This weekend beginning on Friday, Sept. 25, the U.S. Capitol will play host to the able eyes of the nation. The remarkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in state, as many throughout our land have been reflecting on her greatness: She endeavored to help and lead others to form a more perfect union.
In another part of the same building something else is playing out. The United States Senate Republicans, led by an unconscionable president, are doing everything to – as quickly as possible – erase her from all memory.
They are at this very moment in midweek in the bowels of the building, figuratively at least, doing the dirty work of selecting another conservative Supreme Court justice. Only because the president has said so. When will such a notion be seen as utterly destructive over-reach. And, to that extent, the fuel for another bloody civil war.
Ask yourselves: Is he worth it?
Richard J. Yost
South Abington Township
Electing Joe Biden would turn the calendar back 47 years, to the time when the U.S. Supreme Court first handed down the tragic abortion ruling Roe v. Wade.
Biden has flip-flopped and now opposes the time-tested Hyde Amendment, which bans taxpayer funding of abortion except in the rare cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. Research clearly indicates that abortions rise dramatically when they are funded by our hard-earned tax dollars.
In sharp contrast, President Donald J. Trump has consistently and courageously fought against tax dollars being used for abortion. He has also appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court justices who will fairly interpret the Constitution, rather than making pro-abortion law from the bench.
For the health and safety of preborn babies and their mothers, America needs to re-elect President Trump.
Maria V. Gallagher
PAC Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
As I sit and ponder the COVID-19 pandemic, the tornadoes, the hurricanes and the sadness in our world today, I have found much delight in Mary Therese Biebel and her husband Mary Guydish’s test kitchen with great pictures of wonderful heart-warming recipes.
Also I have found not very many words in the newspaper or the news media about God, who is our only salvation. Without God in our life, we can never succeed or overcome all the obstacles that have become so overwhelming.
Please let us all take a moment to pray to God in thanksgiving to him for our lives and normalcy in our life.
Never in the history of the United States of America has there been a national election more important to the traditional survival of this nation.
The left-wing radical left is now better known as the Joe Biden candidacy, which has been hijacked by the domestic terrorists who are blowing up our cities and shooting our police officers.
If Biden should win in November, America will transition to a western socialist state, and will pledge allegiance to China and Islam. The right-wing Christians must stand firm in their belief of God and country.
The main stream fake news media refers to terror in our streets as “peaceful protests.” One of the biggest lies in modern history. These are not peaceful people
Our European ancestors built this great country. These domestic terrorists are burning it down. President Trump calls them for what they are. It doesn’t matter if you are not in love with Trump, but he is the last man standing to put these maniacs in their place.
Pennsylvania is a very critical tally in the overall electoral college vote. You must show up for President Trump on Nov. 3.
Make sure you are registered. Call the Luzerne County voter registration office to be an active voter by Oct. 3 (the deadline to register).
Before the pandemic, Trump gave America the strongest economy in 50 years. He will do it again. Remember, Obama and Biden gave America a recession without a virus.
Wake up and don’t listen to Biden’s lies.
Biden as been in Washington for 47 years and claims to have all the answers now. Wake up, and wake up fast.
John C. Cordora
As chairperson of the Hazleton Advisory Council of the PA Human Relations Commission, I went on record at the last County Council meeting to state that our organization strongly advises the Luzerne County Council to seek a thorough, independent investigation into the death of Shaheen Mackey.
It has now been well-documented that inmate Shaheen Mackey died while having a seizure as he was being restrained by a number of correctional officers at the Luzerne County prison in 2018. Two year ago, when the district attorney investigated the incident there was no video available to the public and therefore, no public outcry. But when the family recently released the video of the final minutes of Mackey’s life it raised legitimate and serious questions as to the way correction officers and medical personnel handled the situation. We cannot now deny what our eyes have seen.
Members of our community at all levels are continuing to ask questions about the DA’s internal investigation, and the reasoning behind not allowing the state attorney general to look into the matter. If in fact, there was “no wrongdoing by anyone involved,” as Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis suggests, why on earth did the county settle the case for such a large sum of money? And the most basic question: If there has been no wrong doing, why not have an independent investigation conducted so the public can feel confident that everyone in our county is treated equally and there truly is nothing amiss.
