Love and connection | Readers respond

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The Rev. Blaik Westhoff greets patient Carmen Reyes, 79, during Spirit Alive, a religious service for people with dementia.

Love and connection

In the midst of a news cycle filled with murder in Bucks County, the ongoing health-care debate, the destruction of our social safety net, the division in our country, and interference by Russia in the most cherished areas of our civil lives, reading the story, “Worshiping in the moment” (“Sunday) provided a moment of glorious respite.

The Rev. Blaik Westhoff and the staff of Phoebe Richland deserve the utmost praise and recognition for their work with dementia patients. They truly represent grace. To bring caring, love, and connection to people who are so often forgotten is the true work of God.

The story made me think of the need and desire we each have for love and connection. It created a moment in my day when I could forget about anger and protest, division and debate. The joy I felt while reading the details of the worship services made me feel blessed.

Thank you for the peace you gave me to start my day.

Barbara Blonsky, Mount Laurel, barb12kp@earthlink.net

Opioid deals go two ways

The Inquirer editorial, “Get drugs out of the mail” (Monday), called for increased package screening by the U.S. and international postal services as a way to stem trafficking of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Investing hundreds of millions of dollars to put up a surveillance/scanning wall at the postal border sounds Trumpian in its simplicity and naiveté.

While some upgrades in package scanning and sampling should be employed, the efflux of cash to dealers overseas flows almost unrestricted and unquestioned. Ordinary citizens shouldn’t be allowed to freely and anonymously move significant amounts of cash to nations such as China or Pakistan — players in the dark web world of the international opioid drug market — without significant documentation and/or restriction. The money wire services are all over the map on this. Western Union requires documentation and verbal contact with an agent. Other services send the money with a few mouse clicks — no questions asked.

Let’s tighten up and ask more questions about what’s flowing out as well as what’s flowing in.

Christopher Knob, Media, cknob@comcast.net

Medicaid costs vs. reality

A commentary’s assessment of Medicaid and Sen. Pat Toomey’s plan was based solely on fiscal concerns, not on the realities faced by millions of permanently disabled Americans (“Medicaid status can’t stand,” Sunday). Our reality is struggling to survive when disability income is not rising to meet the ever-increasing cost of living. Our reality is desperately trying to acquire good health care when many medical establishments do not accept Medicaid as it is now.

Toomey and his cohorts in Washington seem determined to ignore the needs of disabled Americans, and, at this rate, they will be ignoring us right into our graves. As Mahatma Ghandi said, “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”

Beth Greenspan, Ardmore

FBI head should do the job

Christopher Wray, being interviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee for the position of FBI director, gave the wrong answer when he said that if, in his investigations, the president put pressure on him to drop the case, he would resign (“FBI nominee vows he’d be independent,” Thursday).

That is exactly the opposite of what he is pledged to do under the Constitution and the responsibilities of his job.
The answer should have been, “Mr. President, whoever is involved in illegalities in my pursuits, I will continue until every person involved, including you, will be indicted.” Period.

Philip Lustig, Downingtown

Veto bill, protect Pa. streams

Gov. Wolf must veto Senate Bill 624. This special-interest bill is strongly opposed by citizens, especially landowners, sportspeople, outdoor recreationists, and farmers. If enacted, the bill threatens some of the most pristine streams in the commonwealth.

For underground coal mining, the bill would supersede the Clean Streams Law — bedrock legislation that protects the quality, quantity, and integrity of our surface waters. Permanent stream loss to coal mining by longwall (high-extraction) methods is unnecessary. There are technically and economically viable alternatives to extract coal, such as traditional room-and-pillar mining.

Allowing any stream to be adversely impacted unnecessarily is contrary to Article I, Section 27, of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Having lost in court, longwall mine operators now want the law changed retroactively to make their irreparable stream damage legal.

James A. Schmid, Media, jaschmid@aol.com