Sounding off: Let's give Joe Biden a chance

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President-elect Biden’s favorite phrase is “possibilities for a brighter future.” As the most enduring democracy in the entire world, we, as a nation, have opportunities to build a lasting pathway of progress toward many common goods. Of course, this won’t be easy as divisiveness among our people has become a formidable hurdle.

President Trump exasperates many in this nation and around the world with harsh words that fuel the flames of discord among the Democrats and Republicans in this nation and cause concern among our allies in the European Union. Several media outlets have taken sides in the struggle to gain a political agenda. Critical thinking skills have become a wavering commodity in favor of taking sides in a sideshow of standing our ground.

As the Washington Post masthead reads, “Democracy dies in darkness.” We must find and celebrate legitimate investigative journalism. The media is essential to an educated public.

We must give President- elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris a chance to enact an agenda of hopeful possibilities. We must get this pandemic in check by following the CDC guidelines and honoring our scientific and health care policies of safer guidelines. We must become better stewards of our fragile environment. We must shore up our economy for all to have the opportunity toward a living wage.

These “possibilities for a brighter future” must be achieved for a more United States of America.

Robert Dull, Brookville

Dangerous popularity contest

Politics is one of the least trusted professions in America, yet politicians are constantly involved in popularity contests. The dichotomy is deliciously ironic. How do you become popular within such a play? Act out what the audience wants you to be, not what you really are. That type of character would usually be the two-faced protagonist.

Yet is not a politician, so how did he become the protagonist in this play? He is not acting out the play we wanted. Is he crude? Yes. Is he uncouth? Yes. He is also genuine. What he says is what he thinks, and he acts accordingly.

Let’s look at a hypothetical. Who do you respect more at work? The two-faced co-worker who showers love in your presence and slings arrows behind your back, or the cantankerous boss who tells you why you did so awful on your last assignment? Is he eloquently scripted? No.

Thus, we are provided with a character that is imprecise in his language on the world stage, with every sneering eye taking the worst interpretation of such language and labeling him all the terrible things humanity has manifested. When everyone is Hitler, no one is Hitler.

It appears almost certain that America has decided to turn back the hands of time and place power back with the career politicians we supposedly despise because they provided us the hollow words we wanted to hear. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Greg Maita, Burrell

Poor execution of Pa. travel restrictions

The value of requiring residents traveling outside of Pennsylvania to have a covid-19 test or quarantine upon return is one I’ll hold opinion on. The exception I do take is to the timing of this and to the lead time provided for compliance.

The announcement of this policy was made a week before Thanksgiving. Those who would be traveling have made these plans long ago — flights and hotels reserved. After everything this community has been through, putting this condition in place immediately before the holiday demonstrates serious insensitivity to the people of Pennsylvania.

We can debate the statistics or value of any of our covid-19 mitigation steps, but no one can credibly argue the extra week would have done anything for public safety related to the small percentage of people who need to travel distances to see loved ones.

Which leads me to the second point — lead time compliance. The announcement was made Tuesday, Nov. 17. Compliance is to begin on Friday, Nov. 20. Three days. At any time of year, under any circumstance, this window for compliance for interstate travel is too narrow.

I’m not questioning the legitimacy of this step, but its execution. Extremely poor.

Jim Heatherington, Gibsonia

Joe Biden win is a threat to our liberties

The hard-fought liberties we enjoy were based on the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution that were hammered out in Philadelphia over 200 years ago. Now it appears to me that two centuries later, many of those God-given freedoms may have been stolen in Philadelphia, and many more may be trashed by a mob that hates America if Joe Biden is declared the winner.

Also, lost in all the recount madness in Pennsylvania is the fact that the Libertarian candidate received more than 79,000 votes, close to Biden’s lead over President Trump. In most cases, a Libertarian will vote for less government control and hence lean toward the Republican side of the ledger. If that theory holds true, that means the third-party candidate cost Trump the election, and similar outcomes occurred in other battleground states like Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin. Without the third party, I believe Trump would have won the election outright.

A final note on Philadelphia — in some precincts, Biden received nearly 100% of the vote, which would have made even Stalin and Castro envious!

Don Thomson, North Huntingdon

Witness to a fair election

Two generations of my family have worked the polls in Westmoreland County, with 307 precincts, and Harris County, Texas, with 803 precincts. My mother has been working the polls for 25 years and my brother worked the polls in Texas for the first time. I have not worked the polls for many years, and thought this would be an interesting election, so I worked this year.

This is not about who you voted for; it is about upholding the integrity of the voting process. If it were not for the poll workers, how would you vote?

All three of us can attest to the fairness of our precincts. At all three precincts, there were strict guidelines for opening and closing the polls, and all had a poll watcher. The judge of election in my precinct called several times to the county Election Bureau with questions, all of which were answered promptly.

You can’t vote twice. In my precinct, some voters who had applied for and received mail-in ballots decided that they wanted to vote in person. Those who brought the ballots to the polling place surrendered them to be “spoiled” (voided) and voted on the spot. Those did not bring the mail-in ballots were allowed to vote with a provisional ballot. Our registration binders indicated who had applied for and received mail-in ballots.

One voter in my precinct came back after he voted with a gift card to a local restaurant for all poll workers. He thanked us for enabling him and others to vote. All voters were very respectful and were happy to have their voices heard through the U.S. voting process.

Milyssa Ross Sassos, Greensburg

Common sense is our best covid-19 weapon

The reluctance to get tough with covid-19 is why positive cases are rising. We are all covid-19 fatigued.

Most people weren’t ready to endure the restrictions early on, thinking maybe two weeks, two months, would be good enough. We should have accepted this together from the start and hung in there. Doctors and scientists are our obvious and only choice to get through this.

We are in dire straits and have to be even more diligent with mask wearing, hand washing and sanitizing, staying home more often than not, and staying six or more feet apart. We all want a safe and effective vaccine, which will take more months.

We all want to make it through this well and, of course, alive. Using our common sense is our best hope.

Darlene Kuniak, Harrison

restrictions must stop

Using covid-19 as a means to control and restrict the population has to stop. Each layer of restrictions set up to “protect us against ourselves” is infringing on the rights of the people of Pennsylvania. New restrictions were announced Nov. 17, but we all know that additional ones are around the corner.

“Following the science” sounds good, but the science is not 100% and the referenced “science” depends on what you want to cite for your position. Keep in mind all covid-19 projections to date have been inaccurate. Why would they become accurate now?

“Science” doesn’t match the realities of the covid-19 numbers from the CDC (check out If you are under 65, your hospitalization rate is less than 10 out of 100,000 (less than .01 % — that’s hospitalization, not deaths — see

A large percentage of deaths occur in high risk groups (elderly, people with comorbidities, etc.) and not healthy relatively young individuals (fact per the CDC numbers). Protecting high-risk groups should not mean restricting everyone.

Restrictions are killing businesses and ruining lives more than the virus is killing people. Every life if precious but “we the people” should be able to take responsibility for our own actions and the results of those actions.

Common sense and self-responsibility need to take precedence over fear-driven, knee-jerk reactions of politicians and political appointees controlling how the people of Pennsylvania and the United States live our lives.

Lou Bertha, Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County

Letters to the Editor | Opinion

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