Harsh message for Democratic Party
To the editor: I remember seeing a movie at the State Theater when I was a teenager. It was a gangster movie. One scene showed a big man leaning back in his chair, his feet on the desk and smoking a large cigar. The desktop was covered with stacks of money. He stood up, looked at the other guys in the room, pulled his gun from a shoulder holster and told them the money count was short $500.
One guy stepped forward, holding back his fear and told the boss one client refused to pay. Showing disgust with the man he said: "This was the second time that store owner refused to cooperate." Returning to his chair, quiet for a few seconds and said: "It's time to set an example of what happens to someone that doesn't do what I want." Another man asked to speak: "Boss we've let other people get away with a lot more. So what's so important about this one store owner?" Biting hard on his cigar, the boss replied: "I didn't loan him money to buy the joint. He did it on his own so I can't control him." Later in the movie the business was burned to the ground. I know it's just a movie and it was over 50 years ago. I paid 50 cents for a ticket. However, things like that happened in the 1920s. Mobsters had working ties with "political bosses." You did what they wanted and kissed the rings. Just be a "lap dog," go along with the flow and you may survive. You didn't make the slightest mistake because they had someone waiting to take your place. Perhaps the last two sentences above still apply today.
I hope Democrat Party Chairman Dennis Johnson and his few hand-picked associates can picture themselves in this type of situation. After all it was them who condemned a Democrat without positive proof and without input of the entire Democratically-elected Central Committee.
CLYDE BROWN, Salem
Humanist world view destroying fabric of society
To the editor: Concerning all of the controversy over the abortion/contraception issue, this is really about two diametrically opposed religious world views, the Secular Humanist world view or the Biblical world view. The Secular Humanists, who are currently deeply entrenched in our media, government and educational system, place no separation between "their church" and state, only between the Judeo Christian church and state. The Humanists believe that every life or potential life is a burden on society as a whole, another mouth to feed, another body that must be housed, clothed and medically cared for. That is why they treat abortion and contraception as "women's health issues," because they look at pregnancy as a disease. This same humanist world view covets our tax dollars while ignoring the fact that every child born has the potential to work and contribute to the tax system. The Biblical world view in the other hand sees every child conceived as a blessing from God, having the potential to be the next Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein or discoverer of the cure for cancer, AIDs or diabetes. That child, no matter the circumstances of their birth, could grow up to be a great teacher, leader, doctor or scientist that has unlimited potential to change the world for the better. This world view clearly and directly contributed to causing the United States to be the greatest nation on the face of the earth, providing liberty and opportunity for all those who have been blessed to enjoy life here. The humanist world view on the other hand has been working successfully to destroy the very fabric of this society for nearly one hundred years.
PASTOR DUKE BENNETT, Wellsville
Lack of needed cancer treatments a disgrace
To the editor: For someone who has had cancer and needed and received medication to fight it, I can not imagine being told the drug companies quit making the drug that could save my life.
There are drug shortages all over the United States today, not just cancer fighting drugs.Over 99 drugs were in short supply in 2011 alone, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
However, today, cancer drugs that are desperately needed are in short supply. Doctors and hospitals are fearful the supplies could be gone in a matter of weeks. A lot of the problems are tied to generic drugs because few manufacturers make them and profit margins are not as high as for drugs still under "patent protection." Methotrexate is needed to fight leukemia in children and is one such drug.
There are bills to remedy drug shortages that have been stalled in Congress since February of 2011. This is wrong! This is a disgrace! The Food and Drug Administration has said that drug manufacturers are "stepping up production" to erase the shortages of these much needed drugs. It is up to us to make certain this happens. I urge you to call your congressman today. There is no time to write a letter. Demand they take action. They are in Washington to speak for us! One congresswoman is trying to tie the drug bill to the highway and transportation bill to "at least" get it moving. The question has been asked for years. Why isn't there a cure for cancer with all the money that has been donated to research? Many have said that it is because the drug manufacturers don't want a cure. There is no money in a cure. Unfortunately, they themselves have said as much. There are other drugs that can treat cancers but doctors can't say with the same conviction that these "other drugs" will cure. Is this the answer you want to hear? I don't think so.
