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To the Editor 2/15/2006

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To The Editor:
I found it rather laughable when the freeholders stated the county prosecutor has no experience making a budget!
What a statement from the kinds of waste.
Every year, they make themselves look good by using surplus funds, which is nothing more than over taxation and should be refunded. Fat chance.
There should be no political appointed jobs unless explained in detail; example: I have written to the “public information officer” five to six times in the past year only to get replies from the county administrator. Yet this political job pays close to $100,000 per year with benefit, that’s a lot of money to pay to straighten chairs in the freeholders meeting room. And you can’t blame anybody for not taking a “job” like this.
Now, the county wants to hire 45 more people, another $810,000, in health insurance. Incidentally the county gives out $18,000 health insurance policies like it’s candy, but just maybe the voters are waking up.
Is it true they want to create another department called Department of Disabilities? What happened to Social Services and Social Security? We need more waste?
Why do we continue to shell out taxpayer money to Historic Cold Spring Village, a private business, to the tune of almost $4 million in 15 years and another $100,000 budgeted this year? If this is legal it should be explained if illegal, justice should be done.
In conclusion, the county prosecutor’s only fault is he’s Democrat, otherwise there would be 55 new hires, but don’t fret taxpayers, your RE-VAL will support this fat cow budget.
Future letters will point out more waste. Then maybe a newspaper will feature a collage of these articles at election time. Thereby allowing voters a clear choice.
FRANK BRAD
Rio Grande
Our Readers Write
Knights Aid Pupils in Catholic School
To The Editor:
This is in response to Gene Noce’s Jan. 18 letter.  In his letter Noce stated that he was wrong in thinking the Knights of Columbus organization “was formed to help the less fortunate.”
He actually calls the Knights “another profit-hungry outfit.” All of this because the rent for use of the hall was raised. I am outraged by his comments, both as a member of the Knights, but more importantly as a teacher of St. Raymond Regional School in Villas.
In the past 10 years, the Knights of Columbus Council in Erma has contributed over $58,000 in scholarship money for our students at St. Raymond Regional to continue their Catholic education.
This money is raised through the hard work of volunteers who man a Sunday breakfast at the council and who ask for nothing in return but to help the less fortunate at our school.
As a teacher, I have been at all the graduations over the past 10 years. Perhaps Noce might want to join me at the next one if he truly believes there is “no such thing as charity anymore.” Then he could witness the results of the charitable actions of those fine people who run the scholarship breakfasts.
Catholic education is a choice. The success of Catholic schools is due in large part to the sacrifices made by the parents of our students. The decision to forgo the boat, a new car, or a well-deserved vacation in exchange for a Catholic education is not an easy one to make. But it is a decision that will result in an education that will serve our students well in this world, and ultimately in the next one, too.
Perhaps I have a solution to Noce’s problem. I just read in the paper where it costs over $12,000 per student in the Lower Township school system. At that price, it can easily be seen where St. Raymond Regional School alone saves our taxpayers between $1.5-$2 million per year.
I’ve paid school taxes all my life and never had a child attend public school. Perhaps we should try something different. Our parents pay taxes, too. It is time they saw some of that money going toward the education of their own children, and in the school of their choice.
If Noce would help me fight to get at least partial tuition payments for needy students in non-public school, he will have my full support in trying to return the hall rental fees to $20. Now, that’s what I call fair.
MICHAEL E. BECK
Villas
President Bush Should Have Known
To The Editor:
Regarding Jan. 25 “Our Readers Write,” “How do misinformed spouters cast votes?” Misinformed is absolutely correct.
Our public “servants” have been misinforming the people since another George, George Washington, took an oath to protect and serve our country. Or maybe mislead, mislead down the garden path would be more appropriate.
I graduated in 1948. Since then, I discovered that of our curriculum only math and science were absolutes.
American history was pure federal fertilizer.
I look at it this way: I am responsible for everyone under my roof. Mayors are responsible for everyone in their jurisdiction. Same for governors.
Ergo, George Bush is responsible for each and every soul in our country.
Bush may not have the legal authority to get those guys inside the D.C. beltway to do the right thing, but he is morally obligated to the American people, obli-gated to their safety and well being.
President Truman had a sign on his desk, which read, “The Buck Stops Here.” President Kennedy took personal responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco; he knew where the buck stopped. President Truman was absolutely right when he said, “A President either is constantly on top of events or if he hesitates, events will soon be on top of him.”
Our political community is reactive not proactive, 9-11 is proof of that.
In 1986, Sen. Alan J. Dixon, warned America “that a Middle East terrorist group would not risk coming to American soil simply to blow-up a few pipe bombs, an attack of this type would necessarily be a major one.”
George Bush should have been aware of this and or-dered our intelligence communities to thoroughly check it out. The buck stops with our commander in chief.
JIM CARROLL
Green Greek
Our Readers Write
Ongoing Political Acrimony Hurts Public
To The Editor:
Washington politics have taken a dangerous and strained turn. While some will point to the close presidential election in 2000 as the cause, the fact is this turn taken goes back to 1992 when the Republicans took control of Congress.
Ever since then, the partisan rhetoric coming from the leadership of the Democrat Party has systematically increased, as has the viciousness and acrimony. Now we see a seething, combative and mean-spirited attitude at every debate and issue by virtually every Democrat office holder save only a few.
Whether it’s Joe Biden or Teddy Kennedy trying their best at character assassination of Judge Samuel Alito on national television or Hillary Clinton calling the Congress a plantation and decrying the Bush Administration as the “worst in history” the effort is relentless. Pelosi, Reid, Leahy,  Durbin, on and on.
The business of politics is of course, sparring with the adverse party but this pervasive bashing of every proposal, appointment and also, the criticism of the direction of the international war on terrorism is appalling. It is also extremely dangerous to the function of government.
As the world turns, so does political fortunes and there will be a time when Democrats will seize back some control of some division of federal government.
The Republicans have in the past, acted with some restraint when it came to the good of the country and the civility one would expect even from partisan politicians.
However, reacting to the barrage of insults both personal and political by the Democrat leadership in a no-holds barred attack on anything Republican in order to gain back some power will cause the Republicans to finally react in-kind.
