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Letters To The Editor 5/14/2019

May 14, 2019

Vote on legalized pot

Editor: How can a government become so inept that it becomes necessary to break federal law while ignoring the will of our citizens?

The biggest problem we face in America is tied to drugs. So, how do you combat the drug issue? By adding drugs at the back end while feverishly trying to stop it at the front?

Gov. Tom Wolf says the state should consider legalizing marijuana, which is still listed as a Schedule 1 substance at the federal level.

So, that would make it OK to cherry pick laws he disagrees with?

The fair way is to put this issue to a referendum. Then, there can be no doubt as to how people feel about this. The governor should try this.

Buy local newspapers from Wyalusing, Montrose and Tunkhannock every week for three months. Record and combine the arrests made for marijuana and alcohol on the highways. Then get back to us. Drive safely, if you can.

BOB WAY

FACTORYVILLE

 

Look at others’ taxes

Editor: As the congressional committees pound the table looking for President Donald Trump’s tax returns a thought arises: Should we be looking for a millionaire-turned-politician’s tax returns or those of politicians who become millionaires?

The tax returns of our congressional leaders could be magnificent late night reading, Not only would the resignations become epidemic, the ensuing sound of “crickets” on the Trump request would be deafening.

Recent politicians who are wealthy have historical trails, but lifelong politicos, not so much. Interesting, isn’t it?

J.P. DURKIN

CLARKS SUMMIT

More than insult

Editor: As Americans prepare to observe Memorial Day the concluding words of our national anthem, “...land of the free and the home of the brave,” come into sharper focus.

Few Americans can grasp the depths and profundity of these words more than those gallant American warriors and civilians who had that freedom snatched away from them in the service of their country when they were captured by foreign forces and became prisoners of war.

It is these gallant Americans who, by extension, dating back to our war to throw off the chains of British oppression, that President Donald Trump disrespects and insults when he denigrates the heroism of, and inhumane treatment suffered by, Sen. John McCain.

Dating back to the Revolutionary War more than 350,000 Americans have been incarcerated by enemy forces, the great plurality coming from just two wars, World War II, in which 124,000 Americans were incarcerated across all theaters of operation, and the Civil War, where 194,000 Union soldiers were captured and imprisoned by confederates.

The terms imprisoned and prisoner come nowhere near depicting the horrors inflicted on these POWs by cruel and sadistic enemy jailers. The physical torture, starvation, withheld basic medical care, mental anguish and uncertainty were so severe that many released POWs suffered lifelong debilitating physical and mental problems.

Trump not just insults McCain. He heaps disrespect upon all Americans from all American wars and conflicts who have found themselves prisoners of enemy forces.

Even more loathsome than hurling abuse at a political opponent is the disrespect that falls upon the memories of more than 51,000 prisoners who died during captivity.

Americans should keep these numbers in mind the next time the resident of the Oval Office unleashes a diatribe aimed at the heroism of McCain.

GIRARD HISTED

ARCHBALD

 

Keep system intact

Editor: The need for behavioral and mental health services never has been greater.

Significant evidence supports increased access to services and to integrate behavioral health services with primary care.

Senate Bill 268 and House Bill 335 in Harrisburg portend a reversal of progress in delivering lifesaving mental health and drug and alcohol services. Both bills would turn over these services to large managed care organizations and for-profit corporations, stripping management from agencies that specialize in treating people with mental health or substance abuse challenges. Evidence suggests that returning to a system where mental health services are treated as a “carve in” to physical health could radically alter access to services for millions of low-income Pennsylvanians.

Under the current system, the Children’s Service Center and its affiliate, Robinson Counseling Center, offer an integrated care program. Clients with behavioral health issues have access to assessments and treatment for their mental and physical health. This model addresses the disorders and treatment plans for complex health issues of the whole person. I attest to the effectiveness of the Children’s Service Center’s current model of offering clients a one-stop shop for behavioral health, primary care, dental services and pharmaceutical services.

The commonwealth’s behavioral health system is stable and allows for access to new programs and services. The system has proved to be economically prudent, benefiting taxpayers. A better approach would be to evaluate the system, keeping what works and changing areas that could be improved. Completely scrapping a system that has worked is not right.

Legislators should carefully consider the consequences of changing the behavioral health delivery process. Families and individuals involved with the current system should make their voices heard. Let your legislators know how you feel about the potential changes.

I encourage senators and representatives to vote no on SB 268 and HB 335.

MIKE HOPKINS

CHILDREN’S SERVICE CENTER,

WILKES-BARRE

 

STATUS QUO LOYALISTS

Editor: It amazes me how people in this country are given a basically free public school education through high school and yet turn out to be so poorly informed on the issues and are so off the mark in terms of what’s really wrong in our country.

The top 1% to 10% run the country and manipulate the rest of us for their economic self-interest. Even some of the so-called liberal and progressive news media types fall for this as they remain obsessed with President Trump and ignore the struggles and problems of the lower and middle classes who must struggle to survive and pay their bills.

Trump supporters are afraid of what will happen to them when more than 50% of the country’s population becomes nonwhite. They are afraid of becoming the minority. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter pretty much says this when she says that the nation does not “look like” America anymore. They believe that nonwhites are their “enemy,” rather than the likes of the billionaire Koch brothers who want to abolish Social Security, Republicans in Congress, conservative news media and a growing right-wing “survival-of-the-fittest” ideology that helps the top 1% to 10% keep control of the nation.

The remaining 90% to 99% of the nation must understand that the aforementioned are not our friends and do not have our best interests at heart. They have the interests of the top 1%-10% at heart.

STEWART B. EPSTEIN

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK

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