The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 14, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-14 | Soldiers’ other mission a well-kept secret

Submitted by Readers

— American corporations that have business interests outside of the country and who rail against corporate taxes need to reveal one of their best-kept secrets. Their secret: They rely on the presence of our military around the globe to protect their investments on foreign soil.

Corporate taxes are high. However, so are the costs to maintain the military. (Of interest: More than 20 percent of the cost to fund NATO is paid by American taxpayers.)

During the past two decades, many corporations have moved out of the country to avoid paying taxes. If the trend continues, and assuming the worst – all corporations leave – they will find themselves in a catch-22 situation.

Though they will not be paying taxes, it is unlikely that there will be enough taxes collected from average Americans to support the military’s presence abroad.

If corporations reveal their secret, at least they will no longer need to keep their fingers crossed behind their backs while they complain about paying taxes. And perhaps those corporations that have left the country will see the “error of their way” and will consider returning to the United States.

Stephen J. Verotsky


Bethany church garden work of Eagle Scout  

On April 24, Bethany Presbyterian Church celebrated its 115th birthday. Part of this celebration included the dedication of a memory garden to be built in the church’s Chandler Avenue courtyard. This memory garden started as a simple idea to beautify a little-used courtyard on the side of the church, where flowers and plants would be placed in memory of loved ones.

The idea had almost been forgotten until Ed Burkett approached the church and offered to take on this project for his Eagle Scout award.

What started as a simple idea turned into a beautiful and inspirational memory garden with a meditation area, engraved bricks honoring loved ones and beautiful flowers.

We urge friends, families and neighbors to come by and visit this spectacular project, take time to say a prayer and perhaps join us for a service.

Many thanks to Ed Burkett for all of his hard work.

Brenda Molnar


Learning the value of those who serve

As a youngster, I remember going out with my dad and his boss, Rick – who had lost his left arm in a war – to put flags on the graves of soldiers who had given their lives. I was so mad because I had wanted play football.

Rick said to me: “Son, the ones we do this for are looking down at us, thanking us and loving us for what we do, and know they are still loved.”

Football didn’t matter after that, but our soldiers then and now mean so much to me. On Election Day, look up and thank those who allow our lives to go on, and the ones today who are still fighting.

God bless you all.

Warren Weaver

Richland Township

A 2nd term assures decimation of military

Under our current leadership in Washington, government spending has multiplied. At the same time, arbitrary cuts have been made to military spending.

Given a second term, this administration will step up the decimation of our military.

Is this proper gratitude for the sacrifices of our soldiers and veterans? Or should we strive to continue to have the most powerful military force on the planet?

Catholics and Christians of other denominations who have witnessed the lack of respect for their religious beliefs demonstrated by the current regime: Are you going to be hypocrites and cast a vote that will allow the continuation of the abominable behavior of the past several years?

It is not only the election of a lifetime, but an election that may well determine the survival of the experiment in individual freedom that was begun by the Founding Fathers. Their vision brought forth the birth of the American nation that has enabled more human beings around the world to raise their standards of living to levels that prior ages of mankind could not imagine. Will you be complicit in the destruction of the founders’ dream?

Shall we choose to be a country of dependency, or shall we continue as a country of liberty-loving achievers?

Tremendous courage and sacrifice were required to fight and win the revolution that created this republic. On Election Day, we take the fight for freedom and renewed American greatness to the ballot box. So let’s get ready to rumble.

August Gatto


Don’t pass on a chance to show kindness

If there is a chance for a kindness, try or even struggle to get it done before the wind blows it away.

Don Stutzman


Respectful discussion often reaps solutions                                                                         So many serious problems face our nation today, but what concerns me greatly is the venomous attacks that I have been reading in this forum, particularly those written assailing anyone for daring to support some candidate or some policy that the writer deems evil.

This angry, intolerant rhetoric is as toxic to a democracy as free speech is to a dictatorship.

Certainly, it is valuable to our country to debate and argue issues; a respectful discussion often reaps solutions. We need not demonize those who disagree with us.

We should remember that it is the separation of church and state that protects us all. Our government cannot and should not endorse or favor any one religion. This insures that all people can worship or not worship in the manner they decide.

We do not need the state to tell us how to worship, nor the church to tell us how to vote.

Walter Wojnaroski


Quit lecturing others and read the Bible

The last straw was a letter last week defending Publisher Robin L. Quillon’s Oct. 7 column on religious bigots.

I’m tired of reading letters from those who ridicule people for what they believe is in the eyes of God, and the way they criticize other writers tells me much about their characters.

I’ll bet some in this group of detractors have never opened the Bible and read one verse or never go to church. Or if they do, they sleep during the sermon.

If they attend a place of worship on Sundays or any other day, wouldn’t that make them hypocrites? Why go?

This is a reflection on church leaders not sending the message on what God says about abortion, homosexuals, handouts, and sin in general.

I also grow weary of ignorant writers who say, “What would Jesus do?”

Read your Bible. He tells you.

We have two Catholic priests in the area who faithfully write to the Readers’ Forum defending God’s word. Where’s the rest of you church leaders?

One person in the past changed the direction of this country by taking prayer out of schools – and nothing was done while this was happening.

The Lord knows I’m not perfect, but I will defend God’s word and what this country stands for until my last breath.

As it points out in Joshua 24:15: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Peter M. Fedash

Richland Township


Don’t base your vote on smoke and mirrors

The most difficult people to endorse are those who obey what the Bible says. Many want to see for themselves if God is overemphasizing the consequences of sin, by dabbling in it themselves.

Have we learned to trust President Obama’s judgment after four years? Will we make wiser choices at the polls this time?

We’ve had sufficient evidence that those who live according to “another gospel” are delusive. They promote self-awareness, self-indulgence and imagined self-sufficiency as the lifestyle to embrace. But when the price tag arrives for their “free” and uninhibited choices, they begin to prevail upon the religious die-hards – who they mock and despise – to pay for it all.

Oh the irony!

These prodigals squander their God-given heritage on idolatry, immorality and greed and then mince words with illusions, hoping to win the support of others, so they can silence their consciences and continue on with their self-serving agendas.

The miasma of their deception hangs thick in the air at election time, making the oppression we’re already under that much heavier. The charismatic smoke and mirrors campaign filters down into the moral fabric of decision-making, swaying a blinded society to embrace the tainted ideals of prosperity that have led to our downfall.

Blow your smoke around again if you must, Obama administration, but the results of your leadership are crystal clear.

Prepare for the inevitable outcome.

Matthew 21:43: “Therefore I tell you the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”

Kirstin DiNinno

Central City

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