Letters to the Editor

Bad choices

February 24, 2010

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To the editor:

• Man sets fire to his home with wife and daughter inside, then gets in his plane and flies into a building.

• Drug raid — three face meth charges, right here at our Lawrence, Kansas, doorstep.

• Forced break-ins, thefts of all kinds. The police and district attorney can’t keep up with all of it. (I, myself, was the victim in a forced entry with all my personal work tools stolen. I would have loved to have caught them!)

• Man stops to give aid and is dragged out of his nice pickup truck and had it hijacked in front of his eyes! Later, he found it wrecked.

• Kansas Legislature votes 20-20 on measure to repeal Kansas death penalty. Why would we want it repealed? And who are these 20 liberals who voted to repeal?

Folks, these are troubling times. The liberals and bleeding hearts are trying to bring us down to their level. We better stand up and get back in control.

“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” How could one find dignity in such activities as stated above? Mankind needs punishment for their bad choices and resulting actions. God help us, forgive us. To get back to basics, we need to be reawakened. What is it going to take?

Comments

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 5 months ago

Dearest Eugene Reding of Lawrence:

Our political differences re: the death penalty aside, I promise you that these are not the only things that have happened recently in Lawrence, Kansas.

Yes, we should investigate the criminal "bad choices" you've listed and pursue the offenders, especially the violent ones. It's always a negative development when people are hurt or have things unfairly taken away from them.

But recognize that though bad news can feel overwhelming, this short list of negative events is not the complete list of events that are happening around you.

Examples of recent, more positive events both local and a bit less local:

-a Harvard College junior started a successful, Web-based and FREE SAT-tutoring company for low-income students. (See INeedAPencil.com for details of his award-winning social entrepreneurship).

-Lawrence High School's Nate and Ben Rosenbloom's harmonious brotherly relationship is featured in a front-page article (at least online!) in the Lawrence Journal-World. They are February's ArtStars. Siblings getting along. How great is that?

-A Manhattan, Kansas couple I know is successfully weathering some turbulence in their relationship and are remaining engaged despite some recent rough waters. Love is surviving, even when things are tough; this is always good news.

-At least some decent-paying jobs that offer health insurance benefits are being advertised on this very Web site, right now! :) This is good news for anyone looking for a job.

-Speaking of our local economy, there's a story on this site about a three-city marketing effort to attract more bioscience companies to Manhattan, Lawrence, and Topeka. It's a small step forward, and a good one.

-Hello, the Jayhawks just won another title! Or something. I'm not fluent in college basketball, but I am certain that something good just happened. :)

When bad news gets you down, remember that there are myriad other things happening, too.

Plus, spring is just around the corner. Longer days, nicer weather--booyah. :)

geilaquianna 5 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

KSManimal 5 years, 5 months ago

Anna,

What the world needs is more of you and fewer Eugene's.

Pollyanna rides again!

BrianR 5 years, 5 months ago

Did you mean to send this letter to The Onion? The WorldNetDaily is warping your brain, Eugene. Try getting out of the house more.

I wonder how many of the crimes you cite above were committed by 'liberals?"

On the bright side, your idle mind simply wrote a letter so, Bravo on you for not turning to a life of crime!

Stuart Evans 5 years, 5 months ago

Eugene...why isn't your god doing something about all these problems? I know I know.. there's a special place in hell for people who commit atrocities. That's what I hear. Yet, day after day, year after year, bad people keep coming along, and bad people keep doing bad. and decent people keep paying the price for it. What's really troubling is that 99% of people in prison are religious. Mostly Christians and Islam converts. So where is this modern god and all his powers?

