Pubdate: Tue, 20 Aug 2002
Source: Erie Times-News (PA)
Copyright: 2002 Erie Times-News
Author: Renate Chapin


How readily the news media forgive addicts who have fame and fortune. In 
fact, they are eulogized. "The King" is being celebrated on the 25th 
anniversary of his death by an overdose.

How can this hypocrisy be justified? Is it because he's still bringing in 
"mega bucks" for a select group of people?

Why do some people suffer condemnation because they, too, resort to some 
kind of stimulus to ward off the stress they are facing daily, such as 
unemployment, economic downtrends and sometimes sheer hopelessness?

I am a smoker by choice. When I was exposed to the World War II horrors in 
Europe, without food or basic needs, I started to smoke. It made me feel 
less hungry and eased my despair.

I am now 70 years old and whatever I did in my youth may or may not catch 
up with me in the future, but, right or wrong, it was my decision.

I hope we still have the right to choose in this country. If we are 
deprived of that part of democracy, we are no better than the nations we 
are trying to conform to our way of government and the freedom it promises.

Renate Chapin

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