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Wednesday, July 18, 2007 11:47 am

Letters to the Editor

Untitled Document We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.
BLAMING GAYS FOR MARRIAGE WOES In a recent letter, David E. Smith cites a Pew Research Center study to support his position that “every society needs traditional marriage — as many men as possible each finding a woman, caring for her, and committing himself exclusively to her . . . ” [“Letters,” July 12]. He went on to say that the majority of Americans don’t support gay marriage. What was left out was that the general public does support civil unions (54 percent to 42 percent).
Shaming and blaming children and adults for being born gay will not fix the heterosexual marriage crisis; it will just make matters worse by forcing gay men and women into heterosexual marriages to avoid a lifetime of isolation. Marriages like this eventually end, often involving children. Persecuting the gay population will not fix the institution of marriage. However, it is only human to blame others. Today, women now have the ability, financially and socially, to leave husbands who are abusive or unfaithful. Years ago, women were just supposed to stay there and take it. Smith’s image of marriage speaks volumes about his perception of women. He doesn’t even include a role for women in marriage, saying, “a man is to find a woman, care for her and commit himself to her.” Today, women have choices. Men aren’t who we were brought up to believe in. And marriage, just like Congress, is seriously in need of people who can hold themselves to a higher standard. The struggle is within. Go there and figure it out.
Anne Logue
Harry Potter books and movies are demon-possessed and are promoting witchcraft! Harry Potter books and movies are straight from the pits of hell and the devil is getting worshiped! The darkness of this occult worship is deceiving the pure innocent minds of the children! The black magic will warp the minds of the children! The brainwashing of the children makes witchcraft seem good instead of evil! Parents, watch what your children read. Parents, throw all of the Harry Potter books in the trash! Children, don’t read the Harry Potter books or your soul will be damned! Children, throw the Harry Potter books in the trash, then you soul will be saved! The worshiping of witchcraft in the Harry Potter books and movies will let the demons control you. The Harry Potter books and movies are cursed and are an abomination to God! Satan in these last days is promoting evil is good and good is evil in Harry Potter books and movies! George Culley Pinckneyville
MISLED ABOUT MARIJUANA It seems to me that too many people are being misled about cannabis. The criminalization of cannabis was originally based on lies. At the time when cannabis was criminalized, the majority of its users were black and Hispanic. And seeing as how the politicians and police of the time considered those two minorities as being the instigators of most crimes, they purposely lied and linked marijuana to the crime rate. They also lied and labeled it as being “dangerous” and called it “the devil’s weed.”
What most people don’t know is that over the past century, numerous reports from independent, government-sponsored commissions have documented marijuana’s relative harmlessness and recommended the elimination of criminal sanctions for consumption-related offenses. A growing number of people, smokers and non-smokers alike, are joining together to end the prohibition of cannabis on local, state, and federal levels.
I know what you’re thinking: Wait a minute, the government knows of marijuana’s harmlessness but still continues to lie and say it’s one of the most dangerous drugs? Sadly, the answer is yes. Marijuana is not dangerous to one’s health, or society, and for no good reason, the government continues to fight for the extinction of a harmless plant. The government will never be able to destroy something that comes from a seed and was originally found growing wildly in nature. The only way to end this war against a plant is legalization. We have two choices: Legalize or legal lies. The decision is ours. Josh Trott Springfield
THE LEGACY OF CAREER POLITICIANS This country is being sullied by incessant partisanship, which is the antonym of goodness, wisdom, and honor. Campaigns that were once sprints are now marathons — some would say “never-ending” marathons. It’s sickening, and there are some very negative consequences. Simply put, Washington has become a stagnant and corrupt sideshow; it feeds on the American people instead of honorably serving them, and this milieu is the legacy of career politicians. If we keep voting for incumbents, we are 100 percent sure to get more of the same! Our country is desperate for ordinary successful Americans to become part of the process by finding a way for them to equitably compete with career politicians and the wealthy. Only those who are selfishly thriving in the current environment of corruption, haughtiness, and deception would be against any plan that levels the playing field, and that is most compelling reason we desperately need such a plan. Bob Ruble Springfield
SIDING WITH CORRUPT EXECUTIVES Main Street investors nationwide beware. In a recent move, President George W. Bush has made it very clear that he values the likes of Enron’s crooked CEOs over Main Street investors. This fall the U.S. Supreme Court will consider Stoneridge Investment v. Scientific-Atlanta, the case which will determine whether investors can recover investment losses when fraudulent corporate collusion is proven, like the fraud committed in the Enron and WorldCom scandals. In an effort to protect the corrupt executives, President Bush ignored the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recommendation to file a brief on behalf of investors — falsely citing the myth of “America’s decreasing competitiveness” as his reason.
Perhaps he underestimates America’s resiliency. After all, the same U.S. markets he is disparaging in his decision remain the strongest in the world, despite his administration’s dismal performance. For example: • Fourteen percent of all IPOs conducted in 2005 were conducted in the U.S. — more than any other country. • In 2005, the U.S. topped the list of countries for percentage of total IPO proceeds with 20 percent. Those proceeds were valued at $33.086 billion. • U.S. IPO volume increased by 22 percent from 2005 to 2006. • During the last quarter of 2006, there were 94 registered IPOs on the American exchanges — the highest quarterly level since 2000. Our markets remain strong, and using “American competitiveness” as an excuse to weaken investor protections is nothing more than a sham. This case pits Main Street against Wall Street, and Bush has made his loyalties abundantly clear.
Sherry Liles

GAMBLING IS NOT THE ANSWER Last year Gov. Rod Blagojevich blasted his opponent when she proposed a casino in Chicago. He said this was a massive expansion of gambling and a flip-flop from earlier positions she took opposing expansion. Senate Democrats recently agreed to a compromise for a casino in Chicago and two or three additional casinos that any city can bid on for a new casino license. Do you really think any downstate city will get a casino? Blagojevich now says additional gambling is an option he may accept to raise revenue for his budget priorities. “I have historically opposed an expansion of gaming. I have said in the interest of compromise, that if it means providing health care to families, I’ll hold my nose and support that option.”
Governor, this is a massive expansion of gambling and a flip-flop from the position you took when you signed our candidate survey saying you opposed additional casinos, increasing gambling positions at casinos, slots at racetracks, video gambling at bars and restaurants, and telephone wagering. Gambling promises more than it delivers. Revenue from the Illinois Lottery accounts for only 9 percent of the education funding. Lottery and riverboat casino revenue account for 4.8 percent of the general fund in the 2007 budget. Gambling is an unstable source of revenue that cannot solve the state’s budget problems. Legislators and the governor need to stop wasting taxpayer money and find a way to fund programs that will not increase addiction, bankruptcy, and crime.
Anita Bedell Executive director Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems
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