Letters To The Editor 4/3/2019

April 3, 2019

Pension bill merited

Editor: Three cheers for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which has enacted legislation of value to all honorable citizens.

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed it into law.

Finally, legislators who are convicted of perpetrating any job-related felony will be required to forfeit their massive state pensions.

Members of the state pension board had betrayed honest Pennsylvania taxpayers when they used their positions to grant a $240,000-per-year, high-on-the-hog lifestyle to Bob Mellow, a felon and former state senator from Lackawanna County. The pension board did not deem his level of corruption serious enough to merit proper punishment in the form of terminating his pension benefits.

The bill is unlikely to save the commonwealth a great deal of money, but it is an important step toward restoring some confidence in a state that has been home to many crooked and unethical public officials.





Fruitful witch hunt

Editor: Awash in radiant orange splendor in the aftermath of the “no collusion” verdict of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, President Donald Trump called the allegations the most ridiculous thing he has ever heard.

Well, the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard was Trump taking the word of Russian President Vladimir Putin when he said that Russia did not steal Hillary Clinton’s emails or interfere in the 2016 presidential election in any way, thereby thumbing his nose at 19 of our intelligence agencies that had found otherwise.

The second most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard were the cries of Trump’s cultists who claimed that the Mueller investigation was a waste of taxpayer time and money. If Trump had cooperated when he should have, a lot of that time and money could have been saved.

Incidentally, the 39 indictments resulting from the Mueller investigation were 39 more than the GOP was able to wrangle from its Benghazi witch hunt, which included eight investigations.

It’s strange how Trump and his acolytes had no issue with the taxpayer dime being wasted on that repeated exercise of beating a dead horse that continues to this day with brainwashed bleats of “Lock her up” at Trump rallies.

The fat lady has yet to sing, but I’ll bet she salivates at the thought of platters of Oval Office hamberders to be washed down with hot covfefe.




Get report out

Editor: Attorney General William Barr isn’t just the nation’s top lawyer, he’s also one of the last members of President Trump’s Cabinet who has the capability to inspire trust and hold legitimacy among a broad, bipartisan swath of the American public.

The unrelenting chaos of the last two years has damaged Americans’ trust in common facts, authorities and institutions. Barr can help reverse the trend.

Barr has promised members of Congress that he will give them Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, once he has redacted all the classified information, such as national security sources and methods, facts relating to ongoing investigations and grand jury proceedings. As Barr works through that information, he will have to make judgment calls about what can stay and what needs to go.

When in doubt, he should leave as much information in the report as possible. In a hyperpartisan, bitterly mistrustful time such as ours, a dose of transparency could avert a great deal of strife.





Barr set low

Editor: It would seem to me that the double R in the Attorney General William Barr’s last name stands for “ready to redact.”

Indeed, I bet that somewhere in the Mueller report there exists a redacted sentence warning us that Trump is a “loose cannon.”




Troubled by litter

Editor: There has been a lot of talk about a local stormwater fee.

It has been passed in some counties and it has been said in some placed that it would be temporary, but only an idiot would believe that. There have been stories in The Times-Tribune about trash and plastic making their way into the rivers, all the way to the Chesapeake Bay. Well, a stormwater fee would not stop that.

There must be some way to stop people from littering, though, especially plastic bottles. Look at any underpass in Scranton or any on- or off-ramp on a highway. The garbage is unbelievable. For a couple of years, I tried to get something done through the Hill Neighborhood Association, but to no avail.

I sometimes go out by myself and fill garbage bags. In the spring members of some groups risk their safety by cleaning along highways. It’s not the ones who made the mess but people who want to clean up the area.

There must be some way to stop people from throwing trash all over, certainly a little education in school would help, along with fines. Can you imagine how much money could be collected?

The thing that bothers me the most is, even if there are trash cans, people still throw their garbage and plastic on the ground. I hope somebody can find an answer.




Truth stays same

Editor: Back in 1966 I was driving a taxi cab in Utica, New York, when I saw a bumper sticker that read, “If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns.”

I suppose that phrase was indicative of the attitude of a racist, misogynistic xenophobe who wants to kill all illegal immigrants.

Or perhaps, on reflection, it’s just a truism 53 years after I first saw it. It’s funny how truisms stand the test of time.