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Issue Home March 3, 2010 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Bravo To Them

Bravo for Gail Rendle for speaking up to the insufferable religious bores who apparently forget this country's supposed separation of church and state and continue to cram their personal beliefs down our throats ad nauseam! As she said in so many words, if they don't approve of abortion rights, then don't have an abortion. The newspaper is not the place to go on and on about your religious beliefs. I'm sure you wouldn't be interested in hearing mine and frankly I wouldn't waste my breath telling you about them.

And bravo for Stephen Van Eck for speaking up about the hypocrisy of the "teabaggers" who so conveniently overlook the insane spending and trumped up, false war of the Bush administration and would find fault with anything the Democrats do.

The Republicans would not, if in control again, do anything about healthcare and would stand by like idiots as the system self destructs. And now all they do, like hoody kids in the back row, is sneer and blurt out nasty remarks at the ones who try to accomplish things. Pathetic.


Margaret Karmazin

Susquehanna, PA

Gearing Up For World War

Could the world's sole superpower, the United States, have at its command the most up-to-date yet out-of-date military? Sounds like a contradiction and it was until November 2006.

The supercarrier, USS Kitty Hawk, plied the China Sea. The carrier signaled a not-so-subtle reminder to China that America's power had a long reach, extending all the way to Taiwan.

The carrier sailed inside an impenetrable cocoon. She was surrounded by 12 ships: guided missile cruisers, antiaircraft warships, and antisubmarine destroyers. Beneath the waves, two hunter-killer subs patrolled the waters listening for the tell-tale sounds of enemy subs. Overhead, surveillance planes flew a constant vigil.

But there was a 13th vessel among them; a Chinese submarine had surfaced right in the middle of the task force and well within torpedo range to the giant carrier.

No one knows how long the surfaced sub accompanied the flotilla, but she was finally spotted by a plane flying routine surveillance.

It was a major provocation fumed the Navy; a diplomatic embarrassment huffed the politicians; no, it was just a “coincidence” claimed the Chinese - so sorry. It was also a case of one-upmanship in which the U.S. took second place.

The Navy was dumbstruck. How were the Chinese able to evade the technological wizardry meant to detect potential threats to the carrier, and how were the Chinese able to progress so far and so fast?

The stealthy sub was reported to be armed with Russian-made wake-homing torpedoes. These fish follow the noisy and turbulent waters of a ship's screws; they are undetectable.

Its warhead of 660 pounds of high explosive could have destroyed the carrier's screws and rudder. She would be dead in the water no longer able to launch or land planes. The Kitty Hawk would be as helpless as a beached whale.

And if the sub were carrying the Russian-made Shkval torpedoes, the imagined scenario would be worse. A spread of six of these ship-wreckers traveling at an unstoppable 370 mph and slamming broadside into the Kitty Hawk might have sent the ship and her crew of 4,500 to the bottom.

Yet, even the Shkval will soon be outmoded. The Russians are developing a torpedo that has a speed of 560 mph. (Compare that to the U.S. Mark 48 that has a speed of 86 mph.)

The Army's pride of place is the Abrams M1-A2 battle tank. Shielded by the latest in composite armor, carrying an exquisitely accurate 120 cannon in a stabilized turret, and powered by a gas turbine engine, the 68-ton behemoth is thought to be the world's best - but not by the Chinese.

The Chinese are working on a new tank design, one that will leapfrog the 9,000 Abrams' tanks. The 99A2 will have a crew of two and rely solely on missiles. Meanwhile, the Abrams is anticipated to be in service for the next forty years. Like an armored anklosaur, the Abrams is a relic enduring past its time.

What about the U.S. Air Force's showpieces, the stealth F-117A and the B-52? Can they be compared to winged pterosaurs and take their place among other military fossils?

Radar detection and evasion have been playing a cat-and-mouse game for decades. But the U.S. investment of $40 billion in stealth technology seemed to have ended the contest. Radar detects a plane by reflecting radio waves back to a receiver. But stealth technology deflects the radio waves up, down, or sideways, not back to a receiver.

However, an array of radars designed to detect deflected radio waves may render stealth technology obsolete. John Shaeffer, author of the standard textbook on radar detection, has doubts about the future of stealth. “I'm not sure,” he said, “that there's a real pony in there.”

Generals are always fighting the last war. What were the premiere weapons of WW II: the aircraft carrier, the tank, and the airplane. More than 60 years later, like untimely remnants of the Jurassic Age, these ancient weapons remain the tip of the spear for today's military.

As we said, the most up-to-date yet out-of-date military of the world's lone superpower - but for how long?


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

Alice In Wonderland

I am beginning to seriously wonder about the White House and the Democrat majorities in the House and Senate. We are hovering near 10% unemployment and are facing a trillion dollar plus deficit for the year and what are we doing about it? The answer, pure and simple, is nothing. The talk is about jobs, jobs, jobs but the walk is about nationalized healthcare. The talk is about freezing 13 percent of the budget at current spending levels, the discretionary part which has ballooned in large part in recent years. The walk is a two trillion dollar healthcare bill and unending increases in our deficit. Our economy is lying dead in the water a year down the road from the election of ’08 and there are none of the tried and true fixes in place. You know what they are and, for the most part, you are not even Harvard educated. They are reduce taxes and reduce spending. Where in the world is he coming from (or rather: from where does he come)? For lack of a better bet, I would call it La-La Land.

There are only two possible reasons for this. One is that this is intentional, right out of the “Cloward & Piven” playbook (Wikipedia) to transform our Republic into a Socialist State. The other is that he is incredibly out of touch with reality (Wonderland). I am inclined to bet on the former but, it really doesn’t matter. Either way will wreck our economy and the future which we hope for our children and their children. There is a solution to all this and it is the election of November 2, 2010. At that time we can stop this erosion of our Republic in its’ tracks and, if the change in the composition of the Senate and House is great enough, we could even throw the rascals out. Now wouldn’t that be something?


Joe McCann

Elk Lake, 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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