Letters to the Editor

April 05, 2010

Civility, not anger, needed to solve health care woes

To the editor:

The United States of America was not built by angry people. Our great nation was built by many individuals with many diverse beliefs and convictions coming together to achieve common goals and together, all of us and all of our forefathers have had a hand in the building of this great nation. We need to bear this fact in mind as we discuss the major change in health care that faces our country due to the passage of the recent health care reform bill.

My opinion of this new law is not important. What is important is that I express my opinion in a civil and intelligent manner. The law of the land is the law of the land and we must all respect that and abide by it.

If you or I believe that the new health care reform act is bad legislation and bad for America, then you do have a duty to try to change it. If it is your personal desire to change this law, then you need to begin by speaking to everyone that you meet and, in a polite and civil manner, express your displeasure and ask what their opinion of this law is. You need to encourage your friends and neighbors to find out who voted for this legislation and simply encourage them to vote against these people in the election this fall and those elections that will follow in future years.


On the other hand, if you are in agreement with the new health care law, you need to express that fact to those people that you meet, and you have an equal responsibility to express your opinion in a polite and civil manner.

Health care in America is a very serious issue and, for many, a serious problem. Unfortunately, there is very little agreement about the solution for our health care woes. I do not believe that any reasonable person can believe that the new health care law contains any real solutions to our health care woes. However, I do believe that people on all sides of the continuing health care debate need to be reasonable. If all parties to the health care debate had remained reasonable and civil during that debate, I do not believe that we would be hearing all of the angry and vitriolic verbal exchanges and accusations that we are now hearing.

In conclusion, I ask for everyone to think about the fact that it is communication and not anger that solves all problems. Conviction and principled positions on issues are of high value. However, expressing them in angry terms is not only of little value, it is highly divisive to a nation that must come together to solve our still unsolved health care crisis.

It is my sincere belief that the passage of the new health care reform law is only the beginning of this debate. Those that pushed this bill so hurriedly through Congress without the light of day and by excluding from the process of creating this new law all of those who disagreed with them have lighted the fire of American passion, and this passion will lead to a groundswell of popular opinion that eventually will force an open and honest rewrite of this flawed legislation.

The manner in which health care reform is being forced on the American people has angered many American citizens, and I understand their anger. However, I would like to ask everyone to channel their anger into constructive dialogue and work for constructive change within the system and without anger.

Rodney Pearson Sr.

Bill of rights could lead to mayhem in prisons

To the editor:

Correctional officer Chris Duffy, testifying before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of the Correctional Officers' Bill of Rights ("Testimony heard in support of prison bill, Wednesday, March 24, page A1) advocates passage of a bill that could ultimately reduce our prisons to a state of unmitigated mayhem.

Maryland's prison system once had the equivalent of an officers' bill of rights. A system in which lower-echelon prison staff were permitted to arrogate to themselves the functions of their superiors.

Consequently, the abuse of unrestrained power was the catalyst to numerous riots and to the utter destruction of several of our prisons in the 1960 and 1970s.

Such a law would infuse unscrupulous correctional officers with a relentless sense of invulnerability, and a consequent increase in bigotry, racism and abuse in its many nefarious forms would quickly rise to unprecedented levels. Appeals against abuses would be even more fruitless, and the injustice and unfairness of such an improvident law would soon affect a volatile inmate population.

There is nothing more corrosive to the fabric of a prison than a feeling among those whom it contains that they are being treated unfairly. The effects of the law quite possibly would light a slow-burning fire of resentment on the part of the inmates that finally explodes in open revolt.

While correctional officers might not have the most pleasant of jobs, they are not entitled to job security that enables them to do as they basically please without fear of timely accountability.

No one should have a license to terrorize or to exercise their prejudices unhindered.

Norman Perry
Roxbury Correctional Institution

Antietam Exchange Club event was a success

To the editor:

The Antietam Exchange Club would like to thank all of the loyal customers who braved the winter elements to attend our 37th annual Italian Festa on Feb. 14.

In the past, our event was held in the South Hagerstown High School cafeteria, but due to the prior week's severe snowstorms, the schools were closed, forcing us into a situation where we would have to cancel.

Thanks to Dave Leiter of Leiters' Fine Catering, at the last minute, we were able to hold the event at the Williamsport Fire Hall and, as in the past, the event was a success.

The winner of the raffle was Dennis Weaver.

Frit Hill
project chairperson
Antietam Exchange Club

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