health as it happens

Letters: Barletta, botched drone strike and sugar addiction -

Barletta's attacks on Biden leave out vital context

It is no surprise to me Republican and gubernatorial candidate to Lou Barletta had few gentlemanly characterizations of Joe Biden in a recent newspaper rant concerning Biden’s courageous act of ending a misguided and fruitless invasion of Afghanistan, conducted for seemingly no other purpose other than to “capture or kill” a small group of terrorists. Barletta saw fit to regurgitate contemporary right-wing characterizations of Biden’s lies. I can hardly fathom where Barletta’s attentions were during his committee meetings during his tenure. Surely someone at some time had to have brought up another president related to the subject of Afghanistan with the last name of Bush. 

One of the most fascinating facts of politics in general is the technique of cherry-picking current events to distract the public’s attention away from preceding personal or party misdeeds. In the case of Biden, the uncleanliness of cleaning up other people’s messes is no exception. I compelled to wonder if Barletta or anyone else engaged in party politicking fully understands the concept of war, its complexities and consequences. Or that war should be the last priority in rooting out small groups of terrorists. 

Let everyone else not forget that three prior presidents were also “liars,” in particular the president responsible for the war in the first place, not to mention the master liar immediately preceding Biden. Embellished condemnations of anyone for any reason has become far too commonplace if it works to one’s advantage, especially in politics. 

G. Wesley Bennett, Erie 

Nation's addiction to sugar poses expensive health risks

In a world where we spend vast sums on drug addiction rehab without blinking, there is one addiction that costs us even more.

It's the trumpeting elephant in the room that no one sees and hears or smells.

Sugar. No, I'm not a nutrition refugee from a guru community, I just happen to have a good friend who is a doctor, and a brilliant son.

My doctor gives me props for controlling my diet and also fills me in on his patients' obsession with overloading sweets. Wow!

It's an addiction avalanche that buries him daily.

The cost? Calculate the treatment of diabetic health care and obesity in this country. The BMJ Medical Journal 2020 states that pre-diabetic propensity to obesity and Type 1 diabetes is now 93%. No alarms? 

My son, a millennial, thinks that processed sugar should be taxed. Brilliant!  Corporations would find it too dear to put in the processed foods we eat. We'd have to add it ourselves.

That tax alone could pay off the deficit.

William Peck, Erie

There must be consequences for botched drone strike

We were recently informed, in a very matter of fact way, by a U.S. general, that our military blew up a family of seven children and three adults by mistake in Afghanistan. The general explained they had a “high degree of certainty” that the car belonged to an Islamic State terror group and an “over the horizon” order to eliminate or kill them was given. Upon further review they found they were the wrong people and they were innocents trying to get water for their family. We are not told who specifically ordered the attack. Then the general had the audacity to say, while we are sorry, we will however appropriately pay the survivors? 

We all need to be outraged as Americans. We hold ourselves to be a country of honesty and integrity, a leader for doing the right thing and condemning injustice. This was a blatant attempt to hit back at ISIS for the deaths of our 13 soldiers, while pushing the limits at getting our revenge. Our leaders placed a rush on “getting back” and showing the world how tough we are, over a reasoned and measured response. 

This outrage cannot stand with no one actually accepting responsibility. I’m not talking about the general saying it is my responsibility. I’m talking about General Mark Milley and Secretary Lloyd Austin, resigning and/or being fired for a war crime or voluntary manslaughter at a minimum. Shame on us and shame on how we rationalize death as expedient and justified.  

Imagine a country blowing up an American family and later saying, “So sorry, we made a mistake, but we will pay you off, no problem." The world has lost respect for our country, and I’m sorry to say we deserve it.

Edward T. Brennan, Harborcreek 

Rabbit rescue only one to say thanks for Erie Gives donation

Call it good old-fashioned manners.

But when Erie Gives day 2021 rolled around on Aug.10 and I generously donated online to five local charities/nonprofits, I naturally expected a "thank you" from these organizations, in one form or another.

However, over a month later, only one, EARS (Erie Area Rabbit Society Rescue) was the only nonprofit that apparently appreciated my gift by sending me a handwritten thank-you card on their stationery and a bookmark, which I appreciate.

While there are many nonprofits in the Erie area, I think I'll be more discretionary in the future. But I already know of one that'll receive a donation from me. 

Gregory Greenleaf, Springboro