November 23, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Nov. 23, 2012


---- — Cancer caregivers

TO THE EDITOR: Our dad, Joseph Siskavich of Lyon Mountain, turned 73 in October. Maybe not a huge accomplishment on most accounts, but for a man who just kicked the butt of cancer, it’s pretty huge.

Our family would like to thank some incredible people who helped to make Dad’s remission possible. To Dr. Duus and the entire staff at the Fitzpatrick Cancer Center at CVPH: Thank you. To all of the wonderful people at the CVPH infusion center, including the gentleman who brings around the snacks and to the nurses who walked my dad out on his final chemo session while also blowing bubbles for him: Thank you.

To the nurses and support staff on R5 at CVPH, who are truly beacons of hope in dark, stormy seas: Thank you. To Dr. McAuliffe for getting Dad into surgery at the drop of a hat: Thank you.

To all the staff at Dr. Volk’s office who would call and check in on “Butchie”: You’ll never know how you brightened his days; thank you.

To friends, family and strangers who said a quiet prayer or sent positive thoughts our way: Thank you. Your kindnesses can never be repaid and shall never be forgotten.

Too often, we get caught up in minuscule details and stressors in life, and we forget the truly important things: health, love, happiness, laughter and most certainly family. Take a moment to hug your children, your siblings, your parents and your spouse. These are the things that truly matter, and we are so grateful for each day we have now. Each moment is truly a blessing.




Social Security

TO THE EDITOR: In early September, I wrote Congressman Owens regarding my concerns for the solvency of the Social Security trust fund. His response prompted yet another letter to him from me on Sept. 18.

Congressman Owens did not respond to my further query, but I felt the issue to be important enough to warrant a public airing here:

Dear Congressman Owens, I am in receipt of your thoughtful response to my concerns, and I am essentially in agreement with your views. However, one statement is a surprisingly plain acknowledgement of an established practice which should be considered criminal: “… a critical piece of the puzzle is reducing the U.S. deficit so Congress is less reliant on the trust fund to meet obligations unrelated to the Social Security program.”

While I don’t blame you personally for this situation, I wish to point out that the logical solution is to legislate the absolute unavailability of Social Security funds for “unrelated obligations.” Reducing the deficit is an obviously desirable (and elusive) goal, but doing so to reduce the congressional motivation to steal those funds is analogous to paying off an executive’s gambling debts so he won’t feel the need to continue embezzling from the company pension fund. The approach is tangential at best and unlikely to arrest habitual larcenous behavior, as long as there is no penalty for the thievery.

Please tell me you have a plan to stop congressional raids on dedicated Social Security funds. Bear in mind that those funds are not governmental largesse but dollars out of the pockets of workers during their entire working lives. The funds belong to Social Security contributors/recipients, not to any agency of the government, regardless of perceived need. All thieves have needs.




‘Socialist’ programs

TO THE EDITOR: I read with increasing bemusement the rantings of several “regulars” to this section of the paper.

Mr. Seney’s latest was sort of a tipping point for me. Not sure whether he and others would really like to rid our country of all the “socialist” elements that they and we all enjoy and benefit from. Several examples to consider: publicly funded education; a shared system of public roads and infrastructure; hospitals and medical services supported, in part, with tax dollars; police departments; armed services; pensions and health care for veterans; Social Security (it’s even in the title); Medicare. I will stop there — the point is made.

Unless you refuse to utilize these and other “socialist” programs, your hypocrisy is glaring.

It is made even worse by the claim that “Romney makes it better.” He, in fact, created the model for “Obamacare” when he was governor of Massachusetts and then vowed to repeal it if he were elected. Any reading of the budget championed by his running mate, shows that they intended to slash programs that benefit the majority of American citizens and continue the failed policy of granting tax breaks to the wealthiest and least vulnerable in our country.

It is for these reasons that Obama was re-elected and our country will continue to prosper and provide needed support for the majority of our citizens.


Upper Jay