Moral concerns suggest that we consider banning youth football
Kudos to The Vindicator for its heads-up series on concussions, but disappointment at your July 28 editorial. You failed to address the moral dimension of “the life-threatening dangers of rough-and-tumble sports” which “can no longer be callously tossed to the sidelines as just a hazard of the game.” Until the dangers of these games to our children can be eliminated, the games should be radically changed, immediately, or stopped.
Are “games’’ in which we set persons against one another in activities that pose “life-threatening dangers” moral activities? Are not such games, in stadiums or arenas and broadcast on television for us to watch and applaud, contemporary versions of ancient gladiatorial contests which we consider to have been barbaric?
Jack Loew put it bluntly in his comments about professional boxing: “In this sport our job is to teach a guy to hit this guy in the head and knock them out. It’s terrible to say it like this, but it is, and that’s what boxing is about.”
That’s also nearly what tackle football is about: knocking the other guys out by hitting them harder than they hit you — on the line, in the backfield, on runs, on pass receptions and kick-off returns.
I stopped watching boxing in the days of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. I finally stopped watching football last year as the Super Bowl approached — America’s great day in the Colosseum. I concluded that both are about watching people engaged in life-threateningly dangerous activities without doing anything to stop it, participating in it as a spectator.
I love the grace, strategy, athleticism and at times balletic beauty of football, but at its core the game is about hitting other people, throwing them to the ground, stopping them cold. It’s life-threatening dangerous. It’s immoral. We should not engage our children, from kindergarten up in violence or ourselves in passively or cheeringly watching them engage in it.
Sports Illustrated writer and NPR commentator Frank Deford put the case regarding football bluntly: “Outlaw tackle football for young boys. If I have to say more, you don’t have a brain and you wish the same for your son.”
Parents surely don’t want that for their children, but they expose their children to that danger. Is that responsible? Is it moral? Our children need to be protected from the “life-threatening dangers of rough-and-tumble sports,” whatever the “game.” That involves more than finely distinguishing tackling from hitting. It requires more than team strategy. It requires more than a law. It requires moral judgment.
Father Bob Bonnot, Struthers
Father Bob Bonnot is pastor of Christ Our Savior Parish in Struthers.
Take guns away from US agencies
I urge members of Congress to co-sponsor House Resolution 4934, the Regulatory Agency Demilitarization Act. It’s time to take submachine guns from bureaucrats.
Arming regulatory agencies is going way too far. It is over the line. Such agencies do not need to be armed. Under bad leadership, this would bring us so much closer to a police state, not the democracy that we are trying our best to develop here in the USA.
Mary Krupa, Youngstown
It’s time to shout out for tougher laws on immigration to the US
Since the president does not have the skills to formulate and go public with an immigration reform bill, I will. All individuals who are illegally in this country have 90 days after the bill is signed to properly register and acquire a counterfeit-proof photo ID that includes a fingerprint for the country’s and their protection.
Also included would be a valid Social Security number and ICE barcode. Individuals without this ID will be taken immediately into custody for deportation and are to be reported by all employers under penalty of a $100,000 fine.
No ID is prima fascia evidence of the law violation, and under this law no hearing is required — just a one-way plane ticket with escort to seat and observed takeoff.
All illegals now are included in a separate list of “on track” citizens with the requirement to be proficient in the English language, in that this new law will make English, this country’s founding fathers’ intent, the “official” language.
On a daily basis all illegals caught violating the border will be immediately deported to Mexico for further handling and disposition by Mexican authorities.
In the case of other country’s minors with or without parents, they will be returned immediately to their home country with a voucher to established private aid programs to help their re-integration with their family and community.
All state and local police will be able to check for IDs at will but not abusively and with good cause.
I further do not understand why the legal community is not more outraged by the illegals since they are a continuing insult. It’s time to shout out in support of a tougher immigration law; speak up, please.
Daniel Victor Bienko, Canfield
New twist on definition of ‘illegals’
With all of the illegaL aliens coming into this country, we now find out there is a new explanation for the word illegal, and it goes like this.
When they come to this country across the border they are ill and expect to be legalized when they get here. They are ill physically because of the conditions in their country of origin or mentally because of the stress in their lives.
They know they can come here any way they want to and will be taken care of by U.S. tax dollars with free food, free medical care and a free place to live one way or another.
They know there is really no border to keep them out, so get out of the way. They just hope the U.S. doesn’t open its borders to everyone.
They don’t want America to be overburdened so then the U.S. just might secure its borders and even make many border crossers truly illegal, and send them back to where they came from.
Rea Buttermore, Boardman
Americans can help prevent new water crisis by giving up meat
Last weekend the drinking water of 400,000 Toledo residents was fouled. With unfettered growth of animal agriculture and ineffective discharge regulations, it will happen again.
The problem has become pervasive. Waste from chicken farms has rendered oceans off the East Coast unfit for fishing. Waste from Midwest cattle ranches carried by Mississippi River has created a permanent “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico larger than that of the infamous 2010 BP oil spill.
Animal agriculture dumps more pollution to our waterways than all other human activities combined. Principal pollutants are animal manure, fertilizers, as well as soil particles, organic debris, and pesticides from feed cropland.
Manure and fertilizers promote growth of toxic algae that poison drinking water supplies. Organic matter feeds microorganisms that deplete oxygen and kill fish.
Effective regulations to limit dumping of animal waste into water supplies have been blocked by the meat industry.
Fortunately, every one of us has the power to stop this outrage three times a day by saying “no” to polluting meat and dairy products. Our local supermarket offers ample alternatives. Entering “live vegan” in a search engine provides useful recipes and transition tips.
Peter Zack, Youngstown