I was a Girl Scout growing up, and when my daughter, who is now almost 15, decided to join Girl Scouts, my heart filled with excitement.
Knowing that she would join an organization that would teach her teamwork, leadership and, above all, life skills could not have made me more proud.
I am disgusted at the boycotts over Girl Scout cookies and the negativity from a very small group of people within our organization.
Do you know what that $3.50 can do? It can build programs for literacy, robotics, life skills and leadership; it can sponsor a young girl whose family cannot afford the fees or the sash associated with being a Girl Scout; it funds scholarships; it designs programs that are not only fun but also educational for girls ages 5 to 18.
It is not just to maintain a camp. In this day and age, camps are not the No. 1 choice for all Girl Scouts. They are a very small part of being a Girl Scout, and there are still camps.
Some of them are not as close to every girl as they were in the past, but let’s face the facts: Nothing is what it was five or six years ago.
Donations are down due to the economy, and the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio was forced to combine councils and make decisions to save our organization in this area.
I would much rather close a camp than the entire organization. I have gotten to know many of the folks who work at the council.
Do you realize that they donate endless hours to programs and also make employee contributions?
I want to know how the letter asking folks to say “no” to little girls selling cookies at stores, malls and banks, in the cold, for something they believe in is going to save a camp, when it could close the organization (“Boycott Girl Scout cookies,” Feb. 8).
What good is a boycott going to do? Cut more programs, more camps, and more literacy programs?
Business is business, and, yes, a nonprofit has to function as a business and make decisions that not everyone is going to be happy with, but the letter writer was not speaking for all the 45,000 Girl Scouts across Northeast Ohio.
Isn’t it more important to teach our children philanthropy, how to speak in front of a crowd, marketing skills, math skills, budgeting and goal setting, or should we teach them to boycott an organization that does so much more for our communities than save a camp or raise money for a lawsuit?
My solution for these folks is to start their own nonprofit if they don’t believe in the meaning of the Girl Scouts.
Budgeting like a liberal
I am writing in response to Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget for 2014-2015.
A tax to go with the pox on lawyers? Embracing the Obamacare plan that adds more nonproducers to Medicaid?
Using the redistribution of wealth for an education funding plan? One would think that Kasich had just jumped out of the closet as a loud-and-proud, tax-and-spend liberal.
Evidently the governor doesn’t fear an attack from the rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth members of the tea party because he has Karl “Boss Hogg” Rove to whip those dogs to the rear of their cages, only letting them out occasionally, to run with the gun lobby.
It should be interesting to see how the rest of the Statehouse in Columbus will react.
Trouble with right to work
If you look at right-to-work states, you will see that people there earn, on average, about $5,300 less than free-bargaining states. Over 20 percent more people don’t have health insurance.
Right-to-work states have higher poverty and infant mortality rates, and they spend about $3,400 less per pupil on primary and secondary education. Students are less likely to be performing at appropriate grade levels for math and reading.
The rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher in these states than in those where a union can stick up for the workers.
A right-to-work law would not benefit workers in our state. It would make it harder for nurses to negotiate for safe staffing levels. It would limit the ability of emergency responders, police officers and firefighters to negotiate for things to keep us all safe, such as emergency equipment and faster response times.
A right-to-work law, despite its misleading name, does not guarantee anyone a job. It does not protect against unfair firing but only weakens collective-bargaining rights.
That limits workers’ freedom to demand respect, fair pay and safety on the job and tilts the balance even more toward big corporations, rigging the system at the expense of middle-class families.
Our state legislature should focus on strengthening our economy and make sure it works for all residents. We need to create more good jobs and stop giving tax dollars to companies that shift work overseas.
Right-to-work is a law to rob us of our civil and job rights. Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no workplace rights.
Tri-County Regional Labor Council AFL-CIO
Free exercise of religion
Here we go again. The American Civil Liberties Union says Jesus’ image in a rural Ohio public school is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The ACLU is in violation of our rights.
The portrait of Jesus that hangs in the entrance of the school is not in violation of the Constitution. The picture does not have the effect of advancing and endorsing one religion.
The Bill of Rights guarantees the “free exercise” of religion. The ACLU should not have the power to seek a federal court order to make the school remove the picture, which has been in place since about 1947.
We have the freedom of choice, and if a school wants a picture of Jesus, separation of church and state should not be applicable.
Separation of church and state means that our nation is not under one specific religion.
Our fellow Americans who belong to the radical ACLU and who do not want a portrait of Jesus to hang in schools should be ashamed of themselves for trying to push their agenda, when it is in the Constitution that all men are entitled to the free exercise of religion.
Those who are disrupting schools that have a portrait of Jesus should go and live in a country that ignores religion and ignores the greatest book on Earth, the Bible.
Doris and Pastor James Patterson
Now comes U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan urging Republican members of Congress to “carefully pick our fights” with President Barack Obama.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing for our country if, instead, Ryan would urge his colleagues to pick areas of consensus on the critical challenges now facing the nation?
Value of small lives
This could be construed as a direct reply to Bob Dyer’s recent column about voles, but since he got to provide his opinion to everyone, I must insist also on that privilege (“UA’s voles not worthy of big stink,” Jan. 27). Dyer’s point seems to be summed up as, “They were voles,” certainly not worth all this hullabaloo.
He also ticked off a list of “breakthroughs” that could not have been realized without the use of animals. Never mind that countless scientists and other leaders have pointed out that results obtained from animal exploitation cannot be reliably extrapolated to humans. Thus, we have the harsh lessons of Thalidomide and other examples.
Also, many so-called advances were attained after fruitless years and decades of science being misled and stifled by animal studies, only to make meaningful headway once mathematical modeling, tissue culturing and other techniques were adopted.
Perhaps religion shouldn’t enter into it, but Christianity teaches us that God knows every sparrow that falls, and many adherents believe the animals are the least of “my brethren,” fully deserving of our love and compassion.
Many try to point to the dominion God granted man over animals in order to justify man’s rapacious, never-ending war on animals, but scholars believe the word implies the exercise of benevolent oversight with respect to animals. Thus, parents should exercise dominion over their children.
In belittling the value of small lives, Dyer takes the position that might makes right. Perhaps it is a test of God’s: If you cannot be trusted in small things, how are you to be trusted in larger matters?
L. Lowell Miller
Future of Cordray
Here is a question for Senate Republicans: What sounds better to you, Director Richard Cordray or Governor Richard Cordray?
Douglas Paul McFarling