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Issue Home February 10, 2010 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Screw Me Twice

As we move into high political season, you can rest assured that you are going to hear lofty promises regarding what the campaigning politicians are going to do for you. Now that Scott Brown is seated you will hear: We need to slow down, we need to get those dirty banks, we need to control their pay. Once upon a time, not too long ago, there were commercial banks and investment banks. That barrier was removed and you see the result. Shouldn’t we reinstate that instead of getting into pay plans? Unless you have a very short memory (or none at all), you will recall that you were promised an open, transparent government, bi-partisan approach to the problems facing our nation and a pledge to turn the country around and get the economy growing again. So what did we get? A health care bill opposed by a large majority of the people, special favors to unions and political payoffs and plans to exponentially expand the Federal government. We have an administration spending borrowed money like drunken sailors (my apologies to the sailors) all the while cooking the books and running up the national debt (which will burden our prodigy for generations). We have kissed the butt of just about every dirtbag in the world, apologizing for being the country which happened to save the world from the goose step and the gulag. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of it.

I am proud of America - today and every day of my life. I was appalled by the behavior of the Republican Party which set us up for the debacle we are now experiencing. I have become a political Independent. I now have a new problem. The election laws are stacked against a third party. So, I am going to work to reinvigorate the Republican Party, but without the Progressives. How, by vetting the candidates regarding their values and voting records, if any, reviewing their actions vis a vis their stated positions and making the Parties know that Independents are a force to be reckoned with. And when I find those that meet my conservative standards, working to elect them. I will also work against those who have sold us down the river. I have had enough of bait and switch for a lifetime. Screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.

Which brings me to a little publication of which you might have an interest. It is titled Citizens Rule Book, published since 1972 by Whitten Printers, 1001 South 5th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004. For two bucks, postage included, they will send you a copy. It is the size of a checkbook, 62 pages in length. It contains, among other things, the complete Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rest of the Amendments as well as the Declaration of Independence. It also lists your very powerful rights as a Juror and selected quotes by our Founding Fathers. Since the NEA has made it a point of dumbing down our country’s history, this booklet has the power to open your eyes to the rights we have which are under attack. I carry mine in my shirt pocket so that I never forget what the Founding Fathers gave to me. It also reminds me of how far we have gone astray.


Joe McCann

Elk Lake, PA

Indeed, They Hate America

In the January 20 issue, this paper ran a letter by Bruce & Edna Paskoff. I found it disgraceful and I tried to let it slide, but given that these persons have been published subsequently and may be making a habit of it, I can no longer keep silent.

The original letter was overly long (by far), and it read like something they downloaded from a right-wing website, rather than being their own work. It was an ugly screed that questioned people's patriotism, repeated discredited lies about Health Care Reform, and piled on as much negative insinuation as it could. The latter was based mostly on slant, ad hominem, and guilt by association. Things like "pro-abortion" and "pro-gun control" were offered as categorical disqualifications from public service, and loaded accusations like "Marxist" and "socialist" were liberally (pun intended) doled out. They probably don't even know what these words mean, since to Rightists they're vague all-purpose slurs.

Let me show them, and Transcript readers, how easy it is to play this nasty little game. Enjoy the following illustration.

George W. Bush! His associates include:

Ted Haggard - disgraced preacher who got drugs for his gay lover.

"Pat" Robertson - agreed with radical Rev. Falwell that America "got what it deserved" on 9/11. Blame America first, eh?

Billy Graham - another America hater. Said "if God doesn't judge America, he needs to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah."

See? All basically true. And I kept it succinct, unlike the Paskoffs.

I have no doubt that the Paskoffs will utterly fail to comprehend what I'm saying and will thus not take any of it to heart. But I'll still look forward to more rabid rants by them. Motivated by paranoia and hate as they clearly are, they make my job of exposing right-wing zealots so much easier. It is the rightists' Americanism that needs questioning, not to mention their decency. And since they hate so many Americans, they do indeed hate America.


