Letters to the Editor - Jan. 12

January 12, 2012

This is the perfect time to legislate personhood

To the editor:

In rebuttal to a recent letter to the editor, this is, rather, the perfect time to politicize and legislate personhood. In fact, it will always be the perfect time until the simple theology of author Theodor Seuss Geisel prevails, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

To ascribe to an individual human being something less than full personhood has always been a precursor to a great series of evils. We remember, to our nation’s shame, that in the 19th century the official stance was that a black person, if a person at all, was some percentage of a white person. Once that notion was accepted, then that “not entirely a person” could be owned, beaten or lynched.  

In the 20th century, Adolf Hitler asserted, “The Jews are undoubtedly a race, but not human.” But a problem remained: Jews were still considered legal persons. To solve that dilemma, according to German legal scholar Ernst Fraenkel, speaking of Germany’s highest court, “The Reichsgericht refused to recognize Jews living in Germany as persons in the legal sense.” Once that fiction was established, then Jews could be spat upon, their homes burned and be sent to the gas chambers.   

I have never heard of a pro-life person who thinks that no one should “intervene when a woman is experiencing a birth labor that might threaten her own existence.” In the extremely rare case where only one life might be saved, the fully formed person with existing relationships, responsibilities and such might be preferred, but the difficult and painful choice is still thought to be between two persons.

The assigning of personhood to a fertilized human egg does no more to demean the developmental process than assigning personhood to a toddler demeans a teenager. And as far as “the mystery of birth,” there are videos at the library. Marvelous it is; mysterious it ain’t.

When societies and their governments are unwilling to assign legal personhood to each individual human being, what routinely follows? History is filled with examples.

Edward Maliskas

Democrats are to blame for huge deficit

To the editor:

The Washington Post wrote recently again about President Obama inheriting a huge deficit from Bush. Amazing enough, a lot of people swallow this nonsense. So, once more, a short civics lesson.

Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress, and the party that has controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party. At that time, the Dow was 12,621.77, the GDP was 3.5 percent and unemployment was 4.6 percent. President Bush had set a record of 52 months of job creation.

The Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending. For 2009, though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep the government running until Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budget.

And where was Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as president to complete 2009.

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican  budgets. That budget was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats took control of spending, and that includes Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited if from himself.

In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is that he inherited a deficit that he voted for and then he voted to expand that deficit since Jan. 20.

Wake up, America, before it’s too late. We need to get rid of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and all those who have caused us to be in the financial shape we now have in this great country of ours.

F. William Stryker
Hagerstown website is a treasure

To the editor:

On the Jan. 3 Opinion page, there were two columns from Since I liked both of them, I checked out the website and realized the site is a source of hundreds of columns in a variety of categories. What a treasure.

John Ziegler

Senior center has something for everyone

To the editor:

I recently moved to the area and began attending the Hagerstown Senior Center in July. I couldn’t be more impressed and happy with the program at the center.

I came to Hagerstown not knowing a soul. Now, I’m regularly attending the line dancing class and having a ball. I have joined the beading class and am having a ball. I also recently began the aerobics class to stay fit and began the crocheting class to improve my needlework.

Everyone at the center is so friendly and welcoming, and I have made some great friends and acquaintances. I absolutely recommend the Hagerstown Senior Center if you are a senior and want to meet new friends and have something to do on any given day.

Maybe you would like to improve your computer skills or take exercise classes. You can even come at lunchtime and play cards with Joe and me and enjoy lunch at a minimal price. There really is something for everyone.

Gaye O’Connor

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