Letters for December 25, 2003

Not used, vintage
I am a frugal person. I have thrift shopped quite a bit in the past but won’t be much longer. Thrift stores are becoming too greedy. They have forgotten the reason thrift stores exist—so people without much money can still buy things. At a local thrift store, a friend of mine wanted to buy two candle sticks priced at $15. She offered $15 for the pair. The clerk berated her for not wanting to give to the charity the store benefited. How did the clerk know she was not a charity case herself?

At a different “thrift” store, over the loud speaker, they play a sort of commercial. It says something to the effect like you save money while shopping, and you are helping to save the planet. It’s true that people get rid of perfectly great things in our “too much crap” society. But when evil Wal-Mart can beat a thrift store price for things like socks, panties, jeans and just about everything else, where will people shop? Most humans would rather buy new things, especially when they’re cheaper. I urge thrift stores to at least beat Wal-Mart prices.

Monica Oesterling

Talk to all the candidates
After last week’s Democratic debate, ABC decided to remove their reporters from the Sharpton, Braun and Kucinich campaigns.

I feel it is an abomination that ABC should decide which candidates are valuable and which are not. If it is going to remove reporters from democratic candidates to save money, then remove them all.

ABC has not given fair coverage or used its reporters to the best of its abilities anyway. It slants the news and focuses on its agenda, forgetting what news is really about. I was a news director years ago when news was about giving the people all the information so they could make informed decisions on important issues. Here we are dealing with choosing a candidate to run for president in one of the most difficult times in recent history. Americans want to make the right choice, not ABC’s choice.

As for the debate with Ted Koppel, I felt embarrassed for him and for news reporters everywhere. Here a man who is considered an icon by some, showed no interest in the important issues Americans are concerned about, but rather focused the people’s attention on Gov. Dean’s endorsement and money.

Yet Koppel never pointed out the fact that Dean used his time while governor of Vermont to begin his campaign for the presidency and that he formed a PAC to raise money and that people in the state of Vermont have gone to court to call for accountability of his time during his last term as governor. Now that’s news the American people need to know before choosing this man.

It is appalling how ABC handles the news. I expect that Koppel, a reporter who used to have the guts to ask key questions, is being pressured by corporate agendas. It is no wonder intelligent Americans search for news from alternate sources inside and outside this country.

The next president of the United States will have the grave responsibility to pull us out of war, create hope instead of terror, renew our international image, resolve our fiscal disparity, redevelop American jobs, address issues of health care and education and infuse a new vision for international cooperation on the numerous issues from environment to economy that have been avoided or eroded by the current administration. We need to be given the opportunity to examine every potential candidate so that we can elect the best possible person to lead our nation.

Michele Avanti

Is Hinckley cured?
This is regarding John Hinckley, the man who shot President Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s.

There seems to be two schools of thought about Hinckley: those who think he can be cured and those who think he should be locked up forever.

If Hinckley is locked up forever, then it sends a message to the families of those with loved ones that mental illness can’t be cured and no treatment or medication will ever help, Prozac and other anti-depressants included. You are sick, can never be cured and should never be released into society again.

If that is the case, why then are the Republicans so determined to move patients from an inpatient status to an outpatient status and into halfway houses and/or onto the streets in order to reduce payments and costs for insurance companies?

Are those patients who actually pose a threat to society going to be released, while the one who shot a president revered by the Republicans is to be kept under 24-hour watch and condemned by those who have neither medical training nor knowledge of Hinckley’s condition?

Dewey Quong