Letters to the Editor 6-18-09
Handguns, PORA and Universal Health Insurance
HANDGUNS IN NATIONAL PARKS
That was a great cartoon, “The national park disservice,” on page 30 of the May 28 IT. The cartoon was referring to the recent signing of a bill by President Obama allowing guns in these parks, and even loaded ones in some instances.
If this is any indication of the future, I think Republicans, and the NRA and the gun lobby in particular, need not worry any more about our Democrat Congress and president putting restrictions on guns.
This bill is really a reversal of form, since even Ronald Reagan, a Republican and NRA supporter, believed that guns in the hands of tourists and the like have no place in national parks, and signed a bill as president banning guns in them.
IS PORA EFFECTIVE?
How effective is PORA? [See “Group helps prostitutes recover, struggles for recovery itself,” by Amanda Robert, IT, May 28.] Has a single prostitute passsed through their doors and wound up collecting a paycheck 10 years later? Do 90 percent of their clients succeed? If most clients are successful, then it’s a shame that this organization is failing. If, however, few of the women are collecting paychecks 10 years later then it’s an abysmal failure that deserves no funding, especially in these times of social service cutbacks.
The article says four women are waiting for a spot in PORA’s residential program, and each of them will be ready to transfer from separate treatment programs or the Illinois Department of Corrections in 30 to 45 days. You’re obviously talking about women who are being forced into PORA after arrest and conviction, or there would be no talk of DOC. I doubt seriously that any of these four women will be helped.
It’s a shame prostitution isn’t legalized, and a bigger shame that they are demonized rather than having their contributions to society acknowledged. You’ll never get rid of the world’s oldest profession, and an illegal activity cannot be taxed or regulated.
Most of the problems associated with prostitution are caused by the illegality itself. If it were legal, you wouldn’t have hookers walking down the street soliciting you. They would be in “cathouses” in areas zoned for such businesses. Rather than offering STD testing, it could be mandated as a requirement for their license. You would no longer have pimps beating them. And they would be paying income tax and their employers would be paying business taxes.
The laws are not just ineffective — I see dozens of these girls walking the streets in my neighborhood — they are counterproductive.
Thanks for the letter on the lack of universal health insurance [“Letters,” IT, May 28]. I wanted to show my support!
Whether imperfect, or to what degree they are imperfect, the systems in Canada or Europe, or even Cuba are at least something for everyone and therefore a world ahead of our own very imperfect and profit-motivated system. My own Canadian friends are stunned by the risks I am forced to take in my own insurance situation because I cannot be a part of a group or pool. I am not at all unique in that situation.
Sadly, in our society there is a huge dose of “the system works for ME, so the system works and everyone else be damned.” I hope that is about to change for the sake of us all.
GOT ANY CHANGE?
I feel compelled to write about the man who promised us change and is giving us more of the same. We are still rewarding those who brought us to our present position through their greed and arrogance.
More people are unemployed than before. President Obama seems to ignore the idea of separation of church and state. The people who lost their homes and those in danger of losing their homes are getting no assistance. Instead of getting out of Afghanistan we’re getting more involved. The Secretary of Education is interested in making the schools profit-oriented rather than education-oriented. He is creating strife among the school personnel.
We are getting way too much of the same old thing.
Fred J. Dietz, Sr.