For Shame, for shame
Excuse me! Since when did the Cherry Blossom Festival have events over Easter? Easter does not complicate the Cherry Blossom Festival. Easter is when Christ arose from his grave.
The news article written should have been worded in a differ manner. "For shame, for shame," as Gomer Pyle use to say on "The Andy Griffith Show."
The Cherry Blossom Festival is the one that has gotten complicated by its greed. It has overpriced everything and the people receive nothing in return for the continual price increases each year.
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Might I suggest that the Cherry Blossom Festival board find a way to include Easter as part of its Festival?
—Rita A. Keller
Just wait and see
As someone who spent 30 years in health care, including as the first director of health planning for the state of Georgia and a former member of the Jasper County Board of Health, I am very concerned with Hillary Clinton's misstatement of facts in the Democratic debates.
Bernie Sanders has always supported universal health care insurance. I heard him speak on the topic to a national group of hospital CEOs in the early '90s. While the details may differ over time, he has always wanted a single-payer system. In this nation, that means expanding Medicare to cover all, not just those older than 65 and the disabled.
Clinton got burned on the reform issue in the '90s when she and her husband failed miserably to get a convoluted and unintelligible HMO-type plan through Congress. She has done pretty much nothing on this issue since then, running away and saying change is impractical.
To slam Sanders on health care is simply wrongheaded. The majority of Democratic voters know Sanders' long-standing position. And, they know that if Obama had taken this position, the Affordable Care Act would not have been passed. In Georgia, that has meant about 800,000 who were not covered before being covered by insurance. Clinton looks increasingly desperate after her defeat in New Hampshire and her close call in Iowa. Just wait until the more progressive state primaries. Is this 2008 redux?
Minimum wage issues
Thursday's article claiming that Oregon is "trailblazing" with the highest minimum wage in the nation overlooks the consequences of embarking on such a path ("Oregon leading national debate on minimum wage," Feb. 18).
Oregon has long had one of the highest state minimum wages in the country, and its least-skilled job seekers have suffered as a result. In 2015, for instance, the state's youth unemployment rate of 22.2 percent was over 5 percentage points higher than the national number. During the worst of the recession, the state's teens faced an unemployment rate above 30 percent.
The empirical data support the harm suggested by these top-line figures. For instance, in a study in Economic Inquiry, economists from the University of Oregon in Eugene found that Oregon's higher minimum wage generated "consistently negative" effects on employment in the restaurant industry. Raising the state's mandated wage floor further, whether in a three-tiered approach or all at once, will only compound this damage. The takeaway from Oregon's past experiments with the minimum wage is clear: Trailblazing on minimum wage levels is a dangerous venture.
The coming end?
Dr. Bill Cummings and I have divergent views about Jesus Christ, which are as removed from one another as "the east is from the west" ("The end of the world," 02/21). To Cummings, he is a nice Jewish fellow who dispensed lovely advice and aphorisms, but ran afoul of the authorities and came to a bad and untimely end. To me and to the rest of doctrinal Christianity he is the Creator of "time and space and matter-energy," manifest in the flesh. And he enraged the religious leaders of his time by making —and backing up —that claim. And he fulfilled the purpose of his incarnation through his suffering and Crucifixion, according to the Scriptures (Luke 24:27-45).
In order to accommodate his views, Cummings must accept wholesale alterations of the facts: e.g., the claim that the Gospels were set forth decades later than they were (all except John's predate the fall of Jerusalem by many years) and overlooking that Matthew, a tax collector, had skills akin to shorthand. His accounts of Jesus' discourses are virtually verbatim.
Luke 4 provides an account of Jesus' return to Nazareth, where he read from the scriptures in the synagogue there. The passage from Isaiah that he chose (61:1,2a) announces the coming of the Messiah, and ends with the phrase "...to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Period. However, in Isaiah, there is a comma after the word "Lord," followed by the phrase "...and the day of vengeance of our God..."
We exist in a "comma" between the arrival of God's grace and mercy, and the day of his wrath, which has lasted more than 2,000 years. The way "the fig tree is putting forth its leaves" (Matt. 24:32), that "comma" may be coming to an end. "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."
—W. Wade Stooksberry