Letters To The Editor 2/3/2019
Instruction in hate
Editor: Unless President Donald Trump declares a national emergency to make himself dictator, the United States remains a free country.
Nazis freely displayed swastikas at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump’s followers who oppose minorities’ right to vote freely hang stars and bars on their trucks to show their support for slavery.
But it was disappointing to see Covington Catholic High School students recently at a right-to-life rally in Washington, D.C., wearing hats intended to suggest that America was “great” before pesky women and uppity black and brown people messed things up. If their private, all-male school, located on the Dixie Parkway in Kentucky, taught American history the students would know that Trump’s neo-know nothing “nationalist” party hates Catholics, too.
Does the school teach that students should respect someone who referred to the holy Eucharist as “my little cracker”? Does the school affirm a person who declared the free press as an enemy of the people and lies a dozen times a day? Does it teach them to respect a thrice-married philanderer who brags about using and abusing women? Does it teach students to reject oppressed foreign Catholic families who legally seek asylum? Should its students support jailing thousands of children? Does it teach that athletes protesting police brutality are communists and that people of other religions should be banned from the country?
The sponsors of the National Right to Life event know that newborn children are born free of hate. Hate is learned; it is taught, in this case, obviously, in a Catholic school. Trump’s MAGA hat, like swastikas and confederate flags, conveys hate speech. Why didn’t National Right to Life speak out to condemn the school and its students’ behaviors?
Real issues ignored
Editor: A 2018 US Census Bureau report states that in 2017, 39.7 million Americans lived in poverty.
While people with at least a bachelor’s degree had the lowest poverty rates, in 2018 the College Board reports that a moderate, public-college education often costs more than $100,000 for a bachelor’s degree, putting a chance at overcoming poverty out of reach for many people.
Furthermore, with 2.3 million people confined in correctional facilities, the United States locks up more people per capita than any other nation, perpetuating the cycle of poverty for many families.
Since 2016, the percentage of Americans who have no health insurance or inadequate health insurance has increased to about one-third of the population. Antiquated and overloaded transportation systems plague cities and the lack of modernized infrastructure limits the ability of small towns to attract job-producing companies. A 2017 Centers for Disease Control report states that 39,773 people in the country died because of guns, the highest rate since 1996. Additionally, more than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, with about 40 percent from prescription opioid-related deaths.
While a large percentage of illegal opioids are smuggled across points of entry in passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers, heroin increasingly enters the country by air and sea. Climate change disrupts lives and economies across the world and pollution imperils the planet.
These are complicated problems that require informed, innovative thought and discussion among experts, citizens and policymakers. But while these issues rage, an incompetent and disinterested president inanely rambles on about a wall that will solve none of it. We must focus our efforts on real national crises and refuse to stroke President Trump’s ego by validating his self-serving circus.
Funding fix needed
Editor: I have been a math teacher for about 20 years.
My mathematical brain sees many things in black and white. It is my understanding that state funding for school districts is based on a per-pupil formula. The Scranton School District currently receives funding of about $2,000 less per student than it should receive for a district its size. The math calculates that $2,000 times 10,000 students would produce about $20 million.
This figure could do much to solve the district’s ongoing budget problems. What needs to be done to rectify this situation? Who is responsible for this error and what can I do to help fix this? I would volunteer to help fill out the necessary paperwork, whether it is working with school district administration or the state Department of Education, or both. Formulas are used for taxes, insurance, mortgages and other computations. How difficult would it be to make sure the district justifiably receives the funding it needs to educate each deserving student of its community? This should be black and white, not grayed by politics.