To The Daily Sun,
This is a response to Gabe Varney, about to be a senior at Prospect Mountain high school In Alton.
First, I want to praise Gabe for giving thought to his future. Considering a college education is a major commitment, not only of time and effort, but college is a major financial commitment that has great potential to both help or hurt financially in the future. Going to college is surely a commitment that needs the greatest thought and consideration by you and your family.
The risks and benefits of attending college are as high as they have ever been in history. The number of people defaulting on college loans is at record numbers. The total amount owed on student loans is the highest ever, reaching well over a trillion dollars. More than charged on every credit card in America. The average debt students graduate with is at a record number. A college major must be chosen wisely that matches today's job market.
Even worse, the person who does not finish college (and tens of millions don't) will be forced to accept a very modest wage enduring a harsh burden for years paying the borrowed money back. That could delay future marriage plans or buying a home. You indeed do have a big bridge to cross over the next year, so it is good you are thinking today.
As for the cost of college and politicians voting or not voting to fund grants, subsidies, handouts or what ever you see as reducing the cost of college, I want you to expand your horizon and critical thinking skills. You seem to have concluded politicians taking money from others to hand to you is good. I want you to be sure you understand that hurts someone else.
As you were taught in school, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Money isn't just plucked off some tree to give to you. Someone had to earn it, then have it taken from them through higher taxation. Giving you money someone else worked hard for is really in the end welfare. Politicians love to call welfare any thing but welfare, but that is exactly what it is. A grant or subsidy is, in the end, welfare.
You seem frustrated politicians won't vote you welfare as if you were entitled to it. I cannot think of anything any worse for any young person to have than than an entitlement attitude. That thinking will not help you get where you want in life, trust me on that. I want you to be the best success you can be. The better attitude is to be certain you can overcome any obstacle life puts in front of you through logic, hard work, imagination and creativity.
Here is your summer assignment. I ask you, Gabe, why is it that after every state and the federal government has given out (at taxpayers' expense) more subsidies, grants, loans and aid of every kind imaginable — in ever increasing amounts over the past 50 years, reaching amounts in the hundreds of billions — college and university costs are the highest today in history, with kids graduating with the greatest financial burdens in history?
There is not one shred of evidence handing you money, that you hand to the college reduces the cost of college for you or anyone else. It is a fact. Your research will lead you to discover, as I have, handouts to students from the state and government have only served to be gasoline on the justification for colleges to keep increasing their tuition costs. Colleges have been increasing tuition costs faster than inflation for 30 years straight. The student going off to college with money bags tied to them by the state and government have been seen by colleges as nothing more than walking gold mines to be harvested with higher tuition costs and zero reason to improve their productivity or cut costs to make your tuition less. Most colleges are highly inefficient bureaucracies, paying exorbitant wages to unionized professors determined to keep college costs skyrocketing and productivity low. The history of horrific and unjustified increases in the cost of college cannot be denies by anyone. It is Just one more place where union labor drives costs to the moon for all others, including you. Putting a saddle bag on you stuffed with money only keeps their higher tuition game going.
I hope I have expanded your thought process.
Last Updated on Friday, 25 July 2014 10:22
To The Daily Sun,
For the last several years I have enjoyed coaching soccer to young kids. The parents of these kids typically outfit their child to look like a miniature version of a professional soccer player, practice with them at home and bring them to each practice and game. What really warms my heart though is when the children's "entourage" comes to cheer them on. The wild cheering is unconditionally positive and occurs regardless of their abilities. Armed with lawn chairs; the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends are screaming encouraging words to support these little athletes. Although I adore these kids, they probably aren't the kids I'm writing about today.
