Sounding off: Heed musical wisdom, turn off your screens |
Letters to the Editor

Sounding off: Heed musical wisdom, turn off your screens


In 1973, there were three TV channels and the average “screens” per household were rarely more than one. That same year, Frank Zappa released “I’m The Slime,” prophetically warning about “vile and pernicious slime oozin’ out from your TV set.”

By 1979, average screens per household had doubled, and The Manhattan Transfer released “Coo Coo U.” It cleverly asked, “How did you get so coo-coo? You are paranoid, and your head is void — you are loco!” The obvious reason for societal ills, according to the lyrics, was “psycho-neurasthenic from too much TV.” In 1992, Bruce Springsteen lamented that there were “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”; too bad nobody took his wisdom to heart.

Today, there’s a screen in everybody’s pocket, and large ones in each room of every house. In Orwellian fashion, they’re in every bar and public lobby space. The scourge of social media has transformed cable newscasts and newspapers alike. Thoughtful and civil public forums such as Letters to the Editor pages are often reduced to outlets for adolescent diatribes attempting to validate hatred for the president and his supporters. Imagine for a moment a sober-minded society that heeded the wisdom in popular music of the time? One can only dream.

The 2020 election is only in its infancy. To eliminate the likelihood of acting like you should be wearing a diaper, turn off your TV now, and keep it off. Discover life with no Russia, no racists, no recession, and simply relax until Election Day. You can then cast your ballot cheerfully, instead of in anger.

Joe Schmidt, Lower Burrell

Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans, including almost 300,000 in Pennsylvania. As the state’s older population grows, so does the number of individuals and families affected by this dreadful and costly disease. Alzheimer’s and other dementias are a growing global health problem that can only be solved through research.

The good news is this is a very exciting time in Alzheimer’s disease research. Last month, I met with Pittsburgh-area volunteers, advocates, caregivers and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center to discuss work being done locally and globally. Every discovery made by researchers, whether it’s new tools to study the biology of the brain or the results of a drug trial, helps to answer important questions and brings us one step closer to finding a cure.

But you don’t have to be a scientist to be involved in Alzheimer’s research. Money raised through events like the annual Pittsburgh Walk to End Alzheimer’s and social media fundraisers goes toward research for treatments, early detection and diagnostic tools, and prevention strategies. You can also get involved by participating in a clinical trial, even if you don’t have an Alzheimer’s diagnosis or cognitive concern. Find clinical trials by visiting

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with, provide daily care for or simply care about someone with Alzheimer’s, help and support are available. Visit to access resources and learn more about how you can get involved in the fight to end Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Rebecca Edelmayer, Chicago, Ill.

The writer is director of scientific engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Don’t use names of killers

Would the Trib consider not using the names of the idiots who decide (or “allegedly” decide) to take innocent lives? Maybe show their faces if you are worried about clicks, but I don’t think their names are pertinent information because they’ve given up their rights as humans.

Just a thought. Other news sources are doing this and I think it only makes sense.

Terah Williams, Upper St. Clair

Trump keeps fighting for America

I would like to respond to the letter “Disagreeing with Trump supporters.” The writer’s call to veterans not to support President Trump because he didn’t fight for America is unbelievable. Neither President Obama nor Hillary Clinton served, so how did they “fight for America”?

I voted for Trump and will again. I am 74 years old and have been voting all my life, and never voted a straight ticket. I vote for whomever I think is the best qualified candidate. I liked Trump because he was not a politician. Our politicians, from both sides, are an embarrassment to America because they do not have our backs.

Since Trump has been president we have seen him fight for America. The unemployment rate is 3.8%, the lowest in 50 years — let that sink in. The Dow Jones average, which was around 19,000 in January 2017, is now around 26,000, good news for Americans’ retirement funds.

Trump has fought for better trade deals, which include tariffs, increased funds for veterans’ programs, worked to allow Americans to get cheaper drugs from Canada — and the list goes on. I do not agree with everything the president says and sometimes wish he would not respond at all, but I still support him.

Dorothy Shock, Springdale

Climate change, effects are clear, proven

Kudos to Al Duerig’s response (“Wild claims about climate change, Trump, reparations”) to Rudy Gagliardi’s letter (“Trump will get my vote”) on Trump and climate change. When I read Gagliardi’s letter, I thought that maybe it was Rudy Giuliani using an alias. Giuliani, one of the heroes of 9/11 and now a ferocious supporter of President Trump, has become what the colonials once deemed “turncoat.”

To deny climate change and the effects of global warming, one is either illiterate or like Trump — i.e., refusing to recognize something receiving more public attention than himself.

Scientists worldwide have shown — proved — that global warming has dramatically reduced the size and depth of ice at both polar caps. They’ve proved that this change is affecting both land and sea creatures — for example, wider ranges for caribou, wider ranges for polar bears seeking their main food source of seals, and both orca and humpback whales descending further into Antarctic waters for food sources.

As for Trump doing more in two years than most accomplished in eight: a truly ridiculous statement. Trump has trumpeted that statement, but this administration is the 13th in my lifetime, and the only two that have accomplished less were Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

George A. West, Ligonier Township

Climate change scam, sacrifice

Scams proliferate daily as we concern ourselves with billions being taken by crooks, while we casually overlook the trillions being taken by globalist bureaucrats in the name of “climate change.”

Their scam originates by scaring people into believing that the earth is in peril by unclear scientific, and often questionable, representations, and that to save it we have to tax everyone into the poorhouse. For the sacrifice of your wealth, the government promises to deliver to you a “feel good” statistic that you have helped save the world. It didn’t cost them a dime, but brought them trillions.

Your family’s monetary sacrifice gets you a meaningless air purity statistic, making you feel like a “good earth person,” while the world’s bureaucrats use your wealth to empower themselves, and their relatives’ and friends’ bank accounts.

Al Gore has made millions, and think about how little has been delivered since this scam started 20 years ago as “an inconvenient truth.” The scam and your sacrifice earn a pat on the back for being taken.

Technology will eventually replace fossil fuels with working economical renewable energy before the earth perishes. Patience will win the day if we quit spreading the fear and political lies that the need for a “Green New Deal” is urgent. America doesn’t have to join the globalist scam team while it leads the world in energy resources.

Len Bach, Murrysville

Idea of reparations is absurd

Many Democratic presidential hopefuls are advocating reparations for either or both African-American and LGBTQ communities. Their reasoning includes slavery compensation for the former and historical tax inequities for the latter. As a full-blooded Italian- American, I propose that individuals of my nationality also deserve similar consideration.

In the late 1800s, Italians were heavily discriminated against and denied employment. Newspapers, such as the Gazette in Iowa, even recommended not to hire Italians because they “were not in sympathy with institutions and not desirable elements in the population.” Also, many derogatory descriptions were circulated to describe Italian workers. Sicilians were viewed by many Americans as culturally backward and racially suspect. In addition, the 1891 lynchings in New Orleans and elsewhere resulted in unjustified execution of many Italians.

Although the above is factually correct, I am not being truly sincere in asking to be compensated for the historical abhorrent treatment of Italians. In truth, discrimination to some degree has been experienced by many diverse domestic groups throughout our history.

Attempting to equitably compensate today’s generations for such inequities of the past is neither justified nor possible. How would such reparations be disseminated? Who actually would be compensated? In what form would such reparations take? After careful thought and consideration, the absurdity of such proposals should be obvious.

John Lapina, Irwin

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