November 6, 2012

Letters to the editor: Criticism in Libya attack not fact-based

I assume the editors printed the three letters criticizing the Press Herald's failure to print the Fox News version of the Benghazi, Libya, attack on the U.S. Consulate (resulting in the death of the U.S. ambassador and three others) in order to allow free speech, no matter how ridiculous, thus allowing its readers to arrive at their own judgment as to validity of the content of these letters (

"Attack exposes Obama's shortcomings,"
Christopher Stevens
click image to enlarge

Christopher Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya, walks with a translator during a tour of Libya’s national museum in Tripoli. Letters critical of President Obama and the State Department for failing to prevent an attack in which Stevens was killed don’t take into account the risks of civil service in the volatile region, a reader says.

U.S. Embassy Tripoli/The Associated Press

Oct. 30).

My opinion is that Fox News is a conservative non-news network that occasionally gets far away from reality in order to agitate its viewers and stimulate the conservative Republican base.

In this particular instance, I think the letter writers probably got carried away even further by their desire to blame the Democratic president and the State Department for failing to prevent this unfortunate incident.

I am personally quite familiar with international situations in government, law and business, including having served as Peace Corps director in Pakistan from 1962 to 1964.

There were always dangers and risks both for Peace Corps volunteers and staff in both West and then East Pakistan only 13 years after the partition of India and Pakistan, at which time some 1 million people were killed without a gun being fired. Another 1,000 were killed in 1963 in the same manner in Lahore, Pakistan, where my family and I lived.

Unfortunately, the United States is likely the most dangerous country in the world today because we have far more guns per person than any other country in the world. The slaughter in Aurora, Colo., happened only months ago, and deaths by firearms in this country are far greater than in any other country in the world not involved in a war.

F. Kingston Berlew


Livestrong Foundation lets cancer survivor give back

Fifteen years ago, the Livestrong Foundation was started. Since then, the foundation has raised nearly $500 million to serve people affected by cancer, and 2.5 million people have benefited from the foundation's resources and services.

The Livestrong Cancer Navigation Center provides a range of free services for anyone affected by cancer. This includes people diagnosed with cancer, their families, friends, loved ones and the health care professionals who work with them.

My involvement with Livestrong began in 2004 with the purchase of a yellow wristband, just months after my last round of chemotherapy. I believe in the "obligation of the cured": the idea that those of us fortunate enough to survive our cancer diagnosis should help others do the same.

Livestrong has provided many opportunities for me to give back, including attending lobbying days in our nation's capital, urging our elected officials to invest in cancer research, prevention programs and to make cancer the national priority we deserve.

The recent Livestrong Challenge in Austin raised $1.7 million and had more than 4,300 participants, making it the largest cycling event in the city's history. The gala raised another $2.4 million.

Riding across the rolling hills of Texas, I often pulled up alongside other cancer survivors to congratulate them. I heard story after story of how Livestrong helped them with treatment concerns, insurance issues, fertility options or emotional support.

Through Livestrong, cancer has become a national and global priority, transforming the way people talk about and think about this disease. It is no longer the goal of someone diagnosed with cancer to just live. I've worn my yellow wristband every minute since that day in 2004, and I don't intend to take it off anytime soon.

Jeff Bennett

cancer survivor and Livestrong Leader


Senior athletes inspire effort to triumph over challenges

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