Letters To The Editor 12/3/2018
Editor: Scanning through television channels on a recent Sunday night, I caught 30 seconds of a meteorologist telling us the temperature for Hazleton, then some other town and then the temperature for a fictional spot on the map she called “Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.”
I thought, “Apparently the station doesn’t adhere to national standards, such as the Associated Press Stylebook. They just let their ego lead the way. Next channel, please.”
Then it occurred to me: By this logic, we’re just two hours away from Wilkes-Barre/Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre/New York. But this viewpoint is justified —from the Nanticoke/Wilkes-Barre point of view — ever since the Avoca airport name was stolen by politicians in 1947.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, our region is correctly labeled Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton, a context that places us smack-dab on the East Coast. The voodoo context Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, on the other hand, positions our region far out in the backwoods. Personally, I prefer not to live in a land of obese guys in red hats that say “Make West Nanticoke Great Again.”
At one time I thought this obsession for naming our region backward was simply an integrity issue, but it goes deeper. It’s really a matter of megalomania, or in other words, delusions of grandeur and inflated self-importance. All told, this geographic revisionism borders on psychological disorder, one that can be traced to a massive inferiority complex. This process of overcompensation was well-documented by psychologist Alfred Adler and discussed by the great writer Aldous Huxley.
So perhaps I should feel sorry for the souls who utter the gauche phrase Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as if it were a matter of fact. What they really say is, “I can’t read a map, I know more than the Census Bureau ... and who on earth was Huxley?”
What price dignity?
Editor: The heinous and disgusting killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has left more than blood on the floor of the Saudi consulate in Turkey, where Saudi security agents allegedly murdered the Washington Post writer.
There is barely a scintilla of doubt that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew of the plan to kill the journalist. After all, the prince has been a royal strongman since his father, King Salman, chose him to run the kingdom. He imprisoned relatives and demanded money from them, kidnapped Lebanon’s prime minister, started a war in Yemen and broke relations with Germany and Canada over mild criticism of Saudi policy. Still, many weeks after Khashoggi’s disappearance, no credible story has come from Saudi Arabia and we cannot expect anything honest from them.
There are questions America needs to answer concerning this despicable act.
The first is, were Americans involved in training the agents who killed Khashoggi?
It is well-known America trained “death squads” at the School of the Americas
at Fort Benning, Georgia, and they went on to murder religious workers in Central America.
Another question regards President Trump’s position on this barbaric act. He has concerns regarding Saudi Arabia’s stated intent to purchase $110 billion in military equipment and does not want to jeopardize the sale. Actually it is not a sale, only an expressed intent and it will not create net additional jobs for the U.S. economy.
But shouldn’t we put our American values at the center of our politics where there is a basic respect for truth, science and decency? The president asks us to forgo a moral stand for $110 billion. How about an arms sale for $55 billion, or $10 billion, $5 billion or $1 billion?
At least Stormy Daniels got paid.
GEORGE J. MOTSAY, M.D.
UPPER MACUNGIE TWP.,
Headed for ruin
Editor: The Nov. 2 Times-Tribune included a photo of 12 Republican women of Lackawanna County on Page A2.
They were smiling, but I doubt they are smiling now since their candidates locally and nationally did poorly in the Nov. 6 election. The Republican Party has become the party of white people, a racist, anti-First Amendment party. It helps spread lies and conspiracy theories generated by Fox News, Alex Jones and the alt-right. Fox is the favorite of President Trump and his base, which is not the majority of Americans. He is supposed to represent all Americans, not just the 46 percent of voters who supported him. Hillary Clinton received 48.5 percent of the national vote.
Trumpism has enabled the likes of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, neo-Nazis, white nationalists and right-wing extremists to gain a foothold. They believe they are sanctioned by the president who spreads hatred, racism and a dislike for women, especially those of color that he insults on a regular basis. He also spreads lies about immigrants trying to come to this country.
On Facebook, Lackawanna County Commissioner Lauren Cummings recently called Jim Acosta, White House reporter for CNN, “a scumbag.” Well, I wonder what she thinks of Trump, a misogynist. She willingly overlooks his hatred, belittling of women in many ways and his outright lying more than 5,000 documented times since he has taken office.
Trump also has proclaimed that he is a nationalist. Patriotism is not equated with nationalism.
Evangelicals praise and love Trump. Only they know why in their so-called Christian hearts. By the way, what church does Trump attend?
Trump is a disgrace to our country. Certain elements of society think he runs this country like a reality television show and they love it. He is not running this country, he is ruining it.
Editor: In the desert outside Tornillo, Texas, is a tent camp where some 2,300 teenagers are held captive, separated from their families by the Trump administration.
Some are as young as 13. The children are overseen by poorly trained $11.27-per-hour locals for which the Trump administration waived the usual FBI fingerprint background tests. A Department of Health and Human Services memo warns that this “heightens the risk that an individual with a criminal history could have direct access to children.” The memo warns that these captive children are likely suffering serious trauma.
This is an abomination. Sen. Bob Casey has spoken out forcefully against Trump’s policy of tearing apart immigrant families and housing children in separate camps. But where is Sen. Pat Toomey on the issue? When it comes to defending big business, Toomey speaks forcefully. But when it comes to protecting children and common human decency, he goes silent. Toomey is a disgrace to his office.