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February 20. 2013 2:27AM
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Consider another version of Dickens' classic tale

If I possessed the literary talent of Charles Dickens, who wrote A Tale of Two Cities, I would be tempted to write A Tale of Two Infidels, regarding General David Petraeus and former President Bill Clinton and the widely disparate results of their indiscretions.


Following a distinguished military career, General Petraeus was appointed director of the CIA. When it was revealed that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with his biographer, he immediately tendered his resignation and expressed remorse to his family and the nation.


Clinton, on the other hand, perjured himself by denying his Oval Office trysts with Monica Lewinsky, and, despite being impeached, he emerged unscathed and never offered an apology.


After leaving office, he became independently wealthy by commanding lucrative fees for speaking engagements. His campaigning for President Obama has been credited with being instrumental to Obama's re-election.


There can be no doubt that for Clinton it has become the best of times. For General Petraeus, with his fall from grace and a tarnished reputation, it has been the worst of times.


It has often been said that life is unfair. The vastly different status of those two infidels lends credence to the validity of that statement.


Township tennis courts deserve better care

I believe that the tennis courts at Wright Township Park in Mountain Top are not being properly maintained.


As a member of the Wright Township community and a student-athlete on the Crestwood tennis team, I spend a lot of time at this park. The tennis courts are very popular to people of all ages.


In recent years, new nets have been installed to repair unusable courts. However, this equipment is left up all winter long while the courts are not in use, and as a result is subject to the elements for months.


This past summer, two of the four courts were vandalized and some equipment was harmed. If the courts are properly maintained, I believe there may not be as much temptation to destroy something worth keeping.


The new hockey rink and water feature, for example, have become popular spots and draw people to the park. I hope the township follows these examples and better maintains our tennis courts.


County has progressed despite obstructions

Obstruction is a penalty in soccer that's called when a player deliberately impedes the movement of an opponent.


In basketball, there's no such penalty. The defender sets a pick and may be rewarded with a foul called against his opponent for charging if the opponent knocks him down. As a result, players, fans, and even referees sometimes have a little trouble transitioning from one sport to the other.


And so it goes in Luzerne County government. Some who toiled in the form of governance recently discarded as obsolete, regressive, and prone to corruption are having a tough time working well with the new council/manager format.


This is not surprising. Old habits, old pickup trucks, and old tyrants die hard.


In the latter case, they just don't seem to understand that government can now move the county forward into the 21st century where it truly belongs and needs to be, from wherever it was before -- let's say the 19th century. I think the new county government has made remarkable progress. It restores my faith in democracy and the will of the electorate. Much more is possible, if only the obstructionists will stop obstructing, dial down the drama, and ditch the negativity.


Experience at VA disproves recent story

I take issue with your front page story on Thursday, Jan. 10, Many feel area care is lacking under Matt Hughes' byline.


Over the past three years, I've been treated for various ailments at the VA Medical Center, (including an emergency appendectomy), and this past Dec. 24 (minor stroke) and Jan. 8 (lung biopsy) at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.


The care I received at both hospitals was not just adequate, it was exceptional, outstanding, and I could go on with another two dozen affirming adjectives.


The story infers that a … complete consensus of the quality of treatment was better outside the area. The story quotes Teri Ooms, executive director of The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development, citing its findings that … the perception (of the less-than-adequate health care in the area) is reality.


I could care less about Wilkes-Barre General and Geisinger stepping up with their marketing efforts.


Speaking from firsthand experience at the exceptional care I have received and continue to receive at VAMC and Wilkes-Barre General, that report should be filed in the wastebasket.


According to the story, those with college degrees were more likely to leave the area for their (health) care. I don't possess a college degree, or wealth, (I'm 76 and have Medicare), but I believe residents of Luzerne and Lackawanna counties should thank their lucky stars to have several exceptional hospitals in their backyard.


Remember Benghazi until questions answered

We must never let the Benghazi investigation die. After the long-waited report, it was determined there were monumental security failures. Such as a devastating event and no one is culpable!


I understand an F18 fighter jet would have taken a mere 30 minutes from Italy to get to Libya. Those heroic Americans endured a seven-hour firefight with no outside help. Was the White House aware of this?


If you recall, the evening Bin Laden was killed, the White House watched every move in real time from the situation room. The American people saw and heard nothing about Benghazi details until the Petraeus sex scandal. Is that what it takes to get coverage?


Why is it taking the Secretary of State so long to tell us what she knows?


Someone had to deny the requests for help (there were several). Who denied the help and why? Why?


Send us your opinion

Letters to the editor must include the writer's name, address and daytime phone number for verification. Letters should be no more than 250 words. We reserve the right to edit and limit writers to one published letter every 30 days.



• Email: mailbag@timesleader.com



• Fax: 570-829-5537



• Mail: Mail Bag, The Times Leader, 15 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 1871 1



Ralph Rostock Carverton Kristiana Bowman Mountain Top Rob Burnside Swoyersville Raymond A. Rinaldi Wilkes-Barre Fran Spencer Nanticoke




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