This is the new political order. It is way beyond “tit for tat” or coup counting. It strikes at the heart of every process in government from affirming appointments duly qualified judges like Alito to derailing laws like the Patriot Act sorely needed in our struggle to keep America from terrorist attacks.
Should this country be attacked again, should we falter in our commitment in the Middle East in Iraq, or again now with Iran the fingers will be pointed directly at the Democrats.
The bitter personal attacks and venomous acrimony will escalate and the U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch will engage in the worst and most decisive kind of adversarial partisan roles ever in our history.
Can it be stopped? It really seems not unless the Democrat party beings to listen to the Liebermans, Nelsons and other stalwart statesmen who chose to behave as befits their office, representatives of a civil society, the American Public.
ANTHONY T. DISIMONE
Wildwood
Ancient Greek Ideas Became Adulterated
To The Editor:
In the Feb. 1 article “Moral Grads Oversaw Many Atrocities” Bruce Allen, in response to Gary Osmund-sen’s “Have We Given the University Too Much Truth”, couldn’t have put it more plainly or succinctly.
Osmundsen’s overbearing articles have become a joke, probably the only reason there are no Spout Off’s is that no one is even bothering to read them.
Possibly, the articles are being printed because they purport to carry some sort of Christian party-line think-ing, but I don’t know of any pastor that would, or could, use them as down-to-earth sermon material.
Osmundsen should perhaps return from California, settle down here in South Jersey and communicate in a fashion to which we could all relate. However, while agreeing with him, I do have to address Allen’s para-graph, “And he (Osmundsen) would realize that Plato was not only a polytheist but also an openly practicing homosexual whose main protagonist, Socrates, was constantly making suggestive comments about attrac-tive slave boys.”
Plato’s ideas, both philosophically and cosmically, influenced by Socratic teaching, played an extremely important part in early Christian thinking and teachings until the time of Galileo, about 1600, when it was fi-nally realized by “the church” that the Earth was not the center of the universe.
However, in both Plato’s (427-347 B.C.) and Socra-tes’ (469-399 B.C.) time the terms “homosexual” and “gay” did not exist. Basically, women were considered to be almost sub-human and male love, platonic and sexual, was considered to be the norm.
Alexander, who conquered the ancient “known world” by about age 25, did so with his constant lover general and boyhood companion Hephaeston always by his side. This was totally acceptable behavior.
Socrates was a teacher and moral mentor to young Alexander. King Philip, Alexander’s father, in addition to having a queen, for purposes of having heirs, also had a male lover. When Hephaeston was killed in bat-tle, Alexander went mad with grief and depression for a period of about two years.
Ancient Greek fathers sought after older men to be their sons’ sponsors, teachers and benefactors. That was normal, accepted and expected behavior.
The terms “homosexual” and “gay” are 20th century terms and our current ideas about ancient Greek male love have become adulterated by modern religious non-historical thinking
And, despite David and Jonathan, current religious ideas about male love have been, and still are, dictated by erroneous biblical justification.
VINCE GRIMM
Cape May Beach
Become Informed About the Signs of Doom
To The Editor:
The world population is exploding. It has reached 5.3 billion. It is expected to be 9 billion before year 2100. The experts say the ideal number is 4.6 billion. We are destroying the air with greenhouse gas emissions. We are polluting the water we drink with toxins.
In Cape May County over 120 wells have been aban-doned.
Salt-water intrusion is moving inland 300 yards per year. Storm and wastewater is being pumped out to sea instead of being diverted inland to replenish the aquifers.
The EPA should publish its test results. The public has a right to know. We should start using that thing between our ears for more than a hat rack.
Two books I would highly recommend reading. “The River Runs Black” Eliz. C. Economy and “The Heat is On”  Ross Gelbspan. They are available at the  county library. Get informed, this is a serous problem.
WALTER E. LAFFERTY
South Dennis
Dec. 25 Will Forever Be Known As Christmas Day
To The Editor:
I saved an article from the Dec. 21 issue and I guess the expression “better late than never” applies here. I really liked Publisher Art Hall’s article on saying Merry Christmas, as that is one of my pet peeves.
I really get annoyed when people insist on saying “Happy Holidays” and obviously I insist on saying Merry Christmas. This is still a Christian majority country, it is still Christ’s birthday, it is written on the calen-dar as Christmas, plus I am certain millions of people are happy because of this Christian celebration school’s are closed and businesses too.
They get the day off and the children in school get a week to be home. I even have asked my employes at our 7-Eleven store to say Merry Christmas and have asked my friends when we are out why they do not say it. I do not worry about offending anyone because believe in it or not, it still is Christmas every  Dec. 25.
So, thank you for the article, hooray for you and how about good Easter photos and writings?
PAULA SELBACH
Stone Harbor
Arc’s ‘Tacky’ Wall Works Wonders
To The Editor:
As a rule I don’t read the “Spout Off.” I never put much stock in people that criticize others anony-mously. If you don’t have the backbone to confront people to their face how credible can you be? Personal opinion publicly expressed. However, it was brought to my attention that our store was the target of a spouter this past week.
I am referring to the last Spout Off from Court House criticizing our “Wall of Shame.”
The Arc Thrift shop, located behind ShopRite, at Sixth and Maryland Avenue is owned and operated by the Arc of Cape May County.
We are a 501c3r non-profit organization, represent-ing people with developmental disabilities. All pro-ceeds from our store go to the Arc. We try very hard to be good stewards of those things that are donated to our store for use by our consumers or for resale, to generate revenue for our various programs.
For quite some time, we have been aware of people stealing from our donations. People drop things off as donations to the Arc, then others come and steal those things before we can get them inside the donation shed.
They are stealing from the retarded citizens. In addi-tion, they break things, leave clothing thrown around and generally make a mess.
A couple months ago we installed security cameras, and we’re now able to see who steals from us. There are signs clearly warning them that they are on camera and will be prosecuted.
Those that we cannot identify we have made still pictures from our videos. Yes, we do have videos of them putting what they stole in their cars, and placed them on our “wall of shame” inside of our store for everyone to see.
This is not any different then what the police do when they have someone rob a bank or store. In fact, this paper printed a picture not long ago to help Middle Township police with a bank robber.
If people don’t want to make our “wall of shame” or suffer prosecution, don’t steal from us. It is that simple.
If you think that is “tacky” as the Spouter does, oh well! I think stealing from the Arc is very tacky.
MILTON B. WILSON
Thrift Shop Director
Rio Grande
 
