Sounding off: Yovanovitch’s intimidation claim is laughable |
Letters to the Editor

Sounding off: Yovanovitch’s intimidation claim is laughable

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch said during the impeachment hearings that she felt intimidated by President Trump’s tweet critiquing her performance as ambassador. As a retired Foreign Service employee, I find that unbelievable and laughable. Our ambassadors around the world are made of sterner stuff. Yovanovitch apparently is not.

Irrelevant to impeachment, Yovanovitch said Trump treated her and the Foreign Service badly, and pointed out the dangers in postings around the world. She “plugged” the Foreign Service, naming the four Americans killed in Benghazi in 2012, but revealed a bias in not commenting on President Obama’s inaction on that fatal night. He and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should have been in the White House Situation Room monitoring the situation and sending help. They were not. Obama was leaving for a Las Vegas fundraiser early the next morning, so he most probably was tucked up in bed. And only God knows Hillary’s whereabouts. Thus our Americans were left abandoned and were subsequently killed.

Nevertheless, I wish Yovanovitch well, and hope someone gives her a therapy dog for Christmas to help her conquer her feelings of intimidation.

Elizabeth Gaston Barsoum, Ligonier

Overuse of ‘democracy’ is concerning

Can you recall when such unusually frequent use of the word “democracy” was used and abused? Doesn’t the overuse of the word evoke concern — akin to the concern when repeatedly hearing “trust me”?

Isn’t it amazing that elementary and high school children learned that the brilliant results of our forefathers’ efforts, with God’s help, produced a government form that is a “constitutional, federated republic” with nary a reference to democracy, and its basis of majority rule to “control” people?

And isn’t it our responsibility and duty to guard against liberals whose bent is skewed toward more control of people by the government rather than more control of the government “of the people, by the people and for the people”?

This is not a case of benign intrusion into our way of life, so shouldn’t we recognize and expose this harmful and apparently insidious episode that reeks of socialism?

Will you please consider these verses?

Be careful to avoid “giving away the house.”

It is time to unveil the ones who are crass.

Is each one who “spouts” democracy a louse?

Whose party symbol fittingly rhymes with “pass”?

Albert E. Depew, Buffalo Township

Brian Shaw’s killer deserves fear, death

Regarding the article “Jury finds Rahmael Holt guilty of killing New Kensington police Officer Brian Shaw”: There is no other instinct stronger than the will to live. A murderer is fully aware of this fact as he commits the act.

If the murderer were to be confronted with immediate death, he would beg for his life. He would say anything or do anything to assure his survival. Should any option providing survival be offered to the murderer, he would be greatly relieved.

Any survival option leaves the murderer with the realization that he can get away with murder. Threatening these sick minds with simple incarceration is useless. The fear of death is far greater than the fear of restraint or confinement.

Shaw went through unimaginable fear. So should his killer.

Peter G. Ankney, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The writer is a Lower Burrell native.

Pittsburgh needs to go green

I support Mayor Bill Peduto’s opposition to the proposed petrochemical expansion in this region. Given we are at 412 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere and still increasing, the time for us to dither over shifting away from fossil fuel is over.

This whole thing smacks of greed and a lack of courage and imagination.

If we tried, really tried, I’m sure we could attract truly green businesses here that would provide jobs for folks in the long term, without the environmental nightmares that the petrochemical industry has left in its wake.

In regard to the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County, as Matt Mehalik of the Breathe Project has made clear, we paid way too much, $1.65 billion in tax breaks for 600 permanent jobs.

Compared to New York state, which projects 40,000 jobs resulting from its investments in green tech, the average Pennsylvania taxpayer got screwed.

Also, we live with a plastics crisis.

Plastic is present in our water, seafood and virtually everything else we can thing of, and its health effects are unknown.

The last thing we need is more conventional plastic, but that’s the only way to keep the gas industry going: make something that they can shove out into the market and not be responsible for the damage it does.

Tim Kelly, Aleppo

Democrats jeopardizing office of president

Way back in September 2017, President Trump made an offer to the Democrats in Congress regarding DACA. The Democratic leadership supported the deal, with the exception of agreeing to build a border wall. Obviously, the president’s argument being 800,000 “Dreamers” would be protected, and a border wall to stop the influx of illegals, would be a win-win.

However, the Democrats then, just as now, do not want to give Trump anything that might resemble a win, even if it was good for almost a million Dreamers and the United States. It seems Rep. Mike Doyle and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would rather see our infrastructure crumble and trade deals languish (USMCA), and use the Dreamers as political pawns, than work with Trump.

To be a Democrat in Congress today means to obstruct, investigate and divide. The desperate quest to return to power has wasted taxpayers’ time and money. Elections have consequences, even if you don’t like them, and we need to accept the results and move on.

The precedent set by this Congress jeopardizes the office of the president for years to come. The efforts to remove a president because one does not like his/her policies or personality is the real constitutional crisis we are facing.

John Gregory Parks, McKeesport

Impeachment and the Constitution

Many constitutional scholars believe that the Democrats, with their never-ending efforts to impeach President Trump, are unwittingly creating a constitutional crisis of potentially monumental proportions, one that could ruin our cherished way of life.

The heart of our Constitution relies on the separation and balance of powers among Congress, the president and the Supreme Court. So, if either political party is able to impeach a president with a hidden agenda and a collection of contrived, unproven accusations, then the balance of power, and our constitutional republic, could be disrupted at its core, even brought to a standstill.

And, our mainstream media is so effective that when they report only one side of critical issues like the impeachment of our president, the citizens are easily misled.

Our Founding Fathers never intended impeachment as a replacement for free elections.

Ron Raymond, Buffalo Township

Down syndrome abortion veto is discriminatory

How many Pennsylvania citizens understand what occurred last week in Harrisburg?

Gov. Tom Wolf (a Democrat) vetoed a bill that attempted to protect our anticipated citizens (waiting to be born) with Down syndrome. This action by the governor and legislators who voted against this bill, which would have prohibited abortions because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome, showed an act of discrimination.

Wolf stated, “I am not aware of a single disability rights group that supports this bill.” I wonder how people with Down syndrome would react to this action if they had the ability to understand what is being discussed.

This action should serve as a reminder of how society is stripping away the dignity of each individual life. The scarier question — who is next?

Tom Pyo, Hempfield

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