When I served as a member of the first Luzerne County Council, if there had been even a small, public outcry, we would have listened to those voices. This decision should not be solely about money. This should be about transparency and reassuring the public to have faith in their criminal justice system.
As we watch events unfold across so many cities across the nation there is no question that we are living in troubled times. New video evidence released regarding criminal cases that have been decided months and even years ago are now being looked at with a new scrutiny. Our nation and our county simply cannot allow even a shred of doubt to enter the public arena when the fairness of the entire criminal justice system is brought into question. For these reasons the Hazleton Advisory Council of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission fully supports an independent review into the death of Luzerne County inmate Shaheen Mackey. In our opinion it is the only way that either the Mackey family or the people in our region will find any closure regarding this tragic occurrence. At this moment, at this time, it is simply the right thing to do.
Elaine Maddon Curry
Chair, Hazleton Advisory Council, PHRC
Conflicted is how I would describe my feelings of going back to school. After an abrupt end in March, many students around the region are ready to go back. There is comfort in the normal routine of school, however for so many that normal routine doesn’t exist this year.
Remote learning, virtual classes, regular face-to-face or a hybrid system make up the decisions every school district in our region had to make. Leadership during a pandemic is complex, change is constant and we all have to evolve in this new virtual world.
Junior Achievement had to evolve too. With so much of what we do requiring in-person contact, we had to rethink our entire business model.
As we consider the fact that our JA Mericle Family Center for Enterprise Education may not see a single student this fall, we know that learning is still taking place. That means we have to meet our students where they are. JA has shifted our programs to meet the needs of school districts. We are recruiting and training virtual volunteers. We have created digital materials, video lessons and programs that can be used with any platform. Our most recognizable programs, JA BizTown and JA Finance Park are now virtual too. These new and unique versions will never replace the in-person experience, but come as a close second when we have to be socially distant.
Our summer camps also took a detour. We partnered with Lesson aLIVE to host two virtual camps that were sponsored by PRIDE Mobility. Over two weeks, 50 students met with industry professionals, learned how to start a business and networked with other like-minded students from the region in a zoom meeting. Virtual camp solidified the fact that virtual is here to stay. In fact, keep an eye out for more virtual camps this fall.
And as conflicted as I am in this fully digital world, I have to say, what better generation to have to embrace a new form of education than the generation that was born with a cellphone in their hands. They don’t seem conflicted. Our students, along with their dedicated educators, will be the ones to shine through this difficult time and rise to the occasion of this virtual world.
Junior Achievement is confident and not conflicted about our mission of inspiring and preparing young people to own their economic success in-person and virtually.
Ginny H. Crake
Junior Achievement NEPA
There are approximately two months until election day, and we will be inundated with political ads. Ads full of lies and half truths. There will not be any ads promoting what the candidates did or will do to help our country but rather how much worse my opponent is than me.
It is too late for this election, but this country must enact constitutional laws, on both, the national and state levels to: 1.immediately remove an incumbent from office if caught in lies and 2. the immediate removal from the ballot a challenger who does the same.
When discussing politics with family and friends on both sides of the political spectrum, we don’t discuss the virtues and accomplishments of our candidate but rather throw out how much worse your candidate is than mine. We haven’t voted for the best candidate in ages because they don’t exist.
One illustration especially in our area has to do with “saving social security.” Every candidate will talk about saving social security. They have to save it. Where else are going to keep borrowing the money to cover, rather increase, the deficit?
Why has our country come to this point? Very simply, if a candidate lies to get into office why should he/she change once there? If we don’t change the election process and how we allow candidates to campaign, then both parties will be entirely correct when they contend that each is going to be responsible for the death of democracy and the United States as we know it.
As a proud Vietnam Veteran, I served my country when asked. Looking at the country now, I’m wondering why I did serve.
From the time-to-retire Rolling Stones to the ink-isn’t-dry-on-my-citizens-papers Neil Young, threatening to sue President Donald Trump over using their music at his rallies: I’m sure they realize conservatives buy music too.
