pe treatment medicine

Filed under Letters to the Editor

Higher taxes for ‘boozers’

I am writing in response to the Oct. 21 Kathleen Parker column, “Reefer sanity: a rational marijuana position.”

Legalizing dope would be saying, “Go ahead and do it. It’s legal.”

I don’t read in the paper that “dopes” are being treated any worse than drunk drivers or drunks urinating in parking lots.

Tobacco is being taxed to death, and there are those who want to tax “fat foods” also. So why aren’t we taxing “boozers” more?

Danny W. Shultz
East Brady

Sobriety incentive

After reading James H. Matson’s Sept. 21 letter, “Same DUI rule for police,” I feel Matson is a good reason the other 200 million people in this country who drink alcohol should want to give it up.

Danny W. Shultz
East Brady R. D. 1

This letter to the editor is certainly NOT from Danny, but it seemed germane; it also provoked Danny into a response.

Same DUI rule for police

This is a “mad as heck” letter in response to the letter of Aug. 25 by Traci Vetovich, coordinator of MADD of Butler/Lawrence County, and all interested MADD cronies.

I read Vetovich’s letter, which was headlined “Gift remembers victim,” and tossed it aside as being a bunch of self-serving rhetoric. It was the typical MADD pity party: Drinking and driving is a “senseless, horrific crime,” with the typical adjoining story, “I lost a friend and how sad. . . .”

Well, Vetovich should open her eyes and smell the hypocrisy!

I’ve had DUI trouble, and all I heard was, “Well, you should have thought of that before you drank and drove” or, my favorite, “Impairment starts with the first drink,” or, the most hypocritical, “It’s against the law.”

The worst thing is, I had to listen to this from everyone in the judicial system, including cops!

Well, that recently backfired. An undercover state cop, drunk at twice the legal limit, flying down Route 422 at more than 100 mph in a stateowned undercover car, lost control of his car and died.

The revolting part is, he was within his legal rights! It’s true; an undercover cop can drink and drive while on duty, legally.

If another cop would have stopped him that night, do you really think he would have been charged with DUI, even if he were twice the legal limit?

Cops break laws; cops just don’t tell on other cops.

I think Vetovich should re-read her letter, then call her local politicians and demand to know why this policy stands — as should all of us. No one should have to live under such a ridiculous set of double standards.

I mean, honestly, think about this:

A bricklayer, after a hard day’s work, wants to stop and rinse the dust out of his mouth. Well, here comes the law, spurred on by MADD, demanding his license and livelihood because he’s blowing a .09 blood-alcohol level.

Meanwhile, a state undercover cop is completely and legally immune to the same laws!

Talk about the old adage “do as I say, not as I do!”

Change is vital. After all, why should I obey laws when cops don’t?

Call and complain!

And, as far as MADD goes, who cares what that organization says; I certainly don’t. It is a pathetically impotent organization that loses popularity and funding daily.

I personally will not donate to any charity that gives to MADD and, believe me, I ask before I donate.

Perhaps a makeover is due.

MADD members whine while standing on their empty soapboxes about “17,000 alcohol-related deaths a year” while there are twice that many children being held in America as slaves.

Why don’t they convert to “Mothers Against Disappearing Delinquents?”

The medical profession “accidentally” kills around 98,000 people a year. MADD should dump its outdated, contradictory mission statement and form “Mothers Against Dangerous Doctors.”

MADD has probably hurt more lives than it has helped. MADD crushes the common man while kowtowing to politicians and law enforcement — and it isn’t right!

I suggest that people write to their governor and call their lawmakers. Let’s work on this “undercover cops can legally drink on duty” stuff first.

Then, let’s put MADD out of business by starving them financially.

James H. Matson

Avoid the stupidity

My brother-in-law gave me a little lecture at our family reunion about smoking.

I will agree smoking contributes to a lot of diseases as people age. However, cigarettes never made me stupid like alcohol or illegal drugs.

