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Wednesday, April 2, 2008 11:25 pm

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.
WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING As chairperson of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Shamrocks Against Dystrophy, I want to take a moment to thank businesses and patrons in the Springfield area for their generous participation in our 2008 campaign. I’m delighted to say that this year’s fundraising efforts were a great success. Those little green-and-gold shamrock mobiles sold by local businesses help support MDA’s vital programs of research, health-care services, and public education right here in Springfield and across the country. On behalf of all the individuals and families coping with muscle-wasting diseases, I send a big warm “thank you” to Springfield residents — you’ve certainly put a smile in these Irish eyes!
Maureen McGovern
Beverly Hills, Calif.

CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST Some thoughts on your March 27 issue. After reading Jim Hightower’s column about the Bush presidential library; “The $3 trillion war,” by Peter Kadzis; the John Sherffius cartoon; and Chuck Koplinski’s review of the movie Stop-Loss, I really have to wonder about this nation’s stability. When I read and hear in the press about Iraqis killing Iraqis (when our Army isn’t killing them) and I look at what George W. Bush has done to America, I have to pause and think. When I compare the U.S. Congress to the current government in Baghdad, I am astounded by the similarities. Neither government — real or puppet — seems willing or able to tackle its nation’s problems with more than Band-Aids, when stitches are needed. Both the Iraqi and American working classes are watching their young people dying at a rate not seen in modern times.
Iraq and America are ripping apart at their seams as rifts between pro-government and anti-government forces vie for control. In Iraq, Americans are told that anti-American forces must be Al Qaeda-linked. In America, we are told that anti-Bushites are “terrorist sympathizers” for not endorsing more bloodshed in Iraq. Where should Washington be more concerned with possible civil war? I say the odds are even. America, like Iraq, has been ripped apart into opposition groups, thanks to George W. Bush. How will Washington defend itself once the armed forces are used up in Iraq? Which city will fall first? Baghdad or Washington? Any bets?
Norman Hinderliter
Springfield

WE NEED HONEST LEADERSHIP I recently received an e-mail listing Barack Obama’s voting record, implying that it makes him unfit for being president. For the most part it makes him a breath of fresh air and a break from the policies that have squandered our national resources, including money, troops, and reputation as a caring, intelligent, and strong leader in the world. It also breaks the trend of promoting the interests of some Americans while ignoring the needs and dreams of others, especially ones in lower economic and higher risk situations. Obama, unlike the other candidates, openly opposed the Iraq invasion. It was very clear to him then that our administration was determined and only looked for excuses, including 9/11, to pursue its irrational desire. We have successfully broken a nation, quit counting innocents killed, sent millions from home as refugees, and given terrorists precisely what they need to raise their recruits astronomically. We are paying a terrible price in troops and treasure in an impossible effort to fix the damage we’ve done.
Without leadership that can deal honestly and up front with these realities we will continue to repeat the same mistakes and spiral deeper into the same national tragedies. We are being unfaithful to future generations. We are leaving a situation that will be arduous to overcome; a huge waste of financial and other resources and an image that draws a negative response from much of the world. A truly significant change in attitude, policy, and direction is needed.
I see Obama’s positions and the wisdom he demonstrates as consistent with the moral call of the Christian story and in line with the kind, intelligent judgment that is a deep part of the heritage of American Christianity. I do not see this parallel being nearly as strong in the attitudes and positions of the other candidates. Rev. Jim Hibbett Riverton
SUPPORT YMCA’S KIDS CAMPAIGN In 2007, the Springfield YMCA provided approximately 2000 Y and summer-camp scholarships to disadvantaged youths and families in the Springfield area. No one is turned away because of his or her inability to pay.
The scholarships are supported by the YMCA Century Clubs Strong Kids Campaign. The Century Club is made up of Y members, citizens of Springfield and Sangamon County, community leaders, and city and state officials. A special warm thanks to state Sen. Larry Bomke, Sen. Joe Lyons, Mayor Tim Davlin, Sheriff Neil Williamson, Irv Smith, Chatham Mayor Tom Gray, and the Y’s own Copley First Citizen, Shelby Harbison, for their public and financial support.
As we look around our hometown, the challenges facing our youth seem overwhelming. Every child deserves and needs to be spiritually and physically fit to become a positive part of our community. The YMCA is there to help the children and families in the Springfield area achieve this goal. Our YMCA Century Club’s Strong Kids Campaign starts Friday, April 25, and runs through Wednesday, June 18. We invite all citizens of Springfield and Sangamon County to become members of the YMCA and/or supporting members of our campaign. Phone us at 217-544-9846 or send any amount to the Y at 701 S. Fourth Street, Springfield, IL 62705.
Larry Wedding Chairman
YMCA Century Club Strong Kids Campaign

UNDEMOCRATIC DEMOCRATIC PARTY The Democratic Party has devised a reliance on “super-delegates” to determine who will be their candidate for president. These super-delegates are not elected nor voted for by citizens in the primaries. They are party insiders, officials, and bureaucrats. Sound undemocratic? It is. It seems that the Democratic Party runs by arbitrary rules that ensure that party officials determine who gets the nomination. The founders of our Constitution warned that nominations done this way would make the presidency merely a servant to the elite special interest groups that appoint it. This is from the same party that made a huge fuss over the proven logic of our Electoral College voting system for president. This is the same party that made such a fuss in 2000 that presidents should only be determined by the direct votes of citizens — that no vote should be discounted and that any president not getting such is illegitimate! Why does anyone believe them?
Mike Shadley Oak Brook Terrace
SUPPORT ILLINOIS WORKS All across our state, Illinois residents drive on roads in need of repair, drop their kids off at overcrowded schools, and live in communities that are in need of more economic development. Although these might sound like three separate issues, all of these challenges are connected and can be addressed through the passage of a new infrastructure improvement bill. New capital investments would repair our roads and bridges, rebuild our schools, and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs. However, it has been nine years since the General Assembly has passed a new capital bill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich recently proposed the $25 billion Illinois Works capital-improvement program that will make these crucial investments, while also supporting 700,000 jobs. It is time for all of us — workers, business owners, educators, and parents — to join the call for a new capital bill.
Illinois has an immediate need and Illinois Works is the solution. Thomas Villanova Illinois Works Coalition President, Chicago and Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION There is a phenomenon that I have run into that seems very different. I heard on the radio some months ago about the buy one, give one program. I recently ran into a friend of mine with one. The thing is a small, low-carbon-footprint portable computer. If you buy one, the group (I can’t remember which) gives one just like it to a person in the Third World. Again, I can’t remember where. The cost is supposed to be less than a normal computer and is much more planet-friendly. How does this work, do you know? Is there anything else like this out there? Do you know what the organization is? Is it local at all? I like the idea, but can’t remember enough to give out details. Sorry for being so unclear. Patrick Johnopolos Springfield
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