Killing others has been part of the human condition since the dawn of civilization. Humanity continually tries to control its dark side by passing laws against it. Unfortunately, laws only punish those caught and do nothing to stop the crime. Seemingly, senseless mass murders infuriate the general public who, fueled by the media, rush to judgment often without any attempt to fully understand the cause and effect of the tragedy. Our responses typically divide into the old and continuously argued convictions of those who believe stricter control of weapons is the only solution and those who believe in the old adage fight fire with fire and advocate individuals arming themselves for protection.
Because I believe laws only punish but do not stop us from killing each other, I find myself on the side of the fight fire with fire argument. Passing laws to control a specific type of weapon such as a gun does little to stop anyone intent on obtaining a gun. And this begs the question about what to do about other weapons such as bombs, knives, fire, poison, etc.
I don't have an answer, but I believe that while tragedies involving the killing of individuals cannot be completely eliminated, I also believe that befriending your neighbors and associates and getting to know them better will make us all safer. Maybe all it takes is someone being there to talk to and provide compassionate counseling along with being mindful that the obligation of being a true friend is to be unafraid to speak up and seek help for that friend when he or she can't.
The Plymouth Township Board of Supervisors would like to thank the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the many, many volunteer fire companies including our own -- Plymouth Township Fire-Rescue Co. Inc – Tilbury Station, for all the aid that came our way last year after the September 2011 flooding. We will never forget what you contributed in the early days and weeks after the floodwaters receded and folks were in great despair. There were also many other people and organizations, plus private businesses who assisted with needed items such as clothes, shoes and coats, including the Greater Nanticoke Area School District and Luzerne County Community College.
Our residents and businesses since then have been making repairs, some moving, but all trying to get their lives and livelihoods back in order after such devastation. With the grace of God it will all turn out well. As for Plymouth Township, we will be eternally grateful to all of you for being there. Thank you again and we wish everyone a joyous holiday season.
On behalf of the staff at Home Instead Senior Care, I would like to thank everyone who helped with this year's very successful Be a Santa to a Senior program. With support from generous shoppers, the Area Agency on Aging, Wal-Mart, Walgreens stores and Marshalls, we were able to collect more than 300 gifts for local seniors who otherwise might have been overlooked this holiday season.
We also would like to thank the many volunteers who shared their time to collect, wrap and deliver the gifts. Thanks to all those who helped us brighten the holidays for our local seniors and who truly made a difference in our community.
Fred Lindbuchler's letter of Dec. 8 accuses President Obama of something that is not true.
President Obama is the one keeping our country going forward with no help from Lindbuchler's friends, the Republicans and the tea party. The Democrats and the Independents are also helping our country and our people.
If we had cooperation from these Republicans and the tea party, I believe we would have a better country and people would have jobs.
I worked all my life and paid my fair share of taxes. I didn't make $250,000. These rich people wouldn't be rich if it weren't for the middle class working for them.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Mine is this: who was elected for the second time on Nov. 6, 2012? Not Mitt Romney. So, Obama must be doing his job.
Mr. Lindbuchler, how did you expect the president to get us out of this mess in which Bush left our country? What would you have done if you were handed the mess?
Bush started two wars and they were never paid for.
Maybe you like being held hostage by the Republicans and the tea party, but millions of Americans don't like it. I know I don't.
I am on Social Security, which I paid for all my working years. Do you think it's right that they want to privatize it? Wall Street would handle it. I think not.
So, I think the rich should pay their share.
Why should the middle class have to have the burden alone? It's not fair to the working class people or the college students after they graduate.
Hopefully this over the cliff problem will be settled by Dec. 31, but you can't solve anything when the House and Senate are gone. They were elected to represent the American people, but the only ones they're representing are the rich people and themselves.
God Bless America, the American people and President Obama.
This year's developments have certainly vindicated those of us who care about our health, environment and treatment of animals.
In January, first lady Michelle Obama unveiled revamped federal guidelines requiring school cafeterias to serve more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and less sodium and animal fat. In March, a study involving nearly 38,000 men and 84,000 women conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that one daily serving of meat is associated with a 13-20 percent increase in the risk of death from heart disease or cancer. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine estimates that prevalence of obesity among American adults will escalate to 42 percent by 2030, with a $550 billion increase in medical costs.
The Humane Society exposed unconscionable atrocities among three pig producers in Oklahoma and a Pennsylvania egg farm. It's little wonder that 7 percent of Americans consider themselves vegetarian or vegan and 28 percent are actively reducing their meat consumption, leading to a 12 percent U.S. drop since 2007.
We should all consider following suit for this New Year's resolution. Entering live vegan in a search engine brings tons of recipes and other useful information.
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Pat Foley Drums, PA The Plymouth Township Board of Supervisors Alyssa Maria Co-owner, Home Instead Senior Care Pat Yurick Wilkes-Barre Trenton Lloyd Wilkes Barre