Letters to the Editor - Aug. 11

August 11, 2013

Greed and envy both listed as sins

To the editor:

George Michael’s recent column about greed takes us back to when this country, and certainly the conservative media, idolized tycoons who, in the name of greed, nearly bankrupted the United States.

He equates greed with ambition. They are not synonymous. Ambition is the desire to succeed, whether that is in earning power or in creating innovation. Ambition doesn’t require damaging the competition, and certainly not the customers.

As entrepreneurs, our small family business decided to offer an expanded service in our field. Never meaning to destroy the competition, we expanded the market, reaching customers who had thought they could not afford the service. We actually talked to our competition at times about our progress. They, too, eventually benefitted from the growing market.

Michael equates disdain for greed as envy. Both greed and envy constitute deadly sins.  

Envy, or jealousy, also not required ingredients for ambition, can affect one’s desire to achieve in many ways. Good organizations, whose ambitious leadership works with the disabled and underprivileged youth, exemplify the lack of both greed and envy.

A major problem in the continuing attitude of tycoons concerns lack of giving back. Giving to something where the company name is plastered largely demonstrates no sacrifice. Financial institutions get perks and meet their obligation to the Community Reinvestment Act with those naming exercises.

Apparent disdain for their fellow citizens’ welfare, hurt so badly in the crisis they caused, embodies both greed and envy. Greedily wanting it all for themselves, they lobby to avoid paying a living wage and jealously guard against supporting any program that helps to lift the middle class.

They don’t want a middle class, just them at the top and the poor, whom they can hold down to work for them, continuing to increase their own larders. How could anyone envy greed?

C.W. Irvin
Alexandria, Va.

With enough good people, democracy will work

To the editor:

Americans have much to be thankful for. We generally have law and order in our communities, compared with many parts of the world.

Many cars and trucks travel the highway in spite of high gas prices with safety emphasized. Business is carried on as usual around here in spite of the recession. The campaign for the conservation of resources and recycling instead of waste is good for the country.

Why all the fuss about socialism when the stimulus money went to businesses instead of federal payment to workers like President Roosevelt did in the ’30s and ’40s? It is good they bailed out the auto industry or we would have only foreign cars. It is good they reduced spending millions for space travel.

The Social Security system was compulsory because people would not save for retirement. Now, people on Social Security help the economy with spending in restaurants, travel and homes. Now, people can’t afford health care so the government has to help with that. People are being educated in healthier eating and lifestyle and home remedies. Small service industries are still thriving.

As long as there are enough good people around, democracy will work. If the morality breaks down and lawlessness is rampant, civilization destroys itself.

Anna May Strite
Clear Spring

City of Hagerstown needs third ladder truck

To the editor:

According to The Herald-Mail (Aug. 2) and a TV news report, the City of Hagerstown was without two ladder trucks due to repairs. It was great for Frederick, Md., to help Hagerstown with a ladder truck and for William Adams to loan his ladder truck from Fannettsburg, Pa., but I suggest that the City of Hagerstown purchase a third ladder truck so they can provide better fire protection.

It’s great that Longmeadow, Halfway and Williamsport can help with their ladder trucks, providing they are not on a call themselves, but this mayor and council need to realize what Hagerstown really needs. Instead of buying property and reselling it, ripping down buildings for parking lots and trying to build a new stadium for the Suns, they should think about more important issues that plague Hagerstown. 

This third ladder truck should be stationed at Engine Co. 3’s quarters on Eastern Boulevard to help provide better response time and better fire protection. On some fire calls the city has for building fires, there are two ladder trucks responding. A third ladder truck should be in service for other calls. 

If the Seagraves ladder truck from Station 4 had not been sold, there would be a third truck in service. I hope Chief Kyd Dietrich can understand the need for a third ladder truck for his fire department. As for Mayor Gysberts and this council, they need to start doing the right thing. Buy a third ladder truck and hire the three new firefighters that are short in this fire department.

Gary Bloom
South Hagerstown Fire Co., Engine 5

We need more police officers, not a new stadium

To the editor:

In reference to the crime and gang problems in Hagerstown, neither one is going away. Do you want to have a 58-minute response time like Detroit? Who do we hold liable when we can’t get the help needed from assault or any kind of attack — be it a home burglar, vandalism or an abducted child?

Police officers responding to calls at my home for vandalism told me that we are down 20 police offers. But we must build a new stadium? Without law enforcement, who are you going to call when there are fights and things get out of hand? We need police officers.

We need to pay them a good salary and benefits. When they start to leave Hagerstown and go elsewhere for better pay and benefits, something is wrong. When gang members like the Bloods and Crips show up in the newspaper with an address that says they are operating from a house on the street that I am living on, I draw the line. Are they operating in your neighborhood yet? Without our law officers, they will be.

Do we, the citizens, have to form a vigilante watch to obtain law and order? Police officers lay their lives on the line every day, every time they go out on a call. They deserve our respect and support.

Well, Mayor Gysberts, Mr. Art Callaham and Hagerstown City Council members, make sure when you spend all that money and when you attend that grand stadium that you are well armed. You’re going to need it.

Joanne Palmer

Our broken legal system needs to be fixed

To the editor:

Is our legal system broken? Army Maj. Nidal Hasan is still alive about three years after the killings of 13 soldiers and the wounding of dozens more at Fort Hood, Texas. Also, he is still being paid by the Army. Why is this so and how is it that we can’t give an admitted criminal like this swift justice? 

In my opinion, if our legal system would be up and running, doing what it is supposed to be doing, this enemy of humanity would have been tried and found guilty of this terrible mass murder in a very short time. I think this kind of senseless killing of innocent people deserves a swift guilty verdict with the death penalty. In doing so, it will show future terrorists what will happen to them if they commit acts like this.  

I’m losing my faith in our lawyers and the legal system by the way they delay the process with outrageous reasons that shouldn’t even be considered. I would like someone to explain to me why he couldn’t have been executed by now if our legal system was working the way it should be. We need to wise up and correct our legal system in cases like this.

Jack Myers

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