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Letters to the editor

May 22, 2004

Stick with facts



To the editor:

Your paper on Saturday, May 8, blatantly highlighted the reason the American people are becoming distrustful of news media in this country. The major problem with all news media sources is that they no longer just report the news; they editorialize on that news while reporting it.

My case in point is found on page A2 of the aforementioned paper. Headline: "Can you believe it?" subtitle "Some oppose ban on junk cars in front yards." The headline clearly states your opinion of those who oppose just such a ban.

It assumes that anyone who would oppose that ban is crazy or maybe just stupid. Is this a fair representation of the news from Kentucky? The subtitle by itself would have been fair enough, and would have accurately portrayed the story. The paper made the decision to editorialize on the story with that derogatory headline.

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This happens not only in your paper and others, but on all network news (even Fox). No news outlet in the country seems capable of simply reporting news. Everyone has to have an opinion and those opinions have to be hammered into the American people so that we think right. We can't have people just listen to a presidential debate and draw their own conclusions as to what was said or who won, we have to listen to hours of analysis by "experts" afterwards.

We're not allowed to listen to the president's State of the Union address and decide for ourselves if he was being honest and forthright, or deceptive and/or naive. No, we have to be told how the news anchors or news analysts viewed the same speech. The really astonishing thing is that most American don't even seem to know that their opinions are being influenced by the opinions of the analysts and not on stated facts and figures. We all pay more attention to opinion polls than any facts. We all want to back the winner, and how would we know who that was if the polls didn't tell us?

I'm not saying whether the people in Kentucky who oppose the ban on junk cars are right or wrong, but I would have liked to hear their arguments in a fair debate. Cindy L. Kneiss

Greencastle, Pa.




Bipolar help



To the editor:

There is no one medicine or treatment approach for bipolar disorder that works for everyone. The symptoms of the illness must be carefully individualized to each patient.

The main thing is to confront the serious illness and to accept the illness once it has repeatedly presented itself with recurring episodes. Once it's diagnosed it can be treated with different treatment plans. You must make it your decision to do all things possible to take control of the illness and not to let the illness control you.

First, you must be completely honest and open with treatment professionals. A lot of progress has been made with antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.

It may take years to find out which medicines work, but by you come to know yourself and know what things you can do to control mood symptoms, and keep a active healthy lifestyle.

Bipolar disorders are caused by a lot of different things. Our bodies are nothing but nerves, and changes in the functioning of the nervous system that can cause symptoms of the illness.

Today there are a lot of support systems talk therapy, suggested reading, advocacy organizations, Internet resources, family and friends, churches, or whatever works for you.

First thing before you can even begin to stay mentally healthy is to confront and accept. Remember one only has to look around in society and know you're not alone in this world. Life can still be good - some of our great intelligent people once experienced mental illness. Your mind can heal by doing all you can to live a healthy active lifestyle.

Belinda Whittington

Hagerstown




Murder a right?



To the editor:

Is murder a "natural right"? Consider two scenarios:

1. A mother fully delivers a healthy baby eight to nine months into her pregnancy. Approximately one minute after delivery, the mother decides she does not want to keep the baby. She intentionally sticks a sharp instrument into the baby's brain and kills it so she does not to have to deal with it any longer.

2. The mother in question is also eight to nine months pregnant with a healthy baby inside her. She delivers the head of the baby and has pre-arranged for a doctor to stick a sharp instrument into the baby's brain to kill it so she does not to have to deal with it any longer.

In Scenario 1, the mother is unquestionably a murderer, and if a doctor assisted her, the doctor is also guilty of murder. She would face a long prison sentence, or even the death penalty.

But less than a year ago Scenario 2 was quite legal. The difference? Sixty seconds and a few inches.

John Kerry has voted to support the legality of Scenario 2 at least five times.

"Pro-choice" supporters of this and other abortion procedures marched in Washington a few weeks ago, some holding signs suggesting that the mothers of George Bush and the Pope should have aborted them. Classy, huh?

Search your conscience. Do you believe Scenario 2 should be legal? Do you want a president who does?

I, for one, do not.

Steve Bell

Hagerstown

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