What is a moral value?

I’d like to thank Stewart Acuff for his opinion piece “Restoring workers’ rights is a moral value.” I don’t speak of it often but everything I do and believe stems from my faith. I rejected capitalism and embraced socialism as the economic system more consistent with Christian values. I became an activist because I believe faith without works is dead. I embrace my friends of other faiths as well as my atheist and agnostic friends as I was raised to believe religion is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of what is right for you.

My definition of morality is quite simple — think of someone other than yourself once in a while.

Deb Wilmer Tucson AZ

Why have to beg?

Can’t pay those mounting medical bills? A couple in Richmond, Va., has discovered that eBay, the online auction house, may be the answer.

The “Today” show aired a segment about a 9-year-old boy, David Dingman-Grover, whose parents are attempting to raise enough money for a biopsy of the tumor in his head. Because of the location and size of the tumor (the size of a grapefruit) it was impossible to remove, according to his mother in her ad on eBay.

After chemotherapy, his tumor shrank to the size of a peach pit, but now David is in need of specialized pediatric neurosurgery in order to determine if the tumor is still cancerous. David’s family must pay 20 percent of the surgery bill, as well as a $1,500 fee paid in advance.

As I watched this story, I was deeply touched by the plight of 9-year-old David and his family, while at the same time angered at “Today’s” coverage. Instead of questioning the fact that a family in the wealthiest country in the world has to resort to donations for the health care of a child, they focused on how clever they are for thinking of going on eBay to raise money.

I guess those moral values we keep hearing so much about go on the back burner when the country has such pressing issues at hand like the $50-million inauguration or the privatization of Social Security and, of course, those permanent tax cuts for the rich.

Thomas Fair Cleveland OH

Who’s the fool?

Hey, great article on the Bush privatization of Social Security. Too bad you’re all wet. If people don’t have the intelligence to invest in the stock market, then here’s a novel idea: Educate yourself. Learn about it!

If you and I had $10,000 to invest over the next 20 years, you’d put your money in the entitlement fund we call SS, and I’d put mine to work in the stock market, I’d have a lot more money than you when all is said and done. That’s a fact. Just because some people don’t know how to invest, that’s not my problem. You just simply don’t understand the issue. The silent majority will win this battle.

John MontgomeryVia e-mail

Editor’s note: A big and vocal majority thinks otherwise. See page 1.

Meditation #1

How can it be:
our TV screens fill with
dead “them”, dehumanized
and inert,
as our children watch dead-eyed.
And soldiers, our own neighbors
mouthe taught cliches,
military jargon,
to erase awareness
of this … Finalizing Act.
Is not War the greatest

Frances FordSt. Paul MN

Want to share story

I am a resident of Orrville, Ohio, who writes a column for the local newspaper, Orrviews. My column deals with the history of Orrville and famous and former residents. I believe Carl Geiser, the author of an article on your web site, is also the Carl Geiser who was born in Orrville, fought in the Spanish Civil War, and wrote a powerful essay on Cuban democracy. I suspect Mr. Geiser has a powerful story to tell, and I wish to share that story with my readers. Any information as to how to contact Carl Geiser would be very helpful.

Caleb T. MaupinOrrville OH

New layout a winner
I like the new layout. It makes the paper look more professional and better organized. I was able to see and find what articles I wanted to read first more quickly. I do wish you would add some color pictures from time to time.

John E. ArmstrongVia e-mail

Media failure

Once the Nazification of America is completed — if not during the second term of George W. Bush, then surely in the first term of his brother, Jeb Bush — we may thank the mainstream media for allowing this to happen virtually unchallenged. Fittingly, it will be the mainstream media who will be among the hardest hit, once the neocons are through with them. The epitaph on the mass grave of the mainstream media will read: “Never did so many do so little for so many.”

Willard B. Shapira Minneapolis MN

Blockade of Cuba

A couple of recent letters deserve comment. One opined that it was erroneous to describe U.S. policy toward Cuba as a blockade, but that it is an embargo. The other stated that the ban on travel may have been constitutional while the Soviet Union existed, but that it surely could not be constitutional now.

The Cuban government maintains that U.S. policy constitutes a blockade because the U.S. punishes countries and companies that trade with Cuba. That most people side with the Cubans on this issue is evidenced by the fact that the UN General Assembly has frequently and overwhelmingly condemned U.S. policy. To most of the world, the U.S. defense that its policy is simply an embargo is not convincing.

The constitutionality of the travel ban has very little to do with the existence or disappearance of the Soviet Union. Every U.S. administration, except, for a time, that of Jimmy Carter, has restricted our right to travel to Cuba. Because the courts have made it difficult to ban travel outright, the restrictions now severely restrict travelers from spending money. For a variety of reasons, none of the people penalized for spending money have had the constitutionality of the restrictions decided in court. Whoever succeeds in getting this issue before a substantive court will need the support of all your readers!

Greg LaMottaAnnandale VA