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Letters to the editor 9/25

September 25, 2002

War with Iraq is nonsense



To the editor:


This talk of going to war with Iraq is surreal. The vague reasons cited by members of the administration must be cover for some other agenda - the failure to capture either Osama or Omar, the hope of controlling the oil fields or, just maybe, a desire to finish what the other Bush didn't.

But war will cost billions of dollars and many lives wasted - American lives, Iraqi lives, our allies' and their allies' lives. War squanders precious resources for good, and often leads to more evil. Our client-support of Iraq when it was fighting our perceived Iranian enemies contributed to Saddam's hoards of poison gas.

Our client-support of the Taliban when they were fighting our perceived Soviet enemies led to the rise of Osama bin Laden.

Our diplomatic failures in Israel and Palestine have contributed to that region's descent into thoughtless tribal warfare. Our invasion of Iraq would certainly fuel the fires of hatred and give those who hate us further justification for making war against us.

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The price of even one smart bomb would finance a dozen missions of peace. The cost of burying one American soldier would finance food and shelter for many who, in despair, see we who have food and shelter as their enemies.

Diplomacy, compassion, and the prevention of war are the proper business of leaders; going to war is a failure of leadership.

Philip K. Edwards

Warfordsburg, Pa.




Group doesn't want return members



To the editor:


At the Maryland Correctional Institution south of Hagerstown recently Lifestyles held an awards ceremony honoring the community organizations and individual volunteers whose heartfelt contributions accomplish so much to Lifestyles' goal of reducing prisoner recidivism.

Vice President Ernest Briscoe-Bey observed that Lifestyles members have one common goal: "To change."

Get Out and Stay Out Committee Chairman Tim Ray reviewed Lifestyles history, noting Lifestyles was formed 27 years ago to help prisoners avoid the revolving door. A few men who saw their plight was the same of that of all incarcerated people decided, "Let's make this personal. Let's work inside the prison on how to re-enter society with purpose [and] goals....." and so end the norm.

"Somewhere in the development of a personal commitment to these ideals Lifestyles became an organization. Today Lifestyles ... builds character, and ... Lifestyles members are foot soldiers in the fight to avoid the revolving door."

Lifestyles presented appreciation certificates to agencies and organizations which help end recidivism and poor decision making, including the Washington County Health Department (represented by John Chambers), Community Correctional Services Committee (represented by Marjorie Grumbacher), CAP Jaycees, Prisoners Against Teen Tragedies, Resident Outreach Committee and Freeman, Incorporated (represented by Kemry Hughes).

Lifestyles presented individual appreciated certificates to Associate Pastor Darin Mency Sr., Warden Waters, the Websters (represented by Toni Gaines), Social workers Diane Lewis and Trish Miller and Correctional Officer Myers.

Lifestyles presented honorary memberships to emeritus volunteer member Sandra Zenge, and Doug Arey.

Lifestyles President Steven Sanders called forth Marjorie Grumbacher to present the Grumbacher Award to Dolores Harmon, who said, "This award has special meaning because Marjorie has been my mentor." As Dolores and Marjorie hugged each other. Dolores was then so overcome with emotion she could not speak further, and they held each other as they made their way back from the podium.

Several minutes later Harmon asked for the floor, said she had recovered sufficiently to thank everyone, and enthusiastically noted, "I look at Marjorie Grumbacher, who has been coming to Lifestyles for 27 years, and said if Marjorie could do it, then I can do it. She's my inspiration!"

Sanders and Briscoe-Bey presented certificates to the outside volunteer members of Lifestyles: Mr. and Mrs. Richard Grumbacher, Sandy Hoffman and Dennis Shaw.

In closing, membership director Shawn Purvis said the greatest blessing Lifestyles received are those special moments "when our outside volunteers let us know they came in here and gained something from us. We came up here to help ourselves and they tell us it's not a waste of time as we've helped them! Amazing!

Douglas Scott Arey

MCT-H #130196 AIA20

Hagerstown




A waste of postage



To the editor:


I was reading an article on the Postal Service spending over $20 million to sponsor Lance Armstrong and team USA for the Tour de France. I can't comprehend how the USPS with it budgetary deficit can spend that much money to sponsor a sport that is international.

The USPS does not operate outside the United States, and they are a monopoly in most of their product and services.

I hope our lawmakers will look into that the next time the USPS wants to increase postal rates.

Alicious Phillips

Hagerstown




Journal is worth the effort



To the editor:


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