Being a vinyl buyer since the late 1950s, I would love to give them their music back upfront and personal.
On Aug. 20, we had dinner at Franco’s outdoor seating.
When we asked for the check, our delightful server, Christina, informed us that an anonymous person had already paid the bill.
What a heart-warming thing to do. Our wish is that this individual will read this to know who much a 90-year+ couple appreciated their generosity.
To top it off, Franco’s offered a complementary dessert.
To all involved, we want you to know that you made our belated 72nd wedding anniversary dinner the most memorable something. We will always remember.
Joan and Tom Hudak
Big cats are in crisis.
As mighty as lions and tigers are, they are powerless against abuse. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) has been leading a legal campaign to shut down the captive wildlife trade and cruel roadside zoos that abuse these magnificent creatures for profit.
Many have seen lions on the brink of starvation or confined to small, barren cages with no shelter from the winter cold, a tiger who became lame because his crude concrete enclosure made it impossible for him to walk normally, and another tiger who was displayed for tourists even as he was sick and dying. Roadside zoos keep big cats as tourist “attractions,” putting profit ahead of the animals’ well being. The animals rarely receive proper veterinary care and lack the freedom to engage in natural behavior.
“Cub petting” is a cruel practice in which newborn tiger cubs are torn from their distressed mothers just moments after they’re born to get used to human handling. Then these cubs are worked to exhaustion and often physically abused just so customers can be photographed with a baby tiger. Sadly, once these captive-born cubs are too big to be handled, some are killed and others are sold to cruel roadside zoos or a life of suffering, caged in someone’s backyard.
The ADLF is working to pass the Big Cat Public Safety Act, a bill in Congress that would prohibit the irresponsible private ownership of big cats, putting a stop to the cruelty many big cats endure. But there are powerful interests determined to stop this action. A shocking lack of federal legal protections has allowed cruel roadside zoos to stay in business with virtually no oversight and has allowed individuals to keep big cats in homes and backyards where they are often caged and neglected.
Five thousand signatures are needed from each state to show lawmakers that there is nationwide support for this bill. Contact aldf.org to sign a virtual petition or for more information. Now is the time to act, when across the country, people are learning of the plight of captive big cats giving momentum to drive powerful legal change.
Tigers, lions and all big cats belong in the wild, not in cages. Please help protect captive wild animals by preventing abusive, private ownership of big cats and providing a voice for the voiceless.
We all know that people don’t always tell the truth, especially politicians.
But never in all my years, and there are many, have I heard so many lies from so many. It’s been found that this administration has made in the vicinity of 20,000 false or misleading claims since being in office. There are way too many to mention but standouts include tax returns, payment for the wall, creating the best health care system ever, affairs with other women and mail in voting.
Then there are the lies from many who back this administration, some being members of congress and other close associates who are pardoned before any punishment. Now, through various PACs, the TV is flooded with political ads saying that Joe Biden is against fracking (false), against funding for the police, (false) and against God (false). One falsehood that just boggles the mind is that if we elect a Democratic government we will turn into a socialist society and eventually end up like Venezuela. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is amazing to me that people continue to support this administration after all of this lying. We can only hope that before this election, people will understand what is fact and what is fiction and they cast their vote based on fact. The key word here is hope. That is all we have left to end the lying.
A current TV advertisement features a man called Shawn who complains that Joe Biden’s desire to phase out fracking will result in losses of jobs.
Assuming Shawn’s current employment depends upon existing fracking operations, this fear of his is unfounded. It is highly unlikely that sites where fracking is underway would be affected. Existing sites would be grandfathered in as immune from any ban.
Biden’s position makes him a rebel within his own party. Recall how (then) Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell rolled out the red carpet to the frackers. Recall how the Pennsylvania Democratic Party derailed Joe Sestak’s campaign for nomination to run for U.S. senator in 2016. This was likely due to Sestak’s call for a ban on fracking.
Plenty of damage has already been done due to the exploitation of the Marcellus shale. There are plans to exploit the Utica shale, a deposit of natural gas that lies roughly two to three times as deep as the Marcellus. In order to extract gas from the Utica, drilling deeper wells means applying much greater pressures and using much larger amounts of liquid doused with toxic chemicals. There would be much bigger problems.
