We should all be so extreme in our prayer commitment EDITOR:

We should all be so extremein our prayer commitmentEDITOR:
While an entire stockpile of WMDs has not been found, weapons of mass distortion are plentiful. A recent letter writer accuses the president of aligning himself with all sorts of religious extremists, soliciting their political and financial support.
We'll start with the "religious" and the "extremist." I assume they are one and the same as "right wingers." I take offense at both terms but will not apologize for being one. Eccl. 10:3 of the Old Testament reads: & quot;The heart of the wise inclines to the right but the heart of the fool to the left. & quot; These were the words of Solomon, son of Israel's King David and one of the wealthiest and wisest men in history who built the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem.
The writer blames President Bush for meeting with right wingers to pray. Thank God for a president who prays. Without prayer, you might not be alive and well enough to write your letter. As for Pat Robertson, he is the son of a former and prominent senator from Virginia and holds five degrees, including a law degree, is the founder and president of Regent University, a law school for the best in the business, owns and operates a jet plane known as a flying hospital staffed with doctors and nurses who travel to countries to treat children with diseases and deformities and suffer from malnutrition. Operation Blessing, owned and operated by the 700 Club, is a fleet of tractor-trailers that takes truck loads of food, blankets and medicine to areas where disaster strikes -- floods, tornados, fires, etc. Have you done anything like that lately for your fellow man? Has the biased media mentioned this?
The accusation that President Bush has utter contempt for the American public and illegally solicits financial support is libelous and untrue. President Bush clearly states that he is sustained by the prayers of the people. Certified fanatics? Must be something out of Michael Moore's movie, because it's not in the vocabulary of a person of consequence.
As for separation of church and state, there is no such thing; but there is a nationwide group based in Michigan that's foolish enough to think there is.
Tobacco companies useidolized stars to lure youths
I would like to bring to the attention of readers the rising use of movie stars to promote and sell the use of tobacco. Tobacco companies like to claim that they are in no way aiming the sale of tobacco products toward our nation's youths, but a closer look reveals otherwise.
Hollywood allows companies to use teen idols such as Brad Pitt and Reese Witherspoon to promote cigarette use, and R.J. Reynolds (the name behind brands such as Winston, Camel, and Salem) even hired Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble to star in an ad for Winston cigarettes. Who do you think the familiar stars of "The Flintstones" are really aimed at? Teenagers and even younger children fully recognize these characters and movie stars, and such sightings are responsible for 52 percent of teens who start smoking. The worst part is, tobacco companies couldn't care less; the 1981 Phillip Morris report included the quote, & quot;Today's teenager is tomorrow's potential regular customer. & quot;
Youth tobacco use has begun to seriously concern me due to the summer job I have recently taken up -- waitressing. It is astonishing the number of teens who ask for seats in the smoking section and smoke all through their meals; in fact, I have yet to seat a group of teens in the nonsmoking section. I'm not sure whether to laugh or feel sorry when, every once in a while, I see a teen choking and coughing on a cigarette, trying desperately to fit what they think is the norm -- perhaps thanks to that movie they saw the other night, featuring their favorite actor or actress lighting up.
Smoking cigarettes is not the norm and will not make them look cool. Tobacco serves only to be addicting and harmful, to yourself and everyone around you -- including your server. I can think of an even better tip than the $2 or $3 I find on the table -- put away the cigarettes and just eat your meal.
Gambling produces nothing of value; it begets misery
In his zeal to promote the "Gambling Culture" Bertram de Souza bemoans: "Ohio's politicians and religious leaders are comfortable in their hypocrisy about gambling." (7/4/04).
Consider Pennsylvania's! With 61,000 new slot machines -- "automatic pistols" -- aimed at the head and heart of citizens, the politicians are pistol-whipping the old, the weak, and poor to surrender their limited income. For what purpose? To make the gambling moguls rich, including the elected officials who vote themselves (and heirs) a share of the millions. Talk about "conflict of interest."
The gambling culture is a scam, a fraud built upon an illusion. It makes nothing. It adds nothing to the Gross National Product. Rather than increasing wealth it empties the pockets of the poor (an others), leaving them less to pay for food, housing, health, and the education of their children. Money for taxes for police and fire protection is taken, and the soup kitchens of St. Vincent de Paul go begging for the money squandered on the lottery by the faithful each week.
The gambling industry each year takes billion of dollars from the normal economy, destroying once healthy enterprises, putting hard working people out of business and causing bankruptcies and foreclosures, to say nothing of the domestic violence, divorces, and the hopeless addiction that often ends in suicide. Like abortion, it feeds the 'death culture," where problems are solved by killing. Witness the local mob history and Las Vegas, the suicide capital of the nation.
The elected leaders of the body politic whose duty it is to work for the common good -- a moral society where virtue is encouraged and vice is discouraged -- fail miserably by promoting gambling. What judgment awaits them!
Recently at a "mercy meal" in a church hall after a funeral the woman sitting across from me said. I hate to se Sunday come." "Why?" I asked. "In the afternoon I have to come here to run the Bingo game. Some of the senior citizens really can't afford it, and I feel that I am not helping them save their souls. I'm breaking the Third Commandment by not keeping holy the Lord's Day. I should stay home and cook dinner for my husband and my grandchildren."
A neighboring mother of hers took a daughter to a gambling den in West Virginia to celebrate her graduation by playing "the slots." A father across town celebrated his son's 21st birthday by taking him to Las Vegas where prostitution is legal so he could "learn the facts of life." Legally, of course! Morally?
The immorality of the gambling scam being perpetrated like a plague upon this nation is hypocrisy without parallel. How can God bless this mess? He expects better of us!
Pastor Emeritus, St. Brendan Church
How many Americans woulddo this for $5,000 a year?
On Aug. 1, CBS "60 Minutes" aired a segment titled & quot;Out of India. & quot; To me the story was more than interesting. The show impressively showed how the India call center employees had adapted themselves to a career and technology that had, until now, been primarily American. These jobs pay around $5,000 a year. Yet I was struck by the glaring reality of a faulty premise: the assumption that no Americans would do the same work at the same cost.
I am the father of six, four of whom live at home or are at college. I work as an independent contractor doing deliveries and odd jobs. My wife works outside the home. She and I share the task of home schooling the two younger children. Five-thousand dollars a year would mean a great deal to us. It would also mean a lot to my two children who are attending college. As you know, the cost of college has risen by 35 percent in the past 10 years. We -- my college student children and myself -- can cover 21 shifts of eight hours each a week, all in my own home. No travel, no insurance, no workers' comp. The only thing paid for is production. My guess is that there are a lot of other Americans who would be willing to do the same. You wouldn't even have to teach us English.
What qualifies a deli ownerto be a dog warden finalist?
I doubt I'm alone in my puzzlement in regard to the finalists chosen to fill the Mahoning County dog warden position. An animal control officer -- great choice; deputy dog wardens -- also OK. But a deli owner? I would like the county commissioners to explain this to me.
Also, why the change from narrowing a field from seven down to three (logical), then expanding it to five. I know an applicant who has administrative skills and also a veterinary emergency background, yet she did not make the cut. But a deli owner did? Hot dog experience, perhaps?
Something stinks here, and it's not doggie doo-doo.
North Jackson