Letters to the Editor
In and around Springfield
BUCKED BY OUR RODEO COLUMN
IllinoisCorruption.com exposes the cruelty and corruption of high-school rodeo finals held in Illinois. A link on the site www.sharkonline.org exposes Dusty Rhodes’ highly inaccurate and juvenile fluff piece on the finals [“The badder the better,” July 27]. Rhodes’ piece completely excludes any mention of the extensive cruelty, including clear and obvious violations of the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act, that occurred. It ignored the fact that both the governor and the Illinois Department of Agriculture ignored video and still-picture evidence of those violations. It further ignored the poor attendance and taxpayer money wasted.
I recall days past when Illinois Times published real news. While I am not a regular reader of the publication, when I did I had respect for your work. Rhodes’ article was enough to taint the formerly high opinion I held.
I can’t help but wonder, when did Illinois Times decide to pick up the scraps that fall off the State Journal-Register’s table? The SJ-R already holds the top spot for official rodeo cheerleader, so what is in it for Illinois Times to throw off any semblance of journalistic integrity?
The State Journal-Register sold out years ago. I just never thought Illinois Times would follow.
Showing Animals Respect and Kindness
MAYBE SADDAM WASN’T SO BAD
Let’s take a look at Iraq before Bush invaded it.
Saddam Hussein was contained, he was behaving himself, and he had no weapons of mass destruction. He and his forces didn’t like or trust the radical religious terrorists called Al Qaeda. They had the country under control; they had the power to keep them out of the country.
Even Bush admits there was no contact between the two, although many Americans mistakenly believe there was. Thank the cowed media and the “fair and balanced” news reporting by Fox and the rest of the huge conservative-case-making media.
Saddam wasn’t charging us $6 billion a month to keep Al Qaeda out. American boys weren’t dying trying to keep them out. The country wasn’t being destroyed trying to kill them. We weren’t promising to rebuild it. Iraqis weren’t killing each other. The country was not well into a civil war. Saddam had a secular society — and the radical Islamic terrorists hated him for it. He had already accomplished what we are trying to do — namely, to keep Iraq from becoming a radical Islamic terrorist haven.
Then Bush invaded and took Saddam out and disbanded the Iraqi military forces, which allowed Al Qaeda and the insurgency in and they keep getting stronger. And Saddam would never have allowed his mortal enemy, Iran, to build nukes.
So, no, America, the Iraqi people and the world are not better off without Saddam at the helm in Iraq. We are much, much worse off. Taking him out was the mother of all strategic blunders.
ON THE ROAD TO MEXICO
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make the Aug. 6 Krisapalooza a huge success [see R.L. Nave, “Waiting to exhale,” July 27]. Because of the generosity of friends and local businesses, we are halfway to our goal of getting me to Mexico for stem-cell therapy! What a great city, and what wonderful friends. God bless you all.
HERE’S WHY THEY’RE ROLLING . . .
On the issue of increasing the minimum wage, Don Miller’s letter last week was right: Our founding fathers would be rolling in their graves, not for the reasons he implies but rather for our deviation from our strong capitalistic ideals. It really is nonsensical to suggest that the system they envisioned would be the very system against which they would revolt. Minimum-wage laws and redistribution of the wealth to the poor are the very excesses our founding fathers strived to avoid.
Welfare states are what fail the poor. Our own policies, including FDR’s New Deal and the public-aid system, serve only to perpetuate poverty. Thankfully, a part our founding fathers’ vision is still alive and has survived the last few generation’s attempts to dismantle it. That’s why foreign refugees favor America strongly and many risk their lives just to live here, not China or Cuba. European nations are even showing the consequences of socialism with bad medical care, high unemployment rates, and high gas prices. Yes, even gas is cheap here, despite what most people think — in fact, cheaper than it has been in the past, taking inflation into account.
Many Americans have become spoiled by our system. People complain about high prices and accuse corporations of being greedy while at the same time criticizing companies like Wal-Mart’s low prices because they result in low pay and benefits for its employees. Allowing these “evil” corporations to exist has led to a standard of living that a very small percentage of the rest of the world is able to enjoy.
Pseudoliberal claims that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer are simply a myth. The rich get richer, but so do the poor and middle class as the standard of living is increasing. Being poor in America means having a place to live, a car, and a TV — maybe a computer, all things which are luxuries to much of the world.
The relatively poor individuals that we do have here have been duped by the left by convincing them they would be better off with another system or at least a strong diversion from capitalism. The so-called brilliant ideas such as raising the minimum (or having one at all, for that matter) have been shown to increase unemployment rate, much more so for minorities, the very individuals these policies claim to protect.
The New Left (i.e. Democrats), which calls itself liberal, now has nothing in common with our revolutionary ancestors. Our founding fathers would be the Libertarians of today, a political ideology that embraces the idea that one can become super-rich without compromising the benefits of those less well off — in fact, creating a better economy which helps, not hurts, the poor.
STRAIGHTENING UP THE BOARDS
On behalf of the Sangamon County Community Foundation and United Way of Central Illinois, our thanks to the more than 200 community leaders who attended our board-training workshop on Aug. 24. Attendees learned about board roles and responsibilities, including setting an organization’s direction and providing legal and moral oversight, characteristics of effective boards and board structure.
Board members plans an important role in the success of volunteer organizations, and have many legal and ethical responsibilities. These tasks are not easy, and many board members have questions about how they can fulfill these roles. United Way of Central Illinois and the Sangamon County Community Foundations were pleased to partner to bring a national board-governance trainer to Springfield to help more than 125 local boards improve their effectiveness.
We would like to thank the many volunteers who give so generously of their time and talents by serving on nonprofit boards and thanks to those who were able to attend the workshop. Thanks also to Sikich for sponsoring the workshop and the Prairie Heart Institute for hosting the training.
John P. Kelker
United Way of Central Illinois
Sangamon County Community Foundation
WHY TRUST PEABODY NOW?
Peabody Energy Co. may have “gotten the nod” for its new power plant [in Washington County], but I have bobblehead dolls with no brains in them that nod, too. Wake up, Illinois, and realize that Peabody is using 30-year-old technology for this “newest-technology plant.” We, as Illinois citizens, will not be allowed any of this power because it is sold out of state already! We will, however, get the pollution and the environmental effects. We need clean coal jobs and protection for our unions in this state — not just repeating the mistakes that caused our mines to shut down 10 and 20 years ago. Did Peabody do right by the miners and the environment 10, 20, or 30 years ago? Then they won’t this time, either.
WHY REMOVE CATHOLIC OBJECTS?
I, like many people, can’t understand why Memorial Medical Center, which recently purchased St. Vincent’s Hospital in Taylorville, would want to remove crucifixes, pictures of the Blessed Mother, and other sacred objects that have been at the hospital for 100 years. I have never heard a Catholic, Protestant, or Jew complain about these religious things.
I hope the administrator would have a change of heart and leave these beautiful objects alone. It would make a lot of people very happy.