Letters to the Editor

WhatFinger

Amtrak accidents

I guess if we could figure out how to keep vehicles off railroad tracks when a train is coming and how to keep trains traveling at the posted speeds, the numbers might improve. But 2 Amtrak accidents in one week should, at a minimum, cause some serious concern. Both were the results of vehicles on the tracks. Obviously, we have a malfunction at the junction. Do we need the barriers to be further away from the tracks? Do they need to be stronger? Perhaps double sets on each side, or triple? The assumption being that a driver would get the point after 2 or 3? Is the problem speed? Is it safe to have large vehicles speeding across the paths of autos and trucks? Has our need for speed put a lot of people in danger?

These accidents are costly in life, limb and dollars. This is not rocket science. It is train science. We are only a few years from the 200th anniversary of the first train. Surely there are some statistics available that might point to the root problem. With that solutions could be devised.

I can’t help but wonder how our government run rail system stacks up against other countries and private systems.

By Guest Column -- Arnold Avery- Monday, February 5, 2018

Emotional support Gorilla

Can I take my emotional support Gorilla on a plane or train? I feel much safer as nobody picks on the little guy who has a pet Gorilla.

The recent refusal of an airline to allow a peacock as an emotional support animal has highlighted the use of animals to aid humans.

The use of support animals, especially guide dogs and now seizure dogs is almost universally accepted and they are welcome by both public acceptance and the law. The few cafe owners that used to try to ban guide dogs on the grounds of hygiene found that this was both illegal and improper.

The use of emotional support animals seems to be a more recent occurance and is not so clear cut. To be considered the person has to have a disability that is certified by a medical authority. There seems to be no precise list of what animals are acceptable although snakes on a plane is more likely to only be in the films on the plane. There are people who won’t or can’t fly on planes for any number of reasons and it may be a time where the comfort of the many outweigh that of the individual.

In the old days emotional support was provided by valium and sleeping tables which might still be the best option as toilet training a gorilla is quite difficult.

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Monday, February 5, 2018

Do we really want to know?

There have been a number of articles recently relating to medical testing. The positive is the development of memory test to help indicate Alzheimer’s years earlier whereas the negative is the reluctance of men to have prostate cancer testing. However the question that many ask is do we want to know?

One of the initial concerns is that people may have to report their medical conditions to employers or medical insurers. In many countries female job applicants cannot be asked if they are pregnant or intend to start a family soon but if they have ‘genetic tests’ to look for possible disease indicators they often have to report these results.

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Monday, February 5, 2018

Lost dog reunited with Pennsylvania family after 10 years

Even a dog with a microchip can go missing for a long time. But even a dog that’s missing for a long time can end up back home where she belongs.

That’s what a Pennsylvania family learned recently when they recovered their black Labrador mix, Abby, who had run away 10 years ago from the family’s home in Apollo, about 33 miles east of Pittsburgh.—More….

By Fox News - Sunday, February 4, 2018

Remember when…?

Remember when the Democrats kept up their screed about Trump’s income tax papers? They did it before he was elected and they still come out with it occasionally even these days. And when anyone tries to explain to them that he said he would not release them as long as they were under review by the IRS, the same left-leaning morons smirk and remark, “It proves he has something to hide.”

By Bob Lunsford - Friday, February 2, 2018

Why the silence on the new anti-semitism?

After the Holocaust which saw the systematic annihilation of six million Jews by Hitler’s Nazi’s the UN General Assembly unreservedly condemned all manifestations of religious and ethnic intolerance with a resolution that would remind future generations of this horror to prevent such events ever happening again. This turning point in history prompted the world to say “never again.”

By Guest Column -- Gerald Hall (Jerry)- Friday, February 2, 2018

Two completely different sets of rules in our country

If you don’t believe there are two completely different sets of rules in our country, consider this:

There was barely a murmur from the press when President Obama, before his second term, whispered to Russian President Medvedev, that he would have more latitude after the election. Yet, when President elect Trump tries to defuse the damage done by Obama and the United Nations with Israel, the press applies a different set of standard. Seems in the media, Obama can do nothing wrong and Trump can do nothing right. As I said, two sets of rules.

By Guest Column -- Linda Barrington- Thursday, February 1, 2018

Governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey suing the Federal Government over the allowable Fe

It’s actually pretty funny if you think about it, the Governors of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey suing the Federal Government over the allowable Federal deduction for State taxes paid. I’m pretty sure there is no law that requires the federal government to write tax laws with individual states in mind. In fact, I’d bet money that to do so would be illegal.

What do those northeastern states get for those high taxes? Their roads and bridges are a disaster and their high schools all rank behind Florida according to a US News and World Report article.

Here’s the situation: in all 3 states the top 1% of earners cover 40% of the revenue. If those people relocate to, oh I don’t know, Florida or Texas where there is no state income tax, the northeast will be hurting.  On the flip side, middle class people in those states are probably going to benefit from the changes in the law.

