'Stagnant pay' not enough for a raise
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper has proposed to give each of the county's elected officials $51,500 for discretionary raises. This proposal is supposed to be included in the 2013-2014 budget. Despite the state of the present economy and possible cuts around the county because of the sequester, Carper still wants to go through with his plan. He says the pay of most of these officials has been "stagnant" over the past few years and he wants to show that the county values its workers.
In my opinion, this is completely ridiculous and unnecessary. The proposal will likely go through without a problem or slowdown, seeing as it has not faced any backlash or public outrage. I don't understand why, though -- Carper is giving away tax money that could be used for nobler causes. I don't believe that "stagnant pay" is grounds to offer a raise.
Horizon looks bright for all men of faith
The election of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the papacy is great news.
Bergoglio is a genuinely spiritual soul, and a man of deep prayer who tends to accent growth in personal holiness over efforts for structural reform.
An accomplished theologian, he is especially well-known for his great personal humility. Despite his status as a Prince of the Church, he chose to live in a simple apartment rather than in the archbishop's palace. He also cooked his own meals and gave up his chauffeured limousine in favor of taking a bus to work.
Bergoglio is also a staunch defender of Catholic moral teaching. He has especially opposed the intrinsic immorality of divorce, homosexual practices, abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage and contraception. In 2010, he was one of the first to propose that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children. His doctrinal orthodoxy has always emphasized Christ's mandate to love: He is well remembered for his 2001 visit to a hospice, in which he washed and kissed the feet of 12 AIDS patients.