Bernie is a big embarrassment
To the editor:
What an embarrassment to the Cleveland sports fans! I never listened to Howard Cosell and I don't have to listen to Bernie Kosar either.
Who is to blame for shutdown?
To the editor:
Would somebody please explain to me how the American people can possibly blame the House of Representatives for the government shutdown? The House has sent multiple bills to the Senate to fund every aspect of the government except for Obamacare. It is the Senate that has refused to pass these funding bills.
At the Constitutional Convention, the framers debated the extent to which the Senate should be involved in consideration of budget bills. A compromise between the large and small states conceded the power to originate money bills, the power of the purse, to the House. Speaking in favor of the provision, Benjamin Franklin said, "Money affairs were to be confined to the immediate representatives of the people." The "immediate representatives" Franklin referred to is the House of Representatives as before the 17th Amendment, Senators were appointed by state legislatures not by popular vote. Thus, it was never and still isn't the prevue of the Senate to dictate funding provisions to the House.
On Friday, Sept. 20 the House Republicans passed a stopgap funding bill to keep government open. They stripped out the new health care law so that funding for that component could be debated while the government remained open for business.
Senate Democrats and President Obama rejected the GOP approach. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada, blamed the irrational House Republicans and a faction he calls "Tea Party radicals." Reid stated, "No matter how many times they try to extort the American people and the Democrats here in the Senate, we're not going to re-litigate the health care issue." "The Senate will never pass a bill that guts the Affordable Care Act," Reid declared. Extortion Harry? It is you who is attempting extortion to get Obamacare funded.
In an effort to compromise, on Sept. 29 House Republicans pushed through a spending plan that would delay Obamacare for a year and repeal its tax on medical devices. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the Republican strategy "pointless" and said the Democratic-led Senate would reject the GOP alternatives, while the White House said Obama would veto the House proposal if it reached his desk.
Next the Republicans floated a plan that would restore funding for federal parks, veterans' programs and other aspects of the government that have negatively impacted the public. White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "The proposal shows the utter lack of seriousness that we're seeing from Republicans."
The House Republicans' fourth and latest offer asks for only two changes in ObamaCare to end the stalemate. Eliminate the subsidy for members of Congress, which has outraged the public and delay for a year penalizing individuals for being uninsured. Obama has already postponed the penalty on big companies for not insuring workers and given 1,472 exemptions to his political allies. Obama illegally made these changes without asking Congress. He is not supposed to be a dictator. According to the Constitution, we have a separation of powers and the President cannot intentionally disregard laws, or parts of laws, passed by Congress. Yet he has made a habit of this practice.
Obama said "All of this is entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the Senate has already done." Give in to Obama's every demand. Obama once again refused to negotiate around his signature legislative achievement: Obamacare.
Perhaps the Democrats are worried that the shutdown will show America that much of the bloated government that they have installed over the years is worthless and unnecessary. We as a country are going into bankruptcy because the big government politicians want to create a government dependent voting block by employing more and more useless government workers.
It seems to me that the House has made a good faith effort to set aside the Obamacare battle while permitting the government to continue to operate as usual. Members did not hold hostage government funding to force changes in Obamacare. They divided the two issues to make the debate as painless to the nation as possible. It is the Senate who has held hostage government funding. They are solely to blame for this shutdown. The media members, who have sold their souls to support Obama and his signature accomplishment, has once again confused the issue in an attempt to shift blame to the conservatives.
Thoughts on marijuana
To the editor:
Allow me to preface this by saying that in no way am I being critical of the Salem Police Department. They do a fine job, and they're simply enforcing the law as it stands. I also want to say that I have never even been in Friend's Roastery and I couldn't pick out the owners in a crowd if my life depended on it.
That said, it's time to have a conversation about marijuana. This situation with the owners of Friend's Roastery is a glaring example of the failure of the war on drugs. I'm going to assume-let me be very clear on that, this is an assumption-that in the end it will cost more to investigate and try these people than the value of what they recovered in the bust. Not only that, we have essentially now turned a tax asset into a tax liability. Because of a plant functional members of society generating revenue will now be thrown into a cell and their lives will be subsidized by taxpayers. And who knows what happens to the legitimate business they were operating. In no way am I saying they aren't criminals. By definition, they are. However, we need to ask ourselves what their crime really is.
