Two recent items in the news have compelled me to write about a subject that makes me wonder if we are revisiting the times of Galileo and Pope Urban VIII. That subject is a fear or hatred of science.
The first item was on National Public Radio on Jan. 14. There was a brief interview with a former emergency room physician who had done some research on the connection between firearms in the home and death and injury of family members.
I found an opinion piece that the interviewee, Dr. Arthur Kellerman, and Dr. Frederick Rivara had written for the Journal of the American Medical Association, published online on Dec. 12 (“Silencing the Science on Gun Research.”).
The National Rifle Association, through friendly members of Congress, in 1996 shut down funding for further research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on gun violence.
Previous research has indicated that a gun kept in the home was 43 times more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household than to be used in self-defense, according to Kellerman.
The second item was about an individual who resides within a 30-minute drive of my home. He happens to be chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Todd Snitchler.
The PUCO was in the news last week for rejecting the advice of its staff, denying approval of a solar power project in southeast Ohio that would have created 300 construction jobs and supported 300 manufacturing jobs.
On Jan. 15, I read the article, “PUCO chairman often irked by ‘green’ technology,” which may have explained why such an obviously beneficial project was rejected.
The chairman of the PUCO rejects the findings of the vast majority of climate scientists that global climate change is occurring and it is driven by burning of carbon-based fuels.
I don’t think that we, as citizens, or those we elect as representatives can choose only the scientific evidence that is convenient.
Are these decisions based on pre-Enlightenment thinking? Or is it more sinister, the power of money, through special interests, trumping the power of the people?
When Urban VIII sentenced Galileo to a lifetime of house arrest for heresy in the Middle Ages, the power of the papacy was considerable in Europe. We, at least, have the option of voting the rascals out.
Priorities at FirstEnergy
I always knew that sports were important to a lot of folks, but I didn’t realize they were more important than the employees, past and present, of a company.
After all, how often did we hear as employees that we were the most important asset to the company?
Well, I guess having the naming rights to the Browns Stadium is much more important.
As a former FirstEnergy employee, I would venture a guess about how it will be paid for, though. After letting more than 100 people go in November and discontinuing all retirees health care after 2014, there should be some funds available to help cover the cost of the naming rights.
It just seems that it is a sad state of affairs when sports entertainment overrides the health and well-being of actual people.
It is very disheartening and makes me ashamed of the things that seem important to companies today. Apparently, bad publicity is better than no publicity.
Want a gun? Have a permit
I would like to make a suggestion about gun control.
I believe if all Americans who wish to own a gun had a concealed-carry permit, then they could show it to anyone from whom they wished to purchase a gun. This would expedite the background checks for which some are calling.
The federal government could pass a law requiring a permit for anyone desiring to purchase a weapon. It should allow the person having the weapon to carry it in any state.
It should also allow the person to own any weapon other than those already outlawed, such as machine guns and all other fully automatic weapons.
This permitting would stop anyone who has a mental illness from buying a weapon because all concealed-carry permit holders have been background-checked.
I admit that I and a lot of other people would not like the idea of the government having a record of all who own weapons. However, I do not believe that even if the government chose to, it could get away with trying to confiscate guns from private owners. It would certainly start a civil uprising.
It would be very simple to ascertain in a routine stop if a person was carrying a gun legally, just by asking for the permit. I cannot see why any person legally carrying a gun would object to having and showing the permit.
I believe this procedure would be far more acceptable to most who own guns legally. It would still give them the right to own any gun they wish to purchase. I wonder if anyone in the government who is advocating background checks for all who purchase a weapon from any source realize the backup that it would cause.
You would not have that problem if people already had a permit. Once it was issued, it could be renewed at staggered intervals.
Remember, all permits would be a government-issued picture ID, which would be good for other uses also.
Obama’s broken tax promises
For all you little guys, the middle class to whom, during the last-minute hype on the “fiscal cliff,” President Obama gave a promise to not raise taxes, how did that work for you? Did you notice that your payroll taxes have gone up for 2013?
The effect will be a matter of simple economics — more people will be losing hours and even their jobs as the small business owners scale back to pay higher taxes.
Many who commute to work will have to cut back due to paying $30 to $50 more in taxes in a pay period. That’s a tank of gas.
What of Obama’s much-repeated promise of no tax hikes on the middle class? It is another lie of his administration. Remember his promise that Obamacare would not to raise taxes? It will. How can one believe in anything this president or his party says?
The first President Bush lost his re-election because of his failure to live up to his pledge of “no new taxes.” When will Obama and his party be held accountable? The midterm elections are not close enough.
Battle for unborn isn’t over, either
The headline to a Jan. 15 letter, “Battle for abortion rights not over,” was correct. Pro-lifers will not rest until the right to life of unborn human beings is protected by law and women are no longer exposed to the spiritual, psychological and physical hazards of abortion.
Rather than being “a triumph of justice,” Roe v. Wade and its companion decision, Doe v. Bolton, were gross miscarriages of justice. They declared a procedure previously considered a heinous crime “a constitutionally protected right.”
Even pro-choice lawyers criticize Roe v. Wade as a terrible decision.
Both decisions were based on case-specific, historical and legal falsehoods. Norma McCorvey (Roe) was not gang-raped, as she initially told her lawyers. Sandra Cano (Doe) was not even seeking an abortion, although she was described in the case as “an indigent, married, pregnant woman who desired but had been refused an abortion.”
As Justin Dyer pointed out in a Dec. 24 article, “Fictional Abortion History,” in the National Review, contrary to the Supreme Court’s understanding, abortion was not a common-law liberty at the time of America’s founding. Also, the primary purpose of anti-abortion laws in the 19th century was not to protect women from a dangerous procedure, but to protect the lives of the unborn, as human reproductive biology became better understood.
Finally, considering only its short-term effects, the court judged first-trimester abortions to be as safe or safer than childbirth, although it actually permitted abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy.
Subsequent research indicates that judgment was probably not true then, and is certainly not true today.
I agree with the letter writer that what the issue “really boils down to … is basic human rights.”
Unborn humans have a right to life that should be legally protected. I disagree that abortion is “reproductive health care.”
It is actually anti-reproductive health endangerment. The individual reproduced is killed, and the mother is exposed to increased risk of psychological and physical harm, as decades of research demonstrates.
Finally, I can think of few situations where a woman is less in control of her own body than when she is on the abortionist’s table. Women (and men) have the right to control their own bodies prior to pregnancy.
They should not have the right to destroy the body of a unique human being.
Raymond J. Adamek