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Columns

The government can take your cash for no reason

By DIANE DIMOND If you carry too much cash, the federal government can take it away from you. Yep, you read that right. If an agency, such as the Transportation Safety Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration or U.S. Customs and Border Protection, finds someone carrying large ...

Think the U.S. is more polarized than ever? You don’t know history

By GARY GALLAGHER It has become common to say that the United States in 2020 is more divided politically and culturallythan at any other point in our national past. As a historian who has written and taught about the Civil War era for several decades, I know that current divisions pale in ...

Civility is harder than you think

By ROBERT B. TALISSE When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up the text of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech in full public view, her supporters saw defiance of both his policies and his earlier refusal to shake her hand. But her political opponents cried foul, calling it ...

Dear Annie: Balancing budget and bliss

Dear Annie: My wife’s nephew got married about four years ago. It was a destination wedding at a beautiful tropical location. My wife is very close to her sister, so there was no question that we would attend. No expense was spared. We added a week to our family vacation. All of our children ...

Bible Digest

“The LORD is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Psalms 34:18 AKJV) Pray. Call out to God. He loves you too.

How meth is making a disturbing reappearance

(Editor’s Note: Clinton County District Attorney David Strouse this week told The Express that illegal methamphetamine drugs have become the most recent scourge of illegal drug use in the county, evident by the recent arrests of a few dozen suspects in a sweep conducted by the state ...

Dear Annie: Lost my appetite

Dear Annie: My parents live in a tiny Midwestern town with one restaurant. It’s a mom and pop place with really delicious food, and many of the locals are regulars, including my parents. The owner, “Martina,” is extremely sweet and accommodating and does most of the work including the ...

Bible Digest

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; and his seed is blessed.” (Psalms 37:25-26 AKJV) God is good to His people. He takes care of His own. “But the salvation of the righteous is of ...

The rest of the story

By ROBERT KEPLER In the Our View column of The Express on Feb. 5 it stated that our area deserves it’s fair share of state tax revenues for the Bald Eagle Valley Trail, and disagrees with those who oppose that spending. It goes on to say that trails deliver a range of benefits to our ...

Dear Annie: Looking for love

Dear Annie: I am a 64-year-old woman. Trying to date seems more difficult as I get older. Seems like most men only want one thing or younger women. I have tried online dating sites with not much luck. I live in a small town, and there aren’t many single men. Do you have any suggestions on ...

To Your Good Health: Risks and rewards of a strictly organic diet

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: Does eating strictly organic food and drinking only bottled water help in a meaningful way to prevent diseases and contribute to a long and healthy life? — M.T. ANSWER: There is no consistent high-quality evidence that consuming organic foods lead to ...

Bible Digest

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33 AKJV) The Lord does not sponsor chaos. He has a plan for you. Follow Him.

Trump’s big bet on career and technical education

By SHAUN M. DOUGHERTY President Donald Trump has proposed one of the largest increases in funding for career and technical education in recent history. As a education policy researcher who studies the economic and employment impact of career and technical education in high school, I believe ...

Dear Annie: Eyes on the clock

Dear Annie: I’ve had my current job for four years. I work at a small company of about 20 employees. My co-worker, “Beth,” has been here about a year longer than me. She joined my department about six months ago. One thing I appreciate about my department is our work-life balance. We care ...

Williamsport Regional Airport

AL SEVER Montoursville A recent letter to the editor stated that prices for flying out of the Williamsport Regional Airport to either England or to San Diago are not much different than airports within a reasonable driving distance. Really? As a frequent flyer I always search for a ...

Dry skin is a vexing issue for 72-year-old

BY KEITH ROACH, M.D. DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old woman, and I have had a dryness problem for two years. My face, nose, arms and legs are extremely dry. My doctor doesn’t know what is causing it or what to do about it. I have never seen an article of yours on “dryness.” I have ...

Bible Digest

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not yourself in any wise to do evil.” (Psalms 37:8 AKJV) Anger and revenge will do us no good. Find peace in the Lord.

Pot push lives in labor la-la-land

By ROB SHEARER While Lt. Gov. John Fetterman crusades on legalizing recreational marijuana, one poll released last fall suggests Pennsylvanians may not be eager to jump on the bandwagon. They’re right to be cautious. Lost amid the legalization hullabaloo is the chaos unfettered pot will ...

