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Issue Home April 27, 2004 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

We Must Work Together

The members of the Stonebridge Lions Club have just spent many man hours cleaning up the section of highway along Route 171, going out of Oakland toward Great Bend. You may have seen the bags placed along the highway which will soon be picked up by PENNDOT. We are pleased to do this work as part of our community service and for the betterment of the area as a whole. This section of road is one of the first sights seen by visitors as they enter the Susquehanna, Oakland Lanesboro areas. It is of particular importance in presenting a good appearance by these communities. We, the members of the local Lions Club intend to continue to clean this road and another access to the community over the next several weeks.

Once the roadways are cleaned up it is time for the rest of the public to kick into the project. We are not asking you to haul away the bags of garbage, to pay for the disposal of this garbage, or even to help us as we continue to pick up litter from this roadway and future areas, although should you wish to help it would be greatly appreciated. What the public needs to do is not litter these roadways. There is no need to throw away beer and soda bottles, Burger King boxes, Slim Jim wrappers, MacDonald’s drink containers and all the other pieces of litter that mar the accesses to our communities. Take the litter home and dispose of it properly. This area belongs to you as well as the members of the Stonebridge Lions Club and if the communities are to grow and prosper we must all work together.


Dan Wolfe

President, Stonebridge Lions Club

It’s Been A Big Mistake?

In the April 14, 2004 Susquehanna County Transcript, Mr. Lou Parrillo ended his Iraqi statements, "How much longer can we stay in Iraq without the United Nation’s help? How can we save a country, when the Iraqi’s don’t want the United States in their country? It’s been a big mistake so far!" Unfortunately, his opinions are apparently based upon the woefully one-sided news reporting by our media. The great accomplishments by Paul Bremer and his team are not reported at all. The United Nations refused to help us overthrow the most violent bunch of thugs to exist since Hitler. We didn’t need their help then and we don’t need them now; we do need our country’s support.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1:

The first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty. Over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens. Nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning and the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.

On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts - exceeding the prewar average.

All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools. By October 1, Coalition forces had rehab-ed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than scheduled. Teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

All 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open. Doctor’s salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam. Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons. The Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccinations to Iraq's children.

A Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals which now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women. We have restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production. There are 4,900 full-service telephone connections. We expect 50,000 by year-end. The wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.

The central bank is fully independent. 95 percent of all prewar bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily. Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses. Iraq has one of the world’s most growth-oriented investment and banking laws. Iraq has a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.

Satellite TV dishes are legal and can be bought on what seems like every street corner. Foreign journalists (and everyone else) are free to come and go and aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for "minders" and other government spies. There is NO Ministry of Information. There are more than 170 newspapers.

A nation that had not one single element - legislative, judicial or executive - of a representative form of government, now does. In Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman. 25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government. The Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.

Today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.

Shia religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't. For the first time in 35 years, in Karbala, thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.

The Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of a strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government. Political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam. Uday and Queasay are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to the zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games, or murdering critics. Millions of long suffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.

Saudis will hold municipal elections. Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents. Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms. Libya is allowing nationwide inspections. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian - a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace.

Saddam is gone and Iraq is free. Yet, little or none of this information has been published by the Press corps that prides itself on bringing you all the news that's important. Iraq under US lead control has come further in six months than Germany did in seven years or Japan did in nine years following WWII. Military deaths from fanatic Nazi's, and Japanese numbered in the thousands and continued for over three years after WWII victory was declared. It took the US over four months to clear away the twin tower debris, let alone attempt to build something else in its place.

Our country was slow to act for whatever reasons allowing the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured 1000, 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five, 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200, 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 and injured 5,000, the bombing in 2000 of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and injured 39, all leading to estimated 3,000 people dead in New York and Washington, DC on September 11, 2001.

As this is an election year, I understand and expect the normal, liberal press bashing of Bush, but don’t forget that we are now engaged in a war on terror and that terrorists and the countries harboring them are our enemies. Unfortunately, our military personnel suffer the brunt of the awful conflict, however, the unfortunate truth to maintaining our precious way of life is that there is a price to pay. Too many expected this war to be won in a month and without the inevitable price of war at all. I can only say that the price paid is small, compared to the price we have paid and would have had to pay through inaction.

Finally, in my opinion, the actions of an anti war journalist who undermines the efforts being made in the war on terror, without all of the facts, may be criminal or even treasonous at worst, or demonstrating of a woeful lack of common sense and professionalism at best. It is my humble opinion that the anti-war sentiment has the undying support of the media. That is the place where the statement fits, "It’s been a big mistake so far!"


Fred B. Baker, II

Meshoppen, PA

Morally Acceptable To Everyone

Stem cell research is a politically explosive issue between the abortion rights activists and the pro-life camp. It is true that stem cells have the potential of healing many of today's crippling diseases - diabetes, cancer and stroke to mention a few, but I fear the political agenda of the abortion activists has encouraged focus primarily on fetal stem cells as a means of advancing their cause.

If truth were the important factor, John Gearhart of John Hopkins University would be heard when he advised the world that embryonic stem cells prove surprisingly unstable and may very well complicate efforts to turn cells into cures; or when bioethicist Glenn McGee told us that there is a potential for embryonic cells to explode into a cancerous mass after stem cell transplant which could turn this into the Pandora's Box of stem cell research. These are not unsubstantiated threats. In every experiment with fetal stem cells uncontrollable cancerous growths have resulted in one or more of the tests. Not once did the destruction of a human embryo ever cure anyone.

On the other hand, umbilical cord blood is rich in embryonic stem cells and unlike the stem cells from aborted babies, transfused cord blood has already eliminated disease from the lives of thousands of children and adults. Stem cells are also available in the pulp of the teeth children shed. One such stem cell can be cultured into thousands, then millions of regenerative cells.

I've always believed that God has a far better way to carry out the promising, lifesaving and improvement of life through stem cells than the harvesting of tiny babies. Money should be spent and attention focused on what not only works but is morally acceptable to everyone. For more information: www.parentsguidecordblood.com.


Annette Corrigan

Jackson, PA

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