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This week: National Sales Tax: Another Look; Diocese “Hurts Best Supporters”;

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

National Sales Tax: Another Look

The letter in the Advocate from Irving B. Welchons, III [“In Support of a National Sales Tax,” March 28, 2013] promotes elimination of all income, Medicare and Social Security tax, replacing them with a national sales tax and “abolishing the IRS in the process.” He neglects to suggest the rate at which this tax would have be imposed to generate enough revenue to fund the government.

A sales tax is the most regressive tax we can impose, because it hits hardest those who have the least. Low-income citizens must spend most if not all of their resources on items needed to live, while high-income earners do not have to. I agree the current tax code is unfair and needs to be revised to eliminate loopholes and ensure all citizens (and corporations) pay their fair share of taxes, but a national sales tax is not the answer. It is not a “Fair Tax.”

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Diocese “Hurts Best Supporters”

Your recent article on the Mater Dolorosa Church was a comprehensive and excellent report of an insane situation regarding the one-man corporation (the Diocese of Springfield) and its minions, led by Mark Dupont. The bishop and his “insiders” of the corporation have positioned themselves over the past years against their main contributors, the parishioners.

The hope is that somehow the real estate people now running the diocese will bail out the corporation by selling some of the 70 closed church buildings and land donated in the past by parishioners, increasing all their 401Ks.

The future is now for the Catholic religion. Seventy percent of the Catholics didn’t attend Easter services. Over 40 percent of those from 70 closed churches don’t attend services consistently anymore because the bishop has closed their historic worship sites.

The people cannot trust this corporation because it has lost its moral compass, it has glossed over the priest abuse scandal, and instead of reaching out to the parishioners to reclaim its flock, it closes churches and ignores our input.

I am from the Mater Dolorosa Church. Personally, I have watched the pastor of the church trash the people responsible for sustaining the finances of the Parish. I have witnessed the priest’s negligence in turning his back on the parish and its Polish heritage by supporting the closing of our parish.

After our Polish ancestors gave the Mater Dolorosa (in 1901), its social center and its school to the bishop, and 100 years of donations, now Mark Dupont and the Catholic establishment wants the City of Holyoke to deny creating a Polish Heritage District. They plan to sell the church later, and as usual, never fully account for where and to whom the money really goes. The diocese should give the church back to the parishioners as their predecessors gave it to the bishop, in good faith.

Why hurt your best supporters? Is it about the power to regulate people’s identity, the power of egotism or the power of money and corporate salaries? Every ethnic group in the Springfield diocese has felt its wrath. Look at the fate of St. Joseph’s, St. George’s, Holy Name, Nativity, St. Ann’s, Our Lady of Hope—all closed.

It is most unfortunate that the diocese of Springfield and its seventeenth-century leadership have taken such a path. In the end, what will they gain by this course of conduct, ejecting the people from their churches and dissing their heritage?

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Yankee Nuke Unfiltered

Entergy Vermont Yankee had a blowout panel blow out with radionuclides just a few weeks ago. There are no filters coming off the secondary containment, so an unmonitored release occurred [“A ‘Fukushima Lesson Unlearned,’” April 4, 2013]. When there is a radioactive release in the secondary containment, it stays there until, for example, a panel blows out and the wind into the containment blows it to the atmosphere.

The NRC prides itself on defense in depth. The nuclear industry has no business venting radioisotopes to the New England environment. We deserve better. Please speak up and speak out to get this reactor closed.

As TEPCO admitted recently, a lack of “transparency” was a major cause of this man-made disaster, the biggest ongoing industrial disaster in the history of mankind. The other cause was the earthquake, not the tsunami. Building nuclear power plants on top of earthquake faults is not intelligent.

Organizations that practice proper issues management need never get to the crisis management stage. The crisis management stage is usually heralded by the (fake) apology, to mitigate the effects of bad publicity and effect reputation control, not to fix the actual problem, which is worldwide and ongoing. Not installing vents will simply add to the current global cancer epidemic, a situation that is “controllable” from their viewpoint because they are skilled at outright denial of peer-reviewed studies and statistics, and make up their own.

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