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Locally Produced Fuel
It is sad to see that another local small business has closed it doors to rising costs. Again, it seems to revolve around oil.
We may be a very small part of America but we better do something about the high cost of oil. Again today, oil on the world market climbed to another new high, and for what reason, can anyone answer that?
Renewable oil in the form of ethanol could help our costs in America in a way that we, as users of oil would not have to pay the world price for it. In turn we would be keeping small businesses alive.
The farms are small businesses too. Farmers could plant corn and other grains here in the northeast to feed the new ethanol plants being built in Harrisburg. In turn, our whole economy could prosper. Corn-fired furnaces could sit side by side or replace the oil-fired ones used so widely today, maybe the local hardware store could market them. Local fuel men could deliver locally grown shell corn and oats. Farms don't have to be dairy farms to grow corn, or soybeans. Many dairy farmers have sold out; that does not mean they can't return under another format!
That has been accepted for years now, yep, another dairy farm went out of business, gee. Along with that farm went the feed mills and the machinery dealers, and it affected a lot of local business. Not one of us could stop it from happening, we still have enough milk in the stores for now, right? Well maybe while the farmers still have their land, or local people have available land, before developers make the final planting of houses, maybe now is the time for all of us to make some phone calls to our politicians, our bankers and the Rotary clubs, for support of ethanol, and the development of locally produced fuel. Our area used to be a mining region; now the coal is gone and so are many of our local shops who depended on that income. The railroad left our area also.
If you look on the mountains above us you will see wind power; maybe some people don't like the idea of the wind park and that is ok, some times it's ok to agree to disagree; now may be the last chance for us to help defray the high cost of fuel and urge our representatives to move on ethanol. The annually grown renewable resource, it is only patriotic for us to do. (Coal and oil take millions of years to form.) Look at the opportunity it will give our area; and, we are not the only ones in America who are losing small businesses. It is happening all over America; can we please put a stop to this?
Oil does not have to come from underground as they want us to believe; it can be grown above the ground, annually, the world around. Please anyone concerned, take this letter along with you to the next meeting you go to (from church to state) and discuss this openly.
Peter A. Seman
Whatever Happened To Maypoles?
A century ago, people used to dance around a Maypole on May 1 to welcome spring. It was a custom going back many centuries, and it would seem like an innocuous one.
But some people didn't like it: the Puritans. They knew it was of pagan origin (Strike 1), a fertility ritual (Strike 2), and that the pole was a phallic symbol (Strike 3). So in the 1600's they actually banned it. (They'd also banned Christmas.)
Once a man – who even lived out of town – dared to erect a Maypole, and a delegation of upstanding citizens from town, led by none other than Miles Standish, marched to his door. They promised him safety if he came out, and when he did, he was beaten, and his house was burned down. How righteous can you get?
But Maypole dancing continued, for two and a half centuries or so. All the preaching against it and attempts to ban it did not stop people from doing what they wanted. But nowadays Maypole dancing is extinct. It didn't go away as a result of the preaching, but simply because people eventually lost interest, and it was no longer relevant to them.
The point of the story is to show the limits of preaching (which Puritans think is the solution to every problem; that and mob violence). And to suggest that present-day Puritans should mind their own business and let other people live their own lives, instead of trying to live it for them. The Religious Right, which controls the Republican Party, is not on the march to live life as they wish. They can already do that. No, they're politically motivated to control how others live their lives, which is inappropriate, to put it mildly. To them I say, how would you like it if the rest of us started roughing you up for a change? Keep intruding on other people's right in the Land of the Free and I daresay you'll have it coming. The only drawback would be that it would make you feel undeservedly righteous, and feed your unbecoming Victim Complex.
Stephen Van Eck
To Have, Or Not To Have
To have, or not to have: That is the question. Weather or not to proceed with the development of an A-bomb is the question being considered by the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But before we make a reflexive judgment about the dangers inherent in an Iranian bomb, let us walk a mile in the shoes of the citizen of that nation and consider the question afresh, not from what we believe – or have been led to believe – but from the perspective of the average Iranian and its president.
Your country – Iran – is still recovering from an eight-year war with Iraq. The United States' stated policy at the beginning of that war was neutrality, but together with Israel – yes, Israel – they covertly supplied aid to your country. You know that the purpose was not to help you, but to prolong the conflict and bleed both nations white.
When the tide of battle turned in Iran's favor and America's clandestine aid was discovered, the United States switched sides, abandoning Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, in favor of the lesser of two evils, Iraq's Saddam Hussein. You see the reversal as ingenuous, designed to curry favor with the Arab nations (Iran is not Arab).
You are aware that the United States supplied Saddam Hussein with "dual use" chemicals which were easily weaponized to poisonous gas and satellite images that gave him the size and location of your troop concentrations, supply depots, as well as intelligence from electronic surveillance. The weapons and intel were enough to bring the war to a stalemate in 1988. The cost to "your" nation was horrific: 600,000 dead and a war debt estimated at $600 billion.
Now you look to your East and see your former enemy, Iraq, twice wracked over by war (1991 and 1993) by the very same nation that aided her aggression against you at the beginning of the Iraq-Iran War. And now Iraq, herself, is the reluctant host of your former perfidious ally.
You listen to speeches of the American president listing your nation, together with six others, as "evil," "rouge states," "a grave threat to world peace," and calling your president a "potential Adolph Hitler." And you are aware of President Bush's policy of sneak attack, euphemistically called pre-emptive strike. You are concerned.
