The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 5, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-5 | Theft of grave-site flowers a heinous act

Submitted by Readers

— My husband and I just returned from removing the silk flowers from the various grave sites of loved ones whose sites we are responsible for.

When we arrived at St. Anthony’s Cemetery in Geistown Borough, we removed the ones from my parents’ grave site. Then we proceeded farther down the cemetery to remove the flowers from my uncle who is buried there. Lo and behold, the flowers we had placed there were gone.

We then proceeded across the way to an area known as “The Angel’s Plot.” This is where all infants and young children who have passed away are buried. I have a baby sister who is buried there, having died when she was only 1-day-old, 61 years ago.

I was totally devastated when I looked at her tiny grave site, seeing that someone had removed her flowers, also.

Whoever has done this heinous act, I can only ask God to forgive you. Perhaps you needed the flowers more than they were needed to honor the memory of an infant who barely took her first breath, then died.

I also would like to know why all the flags were removed at this cemetery but not at other outlying cemeteries.

Patty Devich


Late secretary an asset to schools

Irma Yarnick passed away on Sept. 28. Her second round as a school secretary was mostly at Rachel Hill, from 1961 to 1990.

When the nurse wasn’t there, Irma acted as a mother by putting the pupils in bed or calling their homes. She ran the school.

Irma was a great asset to the Richland schools. Everyone who knew her loved her.

I was her boss and a friend for more than 50 years.

Bob Martin


Tot’s murder prompts look at abortions

We noticed with sadness the Sept. 26 story of the sentencing of the “killer” father to 15-30 years in prison in the death of his 7-week-old son. The prosecutors even became emotional.

Does anyone consider that if the same baby boy had been ripped, limb by limb from his mother’s body just a few weeks earlier by a doctor, the abortionist would have been applauded and paid a few hundred dollars?

Where is the angst, concern and distress – even anger – at the death of the 4,000 babies aborted in our nation the same day this baby died?

If any of these babies happened to survive the abortion effort, President Obama – while an Illinois senator – would have said “let it die.”

We won’t get into the folly of young couples “living together” without any commitment to shoulder the burdens of parenthood, but I suggest it helps to understand this sad period in our nation’s demise.

Donald Byrnes


Send a message – vote straight ticket

Americans who are disgusted by the national media’s shameless propagandizing of the re-election of a failed president need to send a clear message to the power brokers that the voters won’t get fooled again.

I am past the point of believing those who insist that this election is about race when it clearly is not.

I have observed the Democratic Party abandon its moral roots and our American heritage in exchange for a Machiavellian power grab using the crass, emotional appeal of wealth redistribution to their likely voters.

President Obama has spent $5 trillion in new debt since 2009, and the economy remains slumped in a depression. If federal spending is the solution to kick-start the economy, why hasn’t it ever worked before? Go figure.

If the wealthy turned over all their money to Obama and the Democrats, can one reasonably conclude that the economy would recover? Good grief.

Obama’s solution is that he needs more time for his policies to work. Four more years of the same old same old, I guess. Surely he jests.

Truth be told, the Democratic Party has been taken over by communists who pander for power.

’Nuff said. So what can you or I do to take our country back?

Send a powerful message to the left-wing power brokers by voting a straight Republican ticket.

That’s a vote that they can’t afford to ignore.

Dr. Bill Choby


Terminology only leads to confusion

Voter confusion about candidates’ positions on issues regarding jobs, education, health care, the tampering of elections through Citizens United, frackings long-term impact on human and environmental health, relationships with other countries and the propagation of coal as a healthy, clean energy, pales in comparison to American actor and stand-up comedian John Fugelsang’s quote. He says that “only in America can you be pro-death penalty, pro-war, pro-unmanned drone bombs, pro-nuclear weapons, pro-guns, pro-torture, pro-land mines and still call yourself ‘pro-life.’ ”

Our country is in need of a national glossary to sort facts from cultural myths and traditions in order to reduce voter confusion. Until that happens, voters beware of “pro-life” candidates whose platforms do not nourish life after birth.

Etta Albright


Romney everything we need in president                                                                          Anita Altman (Sept. 14, “Praying for America’s survival”) and I are both Democrats and Catholics but disagree. I do not support our radical, liberal party platform. The church teaches that it is a mortal sin to vote for a candidate such as Barack Obama, who promotes intrinsic evils such as abortion and sexual immorality.

Obama financed the Muslim Brotherhood, failed to heed warnings to protect our embassies and refused to meet the Israeli prime minister. Mitt Romney will lead with strength by supporting Israel and not appeasing Muslim extremists.

Not all scientists support the global warming theory. Radical environmentalism kills energy jobs. Obama wasted millions on bogus “green” projects and the oil industry of foreign governments but stopped the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Romney’s common-sense approach protects the environment and creates jobs while making us energy independent. His business leadership helped companies such as Staples, Burger King and Domino’s Pizza.

As governor, Romney took no salary, did not raise taxes and balanced the budget. He served without pay as Salt Lake Olympics president, saving the games from debt and fraud.

A Mormon, Romney shares values with Christians. He is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage and extremely charitable. He served as head of his church for four years without salary.

Romney’s vice presidential choice, Paul Ryan, a devout Catholic with a background in economics, shows Romney is serious about tackling our huge deficit and saving Medicare.

Obama’s financial policies are failures as shown by rampant unemployment, our $16 trillion debt and increasing poverty.

Gale Bala


Presidential campaign may get interesting

We’re into the dog days of October now, and the presidential campaign has been dull and uninspiring. Mostly just a bunch of accusations hurled at Mitt Romney, inevitably followed by retractions two days later. But things may be about to change.

One major issue which has been flying low is the much-disliked Obamacare and whether it may soon be rendered dead in the federal courts.

You may not be aware, but a Colorado judge recently ruled that any organization can opt out of Obamacare on the basis of genuine moral objection to abortion, birth control, etc. This includes churches, certain companies and nonprofits.

If this position is upheld, it will exempt many millions of employees from full coverage, and the entire plan will die from lack of revenue.

The Catholic church probably has the most to lose here. Its very existence is threatened by Obamacare. The devilish way the law was constructed requires that the church throw out 2,000 years of doctrine and take or pay (take abortion coverage or pay massive annual fines).

It is apparent that President Obama means to dictate the terms of Catholic existence, as well as that of Mormons and fundamentalist Protestants.

The tactics are going to get rough. Hundreds of lawyers are now involved and churches in many parts of the country are advocating for Obama’s defeat next month. Keep watching. It should get interesting.

Ron Hentz

Portage, Ind., formerly of Johnstown


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