Letters: Don’t blame teachers
December 11, 2012 7:04PM
Updated: January 13, 2013 6:06AM
Your editorial of Nov. 29 (“Illinois’ pension problem is no cartoon”), on Illinois pensions was outstanding. This is the first time I have read such an accurate report in any newspaper.
I have even read that teachers did not contribute to their own pensions. This is a total fabrication. After teaching 37 years, I can assure the public that each check stub I received had a sizable deduction for my pension.
It was not the lack of money coming into the pension funds, or the balances at the end of the fiscal year. It was the legislators who transferred our pension funds to the general budget to balance the budget. Now, they are in trouble and want to cut our retirement to correct their bad decisions.
Everything in moderation
I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Lemke (OpenLine, Nov. 27). First, only an idiot would state a drug — any drug — is harmless. I apologize for resorting to such generic childish name calling. I am sure Mr. Lemke is an educated, productive and thoughtful gentlemen.
However, Mr. Lemke most likely has witnessed only marijuana at its worst. He most likely witnessed a productive person degrade to a slothful biomass. This image most likely illuminates childhood memories perverted by “Reefer Madness” and other Green scare McCarthyist propaganda.
Addressing first, the degradation of productive youth, I must compare to other “endorphin-rich” activities pursued by adolescents, including alcohol, sex, drugs, rock-n-roll and fast driving.
How do these compare to a “pothead?” From past personal experience, a person smoking pot is less likely to pursue dangerous activities.
And as for the “Reefer Madness” rebuttal, first open your mind a wee bit, and then go to Google and remember to mind the source. (Hint: searching “dangers of marijuana” will not provide accurate results. Instead search: “Marijuana research.”)
Marijuana is not harmless, but is it harmful enough to be illegal? When life’s other legal non-productive indulgent pursuits are compared, how far from acceptance and legality does marijuana fall? Red meat, wine, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, nicotine, sex for purpose beyond reproduction, alcohol, sugar and more than 2,000 calories in a day.
In moderation these or a select number of these are enjoyed by many law-abiding citizens without consequence. In excess these ruin lives. Please note a pattern.