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Letters To The Editor 5/7/2019

May 7, 2019 GMT

Lugar remembered

Editor: I was sorry to read of the death of Richard Lugar, a former U.S. senator from Indiana.

I met him when he chaired a NATO expansion task force on which I served as a staffer at the Council on Foreign Relations in the mid-1990s. I was in the gallery when he gave his Senate farewell address in 2012.

Lugar distinguished himself throughout his life. He was valedictorian of his class in high school and college and was a Rhodes Scholar. As a young officer, he served as an aide to the chief of naval operations. His contributions on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and particularly his co-sponsorship of the Nunn-Lugar Act helped keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people following the Soviet Union’s disintegration.

He was a man of integrity. Sober and serious, faithful to family and country, he was a patriot and statesman.

He once ran for the Republican presidential nomination and would have made a great president but lacked the snake oil salesman’s charm, so prized in such a contest. He never sought to save his own skin with spurious excuses to avoid service. He never ran a public company into the ground while lining his own pockets. He never slithered out on debts, nor hosted a game show. Nor did he inherit hundreds of millions of dollars.

But perhaps his deficiencies in these areas speak more to our faults as an electorate than to his failings as a candidate. His life and style of governance stand in stark contrast to the current occupant of the White House. His was a lifetime of service to his country.

His death gives us an opportunity to reflect on the people we consider for office. If we take it, Lugar may have found one final way to serve his country.




NRA’s bad rap

Editor: The NRA’s 22% drop in 2017 membership revenue may be because of a rise in dues and members who may have let their membership lapse after President Trump beat Hillary Clinton. The NRA still reportedly has 5 million members, up from 2.6 million in 1998.

I do not know where Joseph Rogan (“Another NRA loss,” April 28) got his information, but the NRA says it receives funds mainly from member contributions and dues, advertising in NRA publications, grants and private contributions. Some companies, like Midway USA, have programs allowing buyers to round-up their purchases to the nearest dollar with the difference going to the NRA. Some count this as funding from the gun industry, but it is from individuals. If the NRA is fighting for a right, does it matter who funds it?

The current national instant criminal background check system was legislation that the NRA supported and has consistently supported. The NRA is a leader in firearm safety training but opposes gun control under the guise of gun safety. The NRA trains more law enforcement officers each year than any other organization. It provides grants to purchase body armor for law enforcement agencies, has 121,000 trained firearm instructors who teach thousands of Americans gun safety each year and trains military members who fight the war on terror.

It’s 30-year Eddie Eagle gun accident prevention program has reached 31 million kids. The NRA developed the nation’s first state-based hunter safety/education course.

I have received the NRA’s publications for 40 years and I do not recall seeing any mention that all Muslims are terrorists, gun safety advocates are tragedy whores, journalists are rodents, or the organization mocking Thomas the Tank Engine for teaching respect for ethnic or racial diversity.

It is not necessary for Rogan to demonize the NRA.




Threat to nation

Editor: Citizens thought, rightly, that Robert Mueller was an honest, honorable man doing the job that the nation, Congress, and yes, the president, wanted him to do.

Attorney General Robert Barr then covered up and mischaracterized Mueller’s report. Now we find out that weeks ago, Mueller objected in writing to Barr’s cover-up. Barr and Mueller need to appear before Congress to explain themselves to the people.

President Trump’s lies have infected our government from the top down. Four more years of Trump could destroy our country. He has maligned our institutions, from the FBI to the CIA, and tarnished our history from the birth of our nation until the present.

It is time to wake up and speak truth to power. The president is a sick man and not up to the job of leading the greatest country in the world. I hope we can prevent him from damaging us more.




Obstruction aided

Editor: How many Americans would give up homes and careers and their savings for a chance to serve in Congress, to hold pride of place in the American experiment in self-government and one day maybe to end up in the history books?

From a country of more than 325 million people, just 535 are senators or representatives. Of those, just 250 have the privilege to belong to the party of Lincoln, Grant, Eisenhower and Reagan. Many Pennsylvanians are represented by this party, which was founded to preserve the Constitution and the rule of law. Yet, girded with opportunity and responsibility, our Republican leaders fail their political heritage and the Constitution’s clarion call.

The president of the United States attempted to obstruct justice, battling an investigation into an attack on America by a foreign power because he was afraid it would make him look bad. These facts are clear as day in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

True Republicans would never put up with such behavior. What happened?





Nothing to see there

Editor: Author Mark Twain said that everyone talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.

A similar situation seems to surround President Trump. Everyone talks about his income tax returns but apparently nobody has ever seen them.