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Issue Home May 12, 2010 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Do You Know What It Means?

I’ve been reading the letters about the tea parties and some mean spirited men and women refer to them as tea baggers. Tell me, do you know what this term or phrase really means? Are you, yourself a tea bagger? I’ve even heard congressmen use this term. Can we not have a conversation without insulting someone?


Angelo Petriello,

Thompson, PA

Refrain From The Sacrifice Of Idols

“Refrain from the sacrifice of idols.” These are the words of Christ’s apostle James in the key note address to the church at the first council, in Jerusalem.

At present America is on the brink of anarchy. We the people are in danger of loosing our Fourteenth Amendment rights. This happened when Bart Stupak and Chris Carney voted in the president’s health care package upon his word not to fund abortion. I must say that any Catholic who agrees with this usurpation of constitutional power to kill unborn children are with these betrayers of God and man under the chastisement that is befalling the world.

Abortion is the destruction of the image and likeness of God in every human being. It is the desolating sacrilege that Holy scripture says shall occur near the end of time. We should be ashamed of abortion in our land. It is a horrible act of violence perpetuated upon our women and women world wide. If we do not make abortion unthinkable at home in our culture and government, we shall be enslaved by immorality, controlled and manipulated by anti Christ dictatorships.

The president has surrounded himself with abortionists, most of which are still Roman Catholics. It is the laities responsibility not just to do all they can to have them removed from political office, but barred from the church unless they make a public, as well as sacramental, confession (a sincere apology). If we do not, this government will create, if it can, a patriotic Catholic church as in China and persecute the faithful.

Jesus, the spotless lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, said to the women of Jerusalem who wept for Him on the way of cross: weep not for me, but rather for yourselves and your children. For if men use the green wood like this, what will happen when it is dry.

Thanks to all you unsung mothers for enduring great hardship to nurture and defend all human life!


John Mann

Susquehanna, PA

Belong On The Trash Heap

I think that even the liberal media is broadcasting the riots which have taken place in Greece last week. They may still be going on as you read this. The riots have come about because Greece cannot pay its debts, live its profligate lifestyle and continue paying the entitlements and labor contracts to which it has agreed. The unions are destroying the major economic engine which remains - tourism. The Greek situation demonstrates how difficult it is to convince people that they cannot forever live beyond their means. The wild swing in the stock market, the trader boo-boo aside, on Thursday shows just how jittery the world financial system is. And Greece is only a pimple on the butt of the world economy. What will it look like if and when it comes to us? You know, we are racing down the same road.

In America, as in the Rome of old, our government fiddles as our way of life is on the edge of conflagration. We no longer have the economic engine of manufacturing. We are a service economy - like we all have a paper route. We don’t make anything anymore. We have almost 10% unemployment and our Administration is adding gargantuan liabilities to our economy, like Obamacare, increased Federal employment, heavily subsidized “Green Initiatives” and made efforts to enact “Cap and Trade” which “will necessarily cause electric rates to skyrocket” (Pres. Obama). No effort of consequence is being done to improve the business climate, essential to creating real jobs. Those now unemployed face a grim future.

Frequently I am asked “Why are they doing that?” The answer, pure and simple, is that all of the above will hasten their goal of transforming the United States into a Socialist country (or worse). Our Pied Piper has beguiled us with his charming smile and promise of Hope and Change. Don’t know about you, but I’ve seen more than enough of all of it.

Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution states: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. We can stop this headlong race for the cliff this November by throwing out each and every member of the House who voted for Obamacare. They are not worthy to hold office. They do not represent the best interest of you or of your children. They are traitors to their oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. They belong on the trash heap of history - the sooner the better.


Joe McCann

Elk Lake, PA

Can’t Wait For The List

I read, with a good deal of interest, that the local rehab has money for home improvements, and closing costs for the local citizens. I think that's a terrific idea to help folks buy a home, as it generates taxes to pay for the program. One requirement is that you will show a good faith effort, have a credit score of 660 and other criteria.

I put my coffee down and thought, now there is a program that will carrot and stick you. Due to the bailout programs to the banks, who find it hard to part with the ill-gotten gains, I would be mighty surprised if anyone qualifies for this funding.

I read where the credit card companies have changed how they do business, which is in all reality, legalized theft. If you read your new terms of surrender to those credit cards, you probably switched over to a debit card, which only lets you spend what you have, and not a penny more. You may have also noticed that not too long ago 660 was considered very good credit, but according to discover cards ranking list, it’s now considered weak.

With all the crooks running the system, and some actually getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar, I wonder how many cousins will be eligible for this funding, and how many who are perfect for this, will be denied as they fail to meet the "criteria?"

