Letters to the editor

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Abortion in and of itself is a horror

The "House of Horror" editorial (Jan. 22) calls the revelation after years of abortion atrocities of which a Philadelphia physician is accused "outrageous." The Post-Gazette cited as "chilling" the opinion of the grand jury that lack of enforcement of regulation of the abortion clinics under the Rendell administration was due to discrimination against African-Americans and the poor.

The fact is that in 2009, according to Pennsylvania Department of Health statistics, African-American women accounted for 41.5 percent of all abortions in Pennsylvania while African-Americans constitute only 10.9 percent of our state's population. Most abortion clinics are located in poor and African-American neighborhoods. What is chilling is that these statistics show without question that abortion itself discriminates against African-Americans and the poor.

The Post-Gazette, like most abortion advocates, does not want to discuss abortion procedures in its pages or permit any full discussion of the topic. The fact is that abortion itself is a "house of horror." Abortion is grisly because it involves the killing of a live fetus with feelings and a beating heart. When the abortion is performed, even in Pennsylvania, which has stricter regulations than in most states, a live being is killed without even the requirement for anesthetic. The death sentence for criminals is administered more humanely.

Squirrel Hill

Life as disposable

Thank you, Roe v. Wade, for bringing us the devaluation of human life that has reached its natural conclusion in the "house of horrors" abortion mill where, according to a grand jury report, babies born alive were routinely stabbed to death by the resident abortionist.

Pro-abortion advocates promised that if abortion were legal, butchers like Dr. Kermit Gosnell would be eliminated. Really?

Abortion is big business and its prey is desperate women. Dr. Gosnell became a millionaire on the backs of untold thousands of dead babies and at least one dead woman.

By creating a culture where life is disposable when unwanted, Roe v. Wade made it easy for Dr. Gosnell to slide down this slimy slope of carnage. It is perfectly legal for an abortionist to dismember an unborn baby inside the womb and then extract him or her in pieces at 24 weeks' gestation. This is known as a dilation & evacuation abortion. It is legal, and it is real.

Why are we so shocked when Dr. Gosnell is "operating" a few days later and his victims are a few inches outside the womb?

The heartbreaking legacy of the decision legalizing abortion is 52 million abortions, procedures that involve the dismemberment of living human beings and butchers like Dr. Gosnell.

Happy anniversary, Roe v. Wade.

Upper St. Clair

Drop the plow, city

The city of Pittsburgh public works really needs a refresher course in snow removal.

I plow snow for a living and know that when there is more than 2 inches of snow on the pavement you need to plow it off before salting. I plow all over the city and suburbs and give the city a grade of ? -- let's go with "incomplete."

Driving through Oakland from Shadyside through the University of Pittsburgh campus, there was 4 to 6 inches of slush on the road at noon last Friday, eight hours after the snow stopped. For a main road to look like this is a grade "F" in my book.

Just drop your plows; it will actually save you some money and you won't have to use so much salt. In every other borough or township I drove through, from 7 or 8 a.m. on, the roads were clear, free of slush and mostly just wet. City, ask the small boroughs and townships how they do it. Oh, the answer is "they use that large blade on the front of their trucks to move the snow off the roads."


Gun misinformation

I would like to respond to some of the misinformation that has been printed following the tragedy in Tucson, Ariz. First, the alleged shooter did not use an assault weapon! The weapon used was a Glock handgun, very similar to the sidearm that you see every day in a police person's holster, similar to millions of handguns owned by law-abiding citizens across this country.

Second, everyone in every state in this country has to undergo a background check to purchase a new firearm. If you purchase a used handgun from a private individual, it is required that that firearm be transferred to your name by a licensed firearms dealer. This transfer requires a background check. Mr. Loughner passed the background check because there was nothing in his background to prevent the sale. He could have purchased the gun and passed the background check in any of the 50 states had he resided in that state rather than Arizona. Had the college personnel who asked him to leave filed a police report concerning his mental state, then the sale most likely would have been denied.

Letter writer Todd Henkelmann ("For Our Safety," Jan. 19) states that "hunters don't use such weapons, we know that." Hunters are permitted to and do use auto-loading rifles (what some call assault weapons) in many states. Our neighbor, West Virginia, is one of them. Mr. Henkelmann also states that it is much easier to purchase a gun now than it was in the '60s and '70s. That's interesting. I thought Lee Harvey Oswald purchased his rifle through mail order. Sure can't do that today.

Letter writer Eileen Colianni ("Keep Up a Drumbeat for Background Checks," Jan. 19) wants to know who finances the National Rifle Association. I do. I finance it along with about 4 million other members -- members who vote.


Off-base on property

Regarding the letter from Herbert Barry III who seems to think that owning property in America is a privilege bestowed upon its subjects by a benevolent government ("Re: Property Taxes," Jan. 20): What complete and utter collective tripe.

Property ownership is a right, and taxes are levied against property for services, not for "exclusive possession of local government's territory." The problem in Pennsylvania is not property taxes. It is the unfair, inequitable and adversarial system of allowing school districts to file appeal after appeal against property owners, without any penalty.

It is time to end this system whereby only property owners are afforded the "privilege" of paying school taxes for (as he puts it) "excluded" residents, and (to paraphrase our president), start "spreading that privilege around."

Bethel Park

Steelers fans put recycling effort in the win column

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers on an amazing season! Thanks to the support of the Steelers' organization -- and the thousands of fans who tailgated in recent weeks outside Heinz Field -- Pittsburgh has another winning effort to celebrate.

The "Let's Tackle Recycling" campaign, which launched in December ("Program Encourages Steelers Tailgaters to Recycle," Dec. 13) and continued through the AFC Championship Game, resulted in nearly 8 tons of recyclables being diverted from local landfills.

Parking attendants distributed blue plastic bags to tailgaters so they could easily gather aluminum cans, glass containers and plastic bottles and cups at their tailgate parties in six designated parking lots.

The results were phenomenal. During the three December home games alone, the recycling crew collected more than 90,000 aluminum cans and 36,000 plastic bottles and cups.

The "Let's Tackle Recycling" effort -- generously funded by the Alcoa Foundation -- is truly a team effort. In addition to thanking the thousands of fans who used the blue bags to "go green," the Pennsylvania Resources Council sincerely thanks its campaign partners: Alco Parking, City of Pittsburgh Environmental Services, Greenstar, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Sports & Exhibition Authority.

Look for a return of this extremely successful blue bag campaign when the Black and Gold kick off the 2011 season at Heinz Field.

Regional Director
Pennsylvania Resources Council
South Side

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