Letters to the Editor

October 14, 2009

Football referees at Clear Spring game set great example

To the editor:

The Clear Spring Blazers football team enjoyed its first home win Friday. The win had been evading the team for six long years through many trials and tribulations. Emotions were running high and their opponent, Rappahannock High from Virginia, had even more on their mind. You see, another teenager's life had been cut tragically short by an auto accident during the past week. One player in particular seemed to be taking the loss hardest for Rappahannock.

The previously mentioned Rappahannock player had just been taken down hard (one of many hard hits that he had taken during the game) at the Clear Spring sideline. A couple of the Blazer football players tried to help the Rappahannock player up, but he would have none of that. He became agitated and started to rant and rave at all the Blazers players. As usual, the Blazers' coaching staff was right there and kept their players under control.


The referee took the Rappahannock player to his sideline with as little fanfare as he could. Of course, the referee would have been within his duty to throw flags and penalize an already beaten football team or he could have even ejected the player because of his outburst, but they used restraint and diffused the situation. The Rappahannock player clearly had emotions to release.

I know the referees take a lot of heat during games (I even heard someone yell for a flag during this particular event), but this compassionate and reasonable response was one of the best referee calls I have ever witnessed. Thanks to the Washington County referees for your professionalism.

The lessons that our young athletes learn by your actions might impact them for the rest of their lives.

Wayne Cornwell
Clear Spring

President Obama not keeping his campaign promises

To the editor:

President Obama has repeatedly promised that Americans:

1. Wouldn't see a tax increase if they make less than $250,000 and

2. If they like their health insurance, they can keep it.

I believe that the president has no intention of keeping those promises.

More than 182 members of Congress support a three-day waiting period on health care legislation so that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) can estimate its cost and so that Congress and the American public can read the final legislation. With health care legislation frequently longer than Tolstoy's "War and Peace," a three-day waiting period so that legislators can read it seems like a good idea -- particularly so when taxpayers will be asked to pay $800 billion or more. Amazingly, several congressional leaders think otherwise.

This is irresponsible governing -- and it certainly fails President Obama's campaign promise of legislative transparency. Government-run health care isn't right and it isn't fair. As taxpayers and patients, we simply can't afford government-run health care.

Crystal Hawthorne

Limbaugh sails into right-wing hyperbole

To the editor:

In his Wednesday, Oct. 7, column, David Limbaugh completely slips loose from the bonds of rational discourse, and sails into the stratosphere of right-wing hyperbole.

Among other things, he claims that the funding of Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research under the Stimulus Act shows that death panels are already in existence. He says, "That council -- the brainchild of former Sen. Tom Daschle, who surely idolizes Jack Kevorkian -- would be the bureaucratic agency empowered to make decisions on health care rationing."

This is quite a leap of logic. The Web site of, an impartial group analyzing controversies in the media, says, "The council is charged with supporting and coordinating comparative effectiveness research (something the government has funded since the late '70s). It is scientific research into which medical treatments are most effective and, in some studies, which are most cost-effective. Research may compare different drugs or different types of treatment; it can look at medical benefits, or benefits and costs." The legislation setting up the group expressly states, "None of the reports submitted under this section or recommendations made by the Council shall be construed as mandates or clinical guidelines for payment, coverage, or treatment."

To us, this seems fairly noncontroversial. Under our present system, private health insurers frequently deny coverage to patients, including those with life-threatening conditions, for any number of reasons -- usually to cut costs. There are a number of other countries with a variety of different types of health care systems that spend considerably less than we do and have better outcomes. It therefore makes sense to explore what we can do to improve treatment. While you might oppose this if you are against any form of government involvement in health care, it is completely irresponsible to say that anyone supporting it must idolize Jack Kevorkian.

Unfortunately, this outrageous statement is only too typical of the type of arguments found in Limbaugh's columns.

Peter Wechsler and Heidi Welsh

Kennedy Farm article was outstanding

To the editor:

Kudos to Ed and Joel Maliskas.

Their article on the Kennedy Farm ("From John Brown to James Brown," Oct. 11) was one of the best features I've ever read in The Herald-Mail since moving here in 1987.

The balance of historical, cultural, musical and human interest elements was just right. 


Marilyn R. Janus

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