Last updated: March 24. 2014 11:20PM - 1299 Views

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for veterans


As chair of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I was pleased to support and push to passage legislation providing a special veteran’s designation on Pennsylvania driver’s licenses. This appropriate means of recognition has been requested by veterans’ groups and individual veterans for years. The legislative process offers plenty of opportunities for objections to be registered, but we heard nothing along the lines of the concerns raised by the Pocono Record’s editorial (reprinted March 14).

It is unfortunate that a positive step, done for the best of reasons, was painted in such a negative way, and our veterans cast in such a poor light.

This designation seems a small consideration in contrast to the very large service provided by our veterans. The driver’s license is a frequently used form of identification. It is hard to see any reason why veterans should be denied the convenience of having their driver’s license do double duty.

Three dozen states have this designation, and we have not heard reports of the problems the editorial speculates will be common. As for traffic stop concerns, many vehicles already display special plates, so the driver’s license does not really change anything in that regard.

It is true that any program, service, honor or designation can suffer abuses. It is also true that we do not deny benefits to many out of fear of the character flaws of the few. Of course, there are penalties for people who misrepresent themselves.

This new law does not take away from our commitment to providing quality programs for Pennsylvania veterans or limit our responsibility to make sure veterans are receiving the services for which they are eligible and have earned. Nor does it preclude action on any other problem, challenge or public priority in our commonwealth.

State Sen. Lisa Baker

Lehman Township

Writer sees

fire safety


Why are there studies showing most people killed in a fire die from smoke inhalation? Other studies show the most dangerous materials for causing toxic smoke are plastics and rubber items. Yet the Consumer Protection Agency allows plastic furniture, moldings for construction, insulation, etc.

Am I missing something or are the people who are supposed to protect us killing us instead?

If blind people can’t find the door, why have a plastic sign at the door that reads “EXIT.” And since plastic melts, why have the word “exit” in Braille on the sign?

I suggest an alarm that is activated by the heat, like a smoke or fire detector, that says “door,” so the blind person could be attracted to the sound.

John T. Banks


Obama fails

to exhibit


The primary reason the sovereign states formed the federal government was to provide for the defense of the United States of America.

The president is the commander in chief of all the military forces responsible for providing that defense.

The world is a dangerous place filled with situations that can change rapidly. Every president lives with the fact that at any moment he will be required to make decisions dealing with these world hot spots that threaten the peace. Unfortunately, our current president seems to lack any real interest in this most important aspect of his responsibilities.

Daily briefings are provided to keep the president fully informed on situations that could erupt and could require the president to respond quickly. Believe it or not, President Obama supposedly attends less than half of his daily briefings. If a president is not keeping up with these situations on a daily basis, he is left with no choice but to lead from behind. He can’t act quickly because he first has to spend time getting caught up on his homework.

President Obama does not seem to understand that every world leader will do what he believes is in his interest. To believe otherwise is naive. Iran will not give up the goal of becoming a nuclear power, because they believe it is in their interest. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not back away from the Ukraine because it is in his interest. Israel cannot surrender its right to defend itself because it is not in its interest. Radical Muslim terrorists are not going to sit down and give up the goal of killing the infidels because they believe it is in their interest. They all have goals and will do what they have to do to achieve them.

If a president wants to have influence over world events, he must, as Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” He must be a leader.

Obama failed to lead and now his ability to influence world events has been drastically reduced. But fear not, there are many in the world willing to lead, but they will not be concerned about the interests of the United States.

Every president is tested by world leaders to determine if they think he is strong or weak. It appears they have decided President Obama is weak and unwillingly to act. They know the American people do not like war and are exhausted from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. They know the United States is struggling economically and is deeply in debt. They know our allies no longer believe they can depend on the United States. They know now is the time to act, and so they are capitalizing on this opportunity. They know Obama will lead from behind with “red lines” that mean nothing. They know leading from behind is not leadership but the refusal to lead.

President Obama has placed himself in a very difficult situation. More important, he has placed the future of this country in jeopardy.

His desire to transform this nation seems ever more likely to result in its destruction from his domestic and international policies. His presidency will long be remembered, but I think he can forget about being on the list of the greatest ever. Rather, he will be the one who fooled the people twice.

Bob McDougal


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