I think the reason that things just keep getting worse is A) perception & B) This ridiculous notion that there is a god in the sky who will eventually erase all sins and issue forgiveness. Instead of trying to accomplish anything, you have very poor people waiting on a god to come and save them. in the meantime, those poor people continue to reproduce, and allow their kids to fall under the same insane dogma. Thus you get desperation and crime.

you don't need a god to be moral. In fact, I think it's probably easier if you're not taking cues from a thousands year old book written by men who had no idea of how anything in nature worked.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 5 months ago

I could do without a few of the Christian laws....

jbiegs 5 years, 5 months ago

Eugene, I'm sure the police are aware of all the carjackings, break-ins, thefts, meth labs, etc., etc.. However, they are preoccupided with the daunting task of reducing the number of underage drinkers in bars. lol

grammaddy 5 years, 5 months ago

Accentuate the posaitive, eliminate the negative! Thanks Anna for reminding us there IS always A BRIGHT SPOT!!

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 5 months ago

:) Thanks grammaddy and KSManimal. You guys made my day!

AnnaUndercover 5 years, 5 months ago

@Healthcare_Moocher Hmm. I don't think that's what this letter is about.

labmonkey 5 years, 5 months ago

For all of you mad about Eugene's letter, you might want to reread his third item. Perhaps you would be a little bitter too.

jafs 5 years, 5 months ago

It's completely understandable that people get upset when they are victims of crime.

However, taking that feeling and translating it into public policy is probably a bad idea.

meggers 5 years, 5 months ago

'Jesus don't like killing, no matter what the reason's for, and your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore'

John Prine

seriouscat 5 years, 5 months ago

What's the point of this letter? That crime is the fault of liberals and godlessness? Hmmm, perhaps Eugene would be more at home in one of the countries with harsher punishments for crime; Singapore perhaps? Or maybe a place where the religious right run the show...like maybe Afghanistan under the Taliban?

Yeah. Those places are way better and safer than Lawrence KS!

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

Eugene- I am sorry to hear that you were the victim of a robbery.

jehovah_bob 5 years, 5 months ago

It has been shown that the threat of death does not reduce crime.

So either do away with it and save a little cash (how much more does it cost to run constant appeals vs. just sentencing someone to life?)

Or stop making threats and use it more effectively as in, why does someone need more than one life sentence? Just do away with them and relieve the burden on the system.

I can go either way, but I say bring back public execution, humanity be damned.

Wait, what was the question? What's it going to take?

Right, no, we're all doomed, this is the new Rome.

bookemdano 5 years, 5 months ago

Isn't having a scapegoat convenient, Eugene?

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

What is with people on this forum attacking those who choose to believe in God? I don't see anyone attacking those who don't choose to believe in God for their decision.

Seriously, the religious attacks are getting a bit old.

BigAl 5 years, 5 months ago

I believe the Tea Party people called the fist guy a "hero".... and, according to Tom, everything is Obama's fault.

I agree with AnnaUndercover. Great post. However, I am still thinking that there might be a place for the death penalty. (the Carr brothers)

Stuart Evans 5 years, 5 months ago

LoveThsLife (anonymous) says... What is with people on this forum attacking those who choose to believe in God? I don't see anyone attacking those who don't choose to believe in God for their decision. Seriously, the religious attacks are getting a bit old.


in a recent poll, it was shown that atheists were the least likely to be voted into public office amongst many different types of individuals from minorities to religious groups, even though an estimated 16% of the American population identifies themselves as atheist. that's more than African American, Jewish, Mormon, etc.. That is the divide and attack you don't see. Those who have seen the truth are shunned by society at every turn. You cannot get elected president at this place and time if you don't announce your belief in god. not just any god, a particular god.

why did I "attack" Eugene? because he alludes that all of our problems can be cured by turning to god. well that just doesn't sit well with me and I find it to be a lazy cop out to reforming actual problems.

Mel Briscoe 5 years, 5 months ago

"The liberals and bleeding hearts are trying to bring us down to their level. We better stand up and get back in control."

mmmmkay... what does that statement have to do w/ people commiting crimes? so are the liberals the ones breaking into folks' houses, setting fires and flying airplanes into buildings? i'm not making the connection here... please elaborate.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 5 months ago

well Mel, the airplane guy in Austin was more than likely leaning liberal, probably libertarian. A) he lived in Austin. B) he played in a band. C)he didn't like the IRS. :)

jehovah_bob 5 years, 5 months ago

I'd run for office but I'd lose because I'd have to be dishonest about my religion, and dishonest politicians never get put into office.