The TV ad ends with the absurd assertion that 10% of all jobs in Pennsylvania depend upon fracking. Yes, there are people earning good-sized paychecks, because Pennsylvania –unlike New York State where fracking has been banned— has chosen the politically expedient path where homes, health and the environment are jeopardized in order to pursue economic goals.
Joe Biden has the courage to speak to an inconvenient truth.
I ask us all to remember to thank Dr. Henry Smith, the former leader of Defend our Watershed.
The group stood up for the common people of Luzerne County when freedom to access one of the few places they could cool off from the summer heat or fish at will was threatened.
Harvey’s Creek runs along Route 29, which begins in West Nanticoke and winds up the mountains, through lush forests. Not so many years ago, our longtime access to this fresh water and fun was denied by the purchase of old PG &W land by the newly formed Theta Corp.
Public pressure and the funds raised by Defend our Watershed made our then county commissioners back their cause and eventually buy back our own watershed from Theta.
One of the projects Defend our Watershed conducted was a book of scenic pictures by Dr. Smith with poems selected from submissions from local activists and poets. I contributed the poem that I wrote for the organization to use to open their many public presentations about their cause. It was simply called, “Defend our Watershed.”
It and all the other contributions can still be obtained online, by searching for its title, “Pennsylvania Seasons.” Let us all be thankful for our access to Harvey’s Creek once again, and remember that you have to stand up to powerful interests who act with disregard of the public good.
For those of us care, it is time to rejoice and cool off.
Sugar Notch, PA
The world is not flat. But if I said it were and told you that you should be careful because you might sail off the edge, I would sound right. I may even sound compassionate and concerned for your welfare. However, the world is not flat. And me saying that it is would not make it so. I would simply be wrong.
What if I told you that the swine flu was worse than the coronavirus? And then went on to argue that in light of that misinformation, that we should not be shuttering business because of COVID-19. Guess what? I would be wrong. The swine flu-H1N1 virus had a mortality rate of 0.02%. The current data on COVID-19 mortality rate is, according to John’s Hopkins University as of July 17th 3.9%.
Who cares? Well let’s picture just three million people infected. The swine flu would have killed 600 people. Now let’s look at COVID-19, 117,000 would be dead. That seems like a meaningful difference to me.
So, if I argued that this COVID-19 thing is an overblown, fake news, socialist scam designed to undermine the president and his party, I would be wrong. Facts are stubborn things. The truth can be inconvenient but it remains the truth. This virus does not understand alternative facts or political spin. Follow the science and only open schools and bars if it is safe or when someone tells me how many lives it is worth.
I wanted to write this letter to address the recent article in the paper about bullying and the current state of the Luzerne County Council. I first want to address the ordinance to extend the deadline to pay county taxes at face value without a 10% late payment penalty until Dec. 31 and why I voted no.
Here is my rationale. We first extended this deadline from June to August and I was in complete support of that to help our residents during a tough time. Currently, 84% of Luzerne county residents have paid their taxes with about 2 weeks left until the Aug. 18 deadline. The county every year receives on average 92% of county taxes. So, as you can see, we are almost to our yearly average. By extending this deadline, the county would be estimated to lose nearly $1 million dollars in revenue. The county is still severely in debt and have a yearly obligation to pay down that debt. I thank all county residents for their commitment to paying their county taxes on time.
As you know the county had a $3.1 million surplus for 2019. That is because of the dedicated work of all the county employees. I was so ecstatic when I first heard that information. So, what does this have to do with the county tax deadline mentioned above? Between the surplus and the money we will receive from the late tax penalty ($1 million), there is no way we can have a tax increase next year (or no way I would support one).
That is why I voted to not extend the deadline. Why penalize the whole county and those that paid on time? We now have enough revenue (in my eyes) to balance the budget and not increase taxes for 2021. For a county in debt, with a huge debt service bill each year, to not raise taxes is a huge accomplishment for all County Council, the administration and you, the people of Luzerne County.
