Celebrate therapy animals
April 30 is National Therapy Animal Day — a day to celebrate the companion animals in our lives that volunteer in our community and help make the Mississippi Gulf Coast a wonderful place to live.
Therapy animals and their handlers visit in hospitals, assisted living, schools and libraries. They lower blood pressure, improve mood and help struggling readers gain proficiency. Therapy animals positively impact the lives of many people and are an asset to our community.
I am fortunate to volunteer with Quincy and Daisy. We volunteer at Ocean Springs Hospital. It is deeply gratifying volunteer work that we enjoy doing together. We are registered with Pet Partners, which registers volunteer handlers and their companion animals as therapy animal teams.
On April 30, please take a moment to thank a therapy animal, and consider whether you and your pet would enjoy this volunteer activity. At www.petpartners.org, Pet Partners offers a quiz to determine if your animal might be suitable to be a therapy animal. We want all therapy animals to enjoy their “job” as much as we do.
KC Arnold and Quincy and Daisy
Housing starts and mortgage finance
Housing is a key part of the U.S. economy. It affects industries such as banking, the mortgage sector, raw materials, employment, construction and real estate.
To keep our now strong economy strong I suggest a major change in how mortgage payments are structured. The president along with the Congress could pass a law allowing mortgage companies and banks to have no more than 50 percent of one’s monthly mortgage payment go toward interest on the loan. At least 50 percent of each payment must go toward a homebuyer’s equity in the property.
The way mortgages are today almost 100 percent of monthly payments go toward interest for the first half of the life of the loan. The mortgage holder will still receive the same amount of interest on the loan but it will be spread out over the entire payment period be it 10, 20 or 30 years.
The no more than 50 percent interest law will allow homeowners to gain equity in their home immediately. Home ownership has always been most Americans’ largest investment and early equity in their homes means an early “Wealth Effect” that in turn should result in an earlier “home start” for Americans.
The sooner one feels that wealth effect the sooner they have will have confidence in the overall U.S. economy and job market and will participate actively in that economy, thus keeping the U.S. economy heated and robust.
P.S.: All loans should be structured in a similar fashion.
Social Security is not socialistic
An entry in the Sound Off column said that Social Security is a socialistic program because people get more money from it than they put in. Some do, some don’t, but the program has always been self-funded, has never used tax dollars, and therefore, is not socialistic. It is now in danger of going broke only because Congress has “borrowed” billions from it over the years without repaying.
Our biggest socialistic program is public education, K-12. Paid for by taxes, not tuition, as would be the case if all socialism was banned. It was decided, long ago, that Democracy needs an educated electorate. The only way to make it mandatory, in this democracy, was to make it free for the users. Adding a few more grades, as Bernie Sanders proposes, does not introduce socialism. It just extends the one we have.
Sen. Wicker was spot-on
Mississippi, and its residents, as a member of the Union of States that forms this nation, has a primary obligation, above all others, to the Constitution. A president — any president — is a far distant third.
It is the Constitution that defines the roles of the executive and the legislative branches of national government. The president develops a budget, but it is Congress that is granted Constitutional authority to appropriate funds and designate which amounts go to which purpose. Once Congress agrees on an appropriation bill and it is signed by the president — done is done.
Seldom does one party get all of what it wants. But more importantly, the president has no Constitutional authority to unilaterally change the distribution of funds as the president sees fit after it becomes the law.
Sen. Roger Wicker did his duty to preserve the roles designated to Congress by the Constitution. This is not about the president; it is all about the Constitution. (Editor’s note: Sen. Roger Wicker was one of 12 Republicans to side with Democrats on March 14, passing a resolution against President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration to build a border wall.)
The Constitution knows no party, nor should it ever. The Constitution establishes a strict set of checks and balances to ensure no one branch of government becomes overly dominate above the others. You may not like the outcome, but when it comes to the Constitution, it is imperative to play by those rules — whether you be president, senator, citizen or voter.
America’s strength was too immense, her freedoms too great, her name renown. She was the envy of the world. Her spirit could not be broken.
So the jackals devised a plot knowing that only from within could they tear her down. So they plotted her destruction, piece by piece they tore away at her goodness turning each citizen against each other.
The smallest of lies became unbearable as every thought, every spoken word was used against them. Intolerable they heard day and night ringing in their ears. They became the silent society each in their own little world, each wondering when the wolves were going to devour them.
Through bankruptcy, through excessive caring, trying to help the world find what she had, she was finally destroyed.