Rezko CFO and Blagojevich director, agrees that state employees are the problem, not Illinois leadership.

Working middle class citizens say Illinois should be a democracy, not a Chicago dictatorship. They say politicians shouldn’t stir up jealousy towards workers who are trying to achieve the American dream, whether in a factory, at the state, or at a private company. They say everyone should do more.

Roughly 40,000 state workers provide services for a state of approximately 12 million people. It has been established that taxing the wealthiest 1 percent won’t solve our economic problems. Likewise, taking from less than 1 percent of our state’s working class won’t solve our problems.

Workers are tired of being treated like expendable trash. Those at the top should be grateful for what workers have helped them achieve. I’ve worked at factories, farms, universities and the state. I can tell you that without workers the wealthy would have only ideas without the fuel to move them forward.  

Anne Conwill

Bill Clutter’s Guestwork, “Open the ballot to third-party candidates” (Aug. 25), illustrates our wrongful bias toward the two-party limit. Both our state and the national two-party systems have not served law-abiding middle class folks well. On the state level, both parties are openly hostile toward middle-class folks who have played by the rules. This is evidenced by tax policies that exempt services from any tax and common ideological attacks on worker benefits and rights. On the national level the rhetoric is different, but most bad ideas and policies have been shared: trickle-down; wartime tax cuts; domestic surveillance; Iraq WMD; bankster coddling; cowering to the NRA; and fossil-centric dependency. One party has simply offered milder versions of these failures.

Until we address the two-party cabal, most of us will be left out of our so-called representative democracy. Thus we will be denied opportunities to solve the many problems confronting our state and our nation.

Pete Wagner

Instead of continually blasting the state employees’ pension amounts as the problem, Gov. Pat Quinn should put all the cards on the table so the public knows the real problem. First, none of the pension systems are in eminent danger of collapse. Second, it was not the retirees’ benefits that caused the funding problem but the failure of the state to pay its share plus the additional funds taken out of the retirement systems to fund programs and cover shortfalls in violation of the legislation. None of the persons in power were ever held accountable for this violation of the law.

They also used intended employee raises for years at a time to meet this shortfall of funds. They no longer get enough of a pot from this source since the lack of raises caused most of the state employees to join the unions as soon as they could. The legislation passed in 1995 to bring the pension funds to the proper funding level was based on a reasonable payment, made on time, every year. Since this was not done, the deadline needs to be extended to bring the payments back to a reasonable amount and some teeth put in the law to prevent violation of the new law.

Tyre W. Rees

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