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Letters to the Editor Policy

Demand The Truth

It baffles me how many pundits and politicians speak about "moral values", and how many never practice what they preach. I would think that we must first define what moral values are. Therein, lies the problem. What I may define as moral to me, may not be so "moral" to others. However, I would think that most good people could agree that telling the truth is the highest moral value. How are we to make good judgments about anything unless we know the truth about the subject?

We live in a world now where truth is something to be distorted, twisted, spun, suppressed and avoided at all costs.

The reason we are having such difficulty deciding how to proceed with the war in Iraq is because we don't know the truth about why we are there in the first place. The reasons we are told for invading Iraq change every week. Until we know the truth, we can't possibly, as citizens, determine what course of action to support and who to support. I believe this is by design; keep the waters muddy.

We don't know the truth about how the intelligence was used by this Administration because Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee has continued to stonewall and delay real hearings on this matter for two years! Therefore, we don't know the truth about who used the "bad intelligence" to get us into this war. This is why the Administration is having a hard time continuing to make its case for staying the course. Why are we really over there? Is it America's job to spend our treasury and sons and daughters lives to promote Democracy around the world? This can't be accomplished militarily. You can't blow up another’s families and then tell them, it's for your own good! What makes our reasoning for killing them any different than the man we removed from power? How well would that play in America if the situation were reversed? What if Iraq had attacked us with shock and awe! How would you treat the liberators who just dropped white phosphorous on your family? Would they win your heart and mind? Would you be able to turn the other cheek and say, It's for my own good? Walk a mile in my shoes is a saying that comes to mind.

We don't know the truth, about who leaked the identity of a covert CIA agent, working deep undercover on weapons proliferation, and was explicitly outed for political reasons. What is the truth about why the Administration felt it was necessary to do that to our own agent who put her life on the line on behalf of America? Isn't that treason?

We don't know the Truth about who expressly is turning a blind eye while torture is being conducted in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons, thus inflaming more hatred of Americans by Muslims, inflaming the war even more. Torture is being done in our name because we don't know the whole truth about who is responsible for it.

We don't know the truth about our energy crisis, because the Energy Task Force, held in Dick Cheney's office is secret. Every time you go to the pump to fill up your tank, you wonder how much "higher" gasoline is going to go up. How's your heating oil budget this winter? I'll bet it certainly went up a lot more than your wages. Where's the plan for energy (oil) independence. The president says we're addicted to oil. Who doesn't know that. What is he doing about it? Perhaps the war in Iraq is for oil, who knows. There's no debate. What's the truth?

The Administration says we aren't seeing the good things happening in Iraq. The journalists that dare to venture out beyond the Green (safe) Zone, are abducted and killed. Look what happened to Bob Woodruff. Look what's happened to 17,000 of our soldiers, maimed, legs and arms missing, suffering post traumatic stress disorder. If there's so much good happening, why don't we give our troops cameras and have them send us back the good pictures? Not hard to do. Not real costly either!

We're being illegally wiretapped by our own government. That's the truth! Wiretapping Americans is illegal without a warrant, period. President Bush stated publicly 3 times that he was getting warrants, when he knew he wasn't. That's a lie. Now we're spinning, weaving making the case that somehow, giving the President the authority to use force against Al Qaeda, the group that actually attacked us, has somehow given him the authority to spy on us. Perhaps that would be fine if that's the case. We don't know, because there's no oversight. No court, no warrants, their word against yours. Who do you think wins this battle? Is this the same Administration that hasn't told the truth about everything else? Now we're supposed to trust them, that they're only "spying" on terrorists? If the President doesn't have to obey the law, who does? Imagine, your library records, medical records taken without your knowledge. If you became aware of it and made it to court, even if you could prove it, how much money would you need to spend to defend yourself against the U.S. Government? This President needs to uphold the law, not trample it. Is this not the Freedoms and Democracy he says we're fighting for? Isn't protecting our Democracy, Constitution and Bill of Rights what so many of our Veterans have fought to protect since the birth of our Democracy?

