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Hang up before you fill up

Published: Sun, January 6, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Hang up before you fill up

I recently stopped for gas at the Circle K on Mahoning Avenue. While I was pumping my gas a man pulled up in a truck. He got out with a cell phone in his hand and proceeded to talk and pump gas at the same time.

There is a hazard sign on the gas pumps to warn people of the dangers of doing this while using cell phones or any other forms of electronics.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen people pumping gas and talking on the cell phone. I called the store and told them they need to put a larger sign that’s in your face prohibiting the use of cell phones, etc., while pumping gas.

Do we really need an explosion at a gas station to wake people up about these dangers? There is nothing anybody can be talking about that is so important to put people’s lives in danger.

Brenda Kenjevari, Youngstown

‘Fair share’ isn’t a fair deal

I have listed to the Divider in Chief drone on for so long about fairness I think my ears are numb and bleeding. He has tried to convince me to envy the wealthy (financially successful) and to demand my fair share of the fruits of their labors.

The other day I found another faction of our society to envy. On a trip to my local supermarket I found myself behind a well dressed young woman at the pharmacy counter. She was accompanied by a 10- to 12-year-old boy, also well dressed. Each of them wore shoes that cost more than everything I was wearing. The boy was texting or gaming constantly on a cell phone much more elaborate than my 6-year-old basic model. While she used a Medicaid card to pick up her free prescription I observed her shopping cart filled with several items I would like to buy but couldn’t afford.

Later I found myself behind her in the checkout lane and watched as she paid cash for the few nonfood items she had that could not be paid for with her foodstamp card. I didn’t follow her to the parking lot, but I would bet her vehicle was better than my 8-year-old economy model. The divider hasn’t suggested I get a “fair share” of what she had.

I find it curious that President Obama seems to feel that everyone is entitled to the same outcome no matter their input. People who have food stamps, free health care, government cell phones and all kinds of other taxpayer paid for benefits should not be someone who can afford cable TV, big screen TV and expensive vehicles.

I pay for everything I have and everything I require with the income I receive from Social Security I paid for by working 40+ years and a small pension for over 28 years of driving a truck. I also pay for the copay on my medical care after Medicare pays their share. I think I am paying my “fair share.”

Robert Husted, New Springfield

Restrict ammo sales and save lives

When the Second Amend- ment was added to our Constitution in 1791, our early protectors, pioneers and hunters used five basic types of smooth bore, single shot, black powder and round ball, lead bullets to kill game and enemies alike.

While it is true that the modern weaponry of our nation has changed dramatically over the ensuing years, the ammunition (projectile) used to kill is still a piece of lead, blasted out of a steel barrel by igniting black powder.

It seems to me that is these ultra-modern ammunitions is where our elected president and Congress should be looking in making more “people protective” changes in our laws. In other words, “guns don’t kill people, bullets do.”

Presently, our country’s armed forces do a good job of keeping ammunition out of the hands of soldiers and marines when not in combat situations. The same logic and regulations need to be placed on every citizen wishing to buy ammo for whatever purposes.

All of those street weapons purchased out of the trunks of back-street vehicles would be useless if the gangs and evil doers cannot become qualified to purchase bullets. Sure the black market would flourish, but that is what law enforcement is all about.

I have been a gun user and an NRA member for many years, I would not mind having several steps in background checks along my path of buying ammo for hunting and target practice, nor should any adult wanting to halt the senseless killings at our local schools and colleges.

In fact, the NRA, the ACLU and all civil rights organizations would be a good place to begin asking for some serious dialogue by our law makers, in making the purchase of ammunition all across America as difficult as necessary.

David Metzler, North Jackson

Hunting wasn’t Founders’ concern

In an oped column last Sunday, Richard McLaughlin, a Liberty lawyer, wrote to express his opinion on the types of weapons the Second Amendment permits current day citizens to own. His premise is often stated by those wanting to curtail our Second Amendment rights; that the Founders would not approve of today’s citizens owning modern state of the art weapons.

To buttress his argument, he cites bits and pieces of Second Amendment rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately, those only tell us what a judge thinks today. What was the thinking of the Founders as they wrote the Amendment?

Mr. McLaughlin would be best served by heeding advice given by Thomas Jefferson when he said, “on every occasion [of constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

What can we deduce from knowing something about the Founders, and the times in which they lived? We know that they well understood what oppressive government was, having just freed themselves from it. We know that gun ownership was nearly universal with most of the population relying on guns for protection and acquiring food. We know these weapons were equivalent to modern weapons the British army used. We also know that most cannons were in private hands.

Gun ownership was so common place and ordinary, does it make any sense to think that these brilliant thinkers wrote the Second Amendment simply to guarantee and sanctify the right to hunt game? Of course not.

Thomas Jefferson also said, “ The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

They wrote the Second Amendment to protect our ability, should the need arise, to throw off a tyrannical government, foreign or domestic.

