U.S. should look at its own problems first – News

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Sep 4, 2013 in Rat News | Subscribe

U.S. should look at

its own problems first

We all mourn the tragedy in Syria where more than 100,000 have been killed in a brutal civil war and now we learn more than another thousand have been killed by gas.

But before we anoint the United States as the moral conscience of the world, it might be well to do a bit of self-examination.

Perhaps we should consider we have murder rate of about 4.7 persons per 100,000, about 14,000 each year. Not very good for a “civilized nation.”

Perhaps we should consider that since 1973, the Guttmacher Institute estimates we have had more than 50 million legal abortions — many of them just a convenient form of birth control.

We might need to spend more time addressing our own concerns before we tell the rest of the world how to behave.

Bob Slater

St. Joseph

Don’t overlook exotic

pets when adopting

Our St. Joseph Animal Control and Rescue shelter works very hard to place all the animals that come into the shelter in new homes. That includes the non-standard pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and lizards. We even have had some barnyard animals come in to our shelter from time to time. I can think of a goat, rooster and pig, just off the top of my head!

Yes, it’s true. The shelter will take any kind of animal in that you haven’t been able to find a home for, and work to place it in a new home, or with an agency that can better care for it. Wild animals that have been a nuisance at your house are taken in and placed with a wildlife facility or re-homed in a less-populated area. Unusual pets like small rodents and reptiles are taken in and placed on our website (www.petforu.com) and they are always very popular. Birdcages are kept on hand to take in pet birds.

Before you adopt one of these exotic type pets, please take a moment to research the care of the animal you are considering. Use Google or visit a local library. You want to be certain that you have the time and resources you need in order to care for it properly.

Dr. Joann Branson, D.V.M., of All Creatures Animal Hospital, says pet rats are often overlooked, because people think of wild rats as being filthy disease carriers. Pet rats, however, can be kept clean and flea-free in your home. The same kind of drops that are made for cats and dogs can be custom-mixed at the vet’s office if you ever have a problem with fleas. Rats are very intelligent and have distinctive personalities. The cage is easy to clean and not expensive to set up. The males can even be neutered, so if you want to have two rats of different genders, you don’t end up with lots of extra rats. Ask your vet about neutering your small mammal, or check with All Creatures, where Dr. Branson does them herself.

Remember, no matter which kind of pet you choose, they rely solely on you for their food, water and care. See to their needs responsibly. Love your dog, cat or exotic pet well and you will be rewarded with their love in return.

Kappy Hodges

Friends of the Animal Shelter volunteer

St. Joseph

Lawmakers should show

D.C. some ‘tough love’

Tough love is never easy and often controversial. We parents set rules of expected behavior for our kids. Some of those rules are “red lines” in the sand that they are never to cross without consequences. We teach our children from a young age that rules and expectations are a common part of life. Despite our best efforts at parenting, those lines are sometimes crossed by our kids. If we parents just ignore their behavior, that sends a message that bad behavior is OK and will have no negative consequences.

Just like out-of-control teenagers, the federal government has been behaving badly through Democrat and Republican administrations. Why? Because the states have refused to enforce the limits placed on the federal government by the Constitution.

Back in the late 1700s, it was the individual states that created the federal government. The Constitution clearly lays out the federal government’s areas of jurisdiction. The Second Amendment protects your right to own a gun. The federal government has no jurisdiction here. The Tenth Amendment further protects your rights and individual state rights. Our country was created because of oppressive, overreaching, imperialistic rulers. The creators of our Constitution wanted to ensure that the U.S. federal government remained limited and not become what they were escaping from.

The Missouri legislature has practiced tough love this year with HB 436. This bill reinforces the limits on the federal government and includes consequences.

Please ask your Missouri state representative and senator to uphold HB436. It’s time to show Washington, D.C., a little tough love.

Paul Hamby

Maysville, Mo.

We should not give more

tax breaks for business

For me the most evidence of our dysfunctional society is not recognizing the disparity between our working middle class and the rich upper class. Why do we fight so hard for the child when it is in the womb, but when that child is born, we manipulate its well being for the rest of its life? All for greed.

We are now debating more tax breaks for corporations and the upper class. It’s time to face reality. We look down on someone if they are poor and on welfare, but we have no problem if corporations take welfare. They call it tax breaks, but in reality it is just corporate welfare. Corporations now have more money than ever in history. When our country was built to the great power it once was corporations paid about 40 percent of the U.S. taxes. They now pay less than 9 percent. Why do the rich and corporations pay less than the working middle class? They are not paying their share. We constantly debate these tax breaks on the crutch that they will “create jobs” or they are “business friendly.” You cannot change history. If this was true, there would have been millions of jobs created under the Bush tax cuts. The talking point of “business friendly” is just a creative way of saying corporate greed.

So now the Republicans tell us that we have to be competitive with Kansas. Well, that experiment did not work either. Their top of the spectrum tax cuts did not create jobs. They raised taxes on the middle class. Why are politicians and corporations not held accountable for their failed policies? I do not hate corporations, but they are not held to moral or ethical standards like we expect everyone else to live.

What is really sad is that the attempt to override the veto by the governor is mostly funded by a St. Louis billionaire. Our country has been sold by politicians, and bought by corporations. All workers need to unite and get involved and vote for people who will support the working middle class.

Mike Veale

President, Northwest Missouri Central Labor Council

St. Joseph

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