Prevailing theme in religious fanaticism
The massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices in France illustrates a prevailing theme in religious fanaticism. It’s present in all faiths, but especially prevalent among the more militant followers of Islam. It’s what President Reagan called the tyranny of low expectations.
Case in point: Long ago, there was a time when jihadists used to give glory to Allah by overrunning entire countries and bringing great empires to heel. Now they execute a few innocent members of the press, and celebrate it as they would a crushing victory over the crusader host.
It’s a rare religion whose god becomes more easily pleased and who sets the bar increasingly low as the apocalypse – in this case, Qiyamah – rushes ever closer. Indeed, if the main enemies of a faith are now cartoonists, schoolchildren and women drivers, then it says a lot about both the pettiness of its patron deity and the rock-bottom standards of his champions.
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RYAN T. JACKSON
Turn in weapons?
I guess all you militia folks can turn in your stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. Apparently, all you have to do is whatever the police tell you to do, whenever they tell you to do it.
Don’t legalize pot
I see a lot of misguided people getting on the boat for legalizing marijuana. If that happens, it will be a great disservice.
I speak from years of volunteering in the field of treatment. My late husband was the director of a local treatment program and was recovering himself. He always said marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drugs. I have also talked to my friends who are recovering. They are solidly against legalizing marijuana.
The only use I can accept is as a pain medication for seriously ill people who are experiencing pain that marijuana can dull. That is the only use that makes sense.
With legalization, we would see impaired driving and the same things that overindulgence in alcohol causes: families ripped apart, children abused and neglected, more domestic violence. None of these behaviors can justify legalizing marijuana for anything except as a medicine prescribed by doctors.
We need to get our priorities straight. Chemical dependency is not a need.
SAMMY K. FLAHARTY
The Eagle published a commentary from Moti Rieber of Interfaith Power and Light titled “Stop ignoring climate change” (Jan. 6 Opinion). Rieber reminded us that carbon dioxide was the driver of climate change. His commentary was timely, because the heating we’re inclined to do to stay comfortable during the current cold weather, combined with falling energy prices, makes it even more necessary to remind ordinary people to reduce their CO2 emissions.
Perhaps Rieber’s commentary will provide some balance to three recent news articles: “Harsh cold, dangerous wind” (Jan. 8 Eagle), “Snowfalls are becoming Jerusalem’s new normal” (Jan. 8 Eagle) and “Ready to shiver? Arctic air to put America on ice” (Jan. 3 Eagle). The “Ready to shiver” article quoted Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics – who called the current weather “old-timer’s type of cold.” (WeatherBell is a private weather organization with a somewhat skeptical view of human-caused climate change.)
Of these three articles, only the article about increased snowfall in Israel mentioned climate change – and that was a casual reference to a 2-degree increase in Israel’s average annual temperature that didn’t appear until the last third of the article. The casual reader might make his own conclusion that climate goes through natural cycles rather than being driven by human activities. The way these articles were written, it would appear that the warming part of the cycle is ending and the cold part of the cycle is beginning.
JAMES F. BADGETT
All of the issues we have in this country, and what is the first thing the Republican-controlled Congress wants to do? Pay back the benefactors that put them in office, the Koch brothers, by trying to get the Keystone XL pipeline passed.
As we enter a new year, we are once again faced with the perplexity of making New Year’s resolutions. It is a solemn matter and should not be entered into lightly.
Making resolutions that are too ambitious exposes people to a high probability of failure with the resulting loss of self-esteem. For some, it many be prudent to resolve to do something that they would likely do anyhow, such as to not run out of gas.
As for me, on the first day of the year, I resolved to do something and, by golly, I did it. With that behind me, I can now face the rest of the year with a clear conscience and my level of self-esteem intact.
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