Wow! Republicans are sore losers. Why not rehash the entire election and what you did to yourselves instead of blaming others for your hard-right candidates and foolhardy suggestions such as Mitt Romney's self-deport idea for people awaiting citizenship. Add to that repealing Obamacare and getting rid of Planned Parenthood.
Lots of women were put off by your ridiculous laws against women, perpetrated by Republican governors in several states. Many Latino and black women resented Republicans attempting to obstruct their votes with despicable laws that had to be fought in the courts. Women don't forget when they are obstructed.
Many Republicans have woken up and suggested that the party be more inclusive of other people. Others, such as Grover Norquist, seemingly have their heads in the sand; he stated the election results told him that people still want no taxes being raised.
(Incidentally, why do Republican leaders allow this lobbyist to dictate his ideas? Weren't you elected to respond to your constituents' needs – not a lobbyist's?)
Sooner or later, Republicans will realize that change is necessary in the party.
The attitude that a majority of Americans elected Obama as Santa Claus and now expect him to give them everything is insinuating that most of them are losers or takers, or victims who don't want to work for a living. Condescending comments like this, including comments from Romney's surrogate Gov. John Sununu that Obama is lazy and not American, are what caused your loss in the election.
Although Romney was a good candidate and good person, he allowed the tea party to dictate his ideas; that's another reason he and the Republicans lost. Blame yourselves.
Contrary to recent suggestions, this country is not going down the tubes. Instead, good people will bond together and compromise for the good of the country (not the party) and get our economy and finances back on track.
Cry and moan for your loss, but pick yourselves up, make some drastic changes and become the Republican Party that President Reagan once loved. He'd be shocked at what it's become today.
I recently had the honor of attending the Domestic Violence Service Center's empty place at the table exhibit in the Luzerne County Courthouse. This exhibit is a visual reminder of the devastating results of the violence that is perpetrated against women and children.
The event reassures the families of victims of domestic violence that those individuals will never be forgotten. This is one of the missions of the service center.
As I entered the courthouse, I was struck with a great sense of loss as I observed families, friends and strangers slowly pace both sides of the beautifully set tables with photographs, names, stories, flowers and even a policeman's cap displayed as a reminder of the effects that domestic violence leave on families and on our community.
Domestic violence knows no titles or boundaries. Perpetrators of domestic violence can be your neighbor who waters his grass every Saturday morning, the delivery man who drops off packages at your home on a daily basis. It could be the attorney who lives down the street, or even the policeman you call for assistance.
So many victims of domestic violence never wanted to talk about it or seek help, out of a fear of retaliation from the significant other. Domestic violence is about power and control.
I observed the faces of the families and friends who have lost loved ones. No words can explain or describe the feelings of loss, along with the roller coaster of emotions, that each family endures.
To address this, the administration and staff at the Domestic Violence Service Center continue providing outreach in an effort to meet the ever-growing needs and challenges that families in our community face. The staff works with each family to overcome the obstacles and reach some sense of closure.
An act of violence occurs every three seconds throughout the United States. It occurs at homes, schools, workplaces, restaurants, nightclubs and even at children's playgrounds. The domestic violence staff works effortlessly, putting their skills, education and training to use around the clock. They ensure that women and children affected by domestic violence are provided with a safe, healthy and secure environment and a much-needed sense of comfort and security.
All of the domestic violence staffers are to be commended for the hours they put in daily to educate, offer outreach and provide advocacy to any woman and child in need.
The best advice one can offer is that if you are a victim of domestic violence, or know a friend or neighbor who is being victimized, contact the domestic violence hotline, talk to someone. Know that there is help available, that you are important and you make such a positive difference in this world.
It is important to note that our community has experienced a tragedy that has families, individuals, law enforcement officials and social service agencies seeking answers as to why five adolescents would take their lives, allegedly the result of bullying.
This is a reminder that today's adolescent bullies can be tomorrow's perpetrators of domestic violence.
Schools, community officials and social service agencies alike are stepping up to address this issue by providing outreach, education and advocacy to identify and address bullying. Now it is time for families to follow this message by identifying the core values they are instilling and the systems in which they are raising their children. Bullying is a learned behavior and is fueled by the families' core value systems.
Families must evolve to meet this ever-changing environment.
Sadly, the reality is that we now have to add five more place settings at this ever-growing table – while demanding that domestic violence must stop.
Gary F. Smith
Board of directors
With the way our economy is today, our government should be helping us to keep costs down. It is to blame for the high cost of things in stores. It keeps hitting us with taxes and its workers keep on taking raises and higher pensions.
Our state government is raising the turnpike toll again. Every time the tolls go up, food prices go up; the trucking industry passes it onto us in the price of food and clothing. So, we lose again.
But lawmakers find money for their raises and higher pensions. How many people get money for gas and tolls to go to work? And don't forget lunch money.
Why should they get all that? They receive a nice salary, and if they don't like it, go get a job.
People, wise up!
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