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Issue Home August 23, 2006 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

It Was Mean-Spirited

I must take issue with Fred Baker’s mean-spirited poem of two weeks ago. It was a diatribe against someone, and was just, well, mean. No need for something like this in a local paper.

We hope this is not a preview of upcoming county political races. It is too easy to always be against something or someone. We need people who stand for something, not always being against something. We, the people, spend our hard-earned money on taxes, and we need candidates with positive visions. We deserve to see positive solutions in our papers.

Also, it is sad to see poetry used as the medium to talk about someone in such a manner. Once again, poetry should be used to uplift people, not denigrate them. Granted, we don't live in a rose-colored world, but slow down on showing us the bad, and just go ahead and do the good.


Leif Winter

Hallstead, PA

We Are Addressing It

The issues Barnes-Kasson Hospital are presently experiencing are in the process of being resolved. It is unacceptable to the community and the commissioners to allow this facility to close and we will do everything possible to see its continued existence.

Barnes-Kasson Hospital has been serving the county residents for over 100 years, and is the largest employer in the county. We can assure the residents of the county that steps have been taken to address the legal issues involved.

Obtaining the complete cooperation of all affected parties and addressing this in the proper forum has always been the priority of the county.


Roberta Kelly, Commissioner

MaryAnn Warren, Commissioner

I Commend You

I am writing in regards to the “Letter to the Editor” written by Jordan Tingley on being adults.

I hear what you’re saying, and I commend your maturity and gutsiness to tell these writers that they should act “adult” in letters that they share with all of us in our hometown newspaper. I totally agree with you, lately the editor’s column has been used more to smack other writers than to do what it was originally intended to do.

Sadly, I must disagree with you, I do not feel that most of these people can “act” like adults; in fact, I feel that this town would implode if the gossip and lies would stop.

I grew up here, went to and graduated from Susquehanna Community High School, went away for college, and two years ago I returned. I was expecting very little change, and was quickly reminded how some people in this town can be very manipulative and lie through their teeth for no apparent reason, or because they just do not like you.

It seems very selfish that someone would risk their own reputation and/or job to drag someone’s name through the dirt. But I am sorry to say, my friend, there are people like this everywhere, even in our small little town.

I can understand where you’re coming from; people are dying to protect us, there are millions of people that are homeless, and children are kidnapped and killed. And all we care about is if someone drove through town twice a day, or said “hi” to someone they “weren’t” supposed to. I agree it is menial and childish, but there are people in this world that can’t and won’t see the big picture.

I can only hope you woke up the readers and writers to this paper, to see your letter and mine and realize there is much more in this world than the petty squabble taking place over the hospital, or the money we thought we should have received due to the flood, or any other compelling “gossip” we hear, or lies we make up because we are bored that day.

So, thank you, young sir, for setting us straight, you wrote a great letter and again, I commend you on your efforts.


Daniel Gray

Susquehanna, PA

Not Safer

Republicans enjoy a reputation that they "keep us safer." However, five years after 9/11, we are not safer at all. In fact, the Iraq war has just stirred up and solidified more rage in the Middle East.

It is beyond me why supposedly intelligent people believe that you can smash a people to smithereens and that afterwards they’ll roll over and say, "Okay, uncle! You win, we’ll do whatever you say forever more and completely obliterate our culture and serve yours, bow bow, kiss kiss." This is against human nature. It also amazes me that people expect the Palestinians to hand over, without a whimper, land that has been in their families for generations just because Israel puts a claim to it. If we were in some huge war and lost, and the winners came in and handed our homes and land over to the Native Americans, would we just quietly yield? I imagine that a resistance movement would instantly spring up (we would be called “terrorists”). And in this case, the Native Americans have much more claim to the land than the Israelis do the “Holy Land!” The Jews were never the only ones occupying it in ancient times.

For that matter, the whole earth is the Holy Land. We ought to wise up on that issue too.

In fact, if we had never been involved in the Middle East in the first place, 9/11 would never have happened. This administration likes to claim that “everyone is in danger” and that the Muslim terrorists are a threat to other countries too, but notice that they only attack those who are in league with the U.S. or our embassies in other countries. I don’t see them hitting places that do not go along with our blind support for Israel.

