Letters to the editor — The Courier-Gazette
Why such opposition
Editorial (Sept. 19 edition) "Shame on the U.S.", "How many tragedies does it take to change gun policies?"
My question is "Why such opposition to gun control?"
I have asked many people, particularly veterans, and have received a consensus: it is because of the mistrust of United States District of Columbia and their military power. They are the largest purveyors of violence in the world.
The War on Drugs is a shining example as 80 percent of the prison population is illegal drug activity related. The "new and improved' "Jim Crowe" laws, no color discrimination.
Police operate under the color of law without regard for constitutional rights. People are afraid of Big Brother who is obviously a peeping Tom. As long as government of United States dictates military rule of law people will want guns, it's that simple. Violence begets violence.
What a tragedy
Extremist Republicans in Congress, primarily in the House, are opposed to the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare) which became law after it was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. The law is to become effective on Oct. 1.
House Republicans, with one exception, passed a budget bill that would withhold funds needed to implement the Affordable Care Act. Without funds Obamacare would be unable to become effective Oct. 1. The Senate is unlikely to approve the House bill and President Obama has said he would veto any attempt to deprive the American people of affordable health care. So Obamacare will not go away.
House Republicans will not approve a budget unless it denies funds for Obamacare. So we face the prospect of no budget approved by Congress. Our government will be unable to pay its bills. Who knows what may happen with Social Security and Medicare benefits and other programs which benefit the public?
What motivates some representatives in Congress to take such an incongruous position which disregards what is good for its citizens? Some say it is what their voters who elected them want. (I doubt that their constituents understand Obamacare or the effect it will have on them if the government has no funds for its programs.) Sadly, I believe that some of opposition to the Affordable Care Act is because it was passed while we had a black president. Some say we can’t afford the added cost. We, the richest country and only first world country which does not provide health care for all of its citizens, can’t afford to subsidize health care? Yet we have the lowest tax rates since World War II. We finance wars. We subsidize corporations, etc.
Publicity is filling TV screens and newspapers alleging that the government will dictate what doctors to use. That is an absolute falsehood! Who is generating this false information? I think it must be insurance industry lobbyists or those who are dedicated to discrediting President Obama.
Obamacare is not a perfect law but it is a step to allow some of the 50 million who lack health care coverage to have some form of health insurance. Obamacare is not nearly as generous as Medicare which we old folks enjoy and which is heavily subsidized by the federal government.
The law prevents insurance companies from declining to cover you if you have had prior health problems. Nor can they charge higher premiums because of your health history. Children up to age 26 can be included on family contracts. Best of all, the government provides subsidies, depending on income, so that those who have no coverage are more able to afford insurance. There are other benefits as well.
It seems to me that the Republican strategy is that it is more important to embarrass the president than it is to allow the benefits of Obamacare to be available to the uninsured citizens of the United States of America.
Wake up America
Here we go again, another human being takes more than one weapon and goes on a shooting spree and the end result is a number of people dead and later in another town another young life taken out by gunfire and in the midst of all this was only looking for help after an accident.
And in the meantime in Washington our politicians, along with a lot of others across the United States of America who own guns of every type that can be bought across this great land, have not said a word about these issues.
And once again the Second Amendment hits the headlines like a major lightning strike about the right to bear arms and on and on it goes. All I hear is there is not enough guns on the street, work place and so on.
But before I go on I am not against anyone owning a gun, and I will stress here owning a gun, not a dozen and not a weapon that can take out a house with one clip. I will say this, America has become so obsessed with the ownership of guns and the sad part to this whole picture is that one day not a human being living on this planet will not be able to claim the Second Amendment as right.
I can and will say this, the issue of gun ownership and who has a gun has to put to test and this means finding a solution and yes the solution is not going to be accepted by everyone, it all comes down to one thing, our freedom vs. ownership of something that once it is picked up can and will end a human life and that is a gun. It has become the easiest way to end a fight and even take a human life.
I have said this in the past, that I have been around the world and have handled many types of weapons, but do not get me wrong here, I am not against a person owning a gun, but the person getting a gun should be required to show, without exception, that they know how to handle it.
And if they do fire the weapon owned, they had better have a damn good reason for shooting it when it comes to firing it, period.
Robert J. Robinson
United States Army Retired
Healthy Living Festival thanks
The Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation thanks the community for their overwhelming support of the first annual Healthy Living Festival Sept. 14. More than 250 attendees including parents, children, Pen Bay staff and community members enjoyed the fun-filled day, with music and entertainment led by Master of Ceremonies Jim Lettery. The event included belly dancing, a Swing dance contest, and more. A silent auction to benefit Let’s Go 5-2-1-0 included gift certificates from Maine establishments, a weekend stay at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City and generous donations by many talented Etsy.com crafters.
Stay tuned for more healthy living events by following us at Friends of Pen Bay Healthcare: facebook.com/penbayhealth.
Many thanks for our lead sponsors: Courier Publications LLC, FMC Corporation, Maine Community Health Options, MooMilk and Northeast Delta Dental
Pen Bay Healthcare staff
Listen to your body
Did you know that September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month? The president has issued a proclamation declaring this time as an opportunity for Americans to do their part to increase awareness of what we can do to prevent, detect, treat, and ultimately defeat ovarian cancer. I have been on an eight-year recurrent ovarian cancer journey and honor the memory of those far-too-many women I have been privileged to know, and I laud fellow survivors for their courage, hope and perseverance against this uphill climb.
This year more than 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and 15,000 will die because of it. When detected early it is very treatable; however, it often is not found until it is in an advanced stage. There is no reliable screening tool yet. Only about 29 percent of cases in the U.S. are diagnosed in early stages and about 90 percent of these women will survive beyond five years. But symptoms are often subtle and may be easily confused with those of other diseases. The five-year survival rate plummets to 25 percent for those of us with advanced stage cancer. You can see why it's said ovarian cancer "whispers."
So ladies, please "listen" carefully to your bodies.....Symptoms may include bloating, pelvic pain, feeling full quickly, and feeling the need to urinate frequently. Signs can also include fatigue, an upset stomach, back pain, constipation, and menstrual changes. If these are new and persist, see a doctor. The CA-125 blood test is not always accurate but may help with a diagnosis in combination with other factors. More information can be found at cancer.gov, and at The American Cancer Society website cancer.org .
I am very grateful for the efforts of family, friends, medical professionals, researchers, and many others who have made such a positive difference in my life.