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

AreUNorml give me a break...the plight of an Athiest? Really?

So because an Athiest is less likely to be voted into office-it makes it okay to attack someone else who views life differently than you?

Quite frankly I don't care if you believe in God, Buddha or a little white dog with a polka dot bow named Kushi Kushi...or whether you choose to not believe anything at all.

Attacking Eugene because of his beliefs shows just as much intolerance on your part as your claim about others intolerance towards your personal views.

In addition, the whole underlying point of that post by Eugene was that he got his tools stolen and he was ticked off about it.

somedude20 5 years, 5 months ago

god loves the "birthers" because everyone needs a rube

Shane Garrett 5 years, 5 months ago

There will always be bad people. Bad things will always happen to good people.
Things seems to go better with Beer.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 5 months ago

LoveThsLife, I don't care if you or Eugene believe in an invisible man in the sky, but don't bring your delusional beliefs into my life by your presumed morality. I am definitely intolerant of other peoples beliefs that trample on my freedom to think, thus live, intelligently.

When fairy tales are seriously considered for teaching in schools, when there are words that can't be uttered on television or radio, when other people determine who you should or shouldn't sleep with, or what you ingest into your body; that is when religion tramples my rights, and thus opens itself up for "attack". I find the societal rules about not asking people tough questions regarding their beliefs to be silly. If your belief enters my life, it is fair game.

and Eugene may have just been upset about his tools, but he chose to wrap it all up into a nice little shot at a certain type of people based on his very Christian judgmental views.

meggers 5 years, 5 months ago

LoveThsLife,

If Eugene was merely upset about the loss of his tools, perhaps he should have stuck with that topic, and not tried to blame all of society's ills on people he disagrees with politically. He didn't stop there, though. Instead, he launched into a positively bizarre rant implying that we as a society need to follow God and start killing people.

I'm not against people who practice religion, however I do sometimes have a problem with people who use religion as an excuse to justify their own stupidity. . That's an insult to both God and Darwin.

lindseydoyle 5 years, 5 months ago

"What is it going to take?" IMHO a lot of people need to lose their victim mentality. When you gain this mentality you lose your personal responsibility and can justify antisocial behavior. It is a very appealing mindset but when you give up your responsibility you give up a lot of power over your situation. There are plenty of people who owe their livelihoods to propagating this mentality- Leonard Pitts is one example.

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

"When fairy tales are seriously considered for teaching in schools, when there are words that can't be uttered on television or radio, when other people determine who you should or shouldn't sleep with, or what you ingest into your body; that is when religion tramples my rights, and thus opens itself up for "attack". I find the societal rules about not asking people tough questions regarding their beliefs to be silly. If your belief enters my life, it is fair game."

Fairy Tales being taught in schools- why not just teach that there are people in this world that think and believe differently and respectfully study those differences? In my education I learned about evolution, creationism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism..I have been confronted with Professors who were very liberal and some who were more conservative..I can honestly say having learned about someone else's point of view never harmed me or anyone I know..

Words that can't be uttered on television or radio- I can understand this point, but at the same time I think in many ways it is mute..there are many ways to express oneself through vocabulary..this really shouldn't be that limiting.

No one is determining who you should and shouldn't sleep with or what you should and shouldn't drink or how you should prepare your food or any other number of various religious stipulations...those are things that those who believe in something commit themselves to and they don't really trample on the rights of those who believe differently than them. Since when has your ability to consume alcohol, smoke or eat non-kosher food been affected?

Give me a break AreUNorml your martyr attitude is a little far reaching.

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

meggers..I'll give you that. He probably should have...I don't agree with everything in his post.

However, I am playing devil's advocate here.

I don't see much of a difference between the end of his rant and some of the posts on the opposite side in response.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 5 months ago

I think that school should teach cultural differences. they call that social studies. they should not teach ideas in science which have no scientific value (intelligent design).

