Letters (Sept. 23, 2009)

Consider the source when hearing ?facts?


I am interested in the recent letter by Ted McIrvin (Sept. 16). I wish he had given his sources for the ?facts? he is so sure of. I also watch TV and read about health care, worry about the whole issue, but come to very different conclusions than he does.

For example, there is no ?death panel,? either implicit or explicit. There is no coverage for illegal aliens in the health bill, and there is no abortion coverage. Over and over, fact-checking organizations have proven that these are myths or lies and not valid issues.

The people who are furious because they think a government committee will someday make life-or-death decisions for all of us amaze me.Who or what does he think the insurance companies do now?

Obviously, I fall into the liberal camp, but I have never followed anyone or anything blindly in my life. I use my brain to try to decide how to react to issues and what to think. I try to compare sources and try to figure out if the sources I hear have an axe to grind, or a way to benefit from my following them.

As we were taught long ago, consider the source, and know the frame of reference.

Almost every night the media show protests by the ?teabaggers? and other demonstrators at town hall meetings. The nastiness, vileness, charges of being a Nazi, or pictures of Obama merged with Hitler?s likeness, or racist cartoons, are being shown and promulgated by the right wing fanatics, not the liberals.

As a liberal and a thinking person, I consider free speech and other freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights to be of great importance. I cannot count the number of times I have been called a ?communist,? unpatriotic and un-American for criticizing some government policy or office holder.

I do not think calling names or castigating those we disagee with is helpful in any discussion. It would be better to stick to the issues rather than attacking the man or woman.

I would ask Mr. McIrvin if he ever notices the number of stories in the local papers about fundraising or benefit suppers for our neighbors who have hit a rough patch and need help with medical expenses? Many of them have insurance. Who is limiting their care or refusing their treatments? It?s not the government.

Why shouldn?t everyone have the same care that those of us on Medicare have? Why should the United States be the only civilized country in the Western world without health care for all its citizens, not just the old and the elect?

Patricia Ketchum


A healthy alternative to fear and anger


What a welcome, needed, refreshing time of learning last Wednesday evening at First Mennonite Church?a calm, thorough, balanced, methodical look into the trends and problems in our country?s health care system presented by Keith Harder.

Keith has spent years immersed in these issues through his assignment for Mennonite Church USA. And what wisdom it is to begin by studying and understanding the problems first, before any discussion of the supposed solutions, as is currently happening in the national debate.

Our unfortunate rapid jump to remedies without taking time to develop understanding of the problems has only sent everyone scurrying for the trenches and opening fire on one another.

I appreciated how Keith took the entire time only to look at the problems, their complexities and incompatibilities, and the forced choices they present. No prescriptions or opinions offered at this time.

Come Wednesday evening to hear Keith present on the various pieces of legislation now under consideration.

We are living in a national culture of anger and fear. We have been living this way for several years now. The anger and fear are real and understandable, but they will not lead us to a promising, prosperous future. They will not lead us to God?s blessing.

Shouting, name calling, vitriol, disrespect, poor manners, and labeling the other as enemy seem to have become our new normal.

Now is the time to restore our national fellowship and again elevate the values of listening, respect, compromise, teamwork and leadership. These are values for a democracy to thrive. These are the values my parents taught me.

May we now teach them to our children before it is too late, before we all lose. This task belongs to each one of us.

Randy Smith



More support needed for appraiser action


This past month has been a journey. It has been a road of principles determining wrong and right.

We believe in taxation…it?s necessary! However, we have experienced verbal and taxation abuse from the Marion County appraiser, just as many other Marion County residents have experienced.

We salute the businesses who made the petitions available to the public, and did not hide them in some fashion or another. We thank those individuals who accepted them, but we also recognize and understand the position one has when in local business.

Some business owners supported us verbally, but couldn?t sign the petition for obvious reasons. There were county residents who desperately wanted to sign, but didn?t, because they feared ?repercussions.?

Many thanks go to the scores of people who signed petitions, those who called offering financial support, offers to carry petitions, those who sent letters, among other means of support.

This petition is justified. As of today, this is still a free country, and freedom of speech is one of our precious, unalienable rights. Our forefathers who signed the Declaration of Independence were persecuted beyond measure for standing up and speaking out. Let us learn a lesson from them.

Action is being pursued to dismiss the Marion County appraiser. We encourage everyone interested to speak up with letters to the editor.

For those who would support us privately, we request letters, this week, from county residents and taxpayers who wish to contribute grievances they have experienced with her as well.

Mail them to Gary Diepenbrock, 2953 Vista Road, Lincolnville 66858, or Jerry Siebert, 1365 Clover Road, Cedar Point 66843.

Continued county support would be greatly appreciated.

Gary Diepenbrock

Jerry Siebert

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