Pandora's box of problems opened

July 10, 2014 

In his "Perilous time" letter (July 8), the author warns of President Obama appointing a "liberal" justice with "revisionist views" to the Supreme Court. The country has evolved, yet our founding document, the Constitution, is to be locked in the same concrete as the opinions of "strict Constitutionalists." We've gone from a country that generated only $663 for national defense in 1786-1787 to the most powerful nation in the world, yet strict Constitutionalists don't want anything "changed." All this despite the Constitution containing provisions for amendments and allowing for a court system to exercise judicial power "over all cases involving Law and Equity."

The author should be more concerned with the reactionary conservative Roberts Court. There is no doubt history will not be kind. The Hobby Lobby case, for example, was not about employers covering contraceptives in health plans or "religious freedom." It was about expanding the concept of "corporation personage."

In her 35-page dissent, Justice Ginsburg wrote that the court had opened a Pandora's box of religious challenges: "Reading the Act expansively, as the court does, raises a host of 'Me too' questions. Can an employer in business for profit opt out of coverage for blood transfusions (Jehovah Witnesses), vaccinations (Christian Scientists), antidepressants (Scientologists), or medications derived from pigs (Muslims, Jews and Hindus), based on the employer's sincerely held religious beliefs opposing those medical practices? … The court has ventured into a minefield." There are already 78 other legal challenges alleging violations to religious beliefs.

The Roberts court has given corporations expanded personage. "It" can buy all the free speech "it" wants and now "it" has religious rights. "Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat." (Whom God wants destroyed, He first drives mad).

James H. Centric

Phenix City

Back to the future?

I would have been a third generation "lint-head," but the textile industry didn't survive. I wonder why so many applied so much for so long to save the auto industry, when there was never even a mention of a "bailout" when it became apparent that the textile industry couldn't compete with foreign trade.

It seems nobody cares about Columbus, Georgia's history pertaining to the fact that this "used" to be a mill town. I would like to see Columbus look at the modern textile industry, and see that the United States has finally figured out how to compete successfully worldwide.

To see this, you have to go no farther than right here at home. There's one mill left in Columbus that has looms that weave the cloth, and that's Denim North America. I was a loom-fixer, and it's still in my blood, like many in Columbus. After getting a tour there and seeing the cutting-edge precision, I ask myself: Why aren't there mills being built?

Hope for textiles in America. They did it without a "bailout."

Danny Odom

Columbus

We need your help

Each year, thousands of teams participate in Little League baseball. In addition to the fun the players have competing against one another, they all have the desire to prove that they can compete with any team in the world.

With the Little League state tournaments about to begin, several baseball and softball teams will represent the city of Columbus and compete against other cities within the state of Georgia. Northern Little League will have a total of four teams crowned as District 8 Champions and will be competing in the state tournaments.

Along with honor and opportunity comes a great financial obligation. As such, we would like to ask the community for assistance. Columbus and the surrounding areas have always been supportive of youth programs, and this again gives our region an opportunity to shine. These players have worked very hard, are talented, never give up and have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship throughout their District 8 tournament run. Any financial assistance anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated. Because Northern Little League is a 501(c) charitable organization, any donation you may is tax deductible. Any donation you make is greatly appreciated!

Our league needs you and would like to thank you in advance for your continued support of youth sports excellence.

Earnie Davis

President, Northern Little League

Fortson

Bad medicine

Prescription painkillers are driving America's rising rate of overdose deaths. These drugs contain the same active ingredients as heroin, and many heroin addicts begin as recreational prescription painkiller users. A Columbus mother wrote in the Ledger-Enquirer about a tragedy concerning the death of her son to heroin addiction: Her son "became addictive to the painkiller OxyContin, and then because it was cheaper and easier to find, he started using heroin." My condolences for her loss.

More than 12 million Americans use prescription painkillers for non-medical purposes. Almost one in 10 high school seniors report taking hydrocodone (Vicodin) within the past year. One in 5 Americans report misusing a prescription drug. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these numbers are on the rise. Prescription painkillers now account for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. In 2011, drug overdose deaths reached 41,000, with 41 percent of them involved prescription painkillers.

The CDC is trying to combat deaths from prescription painkillers. The most frequently misused painkillers are Vicodin (hydrocodone) and OxyContin (oxycodone). CDC officials say there is an urgent need for more monitoring programs and laws at the state level.

Salman Elawad

Phenix City

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