For comparison, Florida has 2 million more residents than New York but only has half the budget of New York. One of the results of the tax overhaul just might be better state governance in some places. They may have no choice.

By Guest Column -- Victoria Vaugh- Thursday, February 1, 2018

Our country is dealing with the long time failure of our government to do its job

Our country is dealing with the long time failure of our government to do its job. We are faced with the results of an immigration policy that has been ignored for years. We have within our borders people who do not belong here, yet we recognize that many have been here for years, perhaps their entire lives, and only know this country.

Democrats have made those immigrants the focus of their campaign. Some believe it is a ploy to secure voters. Whatever the reason, their mission is causing a stalemate with Republicans who are eager to enforce our laws. It is also causing uncertainty and fear in the immigrant community.

The President has put forth a compromise. There is something for both sides to celebrate and something that amounts to a bitter pill for both sides.

If we, on either side, will not support this measure, then we are willing to accept the rancor, gridlock, and extrordinary amount of time, money and energy being spent on the issue. I believe it is time to “man up”, accept those who are here, build a wall and enforce our laws and move on. And I mean both sides. If you agree that this is the way and this is the time, send an email, letter or phone call to your Representatives and Senators to support President Trump’s compromise.

By Guest Column -- John Bryant- Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Misprinted tickets invite guests to Trump’s ‘State of the Uniom’ address

Re: Misprinted tickets invite guests to Trump’s ‘State of the Uniom’ address

As the President said “It is a damn poor mind indeed which can’t think of at least two ways to spell any word.” (President Andrew Jackson).

Spelling is a dying art - mostly due to spellcheckers and a lack of ability by its users to spot obvious errors. The example of the moment, uniom rather than union, is more likely poor typing than spelling.

Does it really matter if we think Crocodile Dundee came from Austria rather than Australia? Not really, although since there are no crocodiles there Squirrel Dundee may have lacked some drama. However, if it was a matter of bombing runs, “Iraq or Iran?” may have caused some political tensions to rise.

Typing errors may excuse many concerns although the differences between the recovery is slow/low are significant. Perhaps the President or Resident in the White House needs to double check everything he sends out - this could be extended to his tweets as well.

As we peel away the layers of how this mistake occurred it may be like the onion - a source of many tears.

By Guest Column -- Dennis Fitzgerald- Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Americans want their politics straight up, no entertainers, entertainment shows, sports figures or s

The evidence is clear, Americans want their politics straight up, no entertainers, entertainment shows, sports figures or sporting events, no social commentary.

We go to, or watch on TV, concerts and games to be entertained, not preached at. And certainly, not to have someone else’s politics shoved down our throats.

Awards shows and NFL games have suffered ratings declines over just this issue.

We are weary of the constant barrage of black dresses, pink hats, and people kneeling. Enough already. There is a time and place for everything.

If you are trying to wear us down to change our minds, be careful of unintended consequences.

By Guest Column -- Jean Arcamone- Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Winston Churchill a sexist?

Dear Editor:

I was just reading some Winston Churchill quotes and came across the following: “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” Totally unacceptable - let’s unearth him, prop him up by the roadside, and have a #MeToo drive-by shooting!

By Jeff Goodall - Monday, January 29, 2018


Regardless of Cher’s personal feelings on appropriate dress

In case you haven’t been following the inane and celebrity driven daily news and if you even remember Cher, you may not be aware of the latest set back for women’s rights and empowerment.  Cher tweeted out that Sarah Huckabee Sanders should be told not to dress like a “sister wife”, implying a dowdiness of Sanders wardrobe.

Regardless of Cher’s personal feelings on appropriate dress, which I find to be at odds with most women, publicly denigrating other women is uncalled for. Sanders is smart and well spoken while she does one of the hardest jobs on the planet. She, not Cher, is a wonderful example
to young women.

It is sad that these sorts of ill conceived comments are only causing the divide to deepen. How can we possibly have peace when there are mean spirited people, like Cher?

By Guest Column -- Alice Vann- Sunday, January 28, 2018

I am not certain Canadians understand the extent of the Government tyranny

Dear Prime Minister,

If you have a moment you might be interested in seeing the clip on the facebook page.

While Mr Trump has his critics he knows he has a duty to protect the life of all US citizens including those in the womb and also to respect the worldview of pro-life Americans.You appear to believe in a totalitarian system of government. Rather than protect every Canadian’s life from fertilization you champion a non-existent right to abortion at the cost of the fundamental rights and freedoms in our Charter. Prime Minister only one in 5 pregnant women will resort to induced abortion and a majority of those would not do so if they were not abandoned or had the support they needed. Do you really support a system which kills over 100,000 Canadian children in the womb and places their mothers at risk?

By Guest Column -- Jakki Jeffs- Thursday, January 25, 2018