Something else that must also be considered - what did this really accomplish? Is anyone naive enough to believe that the share of the black market demand for weed isn't picked up by someone else when a supplier is arrested? If we're successfully fighting a war on drugs, why is it that it just continually grows? Why is it that Mexican drug cartels continue to get bigger and wider reaching?
Several states have legalized marijuana. The results of that have yet to be seen. What that really means is that the people in these states (21 in all that allow medicinal use, plus D.C.) have overcome the false marijuana propaganda machine. They've seen the benefit. They've learned that most of the reasons that marijuana is illegal are not found in logic or science, but in emotion and crony capitalism. They've learned that the fact that marijuana is a schedule one drug, considered as dangerous as heroin, is bogus and not based around any real research. For those of you interested in learning more, I would invite you to start with Dr. Sanjay Gupta's report for CNN. He was once a strong supporter of marijuana prohibition because he simply believed what he was told and had never done any research himself. I could write about all the benefits and the lies, but I find that people have a much easier time accepting reality when they find the information on their own.
One thing that a lot of people need to understand is that regardless of how you feel, marijuana prohibition will end in most of our lifetimes. The younger generation, users or not, are clearly not interested in prosecuting people for marijuana. It's baffling to me why the older generation, constantly complaining about how much debt our country is in, or how over worked our police officers are, are still supporters of marijuana prohibition. I chalk it up to the idea that they simply haven't been exposed to the reality of the drug. A drug that I believe our last three presidents have all admitted to using, yet oversee law that throws people in jail and gives them a record that destroys their lives. A lot of these people are never able to fully integrate back into society and be productive once they've been incarcerated for simply smoking or growing a plant.
Bill Clinton may have ended up managing a Starbucks rather than being the president had he been arrested for smoking it. We have the largest prison population in the world and we call ourselves the land of the free. We throw more people in jail for marijuana than anything else. I wonder how many marijuana prohibition supporters would like to go back to the days of alcohol prohibition, a drug that has dangers and impact scientifically and statistically proven to be far more devastating than marijuana.
How many God-fearing Christians support marijuana prohibition and also claim that God created everything and he knew exactly what he was doing? How many of you know about the tests and unbelievable results pertaining to marijuana and cancer?
The only thing I ask from this is that we can start having a real conversation about whether or not marijuana prohibition is really in our best interests. Take the emotion out of it, put the facts on the table and objectively look at them. Consider it. If you do that and still come away in favor of prohibition, that's fine, but please don't let propaganda that isn't based in logic or truth decide that before you've looked at the evidence. Look at the information that is out there, all of it, from any side of the argument and decide for yourself whether or not you think the government should have the right to tell you which plant you can and cannot grow in your garden, what you can and can't do in the comfort of your own house. Ask yourself why they allow you to drink alcohol and drive as long as you don't exceed a certain limit, but it's illegal for you to smoke a plant and sit on your couch. Educate yourself and come back to the issue with a fresh perspective. It doesn't even matter if you want to be a user or not, but ask yourself if you have a right to deny that to other people, including those who really need it to improve their medical situation or even just their quality of life.
On behalf of the victims
To the editor:
Each year, since 1987, October is proclaimed National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Some people wonder why after all these years we still need to raise awareness about a crime so prevalent and notorious; its aftermath so unavoidable.
Yes, for the most part, we all seem to know that violence is occurring behind closed doors of homes in every corner of our communities and our country. Where we falter, and often fail, is in knowing what we can do personally and collectively to help those families living with the violence and dying at the hands of those they once loved and trusted.
While it's true domestic violence is a complex problem with no simple solutions, the fact is there are countless steps we can take in our daily lives to stop a batterer, to support a victim and to save a life.
It shouldn't take the death of an entire family as the result of a domestic homicide/suicide before a neighborhood stops turning a deaf ear to the sounds of violence on their street.
It shouldn't take the murder of a woman denied a protection order before the court system recognizes the lethality of domestic violence and enforces the laws that are in place to protect victims and sanction offenders.
It shouldn't take a battered woman being pronounced DOA at the hospital before healthcare practitioners stop sending patients home without questioning the origin of bruises and injuries or inquiring about their safety.
And it shouldn't take the stalking and shooting of a battered woman at her job site before employers implement workplace violence policies and safety plans.