There are many ways to express oneself without the use of the 7 disastrous words. However, why are those words so taboo to begin with?

Plenty of people try to determine who you can or can't sleep with. I believe there are anti-gay laws still on the books in several states. in some places, you can be run out of town for being in an interracial relationship. I won't even get started on Islamic rules regarding these things.

And, the prohibition of alcohol & marijuana were both organized by religious fanatics.

grimpeur 5 years, 5 months ago

Speaking of idle minds...

Grips available right here. Get one, Eugene.

Jimo 5 years, 5 months ago

Yes, Texas has proved that if you just execute enough criminals, crime disappears.

The fact is that crime is undergoing a long-term (perhaps cyclical) decline and throwing out random events is a laughable way of claiming otherwise.

It is also a fact that those states without the death penalty have the lowest rates for violent crime, not the reverse as this letter would seem to imply.

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

So are you Muslim or do you live in the Middle East? Last time I checked the tenants of their faith really weren't a huge deal affecting Americans. How exactly do the tenants of Islam have a personal affect on your day to day to life and make you feel persecuted for your personal views?

And where exactly can you be run our of town due to an interracial relationship? I am sure the ACLU would love that case....in fact I have friends who are in an interracial marriage that would love to know this information as well...you know, to make sure that is a place they never move.

There might be anti-gay laws still in existence in many states, however, I have known quite a few gays in my lifetime and none were thrown in jail or had legal issues due to their choice of partner. In addition, many companies are starting to allow for partners to be put on benefits packages. I know my husbands company has provisions for that and when I was working the company I worked for had the same thing. Of course there is a way to go, however..

I don't think your arguments portray a justification for mockery for what someone else believes.

You are right to an extent about the temperance movement...there were many Christian Leagues/ organizations involved in that movement. However, you can't blame prohibition merely on religious fanaticism. The Women's Rights Movement as well as the Progressive movement played a significant role in Prohibition as well..

When it comes to marijuana-prohibition was not necessarily the the result of a bunch of religious zealots. In addition, there is continuing non-religious support for it's prohibition.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 5 months ago

no, I am not Muslim, and I do not live in the middle east. One case in point where religion dictates what everyone does is the Muhammad cartoon incident. their beliefs force many people to walk on eggshells or curtail their own freedom of speech for fear of retaliation. By including Islam, I really wanted to point out that I'm not anti-Christian; I'm anti-religion.

I was unable to find the article I was reading about a woman and her black boyfriend who had moved to a town somewhere in the south and were the repeated targets of threatening phone calls and letters. I will continue to look for that story. I know it's nice and cushy here, but contrary to popular belief, this isn't the most backwards place in America. This pretty much covers the gay rights issue as well.

Yes, there is a lot of progression in America, we've come a long way. but wouldn't we be that much further ahead if we hadn't spent so many years burning witches and arguing ridiculous ideas that have no scientific basis?

actually you're right; the marijuana prohibition wasn't fully based on religious zealots. There were also a few businessmen who stood to make a lot of money from it. and they used religious zealot fears of blacks and Mexicans to push this agenda. and those non-religious influences now....still businessmen, still making money off of prohibition. Those who are not religious and not businessmen, are likely under the influence of the propaganda shoved down Americas throats by the aforementioned.

I see nothing wrong with mocking religion. it's a silly, naive, unscrupulous, contemptuous idea that does nothing to better the plight of man. It gives people ideas that whatever they do, something more powerful will save them. It robs poor people of money and intelligence, while making a handful of elites extremely wealthy. Most people have never allowed themselves to explore their confusion and the questions they hold about their belief. it has been socially unacceptable to question religion since some political (religious) leader said so hundreds of years ago. Of course back then you could be drawn and quartered for the things I've said. Today, the delusional people just call you foolish.

thelastbob 5 years, 5 months ago

When is this madness going to end? When are ALL of you people going to stand up and scream, "I'm not going to take it anymore?" By now you know what I'm talking about. It's that infernal ad on the right side of the LJW page about weightloss.

