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Issue Home February 21, 2007 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

No Way, P. Jay

I wish I could share P. Jay Amadio’s enthusiasm about the possibility of an attorney throwing his hat into the ring as a candidate for County Commissioner. As P. Jay adeptly points out, this is only a “part-time” position, but I can only wonder how much time a full-time attorney could/would devote to it?

In the past two years I have had two occasions to contact a County Commissioner. I chose Mary Ann Warren for the sole reason that she lives in New Milford as I do. Both times when I called her office, she answered the phone. The first query was taken care of immediately. The second time required a much more lengthy involved answer. She agreed to meet with me the following evening to discuss my concerns on the matter in question. I do not know, but I would imagine that had I called one of the other Commissioners the results would have been similar.

I am sorry, but I cannot see this scenario happening with an attorney as a County Commissioner. Hell, mine isn’t available to talk to me half of the time, and I am paying him! Be that as it may, I think we already have more than enough lawyers involved in too many facets of government.

As a footnote, P. Jay says that it would be nice to see a professional man (woman?) join the board of County Commissioners. What are the people we have elected who presently hold the office, chopped liver?


Bill Marshall

New Milford, PA

We Can Produce Enough

I am hearing a lot of propaganda about the production of ethanol, bio-diesel. I knew it was coming!

Yes, for the time being, corn and soybeans will be used to make ethanol and bio-diesel. Please, America will not use up all our food supply. The prices of cereal, beef, eggs, pork, corn and soybeans will be priced higher in the stores, that is a fact. However the high cost still doesn't allow the producers of the food "parity" (equal to cost to produce).

The farmers for once have a chance to save their farms, so give me a break. The producers of your food deserve a living wage! I am tired of listening to this nonsense. Just weigh the cost of one soldier’s life anywhere in the world who was fighting an oil war. Or oil for food!

Americans can be self-sufficient. We can produce enough ethanol to completely eliminate the need to import oil needed to make gasoline to run our cars without the fear of what a barrel of oil costs from OPEC. We are bigger than that. The future production of ethanol and bio-diesel, maybe five years out, will be made from things humans or most mammals don't eat. Like biogenetic modified grains, trees, grass, brush, and garbage!

Renewable resources that grow in the wild naturally and annually will be the source of most of the ethanol, bio-diesel, and methane! We Americans need to read between the lines on this one! The people I am hearing this from are educated and concerned folks with fears for all of mankind, but please rest assured, the use of our main food groups will come back down as technology progresses. Every day new ideas are implemented, every day! Please think out of the box on this issue. Thomas Edison progressed and look at what we have today.

I have learned over the years, bad publicity scares us. The time is now to make ethanol and all renewable fuels a reality, before all of our hard-earned money is gone on a fuel bill just to get to work or heat our homes, to make some other country rich.

Give renewable fuels a chance, and allow the farmers a just return for their effort, and leave the worry of high food bills behind. Do you all remember $3-plus gas? Who did that money go to?

Food for thought; for all that money we all spent on gas, we all could have bought a lot of cheap food. Please, weigh the difference. Don't be afraid. I know I would rather give my money to the American farmers than to some large oil company. I hope you all change your minds. They only want to scare us.


Peter A. Seman

Thompson, PA

The Ultimate Weapon

Something's missing from our arsenal.

In Iraq, a cobbled together, un-uniformed band of insurgents are squared off against the United States. They are armed with relic AK47s, old cars converted to bombs, Russian sniper rifles dating from the 80s, and homemade suicide vests.

The United States, on the other hand, is equipped with the latest in weapon wizardry. Aircraft carriers displacing 100,000 tons cutting through the water at I-81 speeds; vessels carrying the sting of ninety aircraft. Jet fighters with cockpits that look like a video arcade armed with fire-and-forget missiles. Below water we have nuclear-powered subs packing a dozen ground-hugging cruise missiles.

On land there's the M1A2, battle tank. A 70-ton behemoth that handles like a pickup truck but armed with a cannon that can reach out and touch you 2.5 miles away. Our soldiers look like extras from the latest star-wars movie. Loaded down with forty pounds of combat gear, an M-16 rifle and ammo, assorted gadgetry and gizmos, and capped with a kevlar helmet; he is the quintessential warrior of the future misplaced in the present.

So who's winning? The President said we're not losing. But to our turban-topped foes not losing is a clear win for them – and they're right. Low-tech has been beating hi-tech for the last sixty years.

A peasant-led revolt against the French occupation in Vietnam started in 1946. It ended ten years later with the defeat and eviction of the French, and 95,000 KIA – a catastrophic loss in men, money, and prestige.

The French handed the baton to us. In 1959 we took up the struggle. It ended sixteen years later with the defeat and eviction of the Americans, and 58,000 KIA – a catastrophic loss in men, money, and prestige. Sound familiar.

Soviet Russia was to learn the same lesson. In 1979 the Soviet army entered Afghanistan to support their puppet communism regime. They were opposed by the rag-tag Mujahideen insurgents (there's that word again). It ended ten years later with the defeat and eviction of the Soviets, and 15,000 KIA.

Last summer the Israeli army invaded Lebanon with 30,000 soldiers. They were confronted by a paramilitary force of 3,000 Hezballah fighters. It ended 36 days later with the defeat and eviction of the Israelis, and 119 KIA.

Proving that history teaches us nothing, we are engaged in a similar, lopsided conflict (the military prefers the grander term, asymmetrical) since 2003, the year of "Mission Accomplished." And we are also proving that doing the same thing over and over again does not lead to a different result.

We are losing in Iraq because it is he, the enemy – for such we have made him – who has the ultimate weapon. It is not something made in a factory, but forged in the heart. It is a man wearing a suicide vest; he is the ultimate weapon. Men – by their uncounted thousands – willing to sacrifice themselves for what they believe to be right cannot be beaten.

The real fighting front for the French, the Soviets, the Israelis, and the U.S. was not on the battlefield; it was on the home front. And it is here, on U.S. soil, that the present conflict of wills shall be decided. In the late seventies, Kissinger was nonplused by the insurgents in Nam: clothed in black pajamas, subsisting on rice and fish heads, and living like troglodytes: "I can't believe that a fourth-rate power like North Vietnam doesn't have a breaking point." They didn't; neither did the Mujahideen, and neither do the radical Muslims. We do.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

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