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Whereas: America is the land of freedom, preserved and protected willingly and freely by citizen soldiers; and
Whereas: Millions who have answered the call to arms have died on the field of battle; and
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; and
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;
Now, therefore: I, Denise Reddon, Mayor of Susquehanna Depot Borough, do hereby proclaim the 29th day of May, 2006 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 the Borough of Susquehanna Depot, Susquehanna County, PA this 15th day of May, 2006.
Borough of Susquehanna Depot
Return To Sender
The President of Iran, Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad (his spelling) wrote a personal letter to President Bush, not in the stiff prose of intergovernmental communiqués, but in a personal, man-to-man style. President Ahmadi-Najad, a devout Muslim, appealed to Mr. Bush, a professed born-again Christian, on the basis of a common morality between the two religions. It is an articulate, well-reasoned petition for dialogue grounded on mutual religious values and respect, not on bullying and saber rattling.
The letter raised many issues worthy of discussion. For brevity's sake, five of the most important are discussed from the Iranian prospective.
Israel: Basically, the Iranian position vis-à-vis Israel is this. Suppose we in Pennsylvania were forced to evacuate all of Susquehanna County plus a sizable chunk of a neighboring county for a newly-created foreign state, a state about the size of present-day Israel, 10,840 square miles. Imagine that the residents in this area – that's us – are to be immediately evacuated at gunpoint, leaving homes, businesses, land, and possessions forever behind.
Overnight we, the dispossessed, become destitute, depending on the charity of strangers for our very survival. This is the plight of the Palestinians. Without rancor or resentment Ahmadi-Najad wrote: "Millions of indigenous people were made refugees. Hundreds of thousands of hectares [2.5 acres] of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages destroyed."
How would we feel about foreign invaders occupying our homeland? That's exactly how the Iranians and the Arab nations feel about Israel. "Wiping Israel off the map" is not a genocidal threat. It is a viewpoint questioning the morality of the forcible establishment of Israel and the resulting displacement of the Palestinians. The joy that greeted the nascent state of Israel was accompanied by the misery of those whose forfeited lands made it possible.
The Holocaust: Oddly, questioning the number of Jews who died in WW II concentration camps, as President Ahmadi-Najad does, is akin to rank anti-Semitism. In tote about 14 million are estimated to have perished in Nazi detention, eight million of these were Christians and the remainder were Jews.
Doubting the accuracy of the eight million would hardly raise an eyebrow. Indeed, most would be astonished to learn that the majority of victims were Christians. However, expressing reservations about the six million Jewish victims paints one with the broad brush of anti-Semitism. (In Germany and Canada expressing such doubts could earn one a prison sentence.) President Ahmadi-Najad is not an anti-Semite. He is an anti-Zionist. There is a difference.
Nuclear Weapons: "Why it is that any technical and scientific achievement in the Middle East regions is translated into . . . a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific R&D one of the basic rights of nations?" President Ahmadi-Najad's question is rhetorical. He is asserting his nation's right as he sees it.
Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Under the terms of this treaty, Iran is within its legal rights to enrich uranium for its reactors. Further, after three years of inspections, the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) has not found any evidence of weapons' development. On the other hand, Israel is not a member of the I.A.E.A. and has hundreds of nuclear weapons. To the score of nations that comprise the Greater Middle East (Israel excepted) this is a root of hostility, an in-your-face double standard that is hard to argue against.
The Undeclared War Against Iraq: President Ahmadi-Najad cited duplicity in our foreign policy. First, we supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran. Later, in the United States' war against Iraq, and after failing to find W.M.D., the United States used the toppling of that dictator as justification for the war. In effect he asks, Was this a war looking for a cause? (The latest cause is democracy.)
He questions: Was not this war and its occupation a tragic waste of "tens of thousands of young men and women at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars?" And there is the psychological toll: "Everyday some commit suicide." (Last year twenty-two U.S. troops in Iraq did just that.)
It is also worth noting what President Ahmadi-Najad did not say. He diplomatically ignored what many suspect was the real reason for the invasion of Iraq and similar intentions now directed at Iran: The establishment of an American sphere of influence in the Middle East supported by permanent military bases.