The truth is this. Until we citizens begin to realize how not knowing the truth is affecting us, we will continue sticking our heads in the sand and hoping for the best. This is not a Democracy, this is an attitude we have accepted. As long as those in power are able to divide us by using gay marriage, abortion, guns, you're unpatriotic if you don't agree with the President, you're for the "terrorists" if you disagree with the President, etc. things will never change. This is all a ruse to cover up all the truths Americans should be concerned about. It's time to demand the truth. It's time to hold those accountable for not telling us the truth. The truth is one "moral value" we can all agree on. Demand it and pray to know the difference when you hear it.


Karen Hoffman

New Milford, PA

The Elephant In The Kitchen

Like the little boy in the back seat of the car we anxiously ask, Are we there yet? Has the civil war in Iraq started? Are we there yet? By the measure of lives lost, yes. More Iraqi civilians have been killed in the last three years than American soldiers were killed during the entirety of the Korean War; and similarly there were more Iraqi noncombatants killed in the last three years than U.S. troops were killed in any three-year period in the Vietnam War. And the violence increases.

It's a no-holds-barred battle royal between three Muslims sects: the Shiite, the Sunni, and the Kurd. Exactly what they're fighting for is not clear, perhaps not even to themselves: territorial independence, religious dominance, or maybe an eye for future oil spoils, but certainly for blood revenge.

Some authorities say it's not a civil war, but a revolution. When Saddam Hussein was deposed, so was the Baath party, the ruling elite, and the entire bureaucratic hierarchy. In its place was created that which nature and politics abhor: a power vacuum. Filling this void is the business of a revolution.

Still others say, No. It's neither a civil war nor a revolution: it's a free-for-all. Mortars landing willy-nilly almost anywhere and everywhere, car bombs in cafes, funerals, shopping malls; the rattle of machine guns, the pops of small arms. Iraqis shooting at Iraqis, other Iraqis shooting back, both shooting at the Marines, and the Marines shooting, strafing, and bombing everyone but themselves.

The President, however, is not deterred. He has publicly reaffirmed his policy of bomb-them-before-they-bomb-us. But this strategy has a dangerous underside. Suppose our enemies – and we have made many – adapt this same tactic. Might not this cause a race to war; a contest to see who can preempt whom?

Far from being deterred, the President has listed seven more nations on his terror-target list: North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Belarus, Burma, and Zimbabwe – a beefed up, hydra-headed "axis of evil." Which one is next? The most dangerous, North Korea? No, too dangerous. Syria or Cuba? Too small. Belarus, Burma, or Zimbabwe? Hardly. Most people don't even know where they are. What about oil rich Iran? Hmmm.

The President's tyranny-of-democracy program has its supporters, about 33% of the populous. For these I suggest the following to aid our beleaguered leader:

1) Join the army. Go fight insurgents in Iraq. Kick in a few doors. Perhaps shoot a few bad guys. Go on patrol and play dodge ball with RPGs and IEDs. Enjoy another summer in the desert and breathe in depleted uranium with the rest of our troops.

2) Demonize all who oppose the occupation as seditious, sleeper agents, or, at best, woefully misguided and probably dangerous.

3) Stick another made-in-China yellow ribbon on your car. Hang flags on porches, car aerials, have one as a screen saver. Flag waving is no longer a pointless exercise; it's a measure of patriotism.

For critics of the President's military adventurism there are these reminders:

1) Never mistake pigheadedness for perseverance, aggressiveness for effectiveness, or optimistic hopes for realistic expectations. Mistakes are eventually recognized by all, for some the realization is immediate, for others belated.

2) Exercise patience. Remember Einstein's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." So expect more of the same. But the failures of the two Iraqi wars are like an elephant in the kitchen, eventually all must admit its presence.

3) Never confuse the devotion to duty and bravery of our fighting men with the misguided use to which the administration has subjected them. And remember, both supporters and opponents of the occupation support the troops; opponents simply do so by wanting them home and out of harm's way.