Every day in some way, make it your business to play an active role in your community to end domestic violence. And what better time to begin than now, during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Please call the police if you hear or witness an assault in progress and contact the Christina House Domestic Violence Shelter to find out more about what you can do to stop domestic violence.
Please join us on Oct. 16, at 9 a.m. at the Christina Center, 115 E. Washington St. in Lisbon for our annual Balloon Launch. This is a time to say thank you to advocates who work with victims and their children, honor victims who have taken the steps to begin to live a life free from fear, and remember those women who have lost their lives at the hands of their abusers.
As the Christina House celebrates its 16th anniversary I want to say thank you for all the support we continue to receive from everyone in Columbiana County. We wouldn't be here without your help.
Program manager Christina House
Thanks for making a difference
To the editor:
The Salem Beautification Committee had a banner year with the help of many Salem residents, clubs and organizations. We proudly acknowledge those who made such a difference in our downtown.
A big thank you to SHS football team and head coach Ron Johnson and assistant coach Mike DeBarr, National Honor Society, Vickie Ziegler, Pastor Pete and Mrs. Mandy Fowler of the First Friends Church, Pastor and church members of Tri County Church of God , Alawn and Landscaping Service, Cub Scout leader Glen Randall and his Cub Scout Pack #3, Steve and Peter Ruwoldt, George Nyktas, Tracy Mull and SCB members JeanAlice Fehr, Carolyn Jones, Betty Colian, Jennifer Brown, Isabelle Huber, Patty Colian, Travis and Joey Barcey and Charlotte Wallace.
Our Adopt a Planter Program sold out in three weeks. Thank you to the following who adopted a planter: Atty. Earl Miller, BB Rooners owner Margie Engle, Bernice Melitschka, Dan and Barb Withers, Daniel and Linda Evanoff, Dennis and Melissa Niederhiser, Goshen Good Growers, Ladies Auxiliary BPOE, Marena Carmelo, Ramsey Partners, Robin Heestand, Ruth Harsh, Salem Car Wash, Salem News Publisher Beth Volosin, Salem Postmaster Mark Anderson, SHS Interact Club, SHS National Honor Society, The Ward Family: Donna, Bill, Carol and Linda, United Commercial Travelers, and Yuhanick's Cleaners. Many of these donors are repeat contributors.
Adding to the success of the season were gift cards and other donations from Harry Hofmeister, Kim and Geoff Goll, Jackie Troll, Marlene Knezetic, Home Depot, Memorial and Patriotic Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 892 and Walmart.
Thank you to Diane Less who designed and made our new Business of the Month sign.
For many years, Bill and Janice Mundy, owners of the Christmas Tree Farm in Lisbon, have donated pine boughs at Christmastime for our urns. Many thanks to them.
Thank you to committee members Jack and Elaine Kothera, Ned and Carolyn Jones, Jennifer Brown, Karen Carter, Steve and Charlotte Wallace dedicated a huge amount of time watering the hanging baskets at State and Lundy, in addition to their assigned urns. Other SBC members including Isabelle Huber, Betty Colian and JeanAlice Fehr helped share the responsibility of watering the 25 urns from May to October. Assisting members when they were not available to water were Diane Gardner, Pete Null and Gina Dermotta.
Thank you to Jock Buta who sponsored the four hanging baskets at State and Lundy Streets and to Larry Bennett who planted all the flowers in the baskets for us.
The Service Department is helpful in many different ways to our committee. Thanks to Ken Kenst, Mike Bibbee, Doug Moffett, Service Dept. Foremen Jim Phillis and his crew.
Twelve Days of Christmas, an ongoing fundraiser with monies allocated for entrance markers into Salem and additional expenses for beautification, was spearheaded by Gina Dermotta. We so appreciate her effort and the efforts of so many chamber members. Architectural drawings for the entrance markers were submitted by Stan Jones of Kent State University, Salem and Diane Less of The Spotted Horse.
Salem Beautification is very aware that downtown affects every resident in our town. We are so thankful for all the people who chose to be involved with this year's beautification projects. If you know any of the people mentioned, thank them for a job well done.
Finally, Beautification could not function without the enthusiasm, skills and support of Audrey Null, chamber director, and Tammy Peppel, assistant director. People don't realize the tremendous amount of work that goes on "behind the scenes" of keeping Beautification organized. Our deepest gratitude to everyone who was involved and participated in Planting pride ... City wide.
KAREN L. CARTER,
Salem Beautification Committee