The Republicans look more and more like big, empty-headed bullies. Very dangerous, empty-headed bullies. I resent being called “unpatriotic” because I don’t support the policies of lunatics.


Margaret Karmazin

Susquehanna, PA

I Call Them Angels

On Saturday, August 5 we lost our power. It was decided that it was a pole-to-house problem. I called Penelec to report it, never speaking to a person, so I didn’t know what to expect. Two hours later, there was a tech here and he fixed the problem. With all the bashing and complaining about our electric companies, I, for one praise Penelec for their prompt action. I call them my electric angels.


Betty Booth

Great Bend, PA

How Safe Are We?

I guess we're pretty safe in Susquehanna County. We're far away. We're too small and unimportant to bomb. But New York was a target and Philadelphia could be. The President's war in Iraq has inflamed the whole Middle East. The war is diverting our attention from weather-related disasters, like Katrina last year and this summer's floods in many places, including Susquehanna County. Our national debt is out of control. The Republican White House and Congress are spending billions of dollars in Iraq while wasting lives and undermining American prestige with a go-it-alone foreign policy.

America needs a change in direction to keep us safe, from terrorists and natural disasters alike. Political attacks are no substitute for responsible policies carried out by strong leaders with integrity. We need a change in November.


Katherine M. Shelly

Thompson, PA

Comparative Fascisms

All of a sudden Republicans have taken to using the term "Islamic fascism". And it's amazing how quickly and how well they conform to the usage. But I really need to ask: If Islamic fascism is the problem, how can Christian fascism be any solution?

There are a lot of people pushing for Christian fascism under a variety of names: Theonomy, Dominion Theology, Christian Reconstructionism, the "Christian Nation" movement. They are zealously partisan Republicans who have more and more sway in the Party. The fact that they are using legitimate political means, and usually push it without violence does not change the fact that it is an illegitimate objective. Our government was designed to be secular, leaving religious beliefs up to the individual. Government is not allowed to show favoritism toward any particular religious philosophy – that's the essence of the Non-Establishment Clause. Christian fascists are so resentful and heedless of this restriction that they even deny its validity! Such radical arrogance needs close monitoring and our repudiation.


Stephen Van Eck

Rushville, PA

Facts, Not Allegations

In the August 16 Letters to the Editor, Mr. Fabrizi accused me of “dodging” his questions to the Susquehanna Boro Council. I did not answer those questions for a very simple reason: I am not the spokesperson for the Susquehanna Boro Council (or for anyone else), nor am I their (or anyone else’s) PR person. It is not my place or responsibility to answer for council’s decisions or to explain them, nor am I in on why and how those decisions are made. My husband and I do not discuss council business. Period.

Mr. Fabrizi made an accusation that I hide behind my position’s ability to “edit out” whatever I cannot deal with. Yes, one minor edit was made to his previous letter; the title was too long and needed to be shortened. That necessitated one minor change (two words) to the first sentence, so that readers would know who he was responding to. He had made reference to “the authors” of Mr. Whitehead’s letter, but there was no clarification of who “they” (allegedly) were. It was a change that would have been made no matter who submitted the letter, and no matter who it was about. If that was an inference that someone other than Mr. Whitehead wrote his letter, it is incorrect. He did write the letter. I was not even at home at the time, I was working. And, all material submitted to the Susquehanna County Transcript is subject to editing, even my own, and yes, even Mr. Fabrizi’s. Were I “hiding behind my position,” none of Mr. Fabrizi’s letters would be published, as well as a host of others. If anyone thinks any of us (at the Transcript) agree with every opinion that is published, or that only opinions we agree with are published, they are sadly mistaken. Letters are published because people have a right to their opinions, no matter how wrong we might think they are.

With all that I’ve seen lately, I do think it was petty to begrudge boro officials’ use of a boro vehicle to carry out boro business during an emergency; that and Mr. Fabrizi accusing Mr. Whitehead of “whining” when Mr. Whitehead answered Mr. Fabrizi’s complaints struck a sour note with me. It seems that if anyone attempts to respond to Mr. Fabrizi’s criticisms or complaints or disagrees with him, they are insulted or the subject of unfounded accusations.

And, just for the record, none of my heroes are mortals.

Mr. Fabrizi says that he is going to ignore me. I can’t say how disappointed I am. Of course, I suspect that will only last until the next time he wants a letter published.


