Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

North­east needs Val Arkoosh

The Demo­crat­ic primary elec­tion for the Pennsylvania 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, which in­cludes much of the North­east, is com­ing up right around the corner on May 20.

From what I’ve seen throughout her can­did­acy, I really like the phys­i­cian can­did­ate run­ning in the race, Dr. Val Arkoosh. She doesn’t ap­pear to be run­ning for Con­gress to climb the polit­ic­al lad­der; she’s run­ning be­cause she be­lieves in our com­munit­ies and neigh­bor­hoods. 

I first saw Val on TV a few months ago talk­ing about health care re­form. Val was a lead­er down in Wash­ing­ton to get the Af­ford­able Care Act passed.

Since then, she has con­tin­ued her work by press­ing Gov. Corbett to ex­pand Medi­caid so that all of Pennsylvania’s work­ing fam­il­ies can have af­ford­able health in­sur­ance. Now, Val wants to go to Con­gress to con­tin­ue help­ing our com­munit­ies get ahead in oth­er areas. She talks about cre­at­ing jobs by in­vest­ing in in­fra­struc­ture, restor­ing fed­er­al fund­ing to pub­lic edu­ca­tion and rais­ing an out­dated min­im­um wage.

And giv­en her med­ic­al and health policy back­ground, I’m con­fid­ent that Val is best qual­i­fied to con­tin­ue im­prov­ing the Af­ford­able Care Act from a po­s­i­tion in Con­gress.

Val brings something dif­fer­ent to the table. I’ve talked with friends and neigh­bors who now have health in­sur­ance thanks to the health care re­form that she worked on. The North­east would be in good hands with someone like Val Arkoosh rep­res­ent­ing us in Con­gress.

Tim Scott


It is time to boy­cott Nabisco

So Nabisco is mov­ing its op­er­a­tions from many of its Amer­ic­an cit­ies. They are mov­ing to Mex­ico. There, they will be pay­ing the work­ers $3 per hour. 

This means more Amer­ic­ans are out of work. Seems that the com­pany’s $2.3 bil­lion profit after taxes isn’t enough profit. 

Talk about greed. 

I think for their loy­alty to the Amer­ic­an work­ers, we should all stop buy­ing their products. Find something oth­er than Or­eos to buy. Buy Amer­ic­an.

Mar­vin Garber


Kennedy and Re­agan’s his­tor­ic speeches were ef­fect­ive

A let­ter writer in the April 2 is­sue cri­ti­cizes you for print­ing Tom Stig­lich’s car­toon, which re­called JFK’s and Re­agan’s fam­ous speeches in Ber­lin and com­pared them hu­mor­ously to Obama’s hand­ling of the Crimean crisis.

The writer dis­misses these two very power­ful his­tor­ic speeches (JFK’s “Ich bin ein Ber­liner!” and Re­agan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”) as “neither of which was of any ac­tu­al con­sequence in the 1991 de­mise of the So­viet Uni­on.” 

This is ab­so­lutely false. The writer, in his eager de­fense of Obama, goes on to in­sult both pres­id­ents by claim­ing that they were “simply mouth­ing empty words.”

JFK’s 1963 speech was a clear state­ment of U.S. solid­ar­ity with West Ber­lin in the wake of the con­struc­tion of the Ber­lin Wall by the So­viet-sup­por­ted Com­mun­ist gov­ern­ment of East Ger­many. The tre­mend­ous re­sponse of the crowd of 450,000 speaks for it­self. 

In 1987, Re­agan in­voked both the leg­acy and emo­tion of Kennedy’s speech when — in de­fi­ance of our state de­part­ment — he de­man­ded that So­viet lead­er Gorbachev tear down the wall that be­came the sym­bol of Com­mun­ist op­pres­sion. This be­came one of his most mem­or­able speeches, and the re­ac­tion of the crowd was tre­mend­ous. Two years later, the wall came down, fore­shad­ow­ing the col­lapse of Com­mun­ism in East­ern Europe. There is a me­mori­al today near the spot where Re­agan uttered his un­for­get­table words. In a less well-known por­tion of his speech, Re­agan went on: “Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall, for it can­not with­stand faith; it can­not with­stand truth. The wall can­not with­stand free­dom.”

Both Kennedy and Re­agan knew that words mat­ter and they used them ef­fect­ively.

Leo Iwaskiw


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