Letters to the editor

February 22, 2005

Greed with envy; corporate class wants our pensions

To the editor:

Wall Street Corporations contributed over $4 million to the Bush inauguration. Why? They are attempting to buy the privatization of Social Security that will make them many, many millions in commissions for buying and selling stocks and bonds involved in the privatization.

If you have any doubt about which class of people runs this country, just follow the massive amount of money that is moving upward from the hands of the majority of people into the hands of the small, but powerful corporate class. While the rest of us bicker about gays and other issues of "mass distraction," the poor and middle class are about to be sold out again, this time with our precious Social Security.

The Bush administration has already started its scare campaign - watch for the TV ad campaign meant to create a feeling of urgency. This administration will attempt to make the American people believe that Social Security is in crisis now, and if we don't privatize, we will risk losing it completely. This sounds all too much like the weapons of mass destruction claim that scared us into supporting the U.S. preemptive invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.


There were no weapons of mass destruction, and there is no Social Security crisis. Saddam Hussein needed to be dealt with in some way, and Social Security needs to be fixed in some way, but not urgently. To those of us Americans who say that the U.S. is brave and just, I say how brave and just are we when our policies are based on the promotion of fear and on greed?

The most conservative forecasts say that Social Security is secure until 2042. Economists and other experts have come up with ideas on how to overhaul and secure our Social Security in the long run without risky privatization. Many experts are warning about the risks of privatization. It has been tried in other counties like Chile, and has failed. How much will the middle class and poor of the U.S. be squeezed?

Our government has already sold our health care, jobs, resources, etc. Now this administration wants to put our Social Security up for sale. We need to understand the role we have had in the election of the Congress that will be choosing sides over this issue in the next couple of weeks. They have already secured their future when they legislated for themselves an inflated pension plan and excellent health care benefits for life. Hopefully, they will secure for us the Social Security that we deserve by keeping it out of the hands of the Corporate Class.

Nancy Gregory
Charles Town, W.Va.

'Funnies,' they ain't

To the editor:

I am a native of Hagerstown, and as such, have been a Herald-Mail reader for more than 30 years. There are lots of things that I really like about this newspaper.

The news is not sensationalized, ( for which you have my esteem), you do not appear to be politically biased, and your fleet of columnists makes for interesting reading.

I have often noted that you do respond to reader input, which brings us to the purpose of this letter. Just whose brilliant idea was it to tamper with the comics layout? For years I have said that The Herald-Mail has the best comics page on the Eastern Seaboard, and now you go and make a liar of me.

Now, to be fair, I waited a few weeks and tried to give these new strips a chance. But let's face it people, "Pearls Before Swine" just is not funny. It's kinda cute, mind you, but it's cheesy, and poorly drawn. Yes, I am aware that the creator of "Shoe" has died, but unlike "Spiderman" and "Andy Capp," there has been no change in the quality of the strip - apparently the new artist understands the creator's idea very well. So, please, bring back "Shoe."

As for replacing "Herman" with "Brevity," well, I'm sorry to say it, but "Brevity" lacks brevity. It's a washed-out version of "The Far Side," and failing in that as well.

So please bring back Herman. As for "Opus" and "Get Fuzzy," I guess they are OK, as I know many people enjoy them. I have no problem seeing them daily, but I'd like to see "Nancy" come back.

Actually, there is a simple solution to be found here. Rather than pulling out a strip and replacing it with another, why not expand the comics? You could do this in several ways. You could place the new strips in the classified ads, as you do with "Piranha Club." You could do that daily, in both publications, as you do on Saturday's singular edition - publish all of them. You could even combine the Comics with Entertainment, and simply add new comic strips in the same areas. There must be some way to accomplish this.

And finally, I'd like to address those out there who think that all this furor over the comics is a tempest in a teacup - well, maybe, but there are those of us who understand that the news can often be depressing and distressing, and a bit of humor keeps things in perspective that is needed in our day-to-day lives.

L.A. Funkhouser
Hedgesville, W.Va.

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