Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been arrested for child sex trafficking. His sordid tale provides us with a valuable lesson in how the system is corrupted to protect the rich and connected.
Epstein should not have been free to begin with. In 2008, Federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta gave him a sweetheart deal for numerous charges of sexual abuse of minors; 13 months in a local facility, not real prison, from which he was allowed day release to make more piles of loot, plus immunity from Federal charges for his unnamed co-conspirators, who must have been connected as well. But no judge should have allowed that.
It is sometimes mentioned that Epstein, a Manhattan socialite, is a personal acquaintance of both President Clinton and the current President. In the case of the latter, it seems to have been rather more than that.
We have a record of him saying in 2002 that Epstein is "A terrific guy... he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and some of them are on the younger side." So Epstein had a history that he knew. He cannot claim ignorance now.
Especially since a 13 year old Jane Doe filed suit against Epstein AND Donald Trump on 9/30/2016 for multiple charges of rape. (Case 1-16-cv-07673) It's a matter of public record. I don't recall the so-called "Liberal Media" covering this story during the campaign, do you? (But then, serial rape of children is nowhere near as bad as using a private email server...)
Oh, and where is Alexander Acosta today? He's Secretary of Labor. His sweetheart deal for Epstein was brought up before his Senate hearing, but he was confirmed anyway with nary a Republican whimper.
Your swamp at work.
Stephen Van Eck, Rushville, PA
With the warm weather finally upon us, please take a moment to look at your mail receptacles. Postmasters and postal supervisors are required to conduct rural route inspections yearly (driver observations on a weekly basis). I've watched as carriers have opened rural mailboxes and have had dozens of small red spiders fall into their vehicle. I've personally had wasps sting me as I delivered mail (as a city carrier in Binghamton); the wasps had built a nest between the mailbox and the house. I've seen nests inside and underneath the mailboxes; some surprising large. If our carriers are encountering these issues, it would make sense that the customers and homeowners would be aware of the problems. With that being said, I am hoping that all who read this and receive delivery at their homes, would take a moment and check out their mail receptacle. If you find nests, spiders, bugs of any kind, please spray and remove the pests. If a carrier reports a safety concern/issue, Postmasters do have the right and responsibility to suspend delivery to that address until the safety concern is taken care of. While you are checking out the box, another issue (for substitute carriers and the occasional Postmaster who has to deliver mail), is sometimes seeing/finding your rural mailbox. Please trim back weeds, thorn bushes, etc. Let us see your mailboxes before we drive past them. It is a regulation that all rural mailboxes have their address on the side of the mailbox in at least one inch high letters/numbers. If your mailbox is not level or sturdy, this is the perfect time to address that issue as well. Carriers should not be climbing out their windows to attempt delivery. If your mailbox is with a group of other mailboxes, please make sure that all boxes are the same height and at the same arm length away. Boxes further back in that row may not be accessible.
You love them; they are part of your family. You play with them, they sleep with you, they protect your family and your home. If you have a dog and that dog is loose or in a fence which the carrier believes does not adequately confine the dog, we will not deliver packages to your porch or doorstep. In the past month, I have had two carriers attacked; luckily the carriers were not bitten. I have been notified by carriers that owners open up the door to get their mail and the dogs come running out to the carrier or the carrier's vehicle. 'Fluffy', 'Teeny', or 'Demon Seed' may be the sweetest dog you've ever had, but if they are loose, I have informed my carriers to not get out of their vehicles. I believe I can safely say that I speak for all Postmasters within the 188 zip code range on this issue. If a customer is upset because of this issue, please be assured that I will back my carriers. This is a safety issue; it also protects you as a homeowner from legal action if a carrier is bitten.
Roger H. Stonier, Postmaster, New Milford, PA
It's hardly news for Pope Francis to comment on contemporary issues: immigration, climate change, "consideration" of same-sex marriage, the death penalty is "contrary to the Gospel," fossil fuels are "immoral," and all things environmental; he is outspoken on all. But when Francis spoke ex-cathedra about changing the Lord's Prayer, it got my attention.
Ex-cathedra is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, established in 1870. This doctrine states that when the Pope speaks on matters of faith or morality, he is infallible and his teachings are to be accepted by the entire church as dogma.
Recently, Francis altered the Lord's Prayer by replacing "lead us not into temptation" with "do not let us fall into temptation." The Pope argues that God does not lead men into temptation. "A father does not lead into temptation, a father helps you to get up immediately," said the Pope.
However, the Pope stands on shaky ground. Consider Romans 11:32, where it states that God does indeed lead men into temptation. Following are three translations of this verse with the Catholic imprimatur:
• The English version of the Douay-Rheims translation, the one used by the Holy See reads: "For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he may have mercy on all."
• The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, the passage reads: "For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all."
• And the New American Bible, authorized by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops, the version read by most American Catholics and used in the liturgy it reads: "For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all."
Other translations of Romans 5:32 are:
• New Living Translation: "For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone."
• English Standard Version: "For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all."
• Berean Study Bible: "For God has consigned all men to disobedience so that He may have mercy on them all."
I could go on and quote 21 more versions, but to what point? Without exception, every translation, whether by Catholics or protestants, conveys the same meaning often with the same words.
Mysteriously, Francis' revised portion of the Lord's Prayer will "only" be implemented in the Italian missal.
But Francis' revision of the Lord's Prayer is not just a more accurate version for Italians "only," but one with a completely different meaning. Essentially, Francis is rewriting the Lord's Prayer.
So which one speaks with ex-cathedra infallibility? The sources cited with the Catholic imprimatur and dozens of other biblical translations in which God purposely leads men into temptation; or Francis' revision in which God does not lead men into temptation?
If one accepts the Bible as the final arbiter, the answer is clear: "The scripture hath concluded all under sin that the promise of faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe," Gal. 3:22.
Lastly, there is the question of Francis improperly invoking ex-cathedra. According to this doctrine, when the Pope speaks on "matters of faith or morality he is infallible," Wikipedia. I do not see how "faith or morality" has any connection with rewriting the Lord's Prayer.
I leave it to wiser heads than mine to decide on the suitability of applying ex-cathedra to our Savior's wording in His prayer.
Lastly, there remains the thorny problem of free will.
With a God who is all powerful, that is, omnipotent, free will is impossible. All is out of God. Without the power of His spirit, no life, no movement, no existence, no physical matter is possible.
Therefore, since God has made sin to be inescapable – "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," Rm. 3:23 – God then becomes "the savior of all men," I Tim. 4:1. "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruit; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming," I Cor. 15:23.
Religion, like politics, is divisive – this is God's will. Were it not so; then it would not be. Therefore, we can do no better than to be tolerant of each others' differences, as much as it lies within us.
Bob Scroggins, New Milford, PA