Sounding off: End Pennsylvania’s Sunday hunting ban
Pennsylvania Grange president Wayne Campbell’s op-ed (“Keep Sunday hunting ban”) is missing existing perspective/data. Yes, hunter numbers will likely decline over time. The Pennsylvania Game Commission agrees culture shifts are significantly to blame.
Campbell ignores the fact that hunters cite lack of free time as the overwhelming reason they stop hunting. The commission’s executive director testified in 2016 that “ … the No. 1 reason that people stop hunting is lack of time. The overwhelming majority of hunting takes place on Saturdays. … For a lot of hunters the only option is Saturday.” His full testimony is worth reading.
The commission has already done the “alternatives” research Campbell asks for. Trust the facts.
The Pennsylvania Grange commonly mentions sharing the outdoors, but wants to exclude hunters on Sundays. Curious. Hunters have always shared state game lands, which are funded by hunting license fees.
It’s time to repeal the last blue law; 47 other states have removed bans. Opponents aren’t citing issues in those states. It’s overzealous to tell citizens what to do on private property. They should append their motto to “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity except Sunday hunting.”
Ron Grzywacz, Royersford
Keep up pressure on abusers
Kudos, praises and thanks to Richard Serbin for taking such a bold step to shine additional spotlight on the Catholic Church and its decades of cover-up (“Vatican should chip in for clergy abuse survivors”). Of course, no need to stop there. Sadly, virtually every other religion, truth be told, will have multiple “skeletons in their closets; itching to come outside” (most recently the Southern Baptist church).
It will take people like Serbin, TribLive and other “media” entities to keep up the pressure on those who did harm, those who are currently doing harm and those who will do harm in the future to the children who are too young, too afraid, too powerless and too brainwashed to fend and speak for themselves.
Theautry Green, Charlotte, N.C.
Vaccines are safe?
I find it deplorable that some doctors refuse to see unvaccinated kids (“Doctors’ dilemma: To see or not to see unvaccinated kids”). This discrimination is feeding into vilification and outright hate increasingly directed at vaccine-free children and their parents, many of whom do not vaccinate after diligent research convinced them that the risks of the injections exceed those of the conditions they target and that the drugs are unsafe. Exactly my conclusion in 1988 after researching vaccines at Pitt’s medical school library.
How does one call safe drugs that we know have injured thousands of children and probably tens of thousands? Exact numbers of such injuries are unknown because fewer than 1 percent of vaccine adverse reactions are reported, according to a Harvard Pilgrim study.
If vaccines are safe, why is there a National Child Vaccine Injury Act, under which $4 billion has been paid to victims of vaccine injuries? These facts are largely unknown because the media does not report on it .
Also largely unknown is that uniquely and outrageously in American law, vaccine makers cannot be sued for injuries the drugs cause. No other industry is exempt from liability suits.
What about the explosion in child neurological dysfunction and injecting infants and children with aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, polysorbate, acetone and other toxic agents that are in vaccines?
There are many other questions as well that people should know about before they are denied control over what is injected into their children and themselves.
Hank Baughman, Unity
Details on the Clintons
There is speculation that Hillary Clinton will run again for president. That would definitely liven up the contest. She has the strong support of her husband, and she has many loyal followers who suffered extreme mental anguish when she lost the last election.
It would seem prudent and timely to examine a few details regarding the Clintons which surfaced and quickly disappeared in the news when they happened.
Nov. 19, 1993: President Clinton allowed the sale of a “super computer” to the communist Chinese and called it a goodwill gesture, allowing the Chinese to access the most advanced computer technology without having to spy to get it.
May 11, 1999: President Clinton approved the transfer of our most advanced missile guidance technology to the communist Chinese, essentially wiping out any strategic advantage the United Stateshad.
April 23, 2015: According to a New York Times article headlined “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal,” tens of millions of dollars flowed into the Clinton Foundation following the sale of 20 percent of the U.S. uranium reserves to the Russians.
Nov. 2, 2017: Vanity Fair published an article titled “Donna Brazile Says She Has ‘Proof’ Clinton Rigged The Primary Against Sanders.”
Joseph Krill, Murrysville
Reform the cash bail system
Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States — people who have not been tried or convicted of any crime — are held in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. They may spend days, weeks or months in jail awaiting trial. And in the process, they may lose their jobs, homes, even their families. As their lives unravel, taxpayers foot the bill to the tune of millions of dollars.
The cash bail system is wrong. It disproportionately punishes the poor, both by requiring people without money to find money, and by imprisoning them if they cannot. It flies in the face of core American values of freedom and justice.
But it can be fixed. One year ago, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office stopped seeking cash bail for nonviolent offenses. The result? The number of incarcerated people declined by 22 percent, defendants showed up for court regardless, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars were saved and crime did not increase as a result. Most importantly, people were not jailed simply for being poor.
Philadelphia’s example is well worth following in Allegheny County, while we push state legislators to ban cash bail altogether. In a rare instance of bipartisan agreement, Democrats and Republicans both acknowledge that our criminal justice system is broken. Ending cash bail would be a small but important step toward fixing it. Let’s work together to get it done.
Marie Norman, Squirrel Hill
Debunking ‘gateway drug’ argument
Letter-writer Susan Jones worries that legalizing marijuana could potentially lead to an increased usage of cocaine, crack or heroin (“Legalized pot a gateway drug.”)
The “gateway drug” argument is an example of assuming that correlation is evidence of causation. Studies do show that the majority of people abusing the more dangerous drugs begin their drug-taking experience with marijuana. Studies also show that almost all of those same drug abusers also used alcohol and tobacco before they used harder drugs.
Yet the majority of people who have used marijuana, alcohol or tobacco never consume any cocaine, crack or heroin at all. If marijuana use was the genuine cause of an eventual addiction to cocaine or opioids, then the number of people addicted to those drugs would be more than double the number it is today.
While marijuana use cannot offer real physical relief to those who are already suffering from the addictive demands of opioids, legalized marijuana consumption could reduce the demand for cocaine, crack and heroin in the future. With legal (and potentially more potent) cannabis available, those looking to stimulate pleasure-receptors in the brain would be less likely to turn to harder drugs.
Andrew N. Mewbourn, Hempfield
A plea to Republicans
The Republicans won the election in 2016. It’s undeniable it was a slaughter, winning the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress. It wasn’t the outcome I wanted, but I accepted it. In the first two years of the Trump presidency, you’ve put an indelible mark on the judiciary for the next 30-plus years. You’ve appointed two justices to the Supreme Court. You’ve overhauled the federal tax system. You’ve rolled back scores of regulations. Congratulations.
Now it’s time to come home. A word to the wise: Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. You’ve feasted on the success of the 2016 election, as well you should. Now is the time to step back, appreciate what you’ve done.
Now is also the time to step away from the Trump trough before you lead us all to the slaughter. Your party, our Constitution and our great country are all in danger of bloody demise. With his declaration of a national emergency, President Trump reaffirmed his disdain for the separation of powers and thumbed his nose at the notion the three branches of government are in fact equal.
Come back, not as a Republican, Democrat or “other.” Come back into the fold of the legislative branch. Reclaim your role as an equal, as a check on the executive branch.
Come back as a pig. That’s OK. Washington is full of those. But you’re dangerously close to becoming hogs. Just get back here soon, before we all end up fried like a side of bacon.
Patrick R. Malone, Mt. Lebanon