I finally realized, that it was this ad that is ruining my life and must be doing the same to other posters. I installed Adblock Plus for Firefox and there is once again balance to the universe. The ad is completely gone once I right-clicked on it and told Adblock to get rid of it.

Now if those kids will just stay off my lawn...where's my Remington 1100

tomatogrower 5 years, 5 months ago

This is exactly what Mr. Pitts was writing about the other day. If you would point out to this letter writer the facts, that none of the crimes listed carry a death sentence, he would ignore the facts and still blame all the crime on "liberal" wanting to end the death penalty.

Then if you point out the fact that the death penalty hasn't even been ended yet, but these crimes are happening, he would continue to ignore the fact that the death penalty did not deter any of these crimes.

Then if you point out that he is calling many in the Kansas legislature "liberal", welll, that's just the funniest thing I've ever heard.

Have your opinion about the death penalty, but at least find facts to that back up your opinion. It's just like those people who believe that cutting taxes will increase jobs, but they aren't willing to show how many jobs have been created. We had more jobs before the tax cuts than we do now. Learn to separate facts from opinions, people. His "facts" do nothing to uphold his opinion.

lindseydoyle 5 years, 5 months ago

Jimo "It is also a fact that those states without the death penalty have the lowest rates for violent crime, not the reverse as this letter would seem to imply." This is a good example of mistaking effect for cause. Those places with the lowest percentage of police also have the lowest crime. Does that mean we should therefore cut down on law enforcement?

jehovah_bob 5 years, 5 months ago

Ice cream is to blame.

Statistics show that as ice cream consumption increases within a population so too does violent crime.

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

"I see nothing wrong with mocking religion. it's a silly, naive, unscrupulous, contemptuous idea that does nothing to better the plight of man. It gives people ideas that whatever they do, something more powerful will save them. It robs poor people of money and intelligence, while making a handful of elites extremely wealthy. Most people have never allowed themselves to explore their confusion and the questions they hold about their belief. it has been socially unacceptable to question religion since some political (religious) leader said so hundreds of years ago. Of course back then you could be drawn and quartered for the things I've said. Today, the delusional people just call you foolish."

Don't you see what is so wrong with those sentiments? You complain about how those who are religious are so intolerant towards you and others..however...you are very intolerant of them. It's kind of looking like the pot is calling the kettle black.

Seriously move on...

I have known many people of varying faiths in my life and their personal beliefs never had an affect on my choices. I may not have agreed with them or believed as they did, but I certainly didn't mock them for their choices. If you want respect , you have to give respect in return.

Stuart Evans 5 years, 5 months ago

you are so right. I should just forget everything I know, let civilization continue to be ruled by the ignorant and sit down and shut up. after all, what's another war, or another smuggled kid from some 3rd world, or another ginormous church in town which doesn't have to pay taxes. no problem. I don't want respect, I want the world to get educated.

KansasPerson 5 years, 5 months ago

Eugene, I may or may not agree with the bulk of your letter, but I am very sorry that your house was broken into and your tools robbed. Something just like that happened in my neighborhood over the weekend (you could actually be the guy it happened to; I don't know his name) and it has made all of us feel rather vulnerable.

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

It's not about sitting down and shutting up AreUNorml...it is just enough with the name calling and mocking...that doesn't do anything to "educate" and it definitely isn't going to solve problems or bring peace.

And I hate to break it to you but religion isn't the root to all the world's ills.

I know many educated people who have personal religious beliefs and live quite peacefully and well...I would not deem them ignorant due to the fact they choose to have faith in something.

I think respect and education go hand in hand.

bookemdano 5 years, 5 months ago

The problem isn't people who have faith in a religion. It's when big groups of religious people (whether they be state-sponsored religion as in the Middle East or just large factions such as "Focus on the Family" or "Moral Majority") try to impose religious beliefs as laws that we end up with problems, wars, etc.

