Letters to the editor February 18 to 24
No one begins a marriage hoping it ends in court, and no one starts a family eager to eventually barter over holidays for their children. Then to witness a child take steps towards a destructive path while one’s influence is limited must be heartbreaking.
First, I want to thank you, Ned, for sharing details of your personal life; the struggles experienced in marriage and in raising a family. You chose to share intimate information with our community in hopes we could understand. You called upon both friends and strangers to pray for a wayward son, as any loving father would do. We are praying.
Secondly, I, too, am a father. I, too, share the fear my children would choose a path that leads to pain—whether addiction, imprisonment, or death. As a father, it disgusts me there are other fathers in our small community who take this opportunity to attack you while you are hurting.
Politics should not limit our kindness when someone is asking for prayer. Remember, this is the same man who provided meals for our community, free of charge. He did not ask for money nor did he ask for political affiliation before distributing meals. We are thankful.
We all, at times, make poor decisions; some decisions have more devastating consequences. To attack a broken man based on the decisions of another grown adult is nothing less than foolishness. This nation needs to come together, which will never happen in small towns, like ours, if we cannot rise above party lines.
Last of all, I want to encourage you that your request was heard, Ned. From one father to another, from one American to another, I will bear this burden with you. My family and I will be praying daily that God’s will be done to turn your son’s heart to Him. There are many people in this town who will be doing the same. Know for certain, before I go to sleep every night, that I will be praying to our God in heaven for this nation, for your family, for your son and for those who glory in your tribulation. We love you and we love this nation. May God have mercy on America.
Beach Lake, PA
In 1954, a courageous U.S. Army attorney, Joseph Welch, famously asked the assaultive Sen. Joseph McCarthy, “At long last, sir, have you no decency?” Amazingly, this simple question put an abrupt end to the shameful lies and smears of the senator who had nearly destroyed the lives of many honest, decent Americans with his high-minded, bullying interrogations. Now that we’ve all witnessed a remarkable number of outright lies from a certain political party in disbelief that their beloved (blatantly crooked) candidate did not win the presidential election, I ask, where is the current-day Joseph Welch who will ask—demand!—once again, “At long last, Republican politicians, have you no decency?” I am hopeful (well, perhaps merely wishful) that a new Mr. Welch will emerge soon to courageously steer our democracy, and our many gullible voters, away from outright liars who are content to spread disinformation against all evidence to the contrary for their own self-serving, misguided and nefarious purposes.
Pond Eddy, NY
I am a proud American who believes in our democracy and the rule of law. The tragedy brought upon our nation and our Capitol is so profound and so criminal. Former President Trump’s own lawyers even suggested that criminal prosecution is in order. He should never be entrusted with the welfare of American citizens ever again. He has infused hatred and disunity into his misguided loyalists, pitting Americans against fellow Americans, resulting in the deaths of eight, including three police officers. Still, it could have been even worse. He delayed police support and continued to prompt further aggression towards our representatives and senators. Police officers suffered the brunt of the violent attack, resulting in death, gouged out eyes, loss of fingers, brutal beatings with head injuries and mentally damaged victims. If not for Trump’s lies about the election, none of this would have happened. Our democracy itself has been violated. All this because one person can not accept he lost, fair and square. There was no widespread fraud. More than sixty dismissed lawsuits are proof. More than 200 of his devout followers are being prosecuted so far. Trump violated his oath of office and everyone has suffered except the man who sold “the big lie.” He must be held accountable. Prosecute him. He incited an insurrection against our government, against the democracy we all cherish. No one is above the law. There are consequences for violating one’s oath of office. Hold him responsible for his failure to protect and defend Americans and our Constitution.
Eugenie Von Poppe
“The Whole People must take upon themselves the Education of the Whole People and must be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one Mile Square without a school in it, not founded by a Charitable individual but maintained at the expense of the People themselves...” — John Adams
The “wise animal,” Homo sapiens, is us. We are born with the ability to learn a language, to be acculturated; this, at the least. We vary in the kind and extent of our ability, but all humans are educable to a degree beyond that basic. Not many are capable of understanding the equations of sophisticated physics, but all are capable of reading, and that capability makes available massive possibilities of learning—from the truths of science to the insights of literature.
The U.S. Constitution doesn’t mention education, but through interpretations of the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause, education has become a right; some of our founders—John Adams, Thomas Jefferson among them—believed that democracy was workable only with an educated populace.
In spite of that, the financing of education is treated differently than other basic needs that only government can afford, e.g., military spending. Left to the states, which primarily use property taxes to fund education that funding varies dramatically from state to state, town to town, neighborhood to neighborhood. Education being critical to the development of human capacity, it is understandable that communities spend what they can, or can afford, and that means a significant disparity from area to area. “The rich get rich and the poor get poorer,” says the song, and our state-funding of education is one reason. Racism has exacerbated the problem.
The solution to this problem cannot be left to the states: they would either have to ask people to vote against their own children’s interests or require the states to fund education without depending on local real estate taxes. The cost of raising the standards of the poorest districts to that of the highest is probably beyond the fiscal capacity of the states. Nothing short of that goal should be acceptable. A constitutional amendment is called for. Not likely? Not yet?
To this day not far from where I live, you can still observe a large banner pronouncing, “Trump 2020, No More Bullshit,” and where its owner displays allegiance not to the United States, but to the Confederacy—to slavery. I wonder how many among us remain, at least quietly, in support of the January 6 insurrection and believe principles of the U.S. Constitution can thrive alongside those upon which the insurrection stood—fact and truth left to the vagary of just one man.
I think these thoughts each time I see the banner and that disgusting flag.
Rock Hill, NY
We would like to express a big thank you to all the fire departments that responded to our house fire on February 10. We know they did the best they could under the circumstances.
And another big thank you to our community that rallied behind us, offering us food, clothes and generous monetary donations.
We appreciate all the support and comfort we have received and continue to receive.
We have a long road ahead of us, but your continued support and kindness give us the strength to push forward.
Hal and Shirley Stein