Learn from past
I have been around a while and have memories dating to 1945. As one of a unit of young infantry soldiers, I came upon the concentration camp at Buchenwald, Germany. I can attest to the final results of hatred and religious bigotry. That scene of barbarism still haunts my beliefs today.
It is sad and a danger that the display of the Nazi swastika is openly defended — or ignored — by many powerful groups today. Imagine the furor if a German political splinter group insisted on a statue of Adolf Hitler or Heinrich Himmler being erected at the site of the Auschwitz prison camp.
I ask that we stop and remember that the evils of segregation and politicians filibustering anti-lynching laws are not that far in our past. Slavery and human bondage should not be glorified.
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Health care costs
I have worked with people with diabetes for the last 30 years, giving them the medicine their lives depend on. I have seen the news that the costs of insulin and other drugs diabetics use are continually rising.
I know some of my patients pay as much as $900 a month for medicine. Some even ask their doctors to switch to more affordable medications.
The rising costs of prescription medications affect not only those who take the drugs, but also everyone who has health insurance. Families around the country are affected because they have to pay more and more for that insurance.
Meanwhile, many people are getting sicker and even dying because they can’t afford their medications.
It makes me mad that people are suffering like this when Medicare and health insurance are supposed to protect us. As a taxpayer, I am angry that my tax dollars go to pharmaceutical companies when people are struggling to pay for their medicine to stay healthy.
When will it stop?
A colorful win
Could it be that President Donald Trump — in his own ham-fisted and incendiary way — has stumbled onto something brilliant? By terminating DACA, he is actually helping the Dreamers, and immigrants in general, by forcing Congress to work together to quickly pass the Dream Act within the next few months.
The public’s mood is overwhelmingly in favor, and the body politic has to know it. Lawmakers must act to fix it. Let’s face it: The Dream Act should have passed easily in 2010.
Trump can also shift resources — manpower and money — to another more important area that receives little attention: legal immigration. He should streamline that process to welcome (and reward) all the people who have chosen to become Americans and have been waiting in line, some for up to 10 years. We can also recruit the immigrants from around the world we so desperately need to help power our economy with their minds and backs.
That’s making American great again. And when the act is enacted, we can give Trump a new “Make America Great Again” hat — this one with stars, stripes and both colors — red and blue.
Richard F. Thomas Jr.
Scientists predicted the time and path of this last eclipse to the second. There were no polls taken, no armchair second-guessing and no politics — just pure data.
Yet when 97 percent of climate scientists, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the military tell us that climate change is real, and might have reached the point of no return if remedies aren’t implemented immediately, everybody has an opinion, as if this is fake.
Obviously, the oil and coal lobbyists and their campaign money are dictating what the White House stance is. But when President Donald Trump walked away from the Paris accord, dissolved his cabinet advisory team of scientists and wiped government websites of climate-change information, the presumed protector of our national future and job creator stuck his head in the sand.
If Katrina, Harvey and Irma become the norm, with more powerful storms, and low-lying shores see the ocean creeping in, maybe a criminal investigation into this unconscionable deception will happen. But then it will be too late.
Call in the Guard
In response to Hurricane Irma, President Donald Trump has issued a state of emergency for Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Considering the chaos, dysfunction and conflict in the West Wing, a state of emergency should be declared for the White House.