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Issue Home March 28, 2007 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Endless War

This week Congress has a chance to take action to end the war. The Democratic proposal for Iraq is doing what a majority of Americans want. It forces the President to ensure troops have training and equipment they need, forces the Iraqi government to govern its own nation and sets a date certain to bring our troops home. If President Bush makes good on his threat to veto this bill, he is saying the only policy he will accept is one of endless war – a policy Americans rejected in November and will continue to reject. Let your voices be heard on this matter.


Val O'Brien

Union Dale, PA

An Invasion Of Privacy

In this time of war, many of the media are failing us. When the federal government enacted the “No Child Left Behind Act” to our country’s school systems, the media did a great job of letting everyone know the many positive changes. They neglected to mention an interesting item that affects all our children.

This item is a clause hidden deep inside the 167 pages of the act. This small paragraph explains that all schools are required to release ALL information regarding their students (our children) to the military if and when it requests it. If the school system refuses to release this information, every penny of federal funding is revoked!

The only way out of this is by requesting an “opt out” form be sent to your school system, but the law states that students and parents do not need to be informed of this. Interesting, isn’t it, in this time of HIPA paperwork every time you go to the doctor (I even had to fill a form out at the vet’s office for my dog, Walter) that our schools really aren’t supposed to mention this little invasion of our children’s privacy? A printable form can be found at jwww.themmob.org/lmca/lmca_forms/Opt_Out_Form_Schools.pdf.

I can honestly tell you that I printed three of those forms. Two of them are going to my children’s school district. The other one will go to my son’s college. I don’t know if it is going to work for him, because as soon as you apply for a grant or a loan for school, the government has all the information it needs, but I’m going to try. And, in case you’re wondering where I found all this information? Well, I found it in a letter to the editor! Read newspapers, watch the news, browse the Internet and pass on the information. Many scary things get by us when we don’t pay attention!


Barbara Robinson

Hallstead, PA

Protecting Our Monuments

On Friday, March 16, I left home at noon with Washington, DC as my destination. The trip took a little over nine hours due to an exceptionally severe snowstorm. Why would anyone travel that distance in such bad weather? The answer is quite simple. The anti-war group ANSWER decided to march from the Vietnam Memorial to the Pentagon on March 17. Their previous rally in January included people who had decided to spray paint the Capitol steps. Veteran groups from all over the country decided to go to Washington to prevent that from happening to our monuments. Our mission was to protect our sacred ground from desecration. Our goal was to prevent the use of the monuments as political footballs for all sides of the controversy. As a representative of the group “Brothers of the ‘Nam,” I went to help coordinate our deployment. The Capitol police did an excellent job of maintaining distance between the protestors (called moonbats by the vets) and everyone else. Answer claims to have fielded “tens of thousands” when in actuality they had a much smaller, disappointing crowd. Outnumbered by the veterans 4 to 1, they attempted to make up in noise what they lacked in numbers. Very expensive and rather large speakers amplified their music and spokespersons’ voices to a level of complete incomprehension. Typically the media, including FOX-TV, covered the moonbats and not the veterans. I had occasion to view their set-up as the morning progressed. A sign, which read, “Socialism is Americanism” was the largest and the most prominent. Of course, Cindy Sheehan gave a resounding “impeach Bush” speech that would have done Bob Scroggins proud.

Vietnam veterans have a liking for leather vests with patches of various meanings. The media reported that those wearing the vests were veteran biker groups. Again, the media is ignorant to an entire culture under their noses. After the marchers left for the Pentagon, the vets visited with their friends whose names graced those marble panels. Peace had finally returned. The marchers did have one final indignity to add to the day. At the end of their march they burned a U.S. flag. Fortunately, we didn’t hear of that until much later. Late in the day, I lost track of my group and decided to take the Metro back to the hotel. As I walked the eight blocks to the station, I found myself, a lone vet with my Vietnam vest and veteran ball cap, in a crowd of returning protestors. Although I was alone and offered no threat whatsoever, none of them would come closer than ten feet, nor would any look me in the eye. It was the realization that they were feeling shame that enabled me to walk taller and smile with pride. As veterans, we came together and showed them that those who fought for their freedoms were willing to step forward again if necessary.

As a footnote, Friday evening, seven moonbats were arrested for attempting to go in areas they didn’t belong and another twenty were arrested Saturday morning trying to sneak paint cans through the police cordon. By 8:00 a.m. Saturday, the veterans were patrolling quietly around the several monuments and by the sheer force of numbers intimidated anyone who may have had ideas of desecration.


Fred Baker

Meshoppen, PA

In Memory Of Friends

My name is Dick Znamirowski (Zimmer). I grew up in Susquehanna, PA but now live in San Diego, CA. I’m training with a great group of people to run the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 3, 2007. This group is called Team In Training (TNT) and we train very hard with a lot of professional support. TNT also helps raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to help fund cancer research. Over 75% of the money donated to LLS goes directly toward their research. I work as an MRI technologist at a University of California hospital where I see the devastating effects of cancer up close, so when I was asked by a friend to join TNT I didn't hesitate. Most of us either know someone or at least know of someone affected by this disease. A couple of my schoolmates and good friends whom I grew up with, Tony Aliano and Mark Tarbox, are just two of the people I personally know affected by cancer so I’m dedicating my first marathon to Tony and Mark's memory.

