Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 12:18 am
Letters to the Editor 10/13/16
THE ACTION OPTION
When she was unhappy with the outcome of an election my mother would harrumph “we get the politicians we deserve.” I think the truth Mom pointed to was this: our politicians are a symptom, not the disease that afflicts all of us. It is time for us to seek a cure together, perhaps.
In Catholic circles, there is discussion of late about two different considerations for the way we interact with our culture. The “Benedict option” refers to St. Benedict of Nursia whose response to sixth-century culture was to create an alternative society – the monastery – as a model for living in right relationship. Then there is the “Dominic option.” We could include the Franciscans and the Carmelites as well. These religious orders grew out of Europe’s urban centers in the 13th century. They were among the first to move from the monastery to fully engage with the world, doing what they believed Jesus and his apostles did, walking among the people and bringing the Gospel to bear on the circumstances of everyday life.
I betray my Dominican bias for action. For your readers interested in pursuing the Dominic option, I offer some helpful resources and a simple plea. The resources you can access at our website with this short link: http://bit.ly/DominicOption.
The plea? Let’s together engage the process of curing the disease that has overtaken our political system. Let’s live our lives in such a way that the bromide my mother dragged out after every disappointing election cycle becomes a point of civic pride rather than a lament.
Sister Beth Murphy, OP
Office for Communication
Dominican Sisters of Springfield
SAY NO TO BAN ON GAS TAX USE
In a few weeks we will be voting on whether or not there should be a ban on using gas tax revenues for anything other than state transportation needs. I rue past uses of these revenues on anything other than transportation needs. Nonetheless, the proposed ban has no place in our Constitution.
The legislature, elected by our citizens, should have the authority to use this tax as they see fit, without being prevented from doing so by the Constitution.
While I think the legislature normally should not “rob” the gas tax for anything other than transportation needs, it should be their choice to do so if, in their judgment, such use is justified under the circumstances (and this should be an exceptional need, not just to fund some new program that is “hot” at the moment.)
It would be sad indeed if some calamity struck the state or there was a dire need for something where use of gas tax revenues could help in dealing with such need, yet this could not happen because of an ironclad ban in our Constitution.
I realize leaving such discretion in the hands of the legislature is risky, given its penchant for funding projects with whatever funds are available, but the alternative of a constitutional ban is not the answer.
With the general election approaching fast, I have been disappointed that so much focus is devoted to negativity, while ideas to improve our nation’s response to the crisis Alzheimer’s poses have received little attention.
Some 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and this number grows every day as the baby boomer generation ages. Because of its lengthy onset and the fact that there is no way to prevent, slow or cure it, caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease will cost taxpayers more than $160 billion this year, more than any other disease.
Based on interactions with my congressman, Rodney Davis, and my senator, Dick Durbin, I have seen both a strong Republican and a strong Democrat that truly understand the importance of the fight against Alzheimer’s. They have both been reliable and responsive on this issue, consistently working to increase research funding for the National Institutes of Health; and, despite their busy schedules, each makes time to meet with me and other advocates fighting to find a cure for this terrible disease.
I hope this election cycle, voters pay attention to the truly important issues at hand and support those officials, like Senator Dick Durbin and Congressman Rodney Davis, who are helping to move us towards a world without Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.