The American President has not ruled out the use of "tactical, low-yield" nuclear weapons as bunker busters to destroy your country's underground research facilities. But you know that the adjectives "tactical" and "low-yield" are propagandist terms.
A tactical weapon is target-specific and therefore causes limited destruction. But the smallest nuclear bombs have the explosive power equivalent to hundreds of thousands of pounds of TNT – dwarfing the largest conventional bomb. Further, you know that the term "low-yield" is deceptive. They are called such because they are designed to detonate underground which contains some of the radiation, but nevertheless poisons the immediate area and sends up a mushroom cloud of deadly dust drifting over the land.
To your West lies a little sliver of a country bordering the Mediterranean Sea, Israel. You are aware that this country is the only nation in the Middle East to have nuclear weapons – hundreds of them. And you also know that this nation possesses the most powerful army and air force in the Middle East. They are equipped with the latest military technology and the most advanced conventional and nuclear weapons. Israel has all this plus access to satellite imagery supplied by the United States, providing an open window to every square foot of ground in your country.
You know that the foreign policy of the United States is heavily influenced by organizations with deep pockets and the powers that go with it. These organizations, collectively known as the Israeli Lobby, have sympathizers in high offices in the White House, on Capitol Hill, and in the Pentagon. You view this lobby as having covertly steered the United States to support Iraq's aggression against you, and later influencing the U.S. to do an about-face, this time attacking her former ally, Iraq. Could I be next? you wonder.
President Bush explains away your distrust of America as a hatred for democracy, or freedom, or the American way of life, or American values. He does not mention that it stems from its one-sided, unwavering support of Israel. One-third of the foreign aid budget of the United States is allotted to the country with the richest per capita income in the Middle East, Israel. Counting all the money Israel receives from the U.S. this amounts to $2,000 annually to each citizen of Israel, facts not lost on you, the president, or the average Iranian.
You make hollow threats against Israel, threats that you are utterly incapable of carrying out but which are within the capability of Israel to do to your nation: "Israel should be wiped off the map." By this you mean not the Jews per se, but the Zionist state – a distinction assiduously avoided by the administration and never recognized in the media.
Zionism is a political movement started in 1897. Its goal was to find a homeland for the Jews. The British Balfour Declaration in 1917 designated this land as Palestine as long as the rights of the indigenous population (Arabs) were not impaired.
In 1948 the Zionist state of Israel was founded. That same year Jewish forces drove 750,000 Palestinians from their homes into exile. In 1967 an additional 260,000 Palestinians and 80,000 Syrians were expelled from their homeland. It is this that is the bone of contention with Iran and the Arab states, not some unreasoning hatred for an ethnic race.
You posit that the bomb will protect you from the aggression that Iraq has suffered from the United States and from Israel. With an A-bomb in your quiver no nation will attack you without sustaining unacceptable losses. Moreover, you see it as a development that will achieve a regional balance of power, a stabilizing influence, anything but a threat to world peace.
This is your window of opportunity. The United States is enmeshed in Iraq. Now, standing in the shoes of the average Iranian and viewing the question through the eyes of its president, what is your decision: To have, or not to have; that is the question.
On one side of a mountain a man sees the sun shining brightly, while on the other side another man sees only darkness. Often what we see depends on where we stand. And what we think is often only an echo of what we have heard.
New Milford, PA
What Would You Do?
My comments are directed to Margaret Dickey’s column “Straight from Starrucca” appearing in the April 19 issue.
Mrs. Dickey has incorrectly reported information regarding Renee Warden (not Wander), former resident of Starrucca Borough.
Ms. Warden has moved from Starrucca Borough because of the circumstances surrounding the planned repair of the Shadigee Creek Wall, not the foundation of her home as Mrs. Dickey reported. Starrucca Council has repeatedly sent an easement for Ms. Warden’s signature which states that she will assume ownership of the wall after all repairs are complete. Council is requesting the same easement to be signed by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Gurske. Both parties have refused to sign this easement.
The past months have been very unsettling for Ms. Warden and her mother (81 years young), as well as Mr. and Mrs. Gurske. Ms. Warden’s mother returned to New Jersey when the permit paperwork was pulled back from DEP by Darl Haynes and Kirk Rhone (an unauthorized action). As a member of Starrucca Council, Mr. Gurske continually attempts to right the wrongdoings of Council, but his vote is only one vote.
Think about it folks! Would you assume ownership of the creek wall? How do you feel about a good neighbor being harassed or threatened? I’ve said it before... the actions of this Council continue to jeopardize the residents of Starrucca Borough .
For as long as it stands, the yellow house with the beautiful gardens on Shadigee Creek in “downtown” Starrucca will be a reminder of a very nice lady and her Mom, who were harassed so much by the actions of Starrucca Borough Council they were forced to move.
Signs, signs, everywhere are signs. While driving around the eastern half of our county today I noticed election signs for the 20th Senatorial district out along the roadsides. While name recognition is a good thing for a candidate, do you know the background and principles for which that name stands? Anyone can go around sticking signs along the highway right-of-way or in waste places. But did that candidate or a representative speak with anyone about the candidate or ask permission to place a sign on his or her property?
Do you know if that candidate has ever spent any time in our county or are they just coming around now that they want a vote? Do you know anyone in the county who personally knows the candidate and is willing to support that person by placing a sign directly on his or her own property?
I respectfully ask that you pay attention to more than signs. Research the qualifications of the candidates for senate. If you object to placement of a sign contact the candidate’s campaign coordinator. Thank you for your kind attention and remember to vote on May 16, 2006 in the primary election.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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