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The other evening I was watching a news TV station and I saw, perhaps a one-minute segment on Darfur, in Africa, and the deaths and horrible human suffering that is happening there. Immediately following this story, there was at least a five-minute segment on Paris Hilton, followed by the latest on the American Idol. That same day, I had learned that the people calling in with their votes on the American Idol have to pay $1.00 per vote, and the last show had made millions upon millions of dollars – dollars which would have gone a very long way to help the poor victims in Africa.
I do not even watch local news any longer, for it is nothing but a litany of killings, drugs and mayhem.
America used to be a godly country. Today it seems we are having too much fun to become involved to solve our problems. But what can I do?
St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Jackson (corner of Rte. 92 and 492 intersection) will be holding a Holy hour each Thursday evening at 7:00, for the remainder of the summer, in reparation for the sins against the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A very wise man once said, "More things are brought by prayer than this world dreams of.”
Besides helping our country slow this hedonistic dive into selfishness, this hour can help bring peace to those in pain and strength to those suffering from weakness. Our Lord loves each of us as though we were the only person created. We invite you to join us in this special hour of prayer. You will not be sorry for the hour you give – you will be well compensated.
He’d Love To Hear From You
Former Oakland resident, Dr. Donald Albert, would love to hear from old friends.
Donald, the son of Lester and Helen Albert, is having some health problems.
Cards and letters may be sent to: Dr. Donald Albert, “Bay Bluffs” Rte. M 119, Harbor Spring, MI 49740.
Thanks so much, and Don would thank you also.
Divide And Conquer?
Why does it seem that America is fighting with America? It seems to me that the more we can dig at each other’s thoughts, the better we like it.
Other countries are watching this closely, and we are looking pretty easy to them, with all our bickering. The thinkers in our country better put a stop to how much should be said, like comparing China's army to America’s. Ah, heck it's our right to free speech, looks scary, huh?
I feel no one cares, it seems to go in one ear – maybe – and out the other. We better wake up fast. Before we know it we Americans could be either dead or working for some other government.
The farm issues prove it to me that no one cares who matters, and it is not that they don't know, the senators know too much, and I can't believe they are sitting back and blatantly ignoring it.
The complete arrogance of the two political parties in our country make fools out of us, one says sanitize the world, the other says slurs against our own people. Wow, it is so sad. I’d like to see that Fox News man fight the Chinese when they conquer us. Mommy!
Whatever happens, happens, but we Americans won't like the outcome.
Divide and conquer, we sure are helping them out.
Peter A. Seman
A Recipe For Disaster
The mission of your Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence Association is to reduce impaired drivers from our roadways and the harm they cause. Normally the first thought is drivers of motor vehicles; passenger cars, light and heavy trucks, and SUV’s, but motorcycle “drivers” are significantly increasing regarding impaired riders causing numerous fatalities on our roadways.
Pennsylvania has made great strides in traffic safety in recent years: DUI enforcement has decreased motor vehicle crashes in our state; our seat belt usage rate is approaching an all-time high of 90 percent; and new aggressive driving enforcement programs are netting thousands of offenders. Lives are being saved and injuries are being prevented.
However, motorcycle fatalities are increasing at an alarming rate. Pennsylvania's motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled in the past five years, from 83 in 2001 to 179 in 2006. That’s a statistic we take very seriously.
The booming popularity of motorcycles is to blame for a portion of the increase. As gas prices rise, motorcycles are becoming a popular choice in transportation. More new and inexperienced riders are hitting the road so the number of crashes will certainly rise. Also notable is the amount of impaired motorcycle operation that occurs. While drinking and driving has been stigmatized, drinking and riding continues to be all too frequent. Add impaired riding to the fact that a motorcyclist has a 4 in 5 chance of being killed or injured in a crash, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Your PA DUI Association and police departments all over Pennsylvania are asking motorcyclists to ride sober this summer. We will be conducing extra enforcement initiatives and working with motorcycle dealerships and highway safety agencies to increase the awareness of the need to be one hundred percent alert when operating motorcycles. If you’re a rider, please ride sober. As a motorist, please watch out and share the road with motorcyclists. Lives lost due to senseless and irresponsible actions of others on the road are more than just tragic. It is preventable.
Wishing you a safe and happy summer.
George C. Geisler, Jr., DRE
Law Enforcement Services Director East
Law Enforcement Services Director West
PA DUI Association
Running Under The Influence
Everything one needs to understand about politics can be summed up in one sentence: Politics starts with money, ends with money, and everything in between is green. Political offices are commodities that can be bought like any major purchase such as a house, or a college education.
Beginning on the lowest rung, a seat in the House goes for about $70,000, the cost of an average campaign. But beating an incumbent is a long shot, a sucker's bet. But if someone – let's say you – manage to raise the required venture capital, your next step is to hire a public relations firm to run your campaign.
The PR people will handle the advertising, set up radio interviews, even manage to get you on local TV. And don't worry about what to say, that's what political coaches and speech writers are for.
Let's suppose you beat the odds and win a seat in the House. You know that barring political aberrations like the 2006 midterms, more than 92 percent of successful candidates are the ones who raised the most cash. And an incumbent with a fat kitty has a 94 percent chance of being reelected.
You decide to fatten the kitty. What do you do? Nothing. Once you're in office, the money comes to you. When you walk into your Washington office that first day, the moneymen will be waiting for you, a whole army of them – the lobbyists.
There are about 35,000 registered lobbyists in Washington. Together, they pack the clout of hundreds of millions of dollars to influence legislation favorable to their clients. But "favorable legislation" is always for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many.
How powerful are the lobbies? Consider the top 30 pharmaceuticals corps. Big Pharma spends $100 million a year for lobbies and employs 1,274 lobbyists. Congressman Walter Jones said, "The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the [Medicare] bill, all 1,000 pages." Yet according to a poll of 2,100 Washington insiders, not one of the 30 made it into the top five most influential lobbies.
As far back as 1961, President Eisenhower warned the nation about the "unwarranted influence... by the military/industrial complex." During the 46 years subsequent to his famous speech, lobbyists for weapons manufactures have succeeded in ballooning U.S. military spending to the point where it exceeds the combined defense budgets of the rest of the world. What would Eisenhower have thought of that?
Now you, as a first-year House member, must choose the lobbyists – the special interest groups – to build your war chest knowing full well that it is a Faustian bargain, not for your soul, but your integrity. Sans that bargain, your first turn in office may be your last.
Important elections are big business' business. For the 2004 presidential campaign, big business wagered $262 million on Bush to win. They hedged their bet and placed $242 million on his opponent.
Perhaps that's why George Wallace said in the 1968 presidential campaign, "There's isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties." He's right. Real power lies not with the vote, but with the buck. So vote for the blue or the red if it makes you feel better – that's about all it will do.
New Milford, PA
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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