Now I want to address the recent article on bullying amongst certain council members. It’s sad to see the way some are acting. I encourage a difference of opinions on council. Differences of opinions are inevitable and evidence that democracy is hard at work. There is a difference between arguing respectfully and throwing insults at colleagues when you disagree. With an 11-person council there will always be a difference of opinions, but the key is to respectfully work together to find a solution.
As a public figure I am always receiving messages from constituents asking questions and asking why I voted a certain way. I encourage that. I am here for you. The messages I have received this year have been full of insults and threats. That is happening because one council member does the same thing when he doesn’t get his way. As a 28-year-old and one of the younger members of council, all I am asking for is civility. Stop the insults. Stop the trolling. Let’s work together to continue Luzerne County on the path that it is on.
Being a councilman is my greatest honor and to me it means more than sitting at a meeting and voting. I am out in the community every night building a better tomorrow whether it be my work with those in recovery, or meeting with constituents to discuss my thoughts and our great progress. I encourage all of you to reach out to me to talk at any time. I had job offers to leave the county after school, but I wanted to stay here and build a better tomorrow and we are doing just that.
I hope you all are safe and healthy during these tough times. Hang in there.
Luzerne County Councilman
What Black Lives Matter means to me.
• In 1619, the first African people are transported to the Jamestown settlement in Virginia as slaves.
• Throughout the 1700s, it’s estimated that 6 to 7 million African people were enslaved in America.
• From 1770 to 1804, the Northern States slowly abolished slavery; however, this “peculiar institution” remained vital in the South.
• In 1789, the newly ratified United States Constitution established slaves as 3/5 of a person for taxing purposes.
• In 1860, there were 4 million slaves, accounting for 1/3 of the total population.
• Marriage between male and female slaves was not allowed; however, slave owners encourage couples to have children for the purpose of increasing their ownership.
• On Sept. 22,1862, Abraham Lincoln “freed” the slaves via the Emancipation Proclamation.
• From April 12, 1861, to April 9, 1865, the nation was engaged in a Civil War
• On April 9, 1865, the Southern Confederacy surrendered thus ending the war and making slavery illegal throughout the (re)United States.
• On Dec. 18, 1865, the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified. Slavery was no more.
• However, almost immediately the defeated Southern States began formulating Jim Crow laws. These laws mandated total racial segregation. Blacks were completely disenfranchised and had to abide by this segregation or risk severe punishment or death.
• The Jim Crow laws governed the Black lives from the 1870s up until the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
• After 345 years of total oppression to the Black culture, it’s time to realize the horror and fear instilled in Black society. Join with all our brothers and sisters to right these wrongs and support Black Lives Matter.
For more than two months, the Heroes Act, the next COVID-19 economic relief package, has sat on U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s desk, without even a debate. Now the Senate leader and our own Sen. Pat Toomey have put forward a plan that falls $2 trillion short and 73 days late.
Toomey has ignored calls for help for weeks from Pennsylvania communities in need of crucial funding. Now, he and McConnell have unveiled an inadequate plan that fails to address the needs of Pennsylvanians; to call this bill half-hearted would give it too much credit.
The virus continues to spread rapidly around parts of the country, and workers face even more economic calamity with the end of the $600 unemployment benefit provided by the CARES Act. This additional stipend, set to expire in days, has been a lifeline for Pennsylvania families. Nearly 3.5 million Pennsylvanians were receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance this month. As food insecurity and child hunger continue to rise, this stipend has given families the ability to afford groceries and prescriptions, pay for their rent or mortgage, or make their car payment.
Toomey has been skeptical of “loading the money cannon” for further pandemic relief for months, while a staggering number of Americans continue to file for unemployment. No one wants to be unemployed, and today, millions are out of work through no fault of their own.
Unless the Senate passes the Heroes Act, which proposes a comprehensive plan continuing these much-needed stipends into January, Pennsylvanians will needlessly suffer. Without the Heroes Act, recovery will take longer, and the road back to normal will be harder. We cannot overstate the importance of this legislation.
Toomey and all his colleagues in the Congress must do better than offer shoddy alternatives. Washington must pass the Heroes Act.
President, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO
My husband’s grandfather came here from Poland in the early 1900s, worked in the mines until he saved enough money to buy land.
He had farmed in the old country and wanted to do the same in America. Like the other farmers around, he had a few cows, chickens, pigs, eggs and produce which he sold in town.
His son, my husband’s father, took over the farm in the 1950s and built up the dairy herd because it was the best way to make a living on a farm. He worked hard and milk prices were good enough for him to raise a family and meet all of their needs. He saved his money, bought his machinery with cash and never went into debt. He passed his way of doing things on to his son, my husband, who took over the farm in the 1980s.
Unfortunately in 1983, an arsonist completely destroyed our barn, but we did not lose any milking cows.
At that point, the hard work of this family was already being undermined by the federal government. In the 1970s, Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz said to farmers, “Get big or get out.” This animosity toward family scale farms has continued to undermine farmers through the pricing of milk.
The message of the current Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to farmers is “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out.” This is not just a prediction, it is a plan and a policy.
Milk pricing by the federal government is designed to benefit factory farms and the producers and to drive small, family operations out of business. Farms are apparently not one of the small businesses that every administration says they want to support.
Should the public care? Only if they are concerned about getting real milk instead of reconstituted milk, if they are concerned about diseases and viruses that are rampant in factory farms and if they understand that our food security is at risk when we depend on imports and big business.
If we’re going to maintain our family farms and price the milk correctly to them, we must get behind the Federal Milk Marketing Act. We urge everyone to contact your U.S. senators and members of Congress and urge them to reintroduce this bill while we still have some family farms.
Screening for cancers using evidence-based screening tests saves lives.
Screenings are available for breast, cervical, colon and lung cancers. In the first half of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many routine screenings could not be completed in a timely fashion.
According to the National Cancer Institute, this could account for thousands of missed cancer cases and cancers diagnosed at a later stage, affecting overall mortality from these cancers for years.
If you have missed a routine screening or think you are due, please contact your primary care practitioner about assessing your risk for these cancers and discuss screening options. For example, some tests can be done at home for colon cancer screenings and may be an option for patients.
Also, many screening sites are open with procedures in place to protect patients from the spread of this virus. Remember to wash your hands or use sanitizer, wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth and maintain social distancing to help reduce the spread of the virus.
If you need assistance with getting screened, please contact the Community Based Cancer Screening Navigation Program at the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute at (570) 941-7984.
Karen Ryczak, RN
Northeast Regional Cancer Institute
I want the people of our region to know of a local business, Corcoran Printing, which recently printed a booklet which is used in a grief counselling ministry.
After receiving copyright permission, I approached Bill Corcoran, owner/operator, about possibly reprinting the booklet. He and his able assistant, Michael Yurcho, did a magnificent job of producing several hundred booklets which have been and will continue to be distributed to people from our area who are grieving.
The original front and rear cover photos, for which rights could not be secured, have been provided via my wife Sharon’s photography.
The moment I approached Mr. Corcoran he enthusiastically bought into the idea and provided very substantial financial support. He and Mike were very supportive and encouraging throughout the process. I assured them that the work we were engaged in was the Lord’s work and that all recognition and glory goes to Him.
Should you, or anyone you know, be grieving a death or any other significant trauma, please request the booklet entitled ‘Deeper Still’ For Those Who Grieve. Its message was a blessing to me when I was grief stricken and afraid due to the death of my son. I believe it may do the same for you or a loved one.
William A. Rolland Jr.
As a result of Chinese deceit a worldwide pandemic that might well have been prevented is costing countless lives.
Local authorities in Wuhan concealed critical information from the public even after the Doctor Li Wenliang first sounded the alarm about the virus’s outbreak in Wuhan. Recently Ai Fen, the head of emergency at the Wuhan Central Hospital, gave an interview condemning the government for its lies about the virus, she has since disappeared. China’s communist government must be held accountable for their use of disinformation and concealment that has affected the world community.
Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has displayed a vast array of incompetence. It is the job of the CDC and other agencies to have America well-prepared to fight communicable diseases. They failed. From the start, the now famous Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, did not understand the risks of the virus as late as Jan. 26. During a radio interview he said that the American public shouldn’t worry about the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Two factors have hindered America’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Since the 1960s, a bureaucratic form of government has developed in our country. Consequently, we spend an enormous amount of money on a centralized bureaucracy that now operates top down from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug administration, the National Institutes of Health and other agencies. These agencies have lost their focus and have become largely independent of political control. Why didn’t we have testing kits early on? Why didn’t we have masks? Why didn’t we have ventilators?
These agencies knew that our national stockpile of these things was depleted during the swine flu pandemic of 2009 and never replenished.
The second factor that affected America’s response to this pandemic is our dependence on China for goods that are essential to our national health and security. One needed response is to get pharmaceutical manufacturing back into the U.S. We cannot afford to confide the safety of our country to a foreign communist country.
Finally we must listen to experts, but expertise cannot as a simple fact of principle tell us finally what is right to do. I fear that this will happen again, and we must prepare ourselves to face the next pandemic without surrendering our way of life.
A person who is suffering from schizophrenia is out of touch with reality.
This would explain why President Trump said on July 2, “We’ve done an incredible job” with the coronavirus, and it is “being handled.”
He said that when the daily number of new cases in the U.S. surpassed 50,000 for the first time and top health experts warned the situation could get far worse. Trump also said, “We’ve implemented an aggressive strategy to vanquish and kill the virus. …”
What? He is definitely out of touch with reality. Even one of his top health officials, Adm. Brett Giroir said, “The U.S. is not flattening the curve and the spike in cases is not due to expanded testing” as the president has suggested.
Of course, the other possibility is that our president knowingly tells lies because his base believes everything he says and has been convinced by Trump that CNN and the Washington Post report “fake news.” Actually, more “fake news” comes from Trump’s mouth than anywhere else.
We all want a president who has sound mental health and is not a pathological liar. When we consider how poorly Trump handles a crisis and his desire to make the rich even richer, the logical conclusion is not to vote for him in November.
The Washington Redskins NFL franchise is a disgrace.
In the year 2020, owner Daniel Snyder cannot possibly continue to rationalize keeping his ridiculously racist team name in the face of widespread, righteous public condemnation of Snyder’s racist recalcitrance.
Our nation’s capitol’s team name, the Redskins, will be retired before this football season begins, if U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-AZ has anything to say about it.
“The time (for the name) has ended,” Grijalva said. “There is no way to justify it. You either step into this century or you don’t. It’s up to the owner of the team to do that.”
In 1997, Washington, D.C.’s NBA franchise willingly changed its name from the Bullets to the Wizards. So what’s Daniel Snyder’s problem?
As silly as some of these monikers are below, any one of them would be preferable to Washington D.C.’s current NFL team name. Take your pick, Mr. Snyder.
• Washington Redcoats
• Washington Rednecks
• Washington Redrums
• Washington Red Dawns
• Washington Red Foxes
• Washington Red Lines
• Washington Red Rovers
• Washington Red Tides
• Washington Red Riding Hoods
• Washington Red Sparrows
Instead of statehood for Washington, D.C., I propose that a smaller federal district be constructed without residential areas being included. Those parts remaining would revert back to Maryland from whence they came. It is within Congresses’ purview to undo what they created. People would then reclaim their voting rights as citizens of an existing sovereign state.
There is precedence for this. Exactly 100 square miles straddling the Potomac was designated by the 1790 Residence Act as the District of Columbia, ceded by the states of Maryland and Virginia; and the 1801 Organic Act placed the areas under control of the United States Congress. The portion west of the Potomac, ceded by Virginia consisted of 31 square miles in two parts: After decades of debate about the disenfranchisement that came with District citizenship, and tensions related to Congressional negligence, this portion of the District was returned to Virginia in 1847. The remaining District assumed its current boundaries and area of 68.34 square miles east of the Potomac and .19 square miles on land on the west side of the Potomac on Columbia Island.
With the approval of Maryland and Congress, the remaining portion of the District of Columbia excepting a small portion for the Federal Government, would be returned in retrocession to the state of Maryland. This would provide full representation in Congress and return local control of the District to its residents.
James U. Sinclair