Stephen Van Eck

Rushville, PA

The Letter

She prowls, silent as a shadow, three miles deep in a world of perpetual night lit only by the flickering stars of bioluminescent creatures. From its stern trails a long, hair-thin copper wire, an aerial, its only contact with the outside world for three months.

It is a United Kingdom's submarine, a Trident. The U-boat is armed with 16 ICBMs each with a warhead containing ten independently targetable nuclear bombs. The destructive power of this one vessel is beyond all comprehension.

Each of its 160, 20 megaton A-bombs is equivalent to ten times all the explosives used in World War II. What would happen if just one of these bombs were dropped on a city, say New York City?

Two-and-a-half miles above New York City, the bomb detonates. In a fraction of a second a fireball expands to five miles across. Its temperature of 20 million degrees Fahrenheit instantly vaporizes all combustible material in an area of 20 square miles.

Two to four miles from ground zero: Winds reach speeds of 650 mph. Seconds later the vacuum created by the explosion causes an inward blast of air. All buildings are leveled. Even underground structures are crushed by the two pressure waves.

Four to ten miles from ground zero: The heat melts glass, and the wind has the ferocity of a category 5 hurricane. The area of total destruction now covers 80 square miles. The fatalities approach 100 percent.

Ten to 15 miles from ground zero: Winds of 100 mph send slivers of glass and fragments flying like shrapnel from a bomb.

Fifteen to 30 miles from ground zero: Those exposed to the fireball suffer second and third degree burns. Even looking at the fireball from a distance of forty miles risks blindness.

One hundred miles from ground zero: In Scranton, window panes crack and houses shake. And in Montrose, 125 miles from the epicenter and nine minutes after the explosion, a long and deep rumble is heard and felt.

The sonar men stare intently at screens designed to indicate the presence of a hunter-killer sub. Suddenly, one man monitoring incoming radio signals receives a message. He hurriedly decrypts it, races into the control room and hands it to the captain.

It reads: “Code red. Under missile attack.” The ominously short message ends with a different encryption. This encryption is decrypted. The captain compares it with one in his safe; they match. The transmission is genuine.

The captain and the XO wear two keys around their necks, one green one red. The two different green keys are necessary to open the code-red safe welded onto the floor in the control room. They insert their keys. Once opened, there is a second safe. The men use their red keys to unlock the second safe. In it is a handwritten letter.

The letter is addressed to the captain of the submarine. It is from the prime minister, Gordon Brown.

It is one of four identical letters written by the prime minister deposited in each of Britain's four ballistic missile submarines. The content is top secret. Presumably, the letters instruct the captains on what to do in case of a nuclear attack.

However, one can surmise what they do not say. If the captains are directed to retaliate, there would be coordinates for the 160 on-board missiles. The length and complexity of this information would preclude a handwritten message. No, it must be something else.

Perhaps it is a personal plea by the prime minister entreating the captains not to retaliate.

By this time the world has been plummeted by hundreds of nuclear explosions, some of far greater magnitude than 20 megatons. Clouds of radioactive debris drift over the planet, massive fires rage unabated, the earth is shrouded in smoke and ashes shutting out the sun threatening a year-long global winter and mass starvation. What would retaliation accomplish?

The captain ponders the irony of his fate. He and his crew have been nothing more that showpieces, his missiles mere stage props, the endless drills only dress rehearsals for a play never meant to be preformed.

But some time ago, we can imagine, the contents of the letters were discovered: no retaliation. Then some madman called the bluff.

Madmen and atomic bombs: the world lacks for neither.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Suits On The Loose

You've seen us walking down the street, shopping at the store, enjoying a calzone at The Depot Restaurant, or maybe you have even seen us at your front door. Who are we? We're suits on the loose! The missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

At 19 and 20 years old, we may not look like much, but the message that we share is worth more than any of us can comprehend. It is a message of love, directly from our Heavenly Father, that we undoubtedly know to be true. That's why we're here, dressed in dark suits, with a white shirt and tie, to serve you in any way we possibly can.