I don't know what can be gained from all this. For the Iraqis to rebuild what has been destroyed is too much to hope for. For the United States to learn from past mistakes means first admitting them. This may be asking more of the present administration than they are capable of doing. And the prospects for peace? Judging by the past 6,000 years of human history, peace is likely to remain just within reach – but tantalizingly beyond our grasp.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Sexual Predators

You may be interested in a computer site in which many of our students and your children participate. The computer website is called MY SPACE and can be found at the www.myspace.com/

Sexual predators visit this site and can communicate with your/our kids. Please be made aware of, and be wary and cautious of MY SPACE. If you need a copy of an article explaining the site, we can provide it at your request.

Also, please be made aware that the PA State Police will be in Susquehanna Community High School on April 11, at 1 p.m. to give a presentation to our 7th, 8th and 9th grades. A presentation will also be given in the elementary school to the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.


Mike Lisowski

Susquehanna Community HS Principal

For Our Troops’ Sake

In last week’s edition I see our proud troops from Iraq fighting for, basically oil. The oil from underground, when we as Americans stand by helpless and are at the mercies of the price of a barrel of oil, with high gas prices and high heating oil prices.

Oil is what our President says “we're addicted to.” Maybe we're addicted to oil but ask yourselves a question, can we grow oil from on top of the ground? The answer is simply, YES, with less pollution than fighter jets and battle ships.

There is a new product called ethanol; it is made from corn and other grain crops that can be grown abundantly, world wide year round. Yes, ethanol could be added to the gasoline we burn in our cars and trucks, if only we had some.

There is hope. We, as Americans can all help bring those troops home if we can convince our government to erect ethanol plants here in our area, and maybe in Afghanistan. Instead of them growing the poppy plant, maybe they can grow sugar cane to sell around the world.

Have you driven past vacant farmland recently? Those empty fields hold the key to ethanol, only if the farmers could plant all the vacant fields full of corn or soybeans or sugar beets here in the northeast, and in the south plant sugar cane, switch grass and all the other grains in the tobacco fields and grow sugar year round for the production of ethanol. Makes sense, sort of like buy war bonds, do the patriotic thing, for our troops’ sake. Share the burden and be patriotic at the same time.

One problem we as farmers have, no one seems to really care about an alternative method of producing oil, as long as we are convinced that, yes, “we’re addicted to oil.” We get complacent to the fact that oil has to come from the ground!

We as Americans must start calling on our officials, from your local PTA to the President of our great country and ask for help in getting the word out that we can grow oil above the ground the world around, and we need plants built quickly so our troops can come home and do their jobs in their communities and be with their families and protect our homeland.

Now is the time to scream, ethanol is the renewable resource which will put the farmer to work and secure our future economy and at the same time add much needed oil to our reserves to release the hold big oil dictates to the world. They say Americans use more oil and deplete the gasoline reserve and so on; a speculation the gas station attendants have to go out and raise the prices to all of America.

This all can be prevented if we all scream “ethanol,” the green fuel. Make ethanol "A PLANK" in the political parties, not one party but all of the political parties, because this is one issue we all should agree on, saving our world with renewable resource oil instead of the blood red kind we're told we are "addicted to" today!


Peter A. Seman

Thompson, PA

An Energy Machine

The industrial world is in a turmoil over the future shortage of fossil fuels and global warming. On occasion, President Bush suggests that “we” should be thinking about other sources of energy.

It just so happens that one American has done just that. Joseph Newman has been trying for 40 years for some administration to allow him the courtesy of viewing his Energy Machine.

He has published a book that discloses the nature and specifics of his Energy Machine and a number of engineers and scientists have already approved of Newman’s Motor that wastes no energy, does not pollute and just might be an asset to the whole world.

Since it is possible that this new invention might end our dependence on oil, gas, coal and nuclear, is it any wonder Newman is having difficulty getting a patent?

