Letters to the Editor

Will of the few seems against the right flow
In the Saturday, July 11, edition of the Daily Journal, there were two articles which brought to surface old concerns.
One article reported a man in Kentucky has sued the county, with a backing of the ACLU, to remove the Ten Commandments from the courthouse. The man claims the display “an improper governmental endorsement of religion.” Well, duh, this nation was founded on religion.
In the second article it was reported that Congress has ordered the architect of the new Capitol Visitors Center to engrave the words “In God We Trust” not in one but in several prominent places. Is this a contradiction? Are the two not related? We even have “In God We Trust” on our currency.
Our government was established for the will of the majority, so why is the will of a few prevailing in regard to the Ten Commandments? Our Bill of Rights has a section governing separation of church and state, which is good, but as long as we have some leaders who pray to God for guidance the two will be associated.
Our Congress has the power to make or change laws. Since they operate on “majority rules,” they should pass or change any laws that prohibit the reference to religion in government buildings if it is the will of the majority. The congressional leaders should work with the Supreme Court to ensure the laws will stand up to adverse interpretation. A person, whether an atheist, anti-American or illegal immigrant, has the right to express his or her opinion, but the will of the majority should prevail regardless of if it be church or state, and Congress, the Supreme Court and even the ACLU should realize this.
Earnest “Dee” Streit
Thompson: All citizens deserve safer homes
The architects of America’s burgeoning disaster safety movement achieved a critical success in recent days when 250 leading scientists, environmentalists, emergency managers, housing and mitigation experts gathered in Washington, D.C., at the June 24 Safe Homes for All Leadership Forum.
At the event, new mitigation movement principles were ratified that call upon the nation’s elected leaders to embrace pre-disaster mitigation as the cornerstone of disaster safety public policy. Delegates also called for greater efforts to better protect vulnerable low-income citizens from natural disasters.
The Forum included a key address from Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, who announced the introduction of innovative, forward-looking disaster preparedness legislation that would focus on reducing the risk of loss of life and property proactively, rather than on increasingly expensive post-disaster response. Among other things, Thompson’s bills would help low and middle income homeowners harden their houses and apartments; address pre-disaster mitigation activities for an often excluded segment of our population-residents of public housing authorities, recipients of Section 8 vouchers, and residents of assisted housing; support innovative first responder programs, focusing on projects that the first responders themselves identify as most likely to save lives and property; and commission an important study of the benefits of natural storm buffers, such as undeveloped barrier islands and wetlands, to provide maximum protection to vulnerable communities.
“It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. As Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I have come to believe that, likewise, a dollar of prevention is worth many dollars of post-disaster assistance,” said Thompson. “The most cost-effective and humane policy for coping with natural disasters is to focus more of our resources on preventing damage and ensuring personal safety before catastrophes occur, so that we do not have casualties and the need to spend scores of billions afterwards.”
A 2004 Congressionally-mandated study showed that every dollar spent on building codes and mitigation returns up to four dollars of post-catastrophe savings. http://www.nibs.org/MMC/mmcactiv5.html
More information about the Safe Homes for All Leadership Forum is available at www.mitigationleadership.com.
Eric Cote
Safe Homes for All
Leadership Forum
30 Brown Street
Wickford, RI 02852

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