Today I am writing about children who desperately need someone to get to know them and look out for their best interests. I am writing about the kids I probably won't get to meet on the soccer field with a slew of doting adults supporting them. The kids I am writing about today are the victims of abuse and neglect. These kids' parents might have had the really good intentions to sign them up for soccer and had the money set aside for registration (along with the car payment and money for groceries) but they used this money instead to go on a bender to numb some of their own pain. Maybe Mom really loves her three young kids so she leaves the 6-year-old in charge of the younger two so they won't see her go to her friend's house to shoot up. Perhaps Dad loses his temper a lot and is ashamed that this recently lead to him beating his child and he really wants to stop but in the meantime he can't risk his child exposing this dirty little secret to the soccer coach. These are the kids that I am trying to find volunteers for; caring adults who will fight for and protect a child's right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect and to learn and grow in the safe embrace of a loving family.
North Country Training & Recruitment Coordinator
CASA of New Hampshire
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 10:08
To The Daily Sun,
With so many things going on all at once, it's impossible to address them all in one letter.
My friend Russ Wiles had a great letter in Tuesday's paper regarding the boarder crisis, which I agree with completely. I'll add that because of that crisis Obama is facing criticism from previously loyal fronts. Black American leaders are growing far more discontent with in influx of poor Hispanics who will compete for entry-level jobs black youths desperately need.
It's not as though we have a shortage of poor and unemployed here in America. Do we really need to import more? How can we afford to support these illegals? Please don't tell me we tax the rich. That hasn't worked before. Why in the world would it work now and how many times can the government go to that well before it dries up for good?
The other big news is Israel going after the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Good for Israel. Of course the politically correct sentiment is to call for a cease-fire (Hamas has rejected that twice so far) as they always do. Thing is, these cease-fires only last until the terrorists rearm, resupply then its attack Israel again. This has been going on long before the partition of the territory.
Muslim radicals (supported by most of the Muslim populations) have been trying to kill and force Jews out of the Holy Land for centuries. Before World War II the religious head of the Muslim's of Jerusalem instigated a number of massacres. During the war he was harbored in Berlin as a "guest of Hitler" where he organized a full division of Waffen SS which operated in the Balkans killing Jews and sending captives to the death camps.
Israel's military has shown remarkable restraint trying to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza while Hamas has shown remarkable evil, using women and children as human shields trying to get them killed or maimed for propaganda purposes. I feel empathy for these victims, but I place the blame right with Hamas where it belongs. Israel must be allowed to defend itself in spite of the reprehensible tactics Hamas and other terrorists use. The blood of the innocents is on the hands of Hamas.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 10:03
To The Daily Sun,
In answer to the Three Musketeers: Dale and Tony and Steve,
First, Dale. No: what I said is what I meant to say. Let me make it clearer for you so you can understand what has been happening — and continues to happen—- in states with a Republican legislative majority. The following facts were published by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law:
1. "Politicians are passing laws and executive actions that would make it harder for many citizens to vote. (Not as you suggest: make it more difficult for ineligible voters to vote).
2. "It started after the 2010 midterm elections when new state legislative majorities pushed a wave of laws cracking down on voting.
3. "A number of states moved forward with controversial voting changes, including those previously blocked under the Voting Rights Act."
If you want to look at the full report you can go to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law website. I took the time to do the research and print out the report. This report lists the states: AZ, AL, NC TN, ND, OH, SC, SD, TX, VI WV & WI among others who have modified, changed or made it harder for citizens to vote. Republicans are doing this under the guise of fighting voter fraud, even though every study of the issue has concluded that the issue is a phony one. The threat exists in the minds of conspiracy theorists and of Republicans who want to make it harder for younger voters, seniors, and anyone without a white skin to vote.
Now Steve: you recently insisted that our media outlets are owned and operated by liberals. That's another flat-earth favorite of reality-deniers. Please go to Google: type in "Time Warner win would make Murdoch U.S. Media King" by Soyoung Kim and Liana B. Baker (July 17, 2014). As I'm sure you know, since I'm guessing you pump up your blood pressure watching his Fox News channels, Rupert Murdoch is the billionaire mogul who owns a massive amount of media outlets around the world. Time Warner/Comcast would be just another notch in his belt.