If everyone looked upon their religious faith as a personal, private decision and relationship and acknowledged that the only behavior their religion should limit is their own, then this world would be a lot better off! That doesn't mean you have to "hide" anything, you just accept that a person's faith is their own decision and quit attempting to legislate laws stemming from a particular religion (whether that be Islam, Buddism, Mormonism, Catholicism, etc.).

This is one of the chief reasons I have such a hard time identifying with the modern Republican plaform. There is nothing wrong with fiscal conservatism, but if you expect people to be personally accountable for their own monetary decisions, why can you not give them the same responsibility for their own moral ones?

tomatogrower 5 years, 5 months ago

"TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says... Vote out the progressive and far-left element of our congress and then vote out Obama in 2012 and replace him with either a common sense Democrat (there are some) or a Republican. Problem solved. But, the damage will take years and years to undo."

I hate to mess with your "facts" Tom, but the death penalty is determined by state, Obama has nothing to do with it. And, guess what? The real fact is that the Kansas legislature is mostly Republican, so if they end the death penalty in Kansas, it will be done by the Republicans. Sorry to mess with your "reality".

LoveThsLife 5 years, 5 months ago

I agree that the religious right has had a negative impact on the Republican Party.

However, I do have a problem with you saying that religious groups have caused wars. Most of the major wars in the modern era have had nothing to do with religion, but have been quite secular. World War I was triggered by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand...it had nothing to do with religion. World War II was the result of extreme nationalism. The Korean War didn't have anything to do with religion either..neither did Vietnam. The Gulf War didn't have much to do with religion. 9/11 may have been somewhat about religion, however the line gets blurry when you take into account their hatred of America due to US Foreign Policy towards Israel and the rest of the Middle East.

Although I do understand the danger that comes from groups trying to legislate their beliefs...this is where things get dicey. In some cases services that church organizations provide outside of the actual worship services may be threatened. Such as the closing of Catholic Charities in some states and in the District of Columbia due to same sex marriage laws. I believe that such organizations have a right to voice concern and have a seat at the table if they will be directly affected by the issue at hand. Is that not the point of the American way???

I think the name calling and mockery gets in the way of people really understanding one another.

viagra_sailor 5 years, 5 months ago

"How could one find dignity in such activities as stated above? "

I don't think anyone does....?

JHOK32 5 years, 5 months ago

Dear Eugene: Who was in power in 2008 when the economy of the U.S. had it's largest crash since the Great Depression? Who got on national television and told the entire country "we" had to bail out AIG & the largest banks in the U.S. because "we" could not allow them to fail? Who is going around the country now criticizing the Obama administration for being "soft on terrorism" when it was his party and himself who was on watch in 2001when 911 was allowed to happen in the first place? What big oil company made the highest profits ever recorded in U.S. history during this time period while our boys were paying for those profits with their lives in Iraq? When you figure out these answers you'll have your answers!

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 5 months ago

Crime has been around for a few thousand years, and will be around for a few thousand more. I, however, am only responsible for my thoughts and actions. Now, some people don't agree with my thinking. That is fine with me. I don't have a problem with that. You be you and I'll be me, On that one thing we can agree. We all chew our thoughts, Like a dog with a bone, But, at the end of it all, We are buried alone. Irish Swearingen

Glen Moore 5 years, 5 months ago

I tend to stay away from the people with very poor and negative attitudes. Sure we all have bad days, I am sure there isn't any of us that hasn't been a little concerned about their family, job, war, economy, or health in the past decade. As I work for an automotive company I can assure you that I for one have had my fair share of moments that made me worrie. I go home and think, what if... or maybe I should.... But I also look at my kids see the passion of life in everything they do and I know that as long as I don't dwell on the negative forces and I keep moving forward in life, trying to make things better, then they will eventually get better. I have had some really bad days, but I just thnk that somewhere someone is having a worse day.

jonas_opines 5 years, 5 months ago

"someone stole my tools, we gotta start executing people again."

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