I am so happy that you interviewed Fr. Vitus Ezeiruaku [Outtakes, Nov. 14: "Divine Relocation"]. I know Fr. Vitus personally and find him to be one of the most loving, generous and compassionate persons I have ever had the privilege and blessing of knowing.
I pray for his continued safety and happiness in his ministry and in his presence in the City Different, or anywhere that his journey through life leads him.
I know that he has brought, is bringing, and will always bring a real sense of peace and joy to all those he encounters. Aside from all this he has an infectious laugh and keen sense of humor! May all those who get to know him be always blessed by his Charismatic and Eucharistic presence. Thank you for listening.
SAVE THE ORCHARD
Please support Jeff Kline in his attempt to preserve this historic
orchard and driveway [Outtakes, Nov. 14: "Gravel-road Cavil"]. We need preservation, not new roads and parking.
I was offended by the comparison of The Golden Compass to Harry Potter in the Reporter [Winter Survival Guide '07, Nov. 21: "Christmas Movies: The Horror!"]. Harry Potter, although a charming story, is only that, a story to amuse children.
Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, of which The Golden Compass is the first book, is a philosophically rich and deeply thought-provoking saga of how the Christian church has manipulated the average populace for its own personal power gain.
The Anglican Church has dubbed Philip Pullman the most dangerous man alive because of his extensive research and accuracy in defrauding the current Christian regime.
BETTER THAN HARRY
I recommend you read the "His Dark Materials" trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) by Philip Pullman. They are SO much better than Harry Potter. Might I even say Pullman kicks Rowling's butt? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this movie will be better, too.
Regarding "Blood Pensions" [Outtakes, Oct. 17] , I need to clarify my personal position on genocide in Darfur and AFSCME's position on divestment of companies doing business in Sudan.
I believe we all need to act to end the Sudanese government's horrible repression of people living in Darfur. When asked about the situation in Darfur, I expressed my opinion. Who can say they support genocide?
I'm the executive director for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 18 in New Mexico. AFSCME does not support divestment. Not in the Sudan, not in Iran, not in Israel and not anywhere.
Divestment forces pension funds to unload shares due to political reasons. This politically driven, unnatural market force upsets the supply and demand chain. When politicians force pension funds across the country to sell, the share price goes down, the funds take a hit and our retirement security is threatened. These are decisions best left to PERA and the trustees elected to look out for the fiduciary interests of PERA members.
AFSCME believes PERA should engage with companies whose operations or corporate governance practices pose a risk to shareholders. With skin in the game, PERA can urge companies doing business in Sudan or Iran to minimize their risk and protect shareholders.
Divestment is a feel-good solution for politicians, but it won't end the repression. Perhaps the best way to end repression in Darfur and Iran is to engage as shareholders. When companies are forced to answer to the fiduciary concerns of shareholders, they will reduce their risk in Sudan and Iran. It will help the bottom line. It might just also help end the repression.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AFSCME
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