Letters To The Editor 1/15/2019

January 15, 2019 GMT

Assure protections

Editor: A few weeks ago the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided that a “mother’s act of ingesting opioids while pregnant did not constitute child abuse.”

In the interest of a minor, the court relied on the fact that the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law’s definition of a child does not include a fetus or an unborn child and reasoned that the law “does not protect a fetus or unborn child, and thus mother’s actions could not be deemed child abuse as a matter of law.”

The “life” argument has been debated backward and forward. It is not my place or purpose to criticize the majority holding of the state Supreme Court, only to make an observation.


Social services distributed by this state, for example, include coverage through medical assistance for expectant mothers as soon as it is confirmed a woman is pregnant. The state does not worry about the definition of a child in providing these services. A fetus or unborn child is protected — as it should be.

However, now a category of unborn children is rightfully protected through medical assistance and another category is not protected and allowed to be abused with no consequences. Incredibly, the state can give an expectant mom assistance for a fetus or an unborn child, but cannot hold the expectant mom accountable for abuse of a fetus or unborn child. There is no logic.

So what now? Oddly, though, some would trivialize any ambiguity suggested to exist here, which is nonsense. Either way you look at it, at stake is a child. By what principle should government preferentially award protection? The child protection law needs to be changed. The Supreme Court’s decision goes far toward supplying a definition of a child for them, a “fetus or unborn child.”




March goes local

Editor: In 2017, more than 3 million people in the United States participated in the first Women’s March.

This was organized to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, health care reform, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, the environment, freedom of religion, workers’ rights and tolerance. History repeated itself in 2018 with more than 500 marches, rallies and activities held around the world.

Since last January, immigrant children have been separated from their families and some have been kept in cages — with two dying while in custody. Despots have been embraced, journalists have been imprisoned and slaughtered without consequence. An accused sexual aggressor has been placed on the Supreme Court, climate change is still denied; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer citizens have seen their hard-fought rights chipped away; labor unions have been weakened; our allies across the globe have been insulted; religious liberties have become weaponized and women routinely have been disrespected.


We are still angry. But this year we need not travel to Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia or New York City to protest. Action Together of Northeastern Pennsylvania has brought the March to Wilkes-Barre.

Saturday, we will gather in Kirby Park at 11 a.m. to share, listen, inspire and unite. Then we will march to Public Square in Wikes-Barre to rally. We invite interested people to join us.




Compromise crucial

Editor: This letter is about fact and negotiation.

I do not know Sen. Bob Casey but think that he is a very fine individual. I did not know his late father, Gov. Robert P. Casey, but had great respect and admiration for him. Casey’s resistance to deal with President Trump regarding the border wall is inconceivable. This does not make him bad, but makes him look bad because he represents, or should represent, Republicans and Democrats alike.

On another matter, I was in the hardware business while the late governor was in office. Clarks Summit State Hospital had an in-house charge account with my store and this was not with a credit card where I was guaranteed payment. It was an oral agreement and I was at risk if the state did not pay. The state fell behind and the bill, for one reason or another, was not paid. I called Harrisburg and the governor happened to be in the office where I was dispatched. He came to the phone graciously. I explained and he listened patiently. I told him I had no choice but thought about closing the account. He asked me to not close it and would see that the bill was paid. I agreed to his request happily. Within two days a check for full payment was hand-carried to my store and we had a very successful relationship with the hospital afterward.

I think about that to this day and great respect for the late governor will always remain with me.

All involved should be doing two things. They should listen to the facts and negotiate.




Help Trump fail

Editor: Let’s give President Trump what he wants.

Lord knows, he’s tried hard enough to get it. After all, he has lied, threatened, blackmailed and tweeted in an attempt to make it happen. He has flouted legal precedents and ignored the advice of his advisers. He has tried to pack the Supreme Court that may be likely to agree with him, considering that the two justices he nominated could be beholden to him and help make up part of a court majority.

Don’t you think it’s about time that we joined Senate Republicans in their submission? Don’t let Herbert Hoover be alone in this legacy of infamy. Let Trump have his own economic depression.




Add one to lexicon

Editor: At the end of every year, editors at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary introduce several new words. It’s early, but I believe I already have a worthy candidate for 2019.

The definition is, “When an egotistical megalomaniac petulantly storms out of a meeting while manufacturing a crisis in order to distract from an impending crisis regarding collusion with Russia.”

The word is “tantrump.”