Untold amounts of money have been spent over the years developing things such as the atomic bomb, SDI, nuclear power plants, space travel, supersonic jets, etc. Instead of fighting this revolutionary idea for fear of reducing the profits of some industry, we should be helping our government to develop a new technology that just might protect our planet for our children and grandchildren.

And before I forget, Bill Gates revolutionized the way we work and live all over the world.

As the price of oil continues to escalate, Newman’s invention is an inexpensive, non-polluting electromagnetic source. It could provide virtually unlimited energy – a stable and durable alternative to the sources we use today. And as the world population grows, we will surely destroy this earth that God commanded us to treasure.

Another thing he does mention is that a worldwide, inexpensive energy source will have profound geo-political implications for the Middle East.

During March, Senator Arlen Specter has been chairing a hearing on the subject of “Oil Prices and Energy Industry Consolidation.” This information should be available on-line. The cost of fuel oil has bankrupted airlines. Another subject is the concentration of power of all energy and multi-billion dollar profits by a few corporations. Congress is attempting to pass legislation called an Energy Policy. Good luck folks!

When I was a young girl, space travel was science fiction and published in comic books. President John Kennedy didn’t want the Russians to get to the moon first, so we set upon a campaign to get there before them. Since we are a nation of, for and by the people, the president had our support.

National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed Newman in 1984 and I taped that interview. I have carried it around with me hoping to get some people interested. Finally this year, I sent copies to several congressmen. Also got on-line to get more information.

On March 21 and 22, 2005, demonstrations were held in Mobile, Alabama and March 28, 2005, a demonstration was held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, so there is an interest in this new technology.

Newman makes the claim that his technology could power every automobile, home, appliance, farm, factory, ship and plane at a “fraction” of the present cost of energy.

FYI: Aeronautical engineers, Orville and Wilber Wright were responsible for the first nonstop flight from New York to Paris by Charles A. Lindbergh in 1927. And back about then, my father bought the first radio in our neighborhood and all the neighbors came by to witness this miracle.

See for yourself a new technology that could meet the future needs of humanity. An if you care – pass it on: http://www.josephnewman.com or e-mail: josephnewman@earthlink.net.


Virginia I. Hauser

Montrose, PA

Let Them Stew

Enough! We cannot send our young into a country whose laws would kill them for being a Christian by day, and poison the world with heroin by night! Let them “stew in their own juice!” This has nothing to do with Muslims. This is an abomination to the Prophet. The Quran states the following: 2:256: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” 18:29: “Say, the Truth is from your Lord. Let him who will believe and let him who will reject (it).”


Paul A. Kelly

Montrose, PA

Great American Cleanup

Everyone deserves to live in a community environment that is healthy, safe, clean and beautiful, and we all have a role to play in achieving this goal.

We invite you to join us in Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement program!

Our local community is taking part in the Great PA Cleanup on Saturday, April 22 (Earth Day).

We will meet in Great Bend at the Colonial Brick Inn and Suites at 9:00 a.m.

Bring a friend or family members….all are welcome!! Just 1 to 1.5 hours of your time to make a difference in our environment.

Any questions, please call (607) 427-4599…otherwise, hope to see you there!


Endless Mountain Business Association

Puppy Mill Capital

Being known as the Puppy Mill Capital of the East is not a badge of honor, and I would like us all to recognize the efforts of Governor Rendell for taking seriously this problem that plagues the state of Pennsylvania. Enactment of state laws and promises by past government officials to correct this problem have failed to slow the growth of these controversial operations.

Governor Rendell is one of those rare elected officials who has taken the time to sit down with a committee of experts, including the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), in order to gain a better understanding of the realities of the commercial kennel industry in Pennsylvania and develop possible solutions to this problem.

We have made recommendations that the Governor is considering, including changing the mandated cage size and conditions in which dogs can be housed outside.

We urge the Governor to keep up the good work he has started and thank him for recognizing the need to transform this industry and ensure that the health and humane treatment of man’s best friend becomes the true badge of honor for the state of Pennsylvania.


Edwin Sayres

President and CEO, ASPCA


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