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Issue Home May 24, 2005 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Open Your Eyes, America

What is going on? Work hard all your life to get pension cuts, social security cuts, no job security, no health care. Tax cuts for the wealthy. What's wrong with where we are going in this country. You tell me?

We support life at any cost, but who can afford it with no health insurance. One major illness and all that we worked for is gone. Is this right? You tell me! I would like to bring this to the general public's attention.

I read an article in the New York Times on April 9, 2005 by David D Kirkpatrick. I could not believe my eyes. On April 8 Stephen L. Johnson, the acting administrator of the EPA, stated that he was canceling a study on the effects of pesticides on infants and babies, a day after two Democratic senators said they would block his conformation if the research continued. A recruiting flier called the Children's Environmental Exposure Study offered $970, a free camcorder, a bib and a T-shirt for a two year study, paid in part by the American Chemistry Council and targeting a poor, rural county in Florida (Duval County). The requirements were having a baby 3 months old or 9 to 12 months old, and "spraying pesticides inside their home routinely.” Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, one of two Democrats, said the study amounted to "using infants as guinea pigs".

Mr. Johnson is one of Mr. Bush's nominees. Is there something wrong with this type of thinking? Some people may not think so. Those are not the people I want to represent me.

America, Open Your eyes and see what is going on around you. For your children if for nothing else!


Steven Jablonowski

Montrose, PA

You Should Be Outraged

I was never a person who cared about politics. I was one of many who figured that politicians were politicians, corrupt and self serving.

I became interested when the Supreme Court chose George W. Bush to be the president in 2000. I have since been following the players in this Administration and watching direct hearings on c-span.

I remember former Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neil giving an interview about how the inner circle of the administration spoke from the very beginning about Iraq. I read his book. This set the course to follow.

I was in my garage doing crafts the morning of 9/11. I was so distraught I couldn't think about anything else, as were millions of Americans and billions of people around the world.

I watched all of the 9/11 hearings on c-span. I couldn't believe, that while the president was on vacation at his ranch, 52 credible warnings had been handed to him and Condoleeza Rice, the National Security Advisor. Through the hearings, no one seemed to "know" anything as to how this happened. Our leaders constantly remind us how sophisticated our military and intelligence is. Yet, on 9/11 not one system worked. Our FAA was screwed up, NORAD was confused. The Pentagon was confused. None of the highest ranking officials seemed to know what went wrong. Then I discovered a website keeping track of all the inconsistencies in the official story. I watched a speech on May 7 on c-span by Dr. David Ray Griffin, a theologian at Claremont University, which discusses the official story and why it cannot be believed. This speech will be aired again on cspan.

I read many, many books and articles about The Project For A New American Century, the neo-conservative "think tank", with Douglas Feith, Donald Rumsfeld and others who believe that America should become the new global empire.

Since 9/11, those who failed us, Genl. Meyers, George Tenet, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, etc. have all been "promoted" instead of fired.

Just as recently as May 5, 2005, eighty-eight members of Congress call on President Bush for answers on the secret Iraq war plan.

In a letter, Conyers and other members say they are disappointed the mainstream media has not touched the revelations.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media in the United States is too busy with wall-to-wall coverage of a "runaway bride" to cover such a bombshell report. The London Times reports that the British government and the United States government had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in 2002, before authorization was sought for such an attack in Congress, and had discussed creating pretextual justification (9/11) for doing so. This is all clearly stated in Dr. Griffin's book.

The Times reports, based on a newly discovered document, that in 2002, British Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a meeting in which he expressed his support for "regime change" through the use of force in Iraq and was warned by the nation's top lawyer that such an action would be “illegal," he adds. Blair also discussed the need for America to "create" conditions to justify the war.

The members say they are seeking an inquiry.

"This should not be allowed to fall down the memory hole during wall-to-wall coverage of the Michael Jackson trial and a runaway bride, " he remarks. "To prevent that from occurring, I am circulating the following letter among my House colleagues and asking them to sign on to it.

What does this imply? It implies that many, many credible people who have tried to speak out as great American patriots, have all been silenced and lost their careers. With a totally Republican controlled White House, Congress and Senate, and before long if the "nuclear option" is used, the judiciary, we will have no checks and balances in this Administration. The only reason there was an investigation into 9/11, is because the victims’ family members continued to demand it. As Dr. Griffin states in his new book, "The 9/11 Commission Report, Omissions and Distortions", the Administration needed a "Pearl Harbor" like event to get the American people around an invasion of Iraq. This is clearly stated from the beginning in the doctrine from the Project for a new American Century, PNAC.

What are the implications? If true, how many innocent Americans have been killed, how many innocent Iraqis have been killed? We now have leaders from the religious right, who are bound and determined to make our Democracy into a theocracy. As tax paying Americans, this Administration is doing everything in it's power to give tax breaks to the wealthy, protecting huge multi-national corporations, while passing legislation to gut working families’ rights. They now want to promote John Bolton, a known abuser of fixing intelligence, to be the Ambassador to the United Nations. If this Administration decides it wants to attack Iran, Syria or North Korea, we can just make the "intelligence" fit our politics. Is this really "faith based" reasoning, or a coup to take over the entire government of the United States, the final leg in the American Empire?

