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Don't Forget Dad On

June 18th

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Letters to the Editor Policy

Convince The President

I am so glad to read that we, as Americans don't have to learn a new language because of immigration.

The immigration laws on the books today say it all; we only need to enforce the law. The American people who got the word to our President are the very people who need to call on our President one more time, to tell him about ethanol and bio diesel. It’s renewable! It can be made in America!

If the nation did it with immigration, I am sure we can convince President Bush that we can produce enough ethanol and bio diesel here in America to completely eliminate the need to import ethanol or any form of foreign oil.

We need to stick together on this one, Americans.

Please take the time and make the call.

We Americans should not be criticized about what type of SUV we drive, we have choices. We might have to pay as much for a blend of gasoline and ethanol, but it will be made in America, and it will remove the cloud from over our heads and the worry about how much oil we need to live our American dream, or the threat of Iran shutting down the Persian Gulf. Maybe it would bring our troops home alive. Our life styles need not be compromised or criticized.


Peter A. Seman

Thompson PA


Today in this country, one in two-hundred and fifty adolescents and college students, young women, suffer from Anorexia and other terrible eating disorders that will interfere with normal bodily functions.

On the other end of the scale are young women who are obese and cannot control their food intake.

Magazines and TV are flooded with articles about the perfect weight. These young women should be planning their future; well, they have no future. The adolescent younger women become bulimic, with horrible side-effects; they become agitated disorientated etc.

The older college students, because they think they are more educated, are obese and often resort to gastric bypass to solve their problems.

There is a mortality rate for both.

Why is there such an obsession with weight? These young women of today are on a rocky road to nowhere; they need help, and they are not going to get it from TV or women's magazines, which should be more responsible. The media has the edge because the majority of women are not satisfied with their own bodies, because we have been brainwashed.


Marion Dabulas

Susquehanna, PA

The Predicament Of Being Human

Charlie Company was operating in an enemy stronghold. Their mission: search and destroy. And that's exactly what they did. Entering a small village, most of the platoon, about forty men, went berserk. A comrade had recently been killed by a mine and they were out for blood. They opened fire, killing almost everyone in the village.

Some bodies were riddled with bullets, others shot squarely between the eyes, or execution style in back of the head. One woman was shot while praying on her knees, an old man bayoneted. Children, even babies, killed. Women were subjected to repeated sexual assaults, then shot. The officer in charge rounded up most of the surviving villagers and machine-gunned them by the score. When it was over, 500 lay dead.

The official story: One-hundred-twenty-eight insurgents were killed, and one American causality.

The atrocity was covered up for a year until a journalist, Seymour Hersh, reported the story in 1969. It happened in My Lai, a small village in Vietnam. An investigation implicated thirty men in the rampage and another thirty in the cover-up that followed. Of these sixty, only one was found guilty, the officer in charge, Lt. William Calley. He was sentenced to life in prison. But his "life sentence" turned out to be three-and-a-half years’ confinement in his quarters, after which he was pardoned by President Nixon in 1974 and released.

Fast forward 37 years to 2005 and head West 4,400 miles to Iraq. This time it's Kilo Company. They were out on patrol last November near the site where one of their own had been killed by an IED. One of the soldiers saw a taxi leaving the scene. He opened fire, killing the four occupants. Then it started. The Marines kicked in the door of a nearby house and sprayed the interior with automatic weapons. Proceeding to the house next door, they kicked in the door, tossed in a hand grenade, then finished off the survivors. A third house was likewise savaged.

When the guns fell silent, five children, eight women, and eleven men lay dead – all unarmed. Most were shot in the head and chest.

The official story: after a fierce firefight, twenty insurgents were killed. Collateral damage caused an additional four fatalities. There were no US causalities.

Four months later, in March the same reporter, Seymour Hersh, blew the cover off the killing spree in Haditha with an article in Time. (As this is being written details of the incident are not yet entirely clear.)

And now Ishaqi, another Iraqi village, is brutalized. Video tape shows the bodies of a six-month-old baby, five children, four women, and two adult males. Four of the children were handcuffed and shot in the head. Survivors and the Iraqi police claim that a plane bombed the house to conceal the crime.

The official story: four al-Quaida operatives were killed when a house they were hiding in collapsed.

This incident, like the others, would have gone unnoticed except for the video record taken by an AP photographer.

How many Hadithas and Ishaqis are there? "We have a Haditha every day," declared Muhanned Jasim, an Iraqi merchant. "Were [those killed in Haditha] the first . . . Iraqis to be killed for no reason?" asked pharmacist Ghasan Jayih. "We're used to being killed. It's normal now to hear twenty-five Iraqis are killed in one day."

The official explanations of these tragedies are remarkably similar: isolated incidents perpetrated by only a few. In My Lai it was a "low-level officer [who] had gone crazy." In Haditha it was a "few bad apples." The men involved in the Ishaqi incident have yet to be characterized, but it's safe to assume that they, too, will be in the bad-apple category. Would that were the case. The reality is more disturbing.

It is the breaking point, a limit that when exceeded turns fear to terror and anger to rage. Some snap easily, for others only the most extreme circumstances will cause a breakdown. In Vietnam and Iraq extreme circumstances occur all too often. The truth is that the men in Charlie Company, Kilo Company, and the Marines involved in the Ishaqi rampage are typical young men, but fate placed them in harm's way too often and for too long. And the cover-ups, the lies, the deceitful stories, what of that? This, also, is all too human.

Someone does something he regrets. Then, in a calmer moment, seized with remorse, he concocts a story to rewrite the past. We all stand guilty of this.

And that is the tragedy – all the tragedies – in Vietnam and in Iraq. It is the opposing forces of good and evil in our nature; that is the predicament of being human. The fragility of this uneasy peace can, on terrible occasions be shattered, releasing the beast that lurks within. This does not excuse their crimes – or for that matter our misdeeds – but it does explain them.

In WW II it was discovered that about two hundred days in combat was the limit beyond which men start to exhibit psychotic and unpredictable behavior. In WW I it was called shell shock; in WW II they called it battle fatigue. Today it's post-traumatic stress (PDS).

The symptoms of PDS occur in about 30% of combat veterans. Its duration may be short to chronic, lasting a lifetime. Acute manifestations are recurrent nightmares, depression, flashbacks to violent incidents, unpredictable and sometimes violent behavior. Alcoholism, occupational instability, divorce, and homelessness are much higher in this group.

But whatever its name, the frequency of psychotic rages in Iraq indicate that the two-hundred-day limit for many men has been exceeded. It's time for our troops – all of them – to come home. And when they finally do, do not suppose that the boys we said good-bye to will be the ones we say hello to.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

The Investigation Must Continue

Presently, dairy farmers are receiving a price for their milk that equates back to 1980. At the same time, these same dairymen are experiencing an accelerating cost of production, far higher than they have ever had to endure before. The majority of these increased costs can be linked to the large increase in fuel costs. Not only does it cost the dairymen substantially more to operate their farms on a daily basis, but everything they purchase and all services rendered to the dairy farmers have escalated.

Needless to say, this is causing widespread problems on the average dairy farm. There is very little that the dairymen can do about their costs, and they are really wondering if anything will ever be done about their prices.

The investigation by a division of the US Department of Justice into the improprieties being conducted within the dairy industry has once more been stalled. This investigation began in the late summer of 2004. However, the investigation was stalled on October 1, 2005.

In early 2006, we received many calls to see if Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) would meet with a small number of dairy farmers concerning the stalled investigation. As everyone knows, Sen. Specter serves as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. We also know that this Committee has had their hands full for the last two years.

However, Sen. Specter has always been one of the best friends that dairy framers have in Washington, DC. Specter knows the important role that dairy farmers play, not only in the economy of Pennsylvania, but also across the whole nation.

After Sen. Specter became involved, the investigation got jumpstarted and was moving in the right direction. Sources tell me that nearly 20 state attorneys general are cooperating with the probe. Many are very concerned abut the possible manipulation of prices received by dairy farmers. They are concerned about some joint ventures that have been formed by various segments of the dairy industry, market concentration, lack of competition in outlets for fluid milk, et cetera. In essence, they think the whole system is manipulated and screwed up. The victims are dairy farmers and consumers.

So, this time we are publicly urging Sen. Specter and other members of this Committee, like Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) to once more become involved and determine what is really going on with the investigation. They should also find out who is pulling the strings to halt the Department of Justice investigation.

At the same time, Specter and Leahy along with their full Committee should demand a full investigation into the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). This is a cash market where cheese and butter are traded on a daily basis (excluding weekends and holidays).

These prices at Chicago have a direct influence on the wholesale markets that the USDA uses to determine prices paid to dairy farmers.

Listen to this! During 2005, the cheese industry manufactured over nine billion pounds of cheese (which is great). However, during January, February, and March of 2006, the amount of block cheese traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was only one million pounds.

You mathematicians figure this out. One million pounds of cheese for three months would equate to a simple average of 333,333 pounds of cheese per month, but the national production of cheese per month on a simple average would be about 750 million pounds per month. Now you tell me what is the actual small percentage of cheese being traded by the CME? Our people have it figured out: a drop in the bucket!

Congress has failed to take any realistic action to correct the inequities facing dairy farmers.

Now it is up to Sen. Specter and Sen. Leahy to one more time step up to the plate and take necessary action.


Arden Tewksbury

Manager, Pro Ag

Simply Amazing

In a small town, most people know one another either by name or face. People are friendly and take the time to love and care for their family, friends and neighbors, as well as extending a helping hand to a stranger in need. When an unfortunate event occurs, the town and surrounding communities unite.

May 10 was a very special day for Brian and Nicole Crawford, as they celebrated their only son’s birthday. Miles Nelson turned one year old! Then, only eleven days later, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and rushed to Syracuse Hospital for surgery. The malignant tumor was removed, but he has a long road ahead.

News traveled fast. Prayer chains were started and have spread across the country. Friends held a bake sale to help with expenses. Calls, cards and letters began coming in. Words cannot express how grateful we are to everyone for helping us in any way. We thank you for your support and for praying for our precious baby, Miles.

How special is a small town? People taking time in today’s busy world to help one another? Simply amazing! Let us remember to count our blessings every day.

We appreciate you all so much!


The Crawford Family

They Should Be Recognized

Friday, June 2, 2006, was Class Night for the graduates of Susquehanna Community High School. The seniors who attended Susquehanna Community High were recognized for their achievements and contributions to school life.

However, the students who attended Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center from the senior class of Susquehanna Community High were not recognized for their achievements and contributions (scholastic and athletic). Some of these students participated in sports over the senior year and in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades but were not mentioned; students got highest honors, in all four marking periods, but were not mentioned; students got National Honor Society awards, but were not mentioned.

I called the school on Monday to inquire about this and was told that the Tech School students are welcome to attend Class Night, but their achievements are not part of Class Night. I think this is disrespectful and rude to the students who worked so hard over their senior year and who get left out of the activities at the home school when they attend the tech program. These students just wanted their peers to know of their accomplishments since they were not attending the home school.

Good luck to graduates of both the Susquehanna Community High School and the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center.


Sheila and Steven Pannepacker

Susquehanna, PA


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