Veterans welcome to join local DAV chapter
To the editor:
On Nov. 16, 2012, I received a letter from Mr. Jacob Drost, a DAV national service officer based in Cleveland. He wrote:
"The DAV is a non-profit organization (we receive no government funding) comprised of over 1.3 million disabled veterans, who suffered some degree of disability while serving during a time of war, armed conflict or while engaged in extra-hazardous duty under conditions simulating war. Our members come from all walks of life and from every branch of military service.
"... Membership in the DAV will provide much needed support as we continue to fight for the benefits we have earned through service to our country. Additionally, as a DAV member you will enjoy discounts and special incentives through our Member Benefits Package and a subscription to our bi-monthly DAV Magazine. The magazine will keep you informed of the latest challenges on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and will inform you of any pending changes to our benefits."
The local chapter of the Salem Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter #122 meets every third Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The meetings are held in the local AMVETS building on Broadway Avenue, Salem.
As an organization the DAV is over 90 years old. The Salem chapter #122 has been in Salem since April 7, 1950. There are over 120 members in the Salem area, however very few attend the monthly meetings. Many are WWII veterans who are in their late 80s and some in their 90s. Membership is limited to those honorably discharged or medically discharged, veterans who have a service related disability, which has been rated by the Veterans Administration.
Any veteran who needs assistance with filing a claim with the VA or disagrees with a decision made by the VA is helped at no cost by the DAV. Veterans do not have to belong to the DAV to get assistance.
The men and women veterans from Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Afghanistan, any theatre in peacetime or war, past or present with a disability/health concern is welcome to come to the meetings to talk to members or our service officer who is trained to help disabled veterans.
The local DAV chapter has donated thousands of dollars to local VA care centers and veterans groups in the past year and will continue to do so.
We welcome veterans to any meeting, the next one is Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
DAV Chapter #122
Reader disgusted with Benghazi attack handling
To the editor:
Watching the television and seeing how the three so-called major networks have ignored the Benghazi attack that left an ambassador and three other individuals dead, I am astonished that after over three months no answers are given by this administration, and no individual/s have been made accountable.
Oh, yes, four people have stepped down but in the meantime, they were paid their significant salaries and will, no doubt, be moved to other positions where they will more than likely continue their gross incompetence.
Now we have the "fiscal cliff' where House Speaker Boehner compromised his principles and attempted to pacify the President with higher rates of taxation on people making over $1 million. What happened? The President immediately nearly doubled the amount of revenue he wanted without any spending cuts. In the meantime, the Republican House passed a resolution in August to make certain that the "Bush tax rates" would continue for individuals making up to $250,000. The US Senate has refused to put it up for a vote.
Also, the Senate, under Harry Reid's leadership, has not passed a budget in over three and a half years! The President had plenty of time to work on this problem but was too busy being "Campaigner in Chief." This President has not led at all and everything is done under the cloak of secrecy behind closed doors.
You will notice, there has been no serious talk about waste in the government and the President wants to have another "stimulus" so that the national debt can go to the moon.
I do want to say "kudos" to the gentleman who wrote to an area newspaper and commented on the President's words on the Sandy Hook shootings. There does not seem to be much sympathy from the President on the abortion problem since he is profoundly pro choice even to the point of killing an infant that survived an abortion.
As a former Democrat, then Republican, now Independent, but a registered voter.
Gun owners don't deserve punishments
To the editor:
It has always rankled me to be punished like a grade schooler by a morally lazy school marm who rather than singling out the "bad student" punishes all 25. But isn't that exactly what those with the "I hate all guns" agenda want to do?
As a responsible gun owner like the vast majority of those 56,000,000 others in the United States I was saddened and shocked by what one evil and or sick individual did in Sandy Hook, Conn.
I never once thought of pushing an agenda or writing a letter to the editor in an attempt to politicize the event. However, it wasn't 24 hours before a bevy of gun-hating people with an agenda that never sleeps from Brit Piers Morgan to the looney Hollywood left began calling for disarming all citizens for the actions of one deranged young man.
If I were to say, forks don't make people fat, people do, I doubt that anyone would argue that point, though they would take me to task for using the now trite line about people - evil or sick people - being the agent in killings. How about numbers? I keep hearing that each year, 12, 000 people die from gun shots, while I am sure that includes accidents, police shooting bad guys and sometimes the wrong people and suicides where a decision was made however badly by the person killing himself, too.
Wikipedia states that 358 people die of long gun shots and 6,009 of pistols (including suicides). According to the suicide awareness website almost 30,000 people commit suicide each year so apparently a significant number of people could be taken from the list of 358+6009 or 6,367.
I have a couple of friends who are doctors so trust me, I am not suggesting we outlaw doctors but, one Doctor - a Dr Mercola who has a website mercola.com says this:
All these are deaths per year:
12,000 - unnecessary surgery
7,000 - medication errors in hospitals
20,000 - other errors in hospitals
80,000 - infections in hospitals
106,000 - non-error, negative effects of drugs
This totals 225,000 unnecessary lives per year. Should we ban doctors? I am guessing they kill more children than "guns" do. Car crashes kill 40,000 people per year ... shouldn't we only allow police and first responders to drive on our highways? But you will say, but these are necessary and it is the cost we pay for the "convenience" and the safety that both doctors and cars give us, well, how about swimming pools, rivers and lakes and the habit of swimming? According to the National Lifeguard association, 3,308 people died of drowning and of children 1-4 years of age who died accidentally, 26 percent died of drowning.
