Sequester and austerity
EDITOR: Ten years ago, the Bush administration took us into an expanding series of wars on grounds we all now recognize as false. Today, the same bait and switch game is unfolding in the so-called sequester crisis.
President Barack Obama blames the Republicans, Speaker John Boehner tosses out a different set of confusing numbers whenever he speaks to the issue, and the kill-shot slips under the radar. Pretty shrewd maneuver, introducing "austerity" in the guise of congressional dysfunction.
Austerity is how banks get governments to solve economic problems they've created so that the "we the people" end up paying the balance due. The people of Europe know the score, and they have poured into the streets to protest it.
Don't be fooled by phony jargon or the false drama of how it's happening. Peel back the cynical marketing ploy and it's perfectly clear: My life and the lives of most of you reading this are going to get harder, as the values of an honorable, compassionate community are sidestepped and the law of the jungle is unleashed to the profit of those with the sharpest claws.
It certainly doesn't feel like democracy; more like a sucker punch.
EDITOR: Sunday's editorial ("Gun control effort: the best approach") failed to mention Rep. Mike Thompson's (and The Press Democrat's) stand on banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines — important and popular elements of the massacre-control effort. Is this omission intentional? If Thompson chooses to side with the National Rifle Association, gun manufacturers and the pathetic few wishing to renew their man-card and oppose a ban on these weapons whose use has predominated in the most horrific massacres of recent years, it may be time for the voters to begin a search for a new Democrat who will adequately represent the majority of his constituents.
EDITOR: Bishop Robert Vasa says he's just doing his duty in requiring Catholic school teachers to sign a contract addendum that dictates both on- and off-campus behavior and even private thought. He attempts to sound even-handed — "I'm not presuming that the campus is liberal or conservative" ("Diocese requires teachers to follow church doctrine," Thursday) — but the wording of the addendum makes clear his intent to steer local Catholic education in an increasingly conservative direction.
The list of "modern errors" teachers must contractually reject, including contraception and gay marriage, is usually associated with liberal Catholic thinking. Yet the bishop conspicuously omits other "errors" the church denounces, ones that are sometimes problematic for conservative Catholics: unjust wars, economic inequality and capital punishment, to name a few. And really, no mention of child sexual abuse? The responsibility for that "error" goes right up the largely conservative Catholic chain of command.
The addendum aims to stifle dissent — sign it or lose your job. Better to have a mediocre teacher who toes the bishop's theological line, apparently, than an excellent one who even mildly questions the church leadership.
Catholic parents seeking the best education for their children might want to rethink their options.
Opposing Prop. 8
EDITOR: A headline in Friday's paper said, "Obama: Throw out Prop. 8." As a Catholic, I wish the headline were "Catholic church: Throw out Prop. 8."