Sounding off: Let's all fund Trump's Mexico wall with $400 loans
During the campaign, President Trump was emphatic that, if he was elected, he would build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it. He has expressed extreme dismay that the recent omnibus spending bill did not front American taxpayer dollars for the endeavor, so I offer a suggestion: Create an internet-based entity similar to a GoFundMe account and solicit loans. Estimates place the cost of construction at approximately $25 billion. If everyone who voted for the president (officially 62,984,825) would commit to loaning just $400 apiece, Trump could build the wall then repay the loans when he recoups the cost from Mexico, thereby bypassing Congress. #WIN-WIN!
Gary Russak, North Huntingdon
A great man's legacy does not die with him
During high school in the late 1960s, I served under fire Chief Ed Hutchinson at Mutual Aid Ambulance and at Greensburg Hose Co. 6. I am still a licensed EMT and active with a rescue squad. And as a Northern Virginia elected official, I chair the National Capital Region Emergency Preparedness Council. Thanks to Ed, I have treated hundreds of patients under virtually every circumstance, including on international flights and volunteering in an ER in New York on 9/11. These opportunities for service arose out of the passion for emergency service kindled by Ed, for which I am forever grateful.
My father, Daniel Snyder, then an attorney and later a federal judge, and Ed tangled on a proposal to convert Greensburg's government into a city manager form. Although the contest was bitter, after it was over, with mutual respect, they worked together on many community projects. According to my father, when Ed called for a donation — for example, for a new ambulance — the answer was always an immediate “yes.” At my father's funeral, Ed had the memorial 1-3 sounded.
Ed was a hero in every sense of the word. He always led from the front. There never was a physical risk that he did not take: I saw him take extraordinary risks at dozens of fires and crash scenes. There were also funny times, like when things went bad and he would say, “You gotta have a little humor,” or when he taught me life lessons like how to spit tobacco out of a moving ambulance at 80 miles per hour without getting it on you or the ambulance.
Ed was a great leader because he always looked for new and better ways of doing things. He served the community in many other ways, including with Excela Westmoreland Hospital's board of directors.
Those of us who served under him were the lucky ones. To the young people who will never know him, consider volunteering or a career in emergency services or any other kind of community service. Imagine your ideal hero/leader, and Ed was it. And so, do as he did. You will never regret it.
David F. Snyder, Falls Church, Va.
Education deserves same support as military
Those who denigrate students' improving performances during biennial testing do not understand public schools' mission or the student population being tested ( “Pa. students' reading, math ‘outperformance' nothing to cheer about” ). Public schools take all comers, including children with physical, mental, emotional and family issues. Teachers accept each child and work to achieve the best possible skill levels and proficiencies.
“... throwing still more money at public schools — and expecting better results” shows the writer's lack of understanding of public education. We did not build the greatest military on earth by denigrating our soldiers and generals because they did not win wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan or Iraq. We did not cut funding or propose a “charter” military to drain money from the traditional military. In fact, we make sure the military has a huge budget and the best equipment, training and personnel. We don't refer to military funding as “throwing more money and expecting better results.” No, we thank our soldiers and veterans, knowing they worked every day to do the best possible job.
Students and teachers do the same and deserve equal support. It is time for us to fully fund education so that every child has the best equipment, training, teachers and opportunities to achieve the American dream.
It is time to start being part of the solution. Volunteer in your local school district and ask how you can help. Many citizens have valuable life experiences that could be shared in our public schools. Mentor a child. Volunteer in a classroom. Make education a priority.
Renalda Arndt, South Huntington
Why so vicious?
Why is the “dump Trump” crusade so vicious, so deeply felt? They attack what he says, not what he does. They besmirch him personally, but not his job performance. This animosity has to be more than just political opposition.
With our country struggling economically, culturally and morally, you would think that most of us would want our president to succeed. But for too many, the hate is too strong.
Trust in government and the media has plummeted. I can see, if one gets his news only from the anti-Trump media like MSNBC, CNN, the entertainment industry and major news organizations, that they would get only one distorted side of the story and view President Trump as a failure, and even the enemy.
Thank goodness this paper exposes readers to both sides. Our biased political media constantly use the “Have you stopped beating your wife?” questions. They constantly misstate and misuse statistics and polls. They obfuscate the truth by omitting opposing news and views. They control conversations with hasty generalizations that intentionally mislead.
In today's 24-hour-news-cycle world, these media can effectively destroy anyone they don't agree with, even the president.
Ron Raymond, Buffalo Township
Dear Mr. Nutting:
I have followed closely the public calls for you to sell the Pirates. Unlike many, I do not think it is fair, legal or American to pressure or force you to sell the team. As a capitalist myself, I believe in your right to pursue profitability, proprietorship and prosperity as you see fit.
However, I do have a compromise. It seems to me that while you are deserving of your right to profitability, you are not deserving of the moniker “Pittsburgh” in front of your corporate name. Here is my idea: You keep the team and current set of players. However, you give us back the name “Pittsburgh.” While I will leave the details to be you, might I suggest the “Profitable Pirates” or “Pennypinching Pirates” or “Parsimonious Pirates.” Come to think of it, just “Pirates” would work as well, given your history of marauding.
You should probably also give us back the beautiful taxpayer-funded facility that you most certainly do not deserve. PNC Park was a public good that was erected in order to bring entertainment, a sense of community and winning baseball to Pittsburgh — not to generate profitability for the Nutting family.
If you accept this compromise, your “Piggish Pirates” would continue to operate. We will try our chances to lure another franchise to Pittsburgh, perhaps with a different owner who strikes a better balance between personal profitability and desire to win. And hopefully we will get to compete in the same division as your squad.
Josh Thimons, Corona Del Mar, Calif.
The writer is an Allison Park native.
Are we a nation of laws? Yes.
When should any illegal immigrant be given due process? Never.
Why are illegal immigrants allowed to vote in some states? A law violation.
Which U.S. president created DACA? Obama.
Do the immigration problems predate President Trump? Yes.
Is a question on U.S. citizenship legitimate to the census? Yes.
Simple questions, simple answers. If nothing else, they are an indication of how dysfunctional our federal government is.
Trump is about to make a lot more enemies. He is serious. You may not like his style, but so what? His substance is what counts. His vision on immigration, the one he was elected on, is the will of the people. He is going to bring the immigration issue to a head. Our southern border is under siege and if Trump has to use federal troops to stop the illegal flow, I believe he will.
Hopefully after he does this the Republican leadership in the House and Senate will follow his lead and fix the immigration laws/issues. Perhaps some Never Trumpers and some Democrats will see the wisdom and truth of his action and offer their support.
Paul Carrick, North Huntingdon
Trump and N. Korea
Narcissism: undue dwelling on one's own self or attainments.
President Trump thinks he can denuke North Korea with a face-to-face meeting. Has the diplomatic groundwork been laid?
Before Nixon went to China, Kissinger and Zhou Enlai laid the groundwork, agreeing on what the principals — in this case, Nixon and the leader of China — would agree to at the summit.
Meetings between principals (heads of organizations) might work in the business world, where both parties have the same goals, i.e., making money, building hotels, etc. But they don't work when principals have different goals. The United States wants to denuke North Korea. The U.S. wants to take something away.
Simon P. Solar, New Kensington