And for those of you who say guns are just for "killing" it is impossible to estimate, but how many lives have been saved by armed homeowners, trail walkers, or just the unknown factor of home invaders who are more wary of people living in the countryside or other areas where many people are armed? Certainly, and you can find this info, when England disarmed its citizens and made them defenseless, violent crime doubled.
Responsible well-trained people owning firearms are the reason why, in a country like Switzerland, where every male 20 years of age and above required to be armed by the government are, there is the lowest crime rates in the world.
While I am not advocating everyone in America be "required" to be armed, I should think that as the founding fathers recognized, a well-armed citizenry of responsible character is a positive thing for the whole of the country. Throughout the USA on state, local and federal levels, there are over 20,000 gun laws, we do not need more laws, we need what John Adams said over 200 years ago: a moral well educated people, any other are not suited for liberty.
That goes not only for guns, but swimming pools, doctors and cars because they all can be deadly in the wrong hands. Disarming law-abiding citizens and making them defenseless is not the answer but rather focusing on what makes some people evil is.
With New Year comes half full or half empty?
To the editor:
Entering the year 2013 I question: "Is the glass half full or half empty?"
Do you remember, enthusiastically attending Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Christmas parades? Remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and praying in school; when integrity, faith, patriotism and personal achievement were acclaimed virtues and America provided the best of hopes for prosperity?
What has our culture become? For the last four years we have had more of a "Catastrophe in Chief" than a president. The last six years Democrats have compounded the national debt to $16 trillion adding a trillion annually, fermented class warfare and secured an entitlement driven society. Disregarding the Constitution, the Democrat dominated Senate hasn't passed a budget since 2008 and continue refusal to vote on numerous bills passed by the House.
Remember, the notorious "no" vote to reference God and Israel in the Democrat Convention overruled for damage control? The tragedy of Benghazi and perceived cover up is an unconscionable loss of four Americans, among them a heroic Navy seal and our ambassador, tortured, violated and killed.
The Middle East is entrenched in the onslaught of radical religious geo-political militancy. Obama has consistently snubbed Netanyahu while Israel is in jeopardy of a massive multinational military strike reminiscent of the biblical revelation of the son of perdition and Armageddon.
Our country is displayed to the world as passive, indifferent, weak, indecisive and irresponsible. The "Fast and Furious" fiasco of guns to Mexico by the government is buried in the news blitz of anti-Second Amendment opportunists. Nuclear North Korea has increased their strike range capability of America and over 45,000 citizens of Syria have been slaughtered by their own dictator.
We have legalized marijuana and progressively divorced ourselves from biblical truth and morality, our God given "Constitution" as well as, the Constitution of the United States. We have elected candidates who see both, as antiquated, reconstructable, irrelevant, subjective or obsolete.
Much was made of the 47 percent who historically consistently vote for liberal progressive Democrat socialism. Respectively, another 47 percent have faithfully voted conservative Libertarian Republican Constitutionalist. The theoretic remaining 6 percent, sometimes called "moderates," have been a shifting force in our country as it is fixed between two diametrically contrasted ideological positions; one bringing enslavement and serfdom, the other freedom, opportunity and prosperity.
Culture isn't something that happens to us, it's an outcome cultivated by and of us. Is rejection of the Constitution, promoting class warfare, bankrupting our country, moral decadence, enslavement and world irrelevance now our embraced normative culture? Are we a people of faith or fate? Is coveting our neighbor's wealth now a right? Is stealing from your neighbor to be "fair," now justice? Do we want American Constitutionalism or a dictatorial ruling elite class like Venezuela, China, Cuba or Russia? Are we "The Fall of Roman Empire" Act II? Are we a "shining city on a hill" or a fading amber in the ash heap of history? Is the cup half full or half empty?
MARK E. GUY,
Reader yearns for an America of the 50s
To the editor:
It's funny when I was a kid growing up in the 50s I always wished I could live to see the year 2000. I always pictured it to be people with jet packs flying everywhere, cars taking off like a small airplane. People would dress differently. Modern buildings with elevators on the outside wall going up and down, and many other things I thought would be different.
Now here it is 2013, people still walking around like the 50s, people still driving around in cars which aren't as good as the ones in the 50s. Most buildings are condemned ready to fall down, our country has been in at least five wars since the 50s.
Now they can't even pass a bill for the good of the American people. What happened to our great country? What went wrong? They took God out of prayers, they took God out of schools. They're taking God out of the government. Maybe, just maybe, that's what started our downfall. I'll take the 50s back tomorrow if I could.
Unhappy with state of affairs in America
To the editor:
An inspirational quote of "build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door" continues to be distorted to "naughty boys will get their comeuppance."
It is a mob beating a path to your door and their angst is all your fault. Along the same line there is the game show "Who wants to be a millionaire?" is now the question "Who would want to be a millionaire?" Hard work and sacrifice isn't just being quietly replaced by game shows and lottery tickets, there are angry mobs harassing your business threatening your family at your very home. Accusation are easy to make (you're rich, you cheated) and it doesn't have to be proven. You just gin up some hate (class warfare) and you're good to go!
Every barrier to upward mobility is actually a law/regulation imposed by elected/unelected governmental officials.
The same premise is being used in the argument over gun control were a knee-jerk reaction pummels freedoms that the law abiding American citizen can exercise. That finger being pointed, remember there are three pointing back at the accuser and if you think me to be a hypocrite, it takes one to call one.
WILLIAM E. EARDLEY,