2009-10-02 / Columnists

The Progressive

My Thoughts
By John Paul Culotta

Many religious organizations receive government funding to perform various social, economic and cultural objectives. Under the Bush 2 regime these religious organizations were allowed to hire personnel who were of their particular denomination to run the programs.

Other religious organizations used government funds for purposes of conversion. The New York Times recently reported that the Obama administration is going to court to change the rules and regulations for the use of taxpayer funds by faith based organizations. Government funds given to faith based organizations should not be used for denominational discrimination or enhancement.

Japan's new government is abolishing capital punishment. All European countries and Canada have abolished capital punishment.

Capital punishment is a frequent occurrence in Texas. Recent discoveries of DNA evidence have indicated many instances of errors in the use of the capital penalty. We should reevaluate the use of capital punishment across the nation. Capital punishment weakens the value of all human life. Society has an obligation to prevent cruel punishment.

Many nations in Latin America and Europe are decriminalizing drug possession. It is obvious that the decades-long war on drugs by our nation's military is a colossal failure. Many young people are incarcerated because of drug possession. It also appears that young people whose families are economically advantaged are often spared incarceration. It might be time for America to reconsider our policy regarding drug use.

Many cities and states are now considering legislation to make gambling a source of revenue. New York City, with its attractiveness to domestic and international visitors, should consider casinos to operate in our seaside areas such as Coney Island or South Beach, Staten Island. Maybe even in the Rockaways?

It now appears that the health insurance industry will profit enormously if there is no public option and there is a mandate for all to buy or obtain health insurance. Former Senator McGovern has said we should allow Medicare to cover all our citizens.

I concur.

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