Awaiting verification & Edit to 600
 
To The Editor:
You don’t have to go far to realize there is pain in the world. And once you realize its there, you can’t just turn around and pretend it doesn’t exist. And once you realize how MUCH needs to be done, you can’t just ignore it be-cause it seems too overwhelming for one person.
The fear was eminent in his large dark eyes, and as I held the small Indian child close to me I couldn’t help but wish that pain and suffering did not exist in the world. We had both been witnesses to children being beaten and now the usually rambunctious child was clinging to me without any interest in the food that was now being served as the sun disappeared behind the mountains and left us in a cold darkness that seemed to envelop our souls. This was my first face to face encounter with true injustice and suffering that goes on in probably 90% of the world, unseen and unfelt to us in our Western world… digging into a bag of chips as the six o’clock news blurts out another killing, or earthquake, or child abduction, and we pause for a brief ‘hmmm, that’s aw-ful’ and then go on to watch the basketball game or (some other show, etc.) When I was in India, I couldn’t turn on my fav. show and curl up on my couch and forget about pain, although I really wanted to.  And sadly, there was no one to call, no police, no authorities.  I realized that most of the world suffers in silence without anyone to speak up on their behalf.  And I felt help-less against such a powerful silence, silence that had given way to the caste system in India that says one man is practically a god, and another no better than a rat.  A silence that has left women burned to death because they didn’t please their husbands in some way in places like the Middle East.   A silence that keeps innocent children locked in cages to be sold as sex slaves in places like South India and Thailand, and the list goes on.
Yesterday I watched a story on Oprah about a group of eight fostor children who had suffered at the hands of their dysfunctional Foster parents.  They were locked in a room day after day with barely enough food, no bathroom, and just sheets to cover with and a hard floor to sleep on.  When authorities were finally notified and the children were removed it was still a while before the children were able to grasp that the way they had been treated was not NORMAL.  One of the children was asked, ‘Do you think this is how most children live?’ and he answered, ‘Yes.’   They have since been adopted by lov-ing parents but it seems that the real healing didn’t come until the children witnessed, on television, a pushy reporter who tracked the fostor parents (who Fostertten off with minor fines and probation) down and confronted them face to face.
 