Treatment Of Detainees: The status of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and in secret prisons in Europe are of concern to President Ahmadi-Najad. Their humane treatment is highly suspect, they have no legal representation, no idea how long their confinement will last, nor is the Red Cross allowed access to conduct inspections.
The upshot of the letter was predictable. It was rejected out of hand by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice even before the official translation was available to her. Washington's foreign policy is evident: It's our way or no way; so what's the point of talking? It is not clear if President Bush will pay President Ahmadi-Najad the courtesy of a reply, or even a pro forma acknowledgment of his missive.
Concluding: The likelihood of the White House sheathing its sword and taking positive action based on President Ahmadi-Najad's bold initiative is about the same as President Bush being spirited away in a flying saucer. One might hope for both, but expect neither.
New Milford, PA
It Is Disgusting
I would like to politely ask the lady who drives the gray or silver small SUV up and down Route 92 and on Turnpike Rd. to the hospital to please stop slinging her cat poop (feces) along the road in a plastic bag. To put the most biodegradable substance (cat poop) in the least biodegradable substances (plastic bags and clay litter) in order to discard it and then to sling it out all along Route 92 is totally disgusting, to say the least. The fine for littering is $300 and last week I saw a bag right next to the sign, which told her so, on the road to the hospital.
Owning cats requires more than loving them, and if one cannot think of a better solution to disposal of the litter than making residents live with it smashed all over their roads, one should not own cats. The clay litter and the plastic bags are very slippery on the road, and are a hazard to driving and to wild and domestic animals besides being totally disgusting.
My husband helps clean up trash on the highway and is looking to see her do this a second time, having seen her once, so he can get her automobile license number.
So, whoever you are, little cat poop lady, please know many of us are watching and will report you if given the opportunity.
United We Stand
Pinch me please. Bio-diesel could be made from used cooking oil from the thousands of restaurants all across the country instead of it going to a landfill somewhere.
Corn stalks, soybeans, shell corn, wood chips, anything cellulose, aspen trees, coal, switch grass, sorghum, Sudan grass, sawdust and many more fiber materials that we have abundantly here in the northeast, plus "used cooking oil," and don't forget sugarcane in the south.
Wow, and accessible too. Can you please tell me why I just got a letter informing me that our government is planning to import ethanol? Tariff free! We, the consumers are going to have to pay for it! That was an insult to my intelligence, and a slap across my face!
Please: maybe pinch yourselves.
Call your officials; ask them why not give the growers of these raw materials, most of which are plowed under each year, or buried, a chance to help. Why?
Please wait for an answer; then ask them to think back in history just 100 years, remind them that our country revolved around agriculture and without farms nothing in the towns or cities would be here today. (Similar to what we see today, huh?)
100 years ago everything depended on crops from local farms for food, from the draft animals who pulled the undertaker’s carriage, to the cows which made the butter, and the farms who supplied the lumber mills and grist mills with renewable crops, and the stores who sold it. Who supplied the steel for wagons and iron for plows and carts and nails and on and on? American businesses. When Henry Ford made the first car, remember it was designed to run on, that’s right, ethanol!
It all was energy, renewable energy! Water to wind; now our administration wants to skip over our ability, once forgotten.
Don't be misled that ethanol and bio-diesel has to come from thousands of acres of corn from the Midwest somewhere, or that bio-diesel and ethanol plants would pollute the rest of our environment.
We're not making mercury here, just renewable fuels for our own benefit.
Here is web site that proves it: The American corn growers association, www.acga.org.
The ball is in your court now; as consumers, it is your turn to help yourselves, or just sit back and take it once again, economically or physically. Oh, and remember one thing; we, as Americans can do anything we put our minds to, but we need to stick together. “United we stand, divided we fall.”
Peter A. Seman
A Magical Night
On prom night this year my daughter, Debra chose not to attend. But, her brother and sisters believed she should have one, so they and their friends put on a prom just for her. They went to the extreme of dressing up and decorating the house with balloons and streamers, and even had fog and special lighting. There was dancing and everything you would expect from a prom, right down to a corsage and pictures.
I have never been so proud of my children, and they have made me proud many, many times. To go to such lengths to make their sister happy was unbelievable. Thank you David, Brandy, Ginny and all who attended. You all outdid yourselves. David picking her up in his car, all decorated, and placing the corsage on her wrist just took my breath away.
I love you all.
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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