Please act now. It could be your loved one who needs medication no longer being manufactured. I don't have to tell any of you how wrong this is. Simply tell your congressman to take action on bills pertaining to cancer and other drug shortages. They will know what you are talking about.
They have known for several years!
ROSEMARY MACKALL, Chester, W. Va.
SHS grad reminisces about boyhood and Reilly wall
To the editor: For a short period of my life, over 50- plus years ago, my parents and I moved into a house on Ohio Avenue. The street in itself was typical of most streets in Salem, quiet, shaded, and routinely traveled. The house was an older two-story wood frame with a detached garage in the backyard. It was nothing special, but it was home. Reilly Elementary School was just up the way and around the comer. I was fated to attend. It was here my memories of the wall began. My first sighting of the wall was during the exploration of the backyard. It defined the rear boundary, not just of our yard but as far as I could see. For a little guy like me, it seemed insurmountable. It was not my desire to know what lie on the other side. I knew -my classroom overlooked the sports field of the mighty Quakers. Football, track, special events were all held here and the wall protected them. I envisioned myself walking along the top of this brick and mortar barrier. I remember the excitement and anticipation of getting to the top of that wall like it was yesterday. My plan was simple enough, no rocket science. I just needed to get myself higher. High enough to get both hands over the edge to pull myself up. As I look back, the wall seemed at least 12 feet or maybe even 15. I went to the garage where I knew my dad stored his painting ladder. Eureka! I saw it. It was a wooden step ladder covered with a variety of paint colors from previous jobs. The wood was faded and weathered. It had developed character, like the wall. I picked it up and drug it, at the same time, outside and to the wall's edge. The ground was too uneven to open it, so I leaned it. I soon realized I needed more height. The ladder alone was not enough. Standing on the top rung, I estimated it to be a foot or so short. It then dawned on me. I had seen a pair of old hexagon end tables stacked together in the corner of the garage. One of them just might be the booster I needed. I retrieved one, leveled an area of dirt with my shoe, just at the base of the wall, and stationed it there. Next I maneuvered the ladder up onto the top of the end table. It seemed stable enough. The legs of the ladder were firmly resting on the table and the top rung was against the bricks. I was ready for the assault. As I recollect, it seemed shaded and cool at the base but as I ascended I could feel the warmth of the morning sun, coaxing me to reach the top. With each rung I climbed my anticipation grew. I could feel my heart pounding inside my chest.
I stretched both of my hands along the front edge, then the last step gave me a grasp on the back edge. I used my elbows as a fulcrum and twisted my torso and legs up onto the top surface of the wall. Here I was on hands and knees looking down the lengthy expanse. It looked like a narrow sidewalk daring me to stand up and walk it, maybe all the way to Pershing Street where it made a 90 degree turn to the west.
My task was not compete until I rose up, stood on my two feet, and scanned the horizon. Little did I know then what I was viewing. Just below was the track where I was to run my first ever quarter mile leg as a member of the mile relay team. Inside the track on the grassy infield was the discus ring where I would throw many attempts to outdistance my competitors at home track meets. Behind the home field stands I got a glimpse of a tree shaded backstop where my special friends and I would spend many a summer day playing softball: T. Allison, T. Marple, M. Limpose, W. Hall, to name a few. They turned out to be extremely memorable times. I was a loyal spectator of all the fall football games, the crisp night air, the sounds of the bands, cheerleaders yelling, aromas from the food stand. The Reilly Wall encompassed it all.
Speaking for myself, I feel a bond with the wall. It impacted an important period of my life. I know this is true because it has remained for 50 plus years; a lasting memory. We must always cherish our memories and do what we can to preserve them. In closing, the wall resembles a huge time capsule containing years of memories within and around its boundaries. I love the wall and everything it stands for! Let's keep it standing!
THOMAS SNYDER, Carrollton, Texas, Salem High Class of 1965