People who use alcohol or illegal drugs know they cause them to do things they would not normally do. Some of those things are dangerous. Some of those things can kill or injure them, family or friends or innocent strangers.

Stupidity from a drunk or illegal drug user can mangle, maim or kill people at any age. Smoking or fast foods usually only kill the user after many years of use.

So, smoking and fast foods can contribute to a serious illness and death someday.

Stupidity from alcohol or illegal drugs can injure or kill any day — even today.

Think of that when doctors or researchers say alcohol is a health food.

They should be saying it is a stupid, ignoramus drug.

How many alcohol drinkers only drink one or two a day and never get drunk? How many are more like college bingers?

Is the one or two a day people tell doctors and researchers about the same as the one or two they tell police officers about at sobriety checkpoints?

Now, what are we going to teach kids about the ignoramus drug? Are people going to laugh it off and make a joke out of it as usual?

Danny W. Shultz
East Brady R. D. 1

Annoyance at the opening of the North County Brew Pub in Slippery Rock, PA dominated Danny’s classifieds through early 2002. He was a harsh critic of the business, and not its only critic. From this letter to the editor by one of the Pub founders, readers may get a sense of just how deep the non-Danny opposition to this little microbrewery ran…


Brew-pub confusion

In 1997, Jodi Branem and I scouted through every commercial building in the town of Slippery Rock. To many of us, it seems as if the only time Main Street is bustling with life is on graduation day at Slippery Rock University, or any other day of the week when we witness families lined up on Main Street to turn west, heading for Interstate 79.

The only traffic problem we’ve noticed is that people can’t get out of town quickly enough.

We began renovating our building immediately, working full time while gutting 10,000 square feet.

We went to every town meeting that time would permit and continued to collect recipes and plan as we listened to the Slippery Rock community say, “We want the choice of a glass of wine or beer with dinner.”

This was two years before redevelopment was mentioned. And now more then ever, Slippery Rock has the potential to become the picturesque town we’ve all dreamed of.

When the borough residents voted the town “wet”, we didn’t immediately post our orange PLCB placard. We first launched our website,, so that any misconceptions could be answered in an open forum.

We also had renderings drawn up to provide a visual of the atmosphere we wanted to create. We have many community-oriented events planned as well as Christian bands booked two Sundays a month.

We didn’t have any hidden agenda by booking these bands. We thought it would be something that everyone would appreciate on Sunday afternoons after church.

We were puzzled by the protests of United Methodist church and tried to meet with church leadership twice.

However, six months later, we received a letter from the church that asks that “we reconsider this business venture and find a business more in tune with your own stated high moral and religious values.” Somehow handcrafted ales and sodas led to, “. . .we are against alcohol and other drugs.”

These distorted views of what we are planning have grown to the point where our differences need to be resolved in public.

For that, Jodi and I are truly sorry. We wish that our neighbors would have been more direct in relaying their concerns to us early on so that we could have met as friends and worked out the bumps before we hit them at full speed. If anyone had ever talked with us, we could have presented the parking solutions that we have planned.

We envision North Country Brewing as a unique business that doesn’t compete with any other business in Slippery Rock or in the area.

We’re talking about the choice of hand-crafted sodas, ales and awardwinning Pennsylvania wines with dinner, not “alcohol and other drugs”.

Again, to the congregation of the United Methodist Church, we are truly sorry, and we extend an open invitation to meet with you.

Bob McCafferty
North Country Brewing Company
Slippery Rock

Iraq following pattern?

In the June 25 Butler Eagle, Nicholas Kristof wrote a column about Muslim extremists threatening to kill anyone who sells alcohol. Then a Christian who owned a liquor store was killed.

We might not be Muslim or believe as they do, but alcohol and illegal drugs are responsible for killing and maiming a lot of young people.

Just before Prohibition, our own parents, grandparents and Christians bopped on the head a lot of drunks and bartenders who sold alcohol.

My own mother used to chase an old drunk around the outside of our house, whacking his head with a broom, after Prohibition was repealed.