Daniel Moadus, Girard

A dwindling group of veterans

This year, 2013, will mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, which ran from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953.

In recognition of their service in Korea during the war, Jim Hyun Lee, counsel of the consulate general of the Republic of Korea in Chicago, has awarded 29 members of the Mahoning Valley Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter 137, the “Ambassador of Peace” medal.

Korean veterans, like their comrades from World War II, will eventually no longer be with us, so this was a fine tribute to those brave men who fought to preserve freedom in South Korea and the world.

Robert F. Bakalik, Youngstown


1ulistenup(95 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago


I am confused and distressed by your letter.

Although you freely admit to the wrong of "envy," you seem to revel in it. The woman you saw at the supermarket had to meet stringent requirements to obtain medicaid and a "food stamp card." You complain that she is utilizing government benefits to which she is entitled - when you rely on your own government benefits to get by.

You further complain that such a woman should not be able to afford a decent car or an up-to-date TV, even though you have no idea whether or not she possesses these items.

Yours is so typical of the "woe is me" mentality of an average Joe - who loves to be entitled to society's benefits (social security and medicare) - while wanting to deny society's benefits to others.

Believe me, you don't want to be entitled to medicaid and a food stamp card. Despite how they were dressed or what groceries they bought, they, my friend are the poorest of the poor.

Suggest removal:

2Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

"I called the store and told them they need to put a larger sign that’s in your face prohibiting the use of cell phones, etc., while pumping gas."

That won't help, the pitiful idiots will still do it. Such stupidity in society today.

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3dmacker(383 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

ulistenup you told Rober in response to his letter.

"Although you freely admit to the wrong of "envy," you seem to revel in it. The woman you saw at the supermarket had to meet stringent requirements to obtain medicaid and a "food stamp card." You complain that she is utilizing government benefits to which she is entitled - when you rely on your own government benefits to get by".

Perhaps if you simple said what those "stringent requirements" are then Robert and the rest of us would understand what entitles some to the free stuff.

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4ulistenup(95 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago


There are difficult standards of what you can own, how much in assets you can have, and in how much income you make.

I know of a young man who is autistic, but works part-time as a custodian. He makes about $6000/year, has less than $1500 in assets and owns virtually no property.

He also receives social security, and is on medicaid and has a food stamp card (on which he gets the grand total of $16/month).

Would anyone want to trade places with him?

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5chuck_carney(499 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

The amount of fraud, corruption, waste, abuse, etc. in any federal government program doling out taxpayer money is beyond belief.

Just as Senator Diane Feinstein is proposing a national gun registry, there should be a federal registry listing any individual or business receiving taxpayer money. The system would then be able to be monitored by the taxpayers, rather than an unresponsive federal bureaucracy.

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6redeye1(5107 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago


The standards that you mention maybe tough on your friend , but their are others who use welfare as a lifestyle. First they get FREE medical and food stamps along with housing assistance What have they paid into this program NADA, NOTHING, ZERO. But SS receiptents paid in their whole working lives, So there is the differnce . Besides alot of people on welfare work under the table ( untraceable money) to get extras . If they can work they should be made to work. I'm also willng to bet your friend is single and white. Welfare is One of our biggest expenses.

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7redeye1(5107 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I'm all for banning automoblies too. You see there are stats that say cars kill more people then guns. So I say let's get back to riding horses, I haven't heard any stories lately of horses killing people . To me that is the way to go.

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8DwightK(1373 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Doesn't anyone watch Mythbusters? Cell phones around gas pumps are perfectly safe.

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9Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago


"Despite how they were dressed or what groceries they bought, they, my friend are the poorest of the poor."

Are you serious? That is quite a funny joke. For everyone of your example, I can give you 20 that are not only ""not""" poor but live better then the average joe with a job! They use the system like a seasoned thief. The system was meant for people like your sample, not ones that are just to lazy to work or do something with there life's. They like getting something for free instead of working for it. And the worst thing about that is they just don't care to try to better themselves, believe me, there laughing at you and me and everyone else that goes to work everyday. Pitiful society.

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10peacelover(807 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

I think Mr. Husted is making some far reaching assumptions here. How does he know how much these people's shoes cost? Or how much the young man's electronic toy cost? Couldn't someone have given these people these things as Christmas gifts? I bet if he were to see where this woman and boy lived, he wouldn't want to trade places with them. As for all the food in her cart, maybe she was shopping for an elderly neighbor or a friend who couldn't get out. (I used to do that for my elderly mother for years). I think this guy just wants to believe what he wants to believe.

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111loaf(100 comments)posted 2 years, 6 months ago

Like the letter writer I see these things often. I also collect Social security and a pension from my job.Perhaps someone should explain to dmaker the difference between a pension earned by years of work and social security paid from a persons wages and entitlements given to a person just for existing. He doesn't seem to understand the difference between earned and granted!

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