Letters to the Editor: 9.6.13

I don’t know about all of you, but I am just super upset about the VMAs. Sad pink bears everywhere, that song, Miley’s non-twerking (seriously, it wasn’t twerking, look it up) and not to mention the Beetlejuice outfit hugging Robin’s oh so bubbly butt. Then there’s Syria but clearly we don’t give a twerk about that, you know, something actually relevant.

Honestly, who cares if we’re going to save a country from being bombed by bombing it?

I am sure there is intervention needed as some of the terrible things that have happened. However, is that really the appropriate direction to take?

Of course, I remember when there was discussion about the next totalitarian dictator douche to be taken down my bet was on Assad. So far I appear to be right so get your wallets out and write your checks out to cash.

But again, who really cares about worldwide politics? We have our own serious problems with the way Miley’s outfit makes her ass look like a raw chicken.

How are we supposed to cope with that song and dance perpetuating whatever people seemed to say it did?

I barely made it through by doing what rational people do, I turned off the station while the DVR recorded and I watched ‘Dexter’ while I waited then hit rewind to cover what I missed after the song.

It wasn’t because I couldn’t handle it, it was so that I wouldn’t be so bored. The complaints about it perpetuating stereotypes and drug use seem legit. However, I can barely remember the last time that didn’t happen in music. Just slap her and Robin Thicke with a sanction. Maybe then we’ll actually put those to use. Just don’t sanction Syria.

No really, when is the last time a sanction ACTUALLY did something? The country has to pay money and that money is then charged back to us in the resources we purchase from them at a now higher rate.

We could use the logic of “they would struggle with money and learn their lesson,” but that country is already struggling in the sense of the people under douchebag’s regime.

What we should really think about is that more than 100,000 people die under him in a year. Don’t care about that but use chemical weapons and next thing you know we’re saying “Gurl, please!”

Standing against violence is important and necessary but so is letting countries take their own place by allowing their civil wars to play out.

When we get involved it will be for the monetary interests of those who can afford it.

We should also not be so eager to send more military personnel to fight when we were just getting them. Plenty died in the last protection of interests not beneficial to the American people. They will go if ordered as that is how they serve, but we should be valuing them more than just as bodies to throw in a fight.

There shouldn’t be something done about what the Syrian government is doing to their own people, but is America getting into a war in Syria really the answer?

Instead of answering these questions we are busy burying our heads in Miley’s ass. However, that could just be the American people trying to find ways to distract themselves from these less than appealing news pieces.

There should be a consideration of what we will be sending the military into, what will happen to them, what will happen to the Syrian people caught up in the fights, what purpose it will serve and so much more.


Letter by Kyle Shupe, Junior from Farmington, KY


In the wake of the George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin case, President Barack Obama stated, “We need to have an honest dialogue about what this country can do to bolster the lives of our young African American boys. There are a lot of kids out there who need help, who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement. And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?”

We can’t ignore the fact that young African American males are disproportionately more likely to be involved in a violent crime as either a perpetrator or a victim. Poverty, failing schools and disruptions in local communities have all been cited as contributing factors, which make our job of helping bolster the lives of young African American boys an incredibly challenging one.

Mr. President, there is a solution. It is sports-based youth development (SBYD). SBYD programs are a cost-effective safety net that can make the difference between an at-risk young person going to college or ending up incarcerated. SBYD is a field that merges youth development with sports. SBYD programs use the power of sports to attract at-risk youth into safe and constructive activities. But these programs go one step further.

SBYD programs use the sports themselves to teach kids conflict resolution and life skills that can be adapted to their schools, communities and home environments. That’s why in 2009 I founded Up2Us, a coalition of more than 700 youth sports organizations leading a national movement to advance sports as a solution to the critical challenges facing the kids in underserved communities, including youth violence.

To achieve SBYD takes training. Every year Up2Us partners with experts in the fields of coaching, positive youth development and health and wellness to create a menu of SBYD trainings.

Up2Us conducts National Coach Training Institutes all over the nation.

These unique three-day seminars address the fundamentals of quality sport coaching, the components of positive youth development and the challenges and opportunities of working in an urban environment. The training prepares a group of coaches, often from the same community where they coach, to make a difference in the lives of the youth they serve.

The gains from SBYD programs do not end with keeping young kids out of jail.

By providing trained coaches who are intentional about teaching health and pro-social behavior, we can keep approximately 80 percent of kids from becoming obese or overweight.

We can also keep 40 percent of the kids in school who would have otherwise dropped out.

The cost savings to be gained through SBYD programs is invaluable in terms of the lives saved, not to mention the financial savings for taxpayers.

In conclusion, I believe that SBYD programs provide us with one of the most effective means to boost the lives of African American youth as President Obama has challenged us to do. It’s up to us, as parents, business leaders, celebrities, athletes, clergy and local officials to come together and get involved and embrace the power of sports to create change.


Letter by Paul Caccamo, with Up2Us