Corrupting power of money on full display

Corrupting power of money on full display

It seems to me that the primary difference between Donald Trump and the D.C. swamp he swore he would drain is that he lacks the guile of the other swamp critters to conceal his reveling in the same money- corrupted slime.

Paul Ryan and his followers have the sense to use the cover of darkness to try a late night gutting-by-legislation of the Congressional Oversight Commission, the only watchdog over congressional power plays. Mitch McConnell steadfastly, and with great self-righteousness, in service to his major contributors, just says no to any opposing point of view and uses arcane Senate rules to enforce his sanctions. Members of Congress, of both parties, spend nearly a third of every day privately raising money for their party.

So far, Trump has shown no regard for the close-to-the-vest play of experienced congressional stalwarts, which makes them mighty concerned that his brashness could rock the boat enough to reveal their own skullduggery. For instance, Trump’s Cabinet and other advisers comprise Wall Street bigwigs whose banks crippled our economy, family members whose interests may conflict with those of other citizens; lawyers with a history of supporting racism and miscellaneous producers of alternative facts.

The message of Donald Trump’s election is that voters are fed up with the same old self-serving, self-enriching behavior and blind adherence to party lines that members of Congress place ahead of doing the people’s business. The tragedy is that voters believed the tough- guy outsider rhetoric of the campaigner Trump only to learn that officeholder Trump will, like the rest of elected federal officials, do nothing that doesn’t serve him first, his party second and the concerns of the electorate only as an afterthought. All for love of money.

We all should be alert to any opportunity to remove the corrupting power of money, and those corrupted by it, from our government before government removes any semblance of democracy from our republic.

Jim Cartwright, Canfield

Halt bombings to lessen need to take in refugees

Most Americans want to feel good. That’s probably why we are the most generous nation. Giving money away makes us feel good. Yet sometimes people conflate the ideas of feeling good and those of actually helping. I think the refugee case is the essence of this conflation.

On the one hand, as Americans, we feel it is our national duty to allow people to seek refuge from tyranny and destruction. On the other hand, many of the refugees don’t speak the native language. Many are more likely to commit crimes due to their propensity of coming from a war-torn nation. These two caveats will be a net negative on our country’s economy as they will have an onerous time finding employment.

Further, we can’t just pretend that we aren’t actively at war with many of the countries banned from immigrating to the U.S. by President Trump. Whether the previous administration would like to admit it or not, 100,000 bombs were dropped during its tenure.

More refugees are created every time we drop another bomb or launch another drone strike. It is highly irresponsible to let in anybody from those countries if we are going to continue to bomb these countries.

If we want to help, first and foremost we need to immediately stop all the bombings. Second, we need to reach into our own wallets and donate money to the devastated areas, so they can attempt to rebuild their society that we helped to destroy. Lastly, we need to develop a strong relationship based on the free exchange of goods, to ensure that peace will remain and to help them grow more prosperous in their home countries.

John Brandt, Boardman

Wear a poppy to honor fallen American soldiers

The American Legion adopted the memorial poppy as a national emblem of remembrance in 1920. Afterward, the red poppy became a symbol of remembrance used around the world by veterans organizations.

Following World War I, much of the land of Europe was in total devastation. Within a few years, with fields still lying desolate, wild red poppies bloomed where soldiers had once lived and breathed and died in trenches. The fields became synonymous with the great loss of life in war, and inspired the poem “In Flanders Field” by John McCrae.

From the beginning, paper poppies have been made by U.S. veterans. Funds generated by the poppy campaign have and still are used to support those in need of help, service members and civilians suffering from physical and mental hardships as a result of war.

I invite you, along with the members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 737, to take a moment and remember the men and women who have served and continue to serve, by wearing a poppy. Poppies are available through many veterans groups, as well as the American Legion Auxiliary, and will be seen at Memorial Day ceremonies.

American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. To learn more about the Auxiliary’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit

Karen Shesko, Lake Milton

Karen Shesko is public relations officer for the American Legion Auxiliary 737.

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