And Tony: as for your claim that Social Security is insolvent. There is an article published on the Heritage Foundation webpage titled "History Suggests Social Security Insolvency Is Coming Sooner than Projected" written by Rachel Greszler (June 27, 2013). Then I took it a step further and went to the Social Security webpage and found the following report titled: A Summary of the 2013 Annual Report: Message to the Public by the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees. In reading this report there doesn't seem to be any reference to insolvency through the year 2087. In point of fact, there will be adjustments for inflation and the job market (those who fund the system through their payroll deductions).
So I guess my suggestion to you would be-don't worry, be happy. And by the way, life outside your bubble is not so bad.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 09:48
To The Daily Sun,
Has anyone seen a recent political cartoon concerning the PA/Israeli war? It posited the question: "Which is worse": A. Gaza using human shields or B. Israel hitting them. According to Lynn Rudmin Chong and other left-leaning academics, the answer is B. She ends her letter by speaking of the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Those dastardly Jews are at it again, right Lynn?
Let's peruse the facts shall we? Israel accepted the Egyptian proposed cease-fire while Hamas kept firing away. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians while Israel takes every precaution to avoid them. Israel's prime minister says, "We're using missile defense to protect our civilians and they're using their civilians to protect their missiles." Apologists from America to Europe and the despicable U.N. Human Rights Council all blame Israeli occupation for this latest attack from Hamas. The idea of supporting terrorists is apparently lost on all those Jewish-hating, misguided souls.
Remember less than 10 years ago when Israel pulled up all its roots from Gaza and turned it all over to the Palestinians? Israel was hopeful of having a peaceful Palestinian neighbor and gave them 3,000 greenhouses with which to export fruit and flowers. The Gaza Palestinians proceeded to destroy the greenhouses and elected Hamas in 2007. So rather than building an economy, schools and hospitals, they built underground tunnels and spent millions on rockets and other weapons. Yet somehow, it is the fault of Israel that the Palestinian people are impoverished.
The Palestinians know that the Israeli "Iron Dome" defense shield will destroy most of their missiles. Their goal is to produce photo ops of dead civilians with which to promote the endlessly false narrative of those "ruthless Israelis" because they loathe Jewish people and have no desire to make peace.This cartoon is pure rubbish and perpetuates a terrible myth.
Though it was Hamas that kept firing hundreds of rockets in Israel forcing more than half of the country to run for their bomb shelters, they showed amazing patience and restraint. They warned the Palestinian people in every way possible that they must take shelter because they were about to respond to the assault on their homeland if the rockets kept coming. So what did President Obama say about the matter? He urged Israel to proceed with all due caution and get to the bargaining table quickly while not mentioning the name Hamas. He then commanded John Kerry to get on his white horse and ride to the defense of, you guessed it, Hamas.
The Palestinians are suffering more casualties due to their own country not only "not" providing them with bomb shelters, but using them as human shields to be mutilated and killed to elicit sympathy from the international community. Senior Israeli leaders have been killed while leading their troops into battle while the Hamas leaders are either hiding out in Qatar or in deep air-conditioned bomb shelters.
I find it absolutely reprehensible that with the Holocaust not such a distant memory, much of Europe and academics in the United States can unabashedly spew their venomous, anti-Semitic rhetoric at our most cherished ally in the Middle East.
Lt. Col. Ralph Peters laments as follows: "Israel is an island of civilization in a sea of barbarism. It is the only rule of law democracy in the history of the Middle East where women's rights are respected. Where even the president is not above the rule of law. Where education and hard work are valued. And yet our government is once again betraying Israel."
Nonie Darwish, was born in Cairo and grew up in Egypt-ruled Gaza in the 1950s. She notes that after the revolution, Egyptian president Nasser's commitment was to unify the Arab world and destroy Israel. She said that Gaza public schools taught the children hate, vengeance and retaliation or "jihad" against Israel. A favorite song, "Arabs are our friends, Jews are our dogs."
Here's a memo to the apparently deluded Lynn Rudmin Chong and other academics: Israel wants to live in peace while the Hamas-ruled Palestinian Authority wants to wipe the Jewish people off the face of the earth. Is that enough moral clarity for you?
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 July 2014 09:39