Many of you may think that this is just "partisan" politics. I say put your politics aside and think for yourself. This definitely affects your future and the future of your children and grandchildren. Do you accept lying from them? Why should we accept "lying" and cover up from our government that is "sworn" to protect us and uphold the Constitution of the United States? We will never see major change in politics, until we begin to hold whoever is responsible, accountable. If Americans knew the whole truth, they would finally be "outraged".


Karen Hoffman

New Milford, PA

You Proved Your Generosity

On Saturday, May 14, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) sponsored their annual food drive. This one-day food drive helps to fill the needs of local food pantries. From the Susquehanna area, the customers reached into their hearts (and wallets) and donated more than 2,200 pounds of food. Each year, you have proven your generosity and have demonstrated a desire to help your less fortunate friends and neighbors. I personally want to thank you for your willingness to make this event a success.

I also want to thank the city and rural carriers, as well as the clerks, for their dedication to this program. This is a voluntary participation decision by each and every one of them. Some come in on their day off to help separate and pack up the food. While the event was started and is sponsored by the NALC, every craft within the Susquehanna Post Office helps to contribute to make this a success.

Again, on behalf of the NALC, the US Postal Service, and the employees of the Susquehanna Post Office, I sincerely thank you for your participation.


Roger H. Stonier

Postmaster, Susquehanna

Only Two Names On The Ballot

I was very surprised to see only two names on my Jackson, PA ballot. The rest was blank. A man outside ( I did not know him), told me there had been a mix-up with the ballots at the printer and they did not come back in time. He said, "You can pick up a SAMPLE ballot at the gas station down the road.”

Is this normal procedure?


Marion Dabulas

Susquehanna, PA

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dear Marion, as far as normal procedure and elections in Susquehanna County, I am not sure they belong in the same sentence.

The Cost OF Gas And Monuments

A letter in last week’s edition was full of outrage over rising gas prices. At first I wanted to respond just to make the following rejoinders:

1. Lots of people pay more per gallon for bottled water without complaint, and the MPG for that is nil.

2. People usually waste a lot more than they’re spending on gas, so is it really such a hardship?

3. Higher prices will give people incentive to waste less fuel. Maybe they’ll carpool, or demand more efficient vehicles.

4. What do you expect, anyway, when you vote for oilmen for President and VP?

But something else I read started to eat at me: it was asked, in effect, who is ever hurt by displaying the Ten Commandments on public property? Let me explain.

It’s an implied government endorsement of  Judeo-Christianity. Our government was designed to be a secular one, and any government endorsement of religion usurps our prerogative and violates what our Constitution was supposed to be. And I care about the Constitution.

It makes me a second-class citizen, and makes me doubt whether I can receive fair and equal treatment from my government. It also makes me worry that it is an initial step toward a more thoroughgoing Theocracy – what C.S. Lewis called “the worst type of government.”

It perpetuates the erroneous claim that our laws are based on the Ten Commandments, which is simply not the case. And, I care about Truth. The foundation of our laws is English Common Law, which was developing while they were still pagan. A cursory look at the Decalogue shows that only three of them – against murder, theft, and perjury – are even enforced, and they’re illegal not because they’re Commandments, but because it serves the needs of all organized societies to do so.

I would ask Decalogue boosters whether they intend to enforce ALL the Commandments, including the ones against worshipping other gods and adultery. The first “sin” happens to be guaranteed by the First Amendment so you’d have to choose which to ignore; the second is private and of no concern to a limited government. Should ours be unlimited? Know that the Biblical penalty for most infractions is death, so if we enforce the Ten Commandments you’ll soon see who’s being hurt by them. Practically everyone!

So maybe it’s getting clearer why some of us are concerned about the Ten Commandments on public property. What’s not clear is why people aren’t satisfied posting them on church property, a place they’re ironically almost never seen?


Stephen VanEck

Rushville, PA


Whereas: America is the land of freedom preserved and protected willingly and freely by citizen soldiers;

Whereas: Millions who have answered the call to arms have died on the field of battle;

Whereas: This nation, in the midst of war, must be reminded of the price of war and the debt owed to those who have died in war;

Whereas: The red poppy has been designated as a symbol of sacrifice of lives in all wars; and

Whereas: The American Legion Auxiliary has pledged to remind America annually of this debt through the distribution of the memorial flower;

Therefore, I, Nancy Hurley, Mayor of Susquehanna Depot Borough do hereby proclaim this 30th day of May, 2005 as Poppy Day and ask that all citizens pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom by wearing the Memorial Poppy on this day.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the official seal of Susquehanna Depot Borough, Susquehanna County, PA this 30th day of May, 2005.

Nancy Hurley

Mayor, Susquehanna Depot Borough


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Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. At that time you may request to withhold your name. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

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