It seems that the abused will often think that the crimes committed against them are just ‘normal behavior’, until someone steps in to be a voice for them.
Developing:
 
 
 
This would just be the beginning of the article.. I would like to address the feeling of being one person and being overwhelmed with all of the pain we see, so we don’t do anything. But, I have come to believe that we are respon-sible for what we KNOW. We are responsible to do what is in front of us, to try to change what we are capable of affecting.
 
 
 
Would include quotes such as the following:
 
“The trouble with belief is that it costs something. And there is something inside me, some subtle beast of a thing that doesn’t like the truth at all be-cause it carries responsibility and if I really believe these things I have to do something about them.” Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
 
I would maybe refer to Natalie Grant, a reccording artist, who heard about the sex trade/trafficking that goes on with children through watching Law and Order and went to India this past year to see if it was really true. She has since then established a foundation to raise money and awareness about this. www.thehomefoundation.org
 
I would also refer to just individuals or myself, who are doing what they can from where they are.. Even just sponsoring one child, volunteering overseas, etc.
Cuddly Pet Chases Away Illness’ Chill
 
To The Editor:
This is the story of a black cock-a-poo called Winnie.
The puppy was given to me on Father’s Day 2005.
She is now almost 10 months old. She is shinny black with a few white markings.
Winnie was given to me to cheer me up from my bouts with various medical problems, including two with cancer. Winnie has changed my outlook on life. I am 70 years old.
The puppy is a sheer joy, and with the addition of an 11-week-old kitten named Boomer, the two of them are a laugh a minute. The animals are therapeutic at the very least.
 My neighbor across the street, Jack, a retired writer for the Herald, at times can be cantankerous and a little on the tough side.
When Winnie visits Jack, he is all smiles and enjoys Winnie’s company.
Winnie loves Jack, and Jack even keeps a picture of Winnie prominently displayed in his living room.
Jack is not in the best of health, and Winnie brings out the best in him and looks forward to a visit from her.
Winnie is almost 15 pounds, and loves both children and adults.
If you know of someone in the same status as Jack and I, perhaps a visit from a pet will bring some joy into his or her life.
ROBERT E. KURZWEIL
Erma
When ‘Anything Goes,’ Society Nears Fall
 
To The Editor:
The writer Feb. 1 who took issue with Gary Om-budsman’s synopsis regarding the benefits, or the ne-cessity of Christian based morality totally misses the point.
His secularist/progressive indoctrination is evident in that it regurgitates all of the clichés, and out of context arguments against Christian morality, in an attempt to justify the need for this “enlightened” relativism that is embraced by the left today.
He stoops to pointing out the transgressions of Chris-tians of note, and refers to their misdeeds as justifica-tion to further his argument. He mentions slavery, but fails to point out that it was not an American (or Chris-tian) invention and was ended only 85 years after this country’s founding.
In fact, true history (not political correctness) shows that many of the founders were morally struggling with this issue. They acknowledged that it was wrong and vowed to work for its end.
Thomas Jefferson, for example, freed all of his slaves long before it was outlawed.
Slavery mentioned in biblical times included inden-tured servitude. There is nowhere in scripture where slavery is condoned. It is not specifically condemned, but does admonish masters to treat slaves fairly and with dignity.
The founders were clear in their beliefs that without Christian values as a base, the nation would be doomed to collapse. They understood the need to have a set of ideals…moral absolutes, tied to the natural law (God’s), evident in nature and written into the hearts of man, as a rudder.
To point out examples of those that have failed to meet those ideals, which is a result of the intrinsic fallen nature of man, is not just cause for abandoning them.
Christians know that it is a continual struggle involv-ing many failures. The alternative: moral relativism, sets fallen man as the sole arbiter of good and evil. There are no absolutes, right or wrong, only different versions of the truth. Basically…anything goes, as long as society can be convinced it is OK. Remember an-cient Rome, Greece?
DAN McNEILL
North Cape May

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