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Wednesday, July 3, 2013 03:43 pm

Letters to the Editor 7/4/13

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President Obama presented his administration’s plan to tackle climate change during a speech at Georgetown University, June 25. The plan includes reducing carbon pollution.
ILLUSTRATION BY MARTIN GEE/MCT

CLIMATE PLAN VICTORY
On June 25, President Obama announced a comprehensive climate plan to address global warming – a welcome first step, and a big one. His plan includes setting limits on carbon pollution from power plants, the largest source of carbon emissions in the country, advancing energy efficiency and increasing the nation’s commitment to renewable energy.

Last year, more than 3 million Americans voiced support for those standards. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, record drought in many states, wildfires in Colorado, and devastating floods here in Illinois, the President listened to these Americans and rose to the challenge. Policies like these are essential to implementing the clean energy solutions necessary to tackling global warming.

I thank President Obama for backing up his strong words on global warming with strong action to clean up power plants, so that we can fulfill our obligation to our children and future generations by addressing global warming. Now we need all of our elected officials to make serious efforts like the President’s.

Ember McCoy
Environment Illinois, Chicago



STRENGTHEN SS/SSI FOR DISABLED
The recent Associated Press article “House investigators: disability judges are too lax” (Stephen Ohlemacher, June 24) is extremely misleading.

The article’s central claim – that Social Security is “lax” in evaluating disability – is clearly contradicted by the facts. As an advocate for people with disabilities, I know firsthand how strict the disability criteria are. Most people who apply are denied, and only about 40 percent are awarded benefits – even after all stages of appeal. Many beneficiaries are terminally ill – about one in five is male and one in six, female. Many beneficiaries die within five years of receiving benefits. Literally every day, I see people with significant disabilities who have been denied benefits; many die of the supposedly non-disabling impairments while waiting for a “fair” hearing.

The only intelligent and valid point made by the article is that the review of cases of people already found disabled is woefully under-funded. So are the programs that help disabled people get back into the workforce. Demographic changes are the primary reason for the increase in the number of claims – baby boomers are at the age when severe disability most frequently strikes and from which recovery is most limited.

No one knows when disability or illness will strike. That’s why Social Security Disability Insurance is an important part of our nation’s safety net. Instead of tearing down this vital program with myths and rumors, let’s focus instead on strengthening it for current and future generations.

Don Hanrahan, Attorney at Law
Springfield



HOMOSEXUALS NO LESS HUMAN
A homosexual person is one who is sexually attracted to others of the same sex. Except for a genetic variation of nature, they are virtually identical to their heterosexual counter parts.

There are those who freely choose this behavior as a “life style” but that accounts for a very small population of homosexuals. In fact, if one is not genetically predispositioned for this behavior then by definition they are not truly homosexual but rather some deviant variation of perverted behavior.

Some would argue that the Bible condemns homosexuality but I believe (through the persistence of science) this behavior will be proven to result from natural genetic variation.

One can draw on the example of the developmentally challenged (no offense intended toward either group) who by no action of their own are born comparatively slow or deficient in mental, physical or emotional growth.

Homosexual people are entitled to engage in sexual behavior consistent with their genetic makeup so long as it is between consenting adults. To deny them this right would be the same as denying heterosexuals their right to consensual sex. Some would argue that sexuality is strictly for reproduction but yet the animal kingdom has many species that cannot reproduce.

Human beings are sexual beings and to suggest that a genetic variation of nature somehow makes homosexuals less human is indeed an inhuman concept.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio

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