CRYING OVER TIERS
Thank you for publishing an article that brings more light onto the State of Illinois’ five-tier retirement systems [see “For state pensions, use a scalpel not an ax,” Guestwork by Scott Stahlman, Oct. 11]. I believe tiers like these were developed so the least paid tier of State of Illinois employees could have their benefits reduced while the richer tiers maintain their current benefits. Unfortunately, that keeps in line with the tradition of giving more to those who already have plenty and taking from those who do not. In addition, I believe the State of Illinois should develop one tier that is fair to all. Could you imagine the deceptions and money that would save?
Thank you for your “Editor’s note” on how garbage companies will benefit from reform of trash ordinances (Oct. 11). Some people need help in discerning their monetary self-interests. Reminds me why some insurance companies bought into Romneycare federalized: 30 million new customers along with the billy club of the individual mandate – even though some of the same insurance companies are GOPers bent on gutting Obamacare. Thank you for IT!
ROOK TO BISHOP
I have now heard it all from this ultra-radical cleric, Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki! We not only have to train and educate more priests in the ancient practice of exorcism, but now we have to live with hell if the good bishop has his way! I would like to remind the good bishop that there is a century’s-old and time-proven principle in our government that separates church and state.
As much as his personal and religious feelings mold his political views, he, as a representative of an acknowledged religious body exempt from taxation and government interference, should keep his personal feelings out of the pulpit and the public ear, and away from interfering with our free and democratic election process.
History has proven, time and again, that the mixing of religious and political interests is counterproductive to a progressive society. During the Dark Ages under the church’s direction, Crusades were instituted to “free” the Holy Land from the infidels. This was done despite the fact that thousands of Christians of many denominations coexisted for centuries, and in peace, with their fellow monotheists in the Holy Land.
The fall of Constantinople and the Holy Roman Empire can be attributed to the atrocities Crusaders, their fellow Christians, wreaked on its cities and institutions. The siege and rape of Constantinople, and its subsequent fall to the “infidels,” is a direct result of the comingling of religion and politics. Unemployed knights looting, raping and burning indiscriminately in the name of religion. The inquisition burned and killed thousands of innocents, in ignorance, and in the name of religion.
Hundreds of wars have been fought over the years, and millions of deaths have occurred because politics and religion were comingled in the systems of governance.
Are we to fall prey to this comingling of religious fervor and politics again? Have we not learned our lessons from history? If the good bishop and the church, or any church for that matter, believe that politics has a place in the pulpit, then they should be willing to give up their tax-free status and join the ranks of the taxpayers who support our government. If you are not willing to do this, then let Caesar remain as is, without your interference and dangerous polemics.
Enrique J. Unanue
Every October, those of us at your local Red Cross begin to see a spike in the number of home fires we respond to. With cooler temperatures comes the use of home heating methods and a heightened risk for fires. Unlike other disasters, most home fires can be prevented by taking some simple precautions.
I urge you to remember a few fire safety steps:
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas; check them monthly by pressing the test button.
Create a fire escape plan that features two escape routes from every room of your home. Also designate a meeting place a short distance from your home where family members can meet if separated during a fire.
Remember, fires affect everyone regardless of ethnicity, gender, age or income. Getting prepared doesn’t take a lot of time or money, so please prepare today to avoid a future disaster.
Colleen Stone, chief executive officer
Illinois Capital Area Chapter Red Cross