As representatives of Jesus Christ we are here to do as He would do and teach what He would teach. Our purpose is to serve you. No matter the occasion! Whether it be shoveling the freshly fallen snow, washing those extra dishes that you just didn't have time for, or more importantly helping you realize that you can feel cleansed from all of your sin as you become even more converted to our Savior Jesus Christ, we just want to help. Really, we do.

Most of us hail from the Western side of the country: California, Idaho, Arizona, and Utah. We have dedicated 2 years of our young lives to teaching the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in The Holy Bible and The Book of Mormon. Why do we put school, family, girlfriends, and "real" life on hold for such a length of time? The answer is simple. We believe, full-heartedly, that what we share is true.

In the Gospel according to Luke, tenth chapter and first verse we read that, "the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come." This is the pattern established by Jesus himself to carry His truth to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we bring a unique message to the world, Christian and non-Christian alike. The message that the fullness of Christ's everlasting gospel has been restored through a modern day prophet.

The prophet today is a man named Thomas Spencer Monson. He has been called of God to be a leader of the church on the Earth today. To assist him in this great calling, 12 apostles have likewise been set apart and called by modern revelation to share with us what they have learned by the Holy Spirit to help us to return to live with our Father again. What an incredible responsibility! What love God has for us! A prophet today, like Moses, or Noah, or even Isaiah. He has not left us comfortless!

The next time you see the "Suits on the Loose" think about the possibility of our Father in Heaven truly calling a prophet to minister to us today. We have answers. The word of God is very clear. We would love to serve, and share more of what we know to be true with you. It is the greatest way to be eternally happy.

If you have any questions, or are in need of service, contact us at (607)-331-5301 or (570)-853-3951. You may also check out our website www.mormon.org to find out more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


Elder Patrick Ulrich

Susquehanna, PA

Dear Editor

In my last letter, a short review of the 2010 March for Life in Washington D.C., January 22, I neglected to emphasize the total number of participants. It was estimated at well over 300,000 - that's right, three hundred thousand.

These people in the cause of protecting human life are what made the event awesome in the annals of American history. Just because the majority of network television is pro abortion, does not make the event any less significant to the cause of life on our beautiful planet earth. Every last soul is a disgrace to our humanity. Most of the marchers were young adults - universities and colleges who have learned we must stop the killing. It is destroying us morally and spiritually. For more information, go to www.lifesitenews.com.


John Mann

Susquehanna, PA

Getting It Back

In 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers lead us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements. . .our people. . .must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four and give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the 1/16 being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live on oatmeal and potatoes. . .this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second, that second for a third, and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left abut for sinning and suffering. . .Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

Are we not in this state now? Our dollar is constantly decreasing in value. Every state is scrambling to find new tax revenue. Many Americans are working multiple jobs in order to survive. The real unemployment rate hovers between 18% and 25% when you factor in those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits or have simply given up looking for non-existent jobs. Currently public debt is 53% of the GDP and increasing. Some economists predict that by 2018 our debt will be 85% of GDP and by 2022 it will be 100% of GDP!

Our president and congress show no stomach for spending cuts but plenty of enthusiasm for tax hikes on the rich and the middle class. Inflation must follow which will diminish all of our savings.

In his State of the Union address the president proposed a freeze on a portion of “discretionary” spending. It will amount to approximately $250 billion over the next ten years. This year’s budget will see planned increases in spending on more socialistic projects, including a new “stimulus” package. There is still $512 billion unspent from the “old” stimulus plan. I wonder how many jobs this one will “save” or “create.” Indeed, there is no quantitative way to calculate whether even one job was created or saved.

Obama’s plan leaves 83% of the budget untouched. The freeze affects less than 1% of the remaining 17% of government spending for three years beginning in 2011. That’s just a drop in the bucket if the bucket is the Pacific Ocean!

Soon Congress will debate the president’s proposed budget for 2011. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that it might be the largest budget proposed in the history of the world. The notion that spending trillions of dollars will reduce our deficit is preposterous.

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson. Not only do the president and congress not fear the people, they don’t even listen to us. Have faith. Soon they will be listening to the ballot box. The question remains as to whether we will be able to get our country back after all the damage that has been done.


Bruce S. Paskoff

Montrose, PA

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. 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.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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