Sounding off: Not vaccinating has consequences |
Letters to the Editor

Sounding off: Not vaccinating has consequences


Many readers, politicians and media types do not understand that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Yes, we live in a country with many freedoms and the right to exercise those freedoms. But there are consequences, both good and bad, for exercising those freedoms.

Colin Kaepernick exercised his freedom of speech. Consequently, he was let go by the NFL. A person can yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, but if there is no fire will likely be prosecuted. A person can own and fire a gun, but there will be negative consequences if he or she goes into a crowded area and start firing randomly into the air.

People are free to not vaccinate their children, but shouldn’t be surprised if a doctor says they can’t be seen or a school says they can’t attend (“Rep. Metcalfe pushes bill requiring doctors to treat unvaccinated kids,”).

Doctor’s offices and schools host many people who can’t be vaccinated. A person has a right to not vaccinate, but has no right to endanger others. An unvaccinated child is a loaded gun in the presence of those who can’t be vaccinated. Doctors and schools have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable. Denied access to those facilities are the consequences of not vaccinating.

Darryn Zawitz, Adams

Solar potential is low in Western Pennsylvania

Regarding the article “Solar farms begin cropping up in Western Pennsylvania”: You should curb your enthusiasm for solar power. Our location is not optimal at all for solar potential, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (see maps at It’s like putting your hair dryer on full power yet only getting warm air from it 85% of the time.

It’s only through government grants/credits that David Hommrich, president of Sunrise Energy, can claim solar is competitive. I wonder what the percentage of his “sometimes cheaper than fossil fuels is”? My guess is less than 5%.

A better use of the land seen in the photo accompanying this article would be to use it as a CO2 to O2 converter*.

Solar power is a good fit for the Southwest where the sun shines 95% of the time. Pennsylvania’s energy “Gold Standard” is natural gas.

* CO2 to O2 converter = hillside of trees and plants.

Carl Massart, Buffalo Township

Robert Mueller should say something

We have now witnessed both the Trumpwash and the Hirono megaslander approaches.

But I can’t help but place the blame for all this sturm und drang on … Robert Mueller. The guy had unlimited resources. And after all that (and setting aside that he probably knew no collusion well before the midterms, but said nothing, and might, possibly, maybe, have cost the Republicans the House), he absolutely should have made a judgment on obstruction. He and his team had the responsibility to say either, “Troubling stuff but no obstruction,” or the opposite, “Troubling stuff rising to the level of obstruction of justice.” By not saying one way or the other he guaranteed that the country, the citizens, the normal people would remain divided.

Politically, it would have made no difference. If he had said, “Trump is St. Peter. Did zero wrong. What a guy!! My man!” the Democrats, MSNBC, CNN and the rest of the mainstream media would have said, “Oh, NO!!!! The guy is dirty as hell! Mueller is a partisan, political hack. IMPEACH!!!” And if he had said, “Trump is slime, obstructed justice, he is Putin’s lapdog, does his bidding with enthusiasm and colluded in astounding ways,” the Republicans and Fox would have said, “Mueller is a partisan, anti-Trump, political hack! Out to get him from the beginning. WITCH HUNT!!!”

James F. Cataldi, Moon

Politicians choose deadlock over cooperation

How is it that our government has so rapidly slipped into levels of incompetence, arrogance and corruptive behavior never imagined by the Founding Fathers? Ranting and raving ignoramuses with little understanding of the basics of the Constitution spew ridiculously stupid, inaccurate and blatantly false interpretations of the simplest tenets of our country.

It’s not hard to imagine that many of these elected geniuses couldn’t pass a basic civics test. Recent accomplishments of Congress include parading in front of cameras, investigating each other, holding hearings and “working” to paralyze one another and the country.

The Constitution says the primary duty of Congress is to “make laws.” In case you haven’t noticed, they don’t do that anymore. Their paralysis has caused them to pawn off much of that responsibility to administrators, bureaucrats and federal agencies. Instead of living under laws made by a nonpartisan legislative branch, we are living under rules made up by the IRS, SEC, Homeland Security, HUD and others. It’s very apparent that to many of these Washington elites, party comes first, not country. This should be very troubling to all Americans.

Presidents now (attempt to) make laws (i.e., “executive orders”) to circumvent an inept, partisan Congress.

However, in the end the courts (who are charged with interpreting laws) are instead making laws, though indirectly, by determining the legality of the partisan decisions made by the other two branches.

Cooperation is dead; long live partisanship. Ruling by division is the flavor of the day. If your goal is deadlock, congratulations, you win.

Tim Kaczmarek, Natrona Heights

Where’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

I am very concerned about the condition and whereabouts of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We’ve heard unsubstantiated stories of her working out with trainers, walking a mile a day, sparring with Chuck Norris, etc. We’ve seen and heard a few vague photos and sound clips, also. All after major lung surgery just a few short months ago. You would think she would do an interview to assure us all that she is OK. Yet, nothing.

She has one of the most important jobs in our country. I, along with other concerned citizens, would like to see solid evidence that she is alive and doing well. That she is still capable, mentally and physically, of carrying out her duties. Every American citizen deserves to know.

Will her true condition be kept secret until after the 2020 presidential election? Just wondering.

Robert Anderson, Freeport

Voting and voter suppression

Anticipating Election Day, May 21, I am forced to face two of my greatest disappointments: citizens who don’t take the time to vote, and the Republican Party’s promotion of voter suppression.

The right to vote is the bedrock principle of our democracy. For someone to casually forego this opportunity is the height of civic irresponsibility. My contempt for this is exceeded only by my loathing of the widespread practice by the Republican Party of voter suppression.

One searches in vain for evidence of the Republican Party’s effort to make voting easier for the poor, elderly, handicapped, minorities and the rurally isolated. On the contrary, efforts continue by red state legislatures to curtail and obstruct the voting rights of the above mentioned, e.g. eliminating polling places, difficult voter ID laws, restricting voting days and hours, gerrymandering, purging voter rolls and many other legislative tricks. Check out Wikipedia’s “Voter Suppression in the United States” — but have your barf bag handy.

Concern for voter fraud is the Republicans’ stock response for their voter suppression machinations. But this won’t wash, as they have never offered any proof that this is a credible problem. President Trump’s short-lived voter fraud commission collapsed after drawing bipartisan outrage.

Why do otherwise patriotic, upstanding Republicans permit/encourage their party and elected reps to get away with these blatant attacks on our democracy? And we are concerned about the threat from Russian interference in our elections. Hilarious!

Robert Jedrzejewski, Tarentum

Vaccine curiosity

I find it curious that every time there is an outbreak of flu, chicken pox or the latest — measles — there is an accompanying alarm and outcry for vaccination — not, interestingly enough, from the people who have not been vaccinated and are supposedly at great risk, but instead from people who have already received vaccines.

Common sense tells me that if vaccines are truly as effective as doctors and Big Pharma lead people to believe, then those who have already been vaccinated have no need to worry that they will contract the headline-making illness. Furthermore, doctors should have no fear that a non-vaccinated person sitting in the waiting room will infect other patients who have been vaccinated.

Is it possible that, despite all the hype, those in the vaccine camp have doubts or secretly question the safety or efficacy of vaccines? Do those who choose to say “no” to some or even all vaccines know something that the “experts” also know but are not sharing?

Susan Gero, Leechburg

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