Sounding off: 13-star flag was co-opted by hate-mongers
When I first heard about Nike removing its Betsy Ross flag shoes from the market, I was dismayed and thought that people where being too touchy-feely and too PC. Once I heard the context of the situation, I understood the objection.
I always saw that flag as a starting point for our new nation, and the amazing strength and wisdom of our Founding Fathers. It represented the ideals of freedom and diversity of our country. Then I came to understand that the 13-star flag had been co-opted by white supremacy groups and used along with the confederate flag to represent slavery and oppression. This is absolutely counter to what our early leaders wanted.
The shame here does not lay with the PC crowd, but with those who have stolen that flag and used it to represent evil, torture and death. I think the great men of 1776 would be sickened by the hate speech of today, by morons who don’t know the true history of what the Founders fought for.
They were not perfect and they knew it. They knew they had left things undone, but they had a vision of a great democracy where all men (and women) are created equal.
We need to take back the flag of decency, fairness and equality from hate- and fearmongers. That is the real problem here.
John Thomas, Evergreen, Colo.
The writer is a former Butler resident.
Elizabeth Warren’s unfair debt forgiveness plan
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposes to forgive up to $50,000 of student loan debt per student depending on the person’s income. This is a lot of “free stuff” money. On the campaign trail, I wonder how Warren would reply to a person who did not attend college and asked the following question:
“I did not go to college because I could not afford it and I did not want to mire myself in heavy debt. I went to work at income levels below what a college graduate would make. I accumulated home, car and other debt along the way that I am still paying back. What debt forgiveness or government help should I and others like me expect to receive if student debt is forgiven? We all knew what we were doing when we took on debt.
“You complain a lot about income inequality, yet you advocate a policy that gives a huge financial break to the college-educated whose degrees give them a better chance to have a higher income than those who have no degree. This is hypocritical and unfair.”
Scott Brown, Greensburg
No Sunday hunting
I urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to not allow Sunday hunting. I enjoy the outdoors in our great state, and I feel that I and others should have one day a week to enjoy our beautiful woods in peace and quiet, not having to fear being shot by a careless hunter.
Many churches are located in rural areas. Should people not have the right to worship in peace and quiet and not have services disrupted by the sound of gunfire?
Some people argue that hunting will generate more revenue. But will one more day of hunting make many more people take up hunting? Are hunters suddenly going to buy more guns and hunting clothes to have one more day? I am sure they will use their same equipment, although they may use a little more ammunition.
Please do not allow hunting on Sundays.
David L. Silvis, Hempfield
Megan Rapinoe’s behavior is disgusting
On July 8, I watched an “ABC Nightly News” segment heaping adulation upon the U.S. women’s national soccer team following its World Cup victory. This was a hollow victory because of the disgusting performance of team captain Megan Rapinoe.
I watched Rapinoe stand stonefaced as our national anthem was played before the game, not even bothering to place her hand over her heart or to mouth the words. At the end of the game, she helped push our flag to the ground from the hands of a teammate so they could perform a choreographed cheer.
I should have expected this after her earlier lewd remarks about not wanting to visit the White House if they won and were invited by President Trump.
The news report was the last straw for me as the commentators gushed about these “role models” who will receive a ticker tape parade in Manhattan. Ms. Rapinoe, you wore the initials “USA” on your jersey. Yours is the height of hypocrisy for wearing it after your displays of outright disdain for our country. You, of course, will bask in the glory that is forthcoming and soak up the wealth that you will receive. You will likely benefit greatly from Nike, whose “swoosh” adorns your uniform. Now you and Colin Kaepernick will actually have something in common as you bash our country’s proud symbols and cash in on endorsements at the same time. His grievance was about 13 stars while yours was about 50. Nike sure knows how to pick ’em.
Shame on you, Ms. Rapinoe.
David Reese, Mt. Lebanon
Penn Hills bailout is costing taxpayers
The Penn Hills School District is in debt to the tune of approximately $175 million. Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said that investigators found gross financial mismanagement.
What is the district doing to erase this massive debt? The answer is to allow the government to bail it out using your hard-earned money (“Penn Hills can’t depend on state money.”
Sen. Jay Costa, D-Forest Hills, used his position to appropriate $3.3 million, which comes from the state budget, to help bail the district out. The Penn Hills School Board could have helped the situation by increasing property taxes at least 1 mill, like most school districts that are struggling to balance their budgets.
The problem is that the $3.3 million is your money. It is not government money, and the senator just rewarded the district for egregious financial mismanagement with money from each taxpayer in the state with no oversight planned.
Costa should be ashamed of his actions. Instead of being spoon-fed with a big fat check, the district should be paying it back in some way.
The residents of the Penn Hills School District did not create this mess. Mismanagement by the school board and administrators created it. It’s time to pay up.
Bob Brooks, Murrysville
The writer, a Republican, represents the 54th District in the state House.
Put Americans first
I am so angry right now, I could spit. My 93-year-old mother, American born and raised, needs financial help to stay in her home until her time comes. My sister and I provide 24-hour care to her. I have tried to get financial aid from all the sources available to seniors. Nothing!
My father was a Marine serving in World War II. Veterans Affairs help, forget about it. But I tune in to every Democrat running for office. They vow to give anyone entering our country illegally rights and financial aid. These are people who claim they want to be Americans but their first act is to break our laws.
What about Americans who are struggling? What about the people who are not classified as poor enough for Medicaid but do not have enough money to live properly? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others are fighting to give illegals a better life than Americans. Wake up! Americans first!
President Trump is trying to take care of the citizens of our country before all others. What is demonic about that? What is racist about that? Americans come in all colors, shapes and sizes. But the one thing we all have in common is we are Americans. Trump is fighting for us, all of us.
Jeanne Shields, North Huntingdon
Party affiliation change brings freedom
Our family traveled to Deep Creek, Md., for Independence Day. Along with relaxation, I found personal freedom there. Between dinner and the fireworks, I went online and changed my party affiliation from Republican to none. I am now free to think, vote my conscience and stop fighting with people who happen to sit on the other side of an aisle.
I still support the First and Second Amendments and the rest of our Constitution. I still believe that an unborn child is a person, and nobody has a right to end that person’s life.
However, I can no longer align with politicians who preach family values yet call predatory gambling “gaming” and allow it to infiltrate our cities and towns. I cannot support those who reframe miserly myopia and selfishness as “fiscal conservatism” when it comes to educating our kids.
The day I joined the Franklin Regional School Board, I resigned from the Westmoreland County Republican Committee. It’s time to be truly nonpartisan. I’ll still vote in the fall and help to support good candidates in the spring. I’ll also sleep well, grounded in my loyalty to wisdom, justice and truth.
God bless all of America.
Gregg Neavin, Murrysville