The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 28, 2012

Readers' Forum 12-28 | Christmas displays brighten holidays

Submitted by Readers

— Thank you, all of you who light the night with awesome Christmas displays.

December is a time of cold and gloominess. The last of summer’s color has disappeared, skies are gray more often than not, and nights are the longest of the year.

But the Christmas season changes all of that.

Suddenly, brilliant colors flash through stores and make their way into homes and onto lawns. Lights offer joy and hope in an otherwise dark season.

I know, not everyone feels it. While Christmas is a time of great highs for some, it is a time of great lows for others.

There is sorrow, loneliness and depression at this time, sometimes made worse by what seems to be a demand to be joyful.

But isn’t joy what Christmas means? Jesus, the Christ we celebrate, was born to bring hope to the hopeless, eternal life to the dying, and comfort in knowing that we’re never alone.

We have a Savior who walks with us through the difficult as well as the exciting times and lifts our spirits.

As I drive through the area and see the bright colors and decorations, I’m filled with joy, remembering the reason for it all.

It doesn’t matter what you intended with all the work. I am blessed by what I observe.

Betty Rosian


Community orchestra buoyed ‘villagers’

Approximately 40 musicians and conductors with the Forest Hills Community Orchestra gave up their Saturday afternoon to perform for the residents and staff at Laurel View Village, Davidsville. We couldn’t believe they were from the area and not New York or Washington, D.C.

If you have the opportunity to hear them perform, don’t miss it. You will be blessed by every number.

Members perform every note with professionalism, dedication and love. Thank you, one and all, from the residents and staff of Laurel View Village.

Bill and Barbara Mangus


Doubt even ghosts could change Corbett’s heart

 I am reminded of what Gov. “Ebenezer” Corbett and his ilk did to the neediest of all Pennsylvanians.

With all do respect to Charles Dickens, the only way I can describe Uncle Ebenezer Corbett is, “Oh! But he was a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!”

How dare he cut off the only means of support that the poorest of our Pennsylvania residents had relied on.

Who knows? Maybe some ghosts visited him on Christmas Eve. But I doubt that would change his ice-cold, uncaring and stony heart.

Paul V. Dolan


On criminal system, media must be vigilant

Let’s face the facts, we live in a police state.

Many men and women of the nation’s police departments are consummate professionals. They are very skilled at solving crimes.

One problem of our present-day criminal justice system, however, is the liberal judges. They focus on what they view as serious offenses. There are no uniform sentences, only general guidelines. Every case is a little different; only the judges’ discernment is what matters.

Most convicts believe the system is against them – it’s the defense lawyer, district attorney, judge or the police’s fault that they are incarcerated.

The general public believes that all convicted criminals are evil. That is one reason the recidivism rate is so high.

Politics can make a police state a crisis if the newspapers are not vigilant.

Curtis Kalmbach


As Truman might say: A worthless Congress

What would Harry Truman say now?

We know that when Truman was president, he called it “The do nothing Congress.” If he were here today, he would probably call it “The worthless Congress.”

The idea of congressmen and women and senators serving 20 to 50 years in office is outrageous. We just had one retire in Texas after 40 years of service, and one in Hawaii die after 50 years of service.

We need term limits. Give them three-year terms and then let them go get a job and see how it is to make a living in this economy.

Start with term limits in the House to see how that works, and then the Senate should be next.

I know that Truman would be very disappointed with out current members.

They cannot even agree on what day of the week it is.

Donald Allbaugh


Take into account interest accrued                                                                                    This is addressed to Gene Pavlikowski’s Readers’ Forum letter on Dec. 22 (“Do the math; it is entitlement program”) and anyone else who thinks like him.

Seems to me he did not account for interest accrued. At 3 percent APR (which is what the lawmakers give themselves each year), the amount would raise to about $263,279. With no interest added and divided by $1,200 a month, this would last for more than 219 months or more than 18 years.

Now, if the retiree were 65 years old when he retired, this would last until he/she was over 83 years old, which is more than the average life expectancy.

R.H. Kennington


Pray Newtown victims are in heavenly peace

Most of us will readily agree that the massacre that took place in Newtown, Conn., was horrific and beyond belief. It’s difficult to wrap our minds around it.

We think of the tragedy, wondering how we can help relieve the pain and agony these families, their community and, in fact, the entire nation are experiencing.

Having this incident occur during the holidays makes it even more difficult. I believe in the power of prayer, having seen it at work many times.

As we were singing Christmas carols, I noticed a particular verse that speaks to this. The carol “Away in the Manger,” written by Martin Luther, contains several lines:

“Be near me Lord Jesus

I ask thee to stay

Close by me forever

and love me I pray.

Bless all the dear children

in thy tender care

and take them to heaven

to live with thee there.”

As the carol “Silent Night,” written by Joseph Mohr, reminds us, we pray that each one of the victims is able to “sleep in heavenly peace.”

Donna Donahey


Enough already; get rid of all weapons

Here’s an idea. Instead of arming everyone to the teeth so that we can all eventually shoot each other in a big circular

firing squad, let’s just get rid of all of it: Handguns, rifles, cannons, rockets, warships, fighter planes, bombs and our nuclear arsenal.

It’s called peace.

It’s a sad irony that we have the capability to create these filthy, toxic things, but not the intelligence or sensibility to not use them.

Remember what we were taught as children: Do unto others ... What you commit will come back to you three times. Thou shalt not kill. Remember?

Astrophysicists consider the human brain to be the most sophisticated creation in the known universe, yet we refuse to shed our ancient savagery to continue soaking this good earth with blood by the shame of our species, and for the most rationalized, equivocal and just plain ridiculous reasons. Isn’t it enough?

Let’s think about reversing this backward slide and try becoming educated, kind, cultured, enlightened, and perhaps even transcendant beings.

Unfortunately, this dream is even less attainable than the fantasy that guns make us bigger, stronger and safer.

Michael M. Mosorjak


Ban comic strips showing violence

After the insane murder of 26 teachers and children in the Connecticut school, The Tribune-Democrat allowed these comic strips to appear in the Dec. 20 edition:

* Peanuts: Showcasing bribery.

* Garfield: Shows secrets being shared.

* On a Clare Day: Blackmail.

* Hagar: No compassion.

* Andy Capp: Loss of patience.

But worst of all, One Big Happy, where Joe’s first Christmas wish was for a predator drone to take out the playground bullies.

Any questions?

Violet Primel

Mineral Point


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