The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 27, 2012

Readers' Forum 11-27 | Respect our flag, put God back in schools

Submitted by Readers

— In response to Patty Cunningham’s Readers’ Forum letter on Nov. 18, “American flag, pledge have lost their meaning”:

Maybe this is how some of our elected officials want us to think. If everyone disrespects the flag and pledge, we lose and the minority wins. Those who disrespect the flag by burning it or walking on it should be ashamed.

I respect my flag, and having given 20 years to military service, I will never let anyone tell me I cannot fly my flag or honor it. Just think of all the men and women who have given their lives for this flag and their country.

Please, people, do not think this way. Don’t let a few take away this great flag from us. It has stood for too much through the years.

I do agree with the writer about one thing: God does need to be put back into America and into our schools.

Please keep flying our great American flag. Don’t slap the face of our veterans who have fought and died for this flag.

James Munshower


Philadelphia voted as pollsters predicted

After four years of crackpot theories contending that President Obama’s operatives concealed his Kenyan birth by traveling back in time to place birth notices in Honolulu newspapers, now we have nonsense about voter fraud in Philadelphia – according to Dr. Bill Choby’s Readers’ Forum letter on Nov. 18, “Philly presidential vote raises questions.”

Philadelphia voted exactly as all of the pollsters predicted, including the Mitt Romney campaign’s pollsters, which explains why Romney’s own people aren’t making ludicrous claims about fraud.

Why did the vote in Philadelphia lean so Democrat? Urban areas tend to vote more Democrat than rural areas do. Bill Clinton’s old campaign adviser, James Carville, once said of Pennsylvania voter demographics, “Well, you’ve got Philadelphia and you’ve got Pittsburgh, and in between you’ve got Alabama.”

As to the ridiculous charge that (Attorney General) Eric Holder failed to investigate voter fraud by “Black Panthers” in 2008, I assume that Choby is referring to the “New Black Panther Party,” which seems to have consisted of exactly five members. Holder didn’t investigate them, but neither did Pennsylvania’s then-attorney general, our current governor, Republican Tom Corbett. In fact, during his tenure as attorney general, Corbett never had cause to investigate a single case of voter fraud in Philadelphia or anywhere else in Pennsylvania.

How very sad that some self-professed tea party patriots have so little faith in the system they profess to support. Or worse, how reprehensible that some would calculatingly besmirch that democratic process, undermine the public’s confidence in the election, and inflame political unrest with an ugly, vile and baseless smear.

Daniel Waltimire


Changes needed in city to avoid 2014 tax boost

On Nov. 6, I read in an editorial where City Manager Kristen Denne said taxes will go up in 2014. Is she a psychic? Or does she plan on handing out big raises to everyone?

How can anyone say taxes are going up when 2013 isn’t even here yet?

I believe that nobody who works for the city should get a raise until we are out of Act 47. To reward those who keep us there is ludicrous.

What I haven’t seen being done in the city is promoting business. The mayor, city manager and council members should be trying to bring in businesses. There are too many empty stores downtown.

We can remember when we were young and our parents took us to town to see the lights and store fronts and to do a lot of shopping before Christmas. Now, nobody goes downtown because it’s depressing.

I would like to say to the mayor, city manager and city council, you have all of 2013 to make changes or it’s time for you to leave and let somebody else take over.

Remember, you’re up for re-election in 2014. If you’re going to just sit on your hands and do nothing, then the people need to get rid of all of you. New faces and new and better ideas are needed for our city to prosper. To raise taxes on people who live on fixed incomes or who are barely making it is wrong.

Find another way.

Homer Mattes


Secondhand smoke cost me band gigs

I quit singing and playing in bands a while back and also as a cantor at church.

I am a retired steelworker and freelance barber and now a part-time janitor.

I needed extra work, so I joined a band to play a few times a month. I was shocked by the long distance we traveled for jobs; it was costing me a lot in gas and time.

I was thankful, however, for the gigs as I know they were hard to get. I thought there would be no or minimal smoking since these places were private clubs or we were playing for organizations.

One night I came home smelling pretty badly from the smoke. I couldn’t get it off my skin. My wife said it was on my shoes and even on my wallet.

I used a household cleaning solution  and sanitized everything. Reluctantly, although needing extra work, I asked to be replaced in the band.

Sadly, I lost a great opportunity because of the smoking.

Secondhand smoke is not for me.

Joe Chon


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