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An Embarrassment

In a unanimous, and therefore bipartisan vote, the United States Senate passed a resolution to reinstate formal dress code.

This is excellent news. The US Senate was conceived by our Founding Fathers to be a deliberative body with civility, decorum and rules to make it such. If Senator Embarrassment for Pennsylvania cannot follow the rules he should resign and we will elect someone who can.

In 1801 Thomas Jefferson wrote of the rules of the Senate, "It is much more material that there should be a rule to go by, than what that rule is; that there may be a uniformity of proceeding in business, not subject to the caprice of the Speaker [presiding officer], of captiousness of the members. It is very material that order, decency, and regularity be preserved in a dignified public body."

A little later, in 1866 Charles Sumner stated, "The rules are more even than a beautiful machine; they are the very temple of constitutional liberty."

Woodrow Wilson, in 1907 said, "The fact that the Senate has kept its original rules of debate and procedure substantially unchanged, is very significant."

In a quote that could refer to our junior Senator from Pennsylvania, Mrs. John A. Logan, the wife of a long-serving Senator, said, "Nothing offends so much as violations of Senate traditions of dignity and respect and courtesy. The one, unpardonable sin in the Senate is to be unsenatorial."

There's your history lesson for the day.


Ed Arzouian, Lanesboro, PA

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Double Set Of Justice

In reference to Dave Dudzinski's 9/13/23 Times-Tribune "Hold Trump Accountable" letter, the Democrats seem to be trying everything they can possibly do to do just that, so now per Kevin McCarthy 9/12/23, the Republicans are going to have an Impeachment Inquiry into the entire Biden's Family alleged corruption, influence, violations and wrong doing they have been involved in for many years. It's about time this is happening, and we'll see if the Biden's are ever held accountable for what they have apparently done to the US and its citizens. Somehow, someway we've got to get rid of the double set of justice system we have in the USA. It's not fair and honest to all of us!


John Hollenback, Greenfield Township, PA

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No Problem, Thanks Anyway

Thank you for publishing my occasional Letters to the Editor. I'm not sure if what I am writing here is a follow-up to my Letter to the Editor in the Sept. 13th edition, or more of a stream on consciousness type thing, but what an interesting thing, this library controversy happening in such a relatively remote location, though I suspect similar scenarios are playing out in many places.

I appreciated the Letter of Sam Feddis and your response in this past week's issue of the Transcript. I didn't quite understand what Mr. Feddis was referring to when he wrote, "I find it very strange that a newspaper would run as an article a letter written by the library board on a controversial issue without bothering to examine the entire story and get input from opponents of the proposed policy change." I had to review last week's issue to realize that Kris Ely wrote the article in question, with the implication she was a reporter and not an interested party; it was notable that she referred to herself in the third person several times. So I certainly see Mr Feddis' point. Likewise I agree with you that the job of true journalism is to present all views.

Obviously you don't know my background, but at 65 I've had some life experiences probably atypical for most Americans. This includes having been a Federal government employee, both military and civilian, as well as a NY state employee. I've also had significant interactions with the governments/bureaucracies of Honduras and Kenya, and to a lesser extent Guatemala and Uganda (I don't mean to sound grandiose, almost all of my dealings concerned local issues). The reason I mention this is that whenever I hear, as was noted in the writings of Kris Ely that, "There is nothing we can do, it's the law," my antenna go up. For an example, the recent prohibition of archery programs at local school levels by the Federal government, with the latter essentially claiming, "It's the law," in relation to the "Safer Communities Act of 2022." Clearly banning archery programs was not the intention of that bill, yet those in power used it to creatively extrapolate interpretations.

Anyway, I am often frustrated when opposing sides talk at each other without compiling basic information. In the library situation I side with those who oppose the proposed changes, recollecting, for example, that the Board chairman at a recent meeting allotted a very brief two minutes for the attendees to express themselves, apparently at a whim. With this said, I think it would be a fine thing to ask Kris Ely specific questions, the answers which might clear the air (or elicit more controversy). Hence, I compiled a list of questions I would ask if I had standing. Then again, perhaps as a card holder and tax payer I do have standing:

What exactly is the current policy/practice, and in what manner is it problematic?

What is the proposed change, and why the proposed change?

There is a perception the Board tried to make this change sub rosa, so to speak (with indications supporting this assertion): what is your response? And if you agree, what was the reason for it being carried out in such a manner?

At the Board meeting that was initially covered in the Transcript there were allusions to the change was merely to comply with state law though, as it was, the law could not be cited. Later, in the director's article the law was specified, almost as if it was a retroactive process, i.e. looking for a law to justify a policy. Do you have any comment on this? Has the library received any kind of notice threatening to cut off funding? If so, why now versus the many years the current policy has been in effect?

The American Library Association has made national news with the ascension of Emily Drabinski as president, largely due to her loudly proclaiming, "I just cannot believe that a Marxist lesbian who believes that collective power is possible to build and can be wielded for a better world is the president-elect of @ALALibrary, I am so excited for what we will do together. Solidarity!" (To me these are the words that might be expected of a spoiled and chronically offended rich kid attending Oberlin College, not a mature professional.) So, does the Susquehanna Library System have any affiliation with the ALA, either