Did we learn nothing from the so-called crack-cocaine plague of the ’80s and ’90s? For those with fuzzy memories, the media back then erroneously and breathlessly declared that crack use had reached epidemic proportions. Newsweek declared crack was “the most addictive drug known to man.” The full truth would eventually come out. Crack was only half the problem. Crack is created when powder cocaine is mixed with baking soda and water and cooked down into rocklike nuggets to be smoked in a pipe. It’s a relatively cheap high and favored by those in poorer neighborhoods. The more expensive powder cocaine was snorted primarily by higher-income Caucasians. What was happening in the ’80s wasn’t just a crack epidemic; it was also a cocaine epidemic — and poor and rich alike were addicted. Congress bought the fake news that crack was the real problem and passed the ill-conceived Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which set a mandatory sentence of five years in federal prison for anyone convicted of possessing 5 grams of crack (equal to 1 teaspoon), even if it was their first offense. Thousands of mostly poor, young African American men were imprisoned, their families torn apart. Powder cocaine users were only sentenced to that mandatory five years in prison if they possessed 500 grams (or over a pound) of the drug. The racial disparity was painfully obvious. The overcrowding of our prison system began. More importantly, the crime and drug problems in America did not lessen with these tough-on-crime sentences. Things got worse over the years, as addicts moved on to “black tar” heroin, meth, ketamine, ecstasy and more. Today, the deadliest drug is reported to be fentanyl — not the medically approved pharmaceutical fentanyl, an opioid that treats severe pain, but rather the illegally produced fentanyl, which is mostly smuggled into the U.S. via illicit laboratories in China and Mexico. Tens of thousands of Americans have died from fentanyl overdoses and other similar chemical compounds called analogues. There are several bills pending in Congress now aimed at curbing distribution and use of fentanyl and its analogues. Some seek to label the addicting chemicals as highly regulated, Schedule I dangerous opioids, which opponents say could adversely affect future scientific research. But guess what is also being considered as a solution to this deadly problem? You guessed it — mandatory prison sentences for drug addicts and street dealers in possession of drugs containing fentanyl and its close cousins. Reality check: Street-level sellers and buyers have no way of knowing if their drugs include fentanyl. It’s added in by criminal “chemical cookers” to give their drugs that extra punch that keeps customers coming back. Attorney General William Barr hit the nail on the head at his confirmation hearing last year when he said, “The head of the snake is outside the country, and the place to fight this aggressively is at the source more than on the street corner.” Barr added, “We could stack up generation after generation of people in prison and it will still keep on coming.” Ironically, Barr has recently campaigned for passage of two bills that fail to focus on stopping fentanyl at the source. When will lawmakers understand that locking up addicts and low-level dealers doesn’t stop the problem? It just creates another fractured generation of ex-cons and ever-mounting incarceration costs for us to pay. Going after the source of the product that poisons so many is a much smarter long-term tactic. Spend more money interdicting shipments of fentanyl (and all illegal opioids!) coming into this country via the U.S. Postal Service. Outfit agencies like the Customs and Border Protection and the Drug Enforcement Administration with more personnel and technology to stop drug shipments headed this way, whether they’re arriving via air, sea, land or border tunnels. Make foreign aid dependent on whether the receiving country helps stop the flow of drugs into the U.S. And how about focusing on job training for convicted dealers and truly meaningful treatment for addicts so that upon their release, they become taxpaying citizens with decent jobs? We need a modern-day war on drugs — one that is strong and focused on the source of the problem, not just on the addicted victims drugs create. Diane Dimond is a Creators Syndicate writer.

Did we learn nothing from the so-called crack-cocaine plague of the '80s and '90s? For those with fuzzy memories, the media back then erroneously and breathlessly declared that crack use had reached epidemic proportions. Newsweek declared crack was "the most addictive drug known to man." The ...

Only a FaceTime away

Dear Annie: I have never written to a columnist in my 70 years, but “Sad and Somewhat Angry Granny,” whose daughter-in-law wouldn’t allow her kids to open any of the Christmas gifts Granny brought them overseas before Christmas Day, really struck a chord with me. What a wonderful ...