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Issues merit debate


June 1, 2012 Letters to the Editor

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I wish to comment on several items that merit discussion that were published in the Butler Eagle in recent days.

First, I agree with Washington Post columnist George Will’s May 21 column detailing the abuse of power engaged in by the government via civil-forfeiture and equitable-sharing laws. In the case Will discussed, a Massachusetts motel owner’s property is threatened with seizure because of illegal drug sales that occurred on the premises.

While civil forfeiture might have a role in specific cases of actual crime, people engaging in drug use is not a true crime, as no actual rights are being violated.

In this and similar cases, confiscatory laws are granted an official imprimatur by being linked to our draconian “war on drugs” in a manner that always acts to increase the rights-violating actions of an increasingly powerful government.

Meanwhile, as a physician, I might be alone in agreeing with the sentiments of New York Newsday columnist Daniel Akst who, in his May 24 column, advocates the expansion of permitted duties by nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists.

Contrary to many physicians who see this as a threat to their livelihood, expanding roles of these professions will inject more free enterprise into the almost wholly socialized health care industry.

Interference in the health care marketplace by the government, through proscriptions of the roles specific health care providers are able to fill, nullifies the ability of a citizen to voluntarily contract for a service by the provider of choice.

While it is prudent that health care facilities and insurance companies stipulate rules for affiliation, there is no role for government in this field other than to prosecute fraudulent representation.


I agree with U.S. District Judge John Jones III’s recent striking of Pennsylvania’s Funeral Director Law of 1952. The sheer numbers of paternalistic government regulations that delimit the operation of the free market in this industry is mind-numbing.

The audacity of a government — with the complicity of the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association — to enforce such fascist practices that clearly violate individual (and property) rights is not consonant with any respect for the ideas of the Framers who, because they died pre-1952, likely had funerals (if they were in Pennsylvania) in a funeral home not required to be synonymous with the proprietor’s name where people could consume food.

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