But as with all government agencies, I am sure there will be a public announcement of all the good this program does for the chosen few, and not a list of the unpicked many.

Forgive me, my cynicism, yet I can't help the chill that runs down my spine when I think what is the criteria, what do you lose to gain, and did you understand what they are really selling you, besides south? I have always noticed that whenever a feel good program comes around, it’s mismanaged. Maybe the private sector should run this program. Private sector is not always hamstrung like the over-regulated government and keep a perspective that is lost in the world of the money-changers. Should that happen we might see more homeownership and a more evenly spread tax base. I guess I can only wait and see. And I hope there are a few good folks that even have a credit score of 660. Young folks who can't get credit, because they have none established, or older folks who through loss of some type are trying to rebuild credit can get the opportunity that the rehab funding sounds like it’s developed for. I can't wait to see the list.


Cynthia Allen

Summersville, PA

Broke Down, Worn Out, And Done In

The army was worn to a frazzle. After 14 years of war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, the US Army was on the verge of disintegration: drug use was endemic, AWOLs at record highs, racial tensions sabotaged combat effectiveness, and antagonisms between lifers and draftees undermined discipline.

Toward the end of the war, fragging, throwing a fragmentation grenade into the tent of an unpopular officer or NCO, had topped more than 300 a year. Most troubling was something the Army called “combat refusals”- mutinies.

The mood on the battlefield was matched by war weariness at home. Demonstrations of hundreds of thousands chanted, “Hell no, we won't go.” And they didn't. Legions marched off to join the ranks of expats in Canada. Others exited the draft with a college deferment. Something had to be done.

In 1973, Nixon ended the draft and established the all volunteer Army (AVA). So far, it seems to be working. After nine years of war in Afghanistan and seven years in Iraq, there are no signs of a Viet- Nam-style breakdown - but there are cracks.

The AVA is by nature small. Nevertheless, meeting recruitment goals has necessitated a trade-off of quality for quantity.

The best predictor of a good soldier is a high school diploma. Before the Mideast wars, 98 percent of recruits were high school graduates. That percentage has dropped to 70 percent. High school dropouts tend to be military dropouts.

Another top indicator of a recruit's military performance is the Armed Forces Qualification Test. Those ranking in the top 50th percentile are categorized as tier one. Tier one soldiers have fallen from a high of 84 percent to 44 percent.

Physical standards have also adapted to the new reality. Recruits who would have been rejected with health problems such as asthma, poor eyesight, hearing deficiencies, excessive weight, and inability to meet minimal physical standards, are now accepted.

Age limits, too, have been relaxed. Starting in 2006 the DOD raised the limit for recruits from 35 to 42.

Conduct waivers tripled from 5 percent of recruits in 2004 to 18 percent in 2008. These are soldiers with rap sheets ranging from misdemeanors to felonies that include burglary, aggravated assault, rape, kidnapping, and child molestation.

Today's AVA totals 540,000 men, approximately one-third that of the Army that was composed of both volunteers and draftees. Yet the deployment demands are proportionately greater. To meet these requirements the Army has resorted to multiply deployments, in some cases up to seven.

But the rigors of successive tours of duty have resulted in a record number of suicides: 133 in 2008, 160 in 2009, and in 2010 the Army expects to see the fifth year of record suicides.

AWOLs have jumped 42 percent from 2006 to 2007. Nearly 8000 go AWOL every year. And drug addiction - both prescribed and proscribed - has become a major problem.

While acts of insubordination that characterized the closing years of Viet Nam are rare, troops are finding less overt ways to circumvent orders. Soldiers have learned how to dodge roadside explosions, the No. 1 cause of death and injury. Rather than go on search and destroy missions some opt for search and avoid omissions.

A patrol will drive out one gate, find a safe place, then make periodic reports on their “patrol.” Another ploy is to send reports on a computer while vibrating the icon to simulate vehicle movement. Or simply, they leave by one gate, reenter another, spend time in a PX, then reenter where they originally left - mission accomplished.

And at home, there is growing disenchantment. An ABC news poll taken last year showed 51 percent of Americans are against the Mideast war and occupation.

Given a two-front war, the AVA cannot indefinitely sustain recruitment goals in a nation where only 25 percent of 17 to 24-year-olds are eligible for military service. How much lower will standards fall to fill the ranks?

No, the Army's not disintegrating - at least not yet. No one is scrambling to board the last helicopter out of Saigon. Even so, a keen eye can see a disturbing specter, the shade of spreading disillusionment falling over foreign battlefields. After all, what are we? Just another invading army passing through.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, 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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