They lived during a time when that kind of thing was considered necessary to make people think and believe as they did.

Maybe Iraq and other Muslim countries are in that stage today.

In our country, smokers sue tobacco companies for getting them addicted to their product and fat people sue fast-food companies for making them obese.

We do what we think is necessary to get people to believe in the things we do, just as Muslims do.

Since some people keep pushing their ideas on us today; maybe a bopping on the head is a good thing.

Danny W. Shultz
East Brady R.D. 1

Beer is not health food

On a Sunday morning’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous,” George Will said “old” George “read my lips” President George H.W. Bush in 1991 helped bring about a luxury tax on a barrel of beer, doubling it to $18 from $9, costing poor, old Joe Six-Pack an extra $1.35 a case.

Well now, if Joe drank a case of beer a day, in a month it would cost him an extra $40.

Wow! That’s a lot.

George Will also said doctors tell us beer is a health food, so the tax should be removed.

I would like to ask: Is beer like a glass of orange juice or a vitamin pill? I always was told beer has alcohol in it, like wine and whiskey.

And isn’t alcohol a drug like aspirin instead of a health food like orange juice?

Since beer, wine and whiskey have 7 percent or greater alcohol content going into people’s bloodstream, only a “social-logically-challenged” person could think they are good for you.

Danny W. Shultz
East Brady R.D. 1

A letter to the editor bearing a brutal, non-Danny tale of drug abuse too raw to ignore. While Danny’s tone is generally teasing and light-hearted, this unlucky correspondent reminds us that the consequences of addiction are no joke.

Drugs wrecked life

I’m the man who was very much in love and a drug user. I had no control over my mind and soul on July 3. I hurt every time I look into a mirror or want to talk with my family. I have only seen my two boys once since July 3, and that really hurts.

Still, to this day, I love my wife and am very sorry about the shooting. If I could take back that day, I would. However, I have to live with it. When starting my day, I talk to God; I talk with Him all day and pray before I fall asleep.

I am so glad that I’m alive today, even though I live life with one eye and one ear, and my left part of my body works like that of a stroke victim. I may never get back full use of my body, but I have to live with it for the rest of my life.

I am reminded every day that I tried to kill myself, and know that the 9 mm. bullet is still in my head. That’s where drugs took me in life. Yes, it was a direct result of drugs. I have more than six months of sobriety, and I see much clearer for the first time in my life.

I have four beautiful kids, and I messed that up.

As I sit here in the Butler County Prison, I am dumbfounded to hear inmates say that they can’t wait to get out and party. My thought is that when someone really wants help, he can’t get it. Meanwhile, these men who really don’t want help get it.

I really do want help, and I will prove it when I get out. I’m not just saying that because I’m in jail; I want to prove it. I long to live a clean and sober life outside of prison.

My advice is to think before picking up a drink or drug — think about whether it’s really worth it.

I was a drug user for 31 years, and now, at 39 years of age, I’m scared to death of drugs and alcohol and what they might do to me next.

Frank Zurzolo
Butler County Prison

Mistaken notions

In the 1950s, there was a 5- or 6-year-old kid who used to steal cigarettes from his dad’s work shirt for his older brothers. In exchange, they would have to give him a couple of puffs to keep him from telling on them.

When he was about 7 or 8 years old, he was able to talk his dad into giving him sips of his beer.

In 1960, when he was 13 years old, his mom took him to the doctor to get something for his shaking hands. The doctor gave him a prescription, which didn’t help, so the doctor suggested a psychiatrist, which his mom refused.

In the 1960s, older kids on the school bus tried to whack the shaking out of him. So if smoking, drinking and using drugs makes a man out of you, why wasn’t I grown up at 5, 6 or 13 years old?

And why are even girls doing it today?

I think the only reason kids and adults smoke, drink and use drugs today is because they are stupid or have inherited social dysfunctions.

Danny W. Shultz
East Brady