This is Viewpoints for Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 12, 2014 

Only hurts the poor

Columnist Erick Erickson’s “Marionettes’ strings” column was all about his Libertarian views and philosophy. He wanted Chris McDaniel, the tea party candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., to win the primary.

Sen. Cochran won a primary runoff because of his long history of bringing home the bacon -- earmarks that have proven vital to the state’s economic health. He actively courted the black vote, and they provided his winning margin of 7,000 plus votes. His opponent scared voters by threatening to end all federal aid and earmarks to this poor state.

Erickson’s Libertarian philosophy is impractical, and its main goal is to shrink all governments and services for those who need it the most. State Sen. Cecil Staton’s ridiculous brake on Macon’s new consolidated government by reducing its budget for several years only serves to deny its healthy longevity. It’s an attempt to lessen its effectiveness that hurts Macon’s poorest citizens.

-- Frank W. Gadbois

Warner Robins

Caste system

Catherine Meeks in her column of July 2 declared that we need to curb the high rate of incarceration of young people. I think Meeks is ignoring the obvious causes of why young people become criminals and end up in prison. To me, the causes are lack of education, poor family values, a disregard of social norms and low community expectations.

If an individual comes from a home that does not emphasize education, they will have difficulty in school and in mastering job skills. If people don’t graduate from high school, they will not be able to get a job that pays well and is satisfying. Those who attend a school where the students consistently test below state standards probably will graduate with low reading and math skills. Those attending a school that tolerates disruptive behavior and bullying will act that way when not in school. When there is no accountability at school, people learn they can do what they want. If they do not acquire good behavior, they will have difficulty accepting society’s norms.

Those who come from a single-parent family that subsists on welfare will not develop a strong concept of family. People who come from a family where the siblings have different fathers will have difficulty developing family bonds. They will assume that fathers do not have to support their children. They will think it is normal to have numerous baby-mamas and not have to support any children they have. When there are no family ties, people seek them from a gang and will assume a gang mentality. Dropouts from dysfunctional families have a low prospect of obtaining a meaningful job. Therefore, there is a high probability they will turn to crime to survive.

If a community tolerates dropouts, lax school discipline, illegitimacy, thuggish behavior and gang-dominated neighborhoods, residents cannot blame society if their youth are sent to prison. Meeks, pastors, politicians and the board of education can have a positive effect on the youth of the community if they act immediately instead of playing the blame game. Pastors must stress moral responsibility, not tolerate illegitimacy as the family norm. Condemn deadbeat fathers and absent dads.

The BOE must encourage principals to take back the schools from the thugs and stop coddling disruptive students. Insist that the school board hires competent teachers who can motivate students to learn. Politicians must support the police efforts to diminish gangs and make neighborhoods safe. Community leaders should encourage successful individuals to speak at schools and have them emphasize the importance of obtaining an education and making responsible life decisions. The only caste system is the one individuals make for themselves.

-- Jim Costello


Additional methods

I guess I should start by admitting that I read The Telegraph, watch CBS news, listen to NPR and have seen MSNBC. I suppose that means I tend to be a liberal, except when liberals are wrong.

However, I would like to express my admiration to the people who responded to Cathy Gill’s letter on Friday. I was especially impressed with the way the writers, each one working independently, I assume, since only liberals use media talking points, came up with so many different methods of birth control that Hobby Lobby will pay for compared to the paltry four they will not. However, I noticed that one writer seems to have come up with 10 more methods than the other three. I hope he will share the additional 10 with the Hobby Lobby workers affected by the Supreme Court’s decision.

-- Alan Bickford


All men?

In response to “Reactions to Gill letter,” I would first like to note that all of Gill’s detractors were men who apparently know very little about reproduction or the law. Under the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services allows women free access to all FDA-approved forms of contraception. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that the IUD and Plan B work only as contraceptives. In spite of this, the owners of Hobby Lobby feel these methods are abortifacients. These same owners have no problem doing business with China, a nation whose one child policy leads to millions of abortions each year, but I guess it is still a Christian principle as long as you aren’t paying for them. In truth, there is only one drug approved to induce abortion, RU-486, and it is not on the FDA’s list of approved contraception.

So basically, Hobby Lobby stands as a victory of religion over science. Your employers’ selective, subjective religious opinion can trump science and federal law. It’s not a SCOTUS ruling likely to stand the test of time, especially if more women are on the bench.

-- John P. Jones

Warner Robins

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