TNT has asked each member of the group to raise money for the LLS to help support their continuing research, so I’m extending the request to the people of Susquehanna who also knew Tony and Mark for your help by generously donating. I've set my goal to raise at least $2,600, but of course more would be better. I've already contributed the first $260 to get it started. That’s 10 bucks for each one of the grueling 26 miles of the marathon. In addition to this I’m walking the neighborhood, organizing a couple garage sales and my personal favorite, hosting a beach cookout/bonfire to raise money for the LLS. There are a couple ways for you to donate, so go empty out those change jars now and get that cash back into circulation.

1. You can go online to use your credit card. This is my favorite because the money goes directly to the LLS and you'll soon receive a receipt from LLS via email for tax purposes. Just go to my TNT training page on your computer at www.active.com/donate/tntsdh/tntsdhRZnamir and follow the simple instructions.

2. You can mail a check to me by April 30 at the address below and I will mail a receipt back to you for tax purposes. They will however, accept donations after that date. Please make checks payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Dick Znamirowski, 6902 Renkrib Ave., San Diego, CA 92119.

I’d like to thank every one of you very much for your generous contribution to this worthy cause. You can feel good knowing that you've helped thousands of people, including someone you probably know.


Dick Znamirowski

San Diego, CA

Use Our Resources

It's my opinion that we, as Americans, don't need to buy imported ethanol!

Ethanol can be made right here in America.

If we are to buy imported ethanol, we would be spending millions of our dollars! Just as we do to import oil; we waste our money. Why? For political reasons or just to look good and to do good for foreign countries?

We, as Americans, need to build bio-mass ethanol plants, “factories” here in America, use our resources, labor and put Americas to work, in an American business. That way we won't have to depend on any foreign country to supply our gasoline needs. We have rights too, don’t forget that.

Bio-mass ethanol and bio-diesel plants use things we, as humans, don't eat, so don't worry about using all of the world’s food supply. Stop the nonsense of buying oil in any form. Ethanol is nothing more than importing gasoline. Do we import a finished gasoline now? I have heard it said ethanol can't be put into a pipeline because it collects moisture. I wonder how much moisture it would collect if we import it?

Stop wasting our money. Push to build ethanol plants here in America.


Peter A. Seman

Thompson PA

The Age Of Ignorance

Various rubrics have been suggested for our age. The Age of... Steel, Petroleum, The Atom. Here's another contender for the title: The Age of Ignorance.

Forty years ago, Gordan Moore predicted that technology would double every two years. Time has proven him correct. Today it is popularly known as Moore's Law. Buy an electronic gadget today, and in two years it will be outmoded, in four an antique.

Technology has made possible a world of wonders that are commonplace; even walking on the moon is old hat. Marvels of discovery in every scientific field are made daily. So perhaps this is a good time to pause and consider the greatest discovery of all: man's profound ignorance.

"Curiouser and curiouser," cried Alice in her Adventures in Wonderland, as she "opened out like the largest telescope that ever was!" But look through a real telescope and its gets even curiouser. Judging by the amount of gravity necessary to hold galaxies together, astronomers calculate that 96% of the universe is missing. This theorized matter they named dark matter. Thus, what we can see accounts for only 4% of the universe. The rest of the cosmos is little more than a question mark.

It gets stranger. Dotting the heavens are bizarre bodies, pulsars rotating at impossible speeds. One is spinning 1.5 times faster than a high-speed kitchen blender. Add to this black holes, whirlpools of gravity sucking in all nearby matter, even light; and neutron stars where a single teaspoonful of matter would weigh one billion tons.

The world of the inconceivably small is queerer still. In one experiment physicists changed the properties of an atom, only to find that this change affected the properties of similar atoms – and the distance between them, whether in the next test tube or the next galaxy was irrelevant. Einstein called this "spooky action at a distance." Spooky, indeed. It raises the possibility that all atoms in the universe are somehow interconnected.

Between the macrocosm and the microcosm stands the greatest mystery of all: man. He inhabits a body composed of one hundred trillion cells, each one undergoing thousands of chemical reactions a second. It is a body that functions largely independent of his thought, will, or understanding. Respiration, digestion, elimination, cell division, even our five senses, all work wondrously well, though one might be utterly ignorant of even their existence.

Crowning the body is a three-pound gelatinous white mass, the brain. In some individuals it can multiply a two-digit number to the fourth power almost instantaneously, or divide an irrational fraction to a hundred decimal places, two hundred if you have the patience. It can memorize and immediately recall phenomenal volumes of information, or read two pages of a book – simultaneously. And all this done automatically, without any conscious effort.

The infinitely big, the infinitesimally small, and man betwixt them; three worlds of such complexity that their depths may never be plummeted. No matter how much is learned, man is fated to forever remain a creature of perpetual ignorance. Yet in ignorance lies hope. For if we know that we don't know, then we have the beginning of wisdom and its companion virtues, humility and fraternity.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

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