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Feedback 3/26

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Do corporations bleed real blood?

Mary Anna Towler's recent column, "Religious Freedom and Our Other Rights" (Urban Journal), to some extent conveys the impression that she accepts the notion that corporations are the beneficiaries of the First Amendment's protection of free speech and freedom of religion. I'm betting she doesn't accept that notion. And, yes, I am aware of the Citizens United case (also of the Dred Scott decision and Bush v. Gore; that makes three great Supreme Court mistakes.)

What seems to be missing from commentary around these issues is the real nature of a corporation. Commence a lawsuit against individual owners of an LLC or corporate stockholders for alleged negligence or wrongdoing of the company, and the defendants will quickly assert that they "are not" their company. They are free from individual liability because such companies are legal fictions, creations of state statutes, designed to encourage economic activity.

Yet some owners, e.g. Hobby Lobby's, claim they "are" the company they own when it involves their personal political and religious rights. I would respectfully suggest that these rights were rightfully meant for humans who bleed red blood, not for companies that make green money.

WILLIAM H. BRISTOL

With war's end, stop the funding

By the end of this year, the U.S. will have fewer than 10,000 troops left in Afghanistan. The U.S. won't technically be at war with any country. So why does President Obama want to increase the amount of money our country allocates to war funding?

I was disturbed to learn that in his budget request of March 4, the Obama administration asked Congress for $80 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations that is in addition to core Pentagon spending of about $500 billion. This Overseas Contingency Operations account was created to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With those wars over, the account should disappear. Instead, it seems to be becoming a permanent slush fund that could help the Pentagon get around the effect of budget cuts – a luxury that no other parts of the government have.

I want to encourage people to find out more about the Overseas Contingency Operations fund at the Friends Committee on National Legislation's website and to contact our senators to ask them not to fund this part of the budget. Let's re-invest the money we've been spending on war on other priorities, not provide extra padding for the Pentagon's already well-endowed budget.

fcnl.org/budget

MARK ANTONUCCI

MCC's funding

In her letter regarding how MCC disburses its funds ("MCC's Role," Feedback), I find it interesting that Ms. Cavalieri forgot about the fundraising MCC did in regards to improving the athletic facilities, namely the PAC and the John DiMarco soccer field.

Money was generously donated by Arunas Chesonis to the tune of $3.5 million dollars, with a provision that MCC raise a similar amount. Funds were also donated by the DiMarco family.

I believe all the money from the state, county, and federal governments are used to pay for professors, ancillary staff, and housing as appropriate within the stipulations set forth in the various grant applications.

As for the housing situation, with increased attendance at the Henrietta campus, there was a need for on-campus housing for outside students to live and not have to worry about the additional expense of rent. All students who come to MCC from outside the state and the country will have to pay a higher tuition than a NYS resident would.

PAUL VARY

Vary is a former MCC student.

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