Barbara Whitehead

Susquehanna, PA

The Flat Earth Society

The Flat Earth Society is an organization dedicated to exposing the "heretical notion that the earth is round." Members of the society know that it is as flat as a penny left on a train rail. You may not have heard of the society, but it's been around since 1547 – so they say.

To be a member one must be convinced of a belief that just about everyone else considers to be mind-numbingly nuts. For example: a conviction that earth is hollow (flat also works) and functions as a way station for UFOs; or, a troop of Yeti is hiding in the Vatican; or, the Illuminati, an 18th century secret Satanic fraternity, is responsible for World Wars I, II, and the reruns of I Love Lucy would qualify one for membership.

During a press conference (July 28) our President described in wide-eyed astonishment the kidnapping (capture according to others) of two Israeli soldiers as something "that happened out of the blue" – one of those rare events that occurs without a cause. Giving the President credit for not being disingenuous and actually believing what he said, then me thinks that this qualifies No. 43 as a member in good standing of the Flat Earth Society.

This "out-of-the-blue" event could be traced back 3,900 years to the birth of Abraham's firstborn son, Ishmael, and his brother, Isaac. Ishmael felt that since he was the firstborn the birthright promise of land was his. But the birthright was passed on to Isaac's second son, Jacob.

Both Ishmael and Jacob were to be the fathers of two peoples each composed of 12 tribes; Ishmael, the Arabs, and Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel), the Jews. To this very day, according to some, their decedents are contending over the birthright land that makes up most of the Middle East.

A later starting date would be 70 A.D., the year the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem by the Roman general, Titus. Yet 500 years before this expulsion King David wrote, "If I forget you, Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill." The exile of the Jews never erased the memory of that sacred city from their hearts nor extinguished their desire to return.

Most commonly the date cited as the beginning of the Arab-Israel conflict is May 14, 1948, the birth date of the state of Israel. The very next day, May 15, six Arab nations declared war against the nascent state; 64,000 Arabs confronted 108,000 Israelis.

The Israelis defeated the Arab forces in 1949. They drove out 700,000 Arabs – a gentile diaspora – and confiscated their land more than doubling the area the United Nations mandate gave them. (In later years an additional 300,000 Palestinians would be cast out of their land.) The Jews call this the War of Liberation; the Arabs call it The Catastrophe.

So which is it: Liberation or Catastrophe, were the two Israeli soldiers kidnapped or captured, are they terrorists or freedom fighters, suicide bombers or martyrs? Did Hezbollah really start this war "out of the blue" because they are terrorists and that's what they do? It's all part of psy ops – psychological operations – the war of words.

Take this example of speculation morphing into fact: Is has become an accepted fact that Hezbollah uses civilians as human shields. According to the Israelis, it is this tactic that is responsible for the widely disproportionate numbers of civilian fatalities reported by the Israeli Defense Force and Hezbollah. Fact or propaganda mantra? What does the evidence show?

Human Rights Watch recently made an on-site investigation of this charge. In its report, executive director Kenneth Roth, had this to say, "The pattern of attacks shows the Israeli military's disturbing disregard for the lives of Lebanese civilians. Our research shows that Israel's claim that Hezbollah fighters are hiding among civilians does not explain, let alone justify, Israel's indiscriminate warfare."

Another faux fact is blaming Hezbollah for the radical escalation of fighting; kidnapping-capturing has been practiced by both sides for years. It is Israel's overwhelming response on July 14 to the last kidnapping-capture incident that initiated the quantum leap in hostilities. Logically, then, it is Israel that started the war. But logic can be outmaneuvered.

Israel is expert in disinformation (viz. the Israel Lobby); Hezbollah is not even a novice.

Since the inception of the state of Israel, internecine wars continue to plague the Arabs and the Jews: the Suez Canal War (1956), the Six-Day War (l967), the Yom Kipper War (1973), and the invasion of Lebanon (1982), which continues to this day.

The kidnapping-capture of the two Israeli soldiers did not start anything; it merely continued the ground and psy-op conflict. For someone to say – not as propaganda but as conviction – that it is something "that happened out of the blue" is an admission of profound ignorance, is at odds with history, and is out of step with reality – unless, of course, one is a member of the Flat Earth Society.

Congratulations, 43.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

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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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