Letters to the editor

February 08, 2005

No reason for optimism

To the editor:

I hope all Americans share my annual New Year's self-infusion of possibility and optimism. Yet I begin 2005 with apprehension. Because I know we face our greatest threat ever - four years of an unchecked Bush administration. Consider:

First term: America lost its credibility as leader of the free world, amassed a $500 billion deficit, went trillions in debt and watched our personal health and God's good earth increasingly threatened by our rollback of environmental protections.

With more than 80 percent of the world against our government's policies, we face the reality that as 5 percent of the world's population, we can no longer compete economically, even though our dollar's value has dropped 40 percent against other world currencies .


We've virtually destroyed Iraq, spending hundreds of billions of dollars to kill more than 100,000 Iraqis and nearly 1,400 young Americans, permanently maim countless more and wreck hundreds of thousands of American and Iraqi families. Yet Iraq clearly had no weapons of any threat to us.

Rumblings since Nov. 2 indicate the big lies of the second term will be an attempt to end Social Security, replace our graduated tax system with one impacting heaviest on the poor and middle classes and severely limit our rights to legal recourse against the rich and powerful.

Meanwhile, a first: Russia and China are reportedly planning joint military exercises. And yet, as Jimmy Carter has said, I'm dismayed but not discouraged. Because just as America can't survive with 80 percent of the world against us, the Bush administration can't implement its agenda with 80 percent of America against it - if Americans awaken.

Remember, Bush was elected in this nation of 290 million by a coalition of 59 million strange bedfellows: Fake Christians; anti-people, anti-American, anti-God, self-centered, short-sighted money worshippers and good people who believed the lies of the first two groups.

So there remain 231 million Americans who didn't vote for Bush, plus all of those good but foolish people who'll eventually realize they were duped. There are times when a patriot must defend his country against its government. For America, this is that time.

Paul Politis
Greencastle, Pa.

No apology needed

(Editor's note: On Feb. 1, The Herald-Mail apologized for printing a photo of a man who was making an obscene gesture on his way to a court appearance in Berkeley County, W.Va. The following letter refers to that apology.)

To the editor:

Don't be ridiculous. You don't need to apologize for showing a finger which is supposed to be an obscene gesture. American society is very crude and profane. Doctors killing babies is intrinsically profane and obscene, yet it is no big deal. A finger is not intrinisically obscene and it is merely an anti-authoritarian gesture made by a misguided youth under arrest. The photo was very revealing and informative. A picture is worth a thousand words.

One can hardly go to a movie these days without being pummeled with obscenity, because the people want reality in their movies. Movies are make-believe.

Newspapers are supposed to be about reality. Your apology is not accepted. Don't second-guess yourselves. Your first decision to publish the photo was the correct one. If readers were offended, they must be more than 80 years old and from a different era.

How would readers so genteel as to complain to the newspaper about the photo know in their minds that the finger was an obscene gesture? Would the genteel readers become upset if a person from a different culture made an obscene gesture that meant nothing to them, even if the caption said it was an obscene gesture?

Joseph Parker
Martinsburg, W.Va.

Diet matters

To the editor:

Now that so many arthritis drugs have been shown to have side effects, I wonder how many people have tried the "no-nightshades" diet?

I remember back in my 30s I was so stiff and achy all over that my husband had to give me the heating pad before I could get out of bed to go to work. When I was 50, a nutritionally oriented physician in New York suggested I try avoiding the family Solonaceae (which includes the Deadly Nightshade plant) i.e. white potatoes, tomatoes, green and red peppers, eggplant and tobacco.

These vegetables do not bother my husband, but I was much worse in the summer when binging on tomatoes and green and red peppers. After a few months of avoiding these, I would wake up in the mornings with no pain or stiffness. Apparently this is not an allergy but a toxic problem that affects only about 5 to 10 percent of the population.

In 2003 my knees gave out on me though nothing else hurt. My local physician suggested I try Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM. I also take many other supplements including fish oils and flax seed oil etc. For more than eight months now I have been walking without a cane - I hope I don't jinx myself saying this. I have always walked, biked and enjoy swimming laps and am now 73 years old.

Maybe it's time we looked into more natural alternatives. Maybe if we had more sidewalks and bike lanes today's children would not be so obese and diabetic.

Ruth M. Davis
Waynesboro, Pa.

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