Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Friday, November 17, 2017

Michael Tielmann, a retired brigadier general with the National Guard, holds up a picture of entertainer Bob Hope entertaining U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968.
Michael Tielmann, a retired brigadier general with the National Guard, holds up a picture of entertainer Bob Hope entertaining U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. AP

Vote it down

Thank you Paul Ryan for that great tax cut for the middle class of $1,184 for a family of four. Let’s do the math, that’s approximately $100/month, $25/week, less than $1/day. Oh, and by the way, this is a temporary gift that goes away in 2025 while the tremendous gift for corporations of tax reduction from 35 percent to 20 percent is permanent. Really? And let’s just dump the ACA mandate in the plan and cut 13 million people from health care to make Trump happy and finally, have something to show for a year of total Republican control. This is a very bad tax bill for middle class America. Vote it down.

Mike Corrigan,


Two kudos

Charles Richardson’s Nov. 12 heartfelt description of the sick village prods me to write these two kudos about a glimmer of hope. The first kudo is to the young trick or treaters who came to our house on College Street. Over 200 arrived at our door. A few could not remember what they were supposed to do; some had to be encouraged to say “Trick or treat” before the thank you. Some were just silent with anticipation of candy given with a cheerful smile. With the exception of two oldsters, all were polite, courteous and cheerful. I dressed as Colonel Sanders, the fried chicken guru, to find young ones hugging me, having their parents take our photo, some even asked if I had fried chicken.

The next morning on my two mile walk from our house to the Mercer campus and back, I found a single (1) empty candy wrapper on the sidewalk and only two small pieces of candy dropped by a young one. Maybe those adults who threw out the several empty fast food bags could learn from these children. That, to me, is impressive. Children don’t learn courtesy, respect or friendliness on their own. It takes parents to take the time to teach, love, guide — and discipline.

The second kudo goes to The Telegraph. On Saturday I received in my paper a special message encouraging support of our troops by giving to the USO. We’ve been doing that for many years. While I was away from home and family in the Army I experienced a wonderful feeling of genuine support when I received a USO goody bag, talked to a fine athlete or movie star, sponsored by the USO, or heard a concert in the worst of places — all provided by the USO.

U.S. Sen. Creighton Abrahms, American Commander in Vietnam, and actress Ann-Margret give the "V" sign for Victory during the USO Bob Hope show in South Vietnam, Dec. 22, 1968. Looking on at far left in background is former football star Rosie Grier, who is accompanying Hope's Christmas tour. HORST FAAS AP

Beginning in World War II, the USO lets the service member know that our service and sacrifices are valued. So, we’ll continue to help. How about you dear reader? The USO is a private organization not funded by the government. Thanks Telegraph.

Thomas R. Mann,


Who’s the alpha male?

Our president’s trip to Asia has made several things very clear. I would not say that our president is Putin’s B---- , but it is very apparent that he is in a subservient position when it comes to the Russian leader. Why this is so I do not know. Perhaps Mueller’s investigation will tell us why our president is so obsequious to the Russian autocrat. Maybe it is all the Russian money that was used to bail out our leader from his last difficulties. I don’t know. However it is clear that Putin is the alpha male in any relationship with Trump.

The second thing that is very obvious is that Trump’s slogan of “Making America Great Again” really means making America second rate. We are out of the Paris accords and Europe is leading in addressing the severe climate problem. Russia is building its influence fast in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Asia is being forced to look to China for leadership. Our leader has left a vacuum. It is clear the emperor of Trump Tower is not wearing any clothes.

N. Pietrzak Sr.


James and Paul agree

There is an excellent summary of the faith versus works controversy in my NKJV Study Bible (published by Thomas Nelson) that I would like to share with Dr. Bill Cummings and your readers who may be confused by his vision of the difference. And I quote: “The great reformer, Martin Luther, champion of the doctrine of salvation through faith alone, never felt good about the epistle of James. He preferred Paul’s wording of the faith-works equation, ‘A man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law’ (Romans 3:28). In a sense, Luther had little choice. He was surrounded by men who said that good works could save you. He knew that God alone could save through faith alone, and his mission was to tell them. The truth is that neither faith nor works can be cut off and thrown away. James was taking aim at freeloaders, those who claimed to have no need for good deeds since they had faith. The reality is that if you have faith, works will naturally be a product. You cannot get rid of works just because they do not save you. You cannot sever the effect from the cause. Just as an apple tree will bear apples, so faith will produce good works (See Luke 6:43,44).

“Paul had the opposite problem in view when he wrote Romans. His letter targeted those who placed their faith in the Law of Moses. Their trust was in their own good works, and not in God. That is why Paul wrote a defense of faith, and that is why Luther preferred it to James’s defense of works. Faith and works are not enemies. True faith and righteous works go hand in hand. They are two parts of God’s work in us. Faith brings a person to salvation, and works bring that person to faithfulness. Faith is the cause, works are the effect. James believed it, and so did Paul.”

Roberta R. Johstono


An inconvenient truth

Al Gore is the world’s best known spokesperson on global warming and his efforts to repair the alleged damage to the environment are well publicized. However, it turns out that technology and business have done more, quietly, than Gore could ever perform.

Jesse Ausubel, the Director of the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University published an essay recently containing the news that global greening is reclaiming our biosphere by 2 billion tons a year. Other good news is that New Jersey is overrun with deer and bear; whales have returned to New York Bay in large numbers, foliage in the outback increased and farming efficiency is growing more food in smaller spaces.

So, Al, it’s time to retire. Time to throw out your phoney hockey stick formula, carbon tax scam, fake movies and commercial appeals for money.We have moved on. Al, please do the same.

Bob Norcott,