Letters To The Editor 2/28/2019
Danger in mail
Editor: The 12,000-member Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association supports the commonwealth’s efforts against legal challenges to its mail policy that was developed after a rash of K2, a synthetic cannabinoid, was smuggled through the mail in prisons throughout the system.
Simply put, some of our officers became seriously sick after coming into contact with the substance, which could not be detected. Once the department took unprecedented steps, working with the union, to protect the safety of everyone involved, reported illnesses among our officers are down considerably. Pennsylvania’s policy is about safety.
Inmates still receive their mail. Perhaps other states should look to Pennsylvania as a model for how they handle mail.
JASON C. BLOOM
PENNSYLVANIA STATE CORRECTIONS OFFICERS ASSOCIATION,
New world, rules
Editor: In a Feb. 16 article in the Times-Tribune, Sen. Bob Casey, and I paraphrase, said President Trump’s national emergency declaration regarding a border wall was a complete abuse of power.
Well, that’s for the courts to decide and if the circuit courts follow the law then it will be upheld. My question to Casey is: Why, when former President Obama declared a national emergency 12 times, was there not a peep from you?
Eleven of those declarations remain in effect, while eight of them deal with foreign countries.
We have a huge problem with an influx of heroin, murderers, rapists and children being brutalized by criminals. It is a shame that we need a wall or barrier but we live in a new world with new rules.
It’s time that elected officials from both parties in Congress stop passing blame on each other and start earning their paychecks, Cadillac health benefits and pensions instead of slinging mud back and forth. Do the right thing for the citizens of this country and support the wall.
Editor: President Trump is still at it, listening to right-wing commentators, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
Who is Fox personality Sean Hannity to tell the president what to do and threaten the Republicans in Congress who voted in favor of the border deal to keep the government open? What happened to Fox News declaring that it is fair and balanced? No other cable news operation tells presidents what to do; they only report the news.
Trump wants to take money from military housing and Pentagon drug interdiction to build his planned border wall. His childish behavior goes against our democracy and threatens our country.
Editor: Cliff Odets wrote “Waiting for Lefty,” his 1935 play on merit that did not become reality.
It can be delivered today through public unions.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our most liberal president prior to Barack Obama, supposedly abhorred the creation of public unions and said, “All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”
Public employees opt for higher wages and liberal employment practices, with no fear of cost and taxpayers have no seat at the table.
With private sector union membership at 6.4 percent of the workforce and shrinking, public service unions are now many times larger than that.
With no fear of economic reprisal they soldier on and destroy towns like Scranton. This is the voting base Democrats and socialists are counting on for the 2020 election.
Has anyone noticed how much more they make than the private sector?
Editor: On Feb. 28, 1969, Lance Cpl. David A. Parker, U.S. Marine Corps, was killed in action while serving in South Vietnam.
David was a rifleman, a “grunt” in Marine lingo, with Charlie Company, First Battalion, Fourth Marines, 3rd Marine Division.
He lost his life to enemy small-arms fire during a battle in Quang Tri Province. David was 19.
David graduated from Abington Heights High School in 1967 and joined the Marines several months later. I first met David at the Marine Corps recruiting station in Scranton. Before we knew it, two naïve teenagers, one from Clarks Summit and the other from Olyphant, were on their way to Parris Island, South Carolina, on the buddy program.
After boot camp, we were stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Camp Pendleton, California, for advanced infantry training. We boarded a plane for Vietnam on Sept. 4, 1968.
The last time I saw David was at a billeting station in Quang Tri, where we were given our assignments. I recall a strong goodbye handshake, a slight hug and the promise that we would see each other at the end of our 12-month tour. Sadly, that did not happen.
Over the past 50 years, I often have thought of David and how his life might have played out. I have no doubt that he would have been a success at whatever he did.
David’s name is forever engraved on panel 31W, line 6, of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.. He shares this solemn place with the other 58,318 military personnel who also lost their lives during the Vietnam War.
Semper fidelis, David.
MICHAEL G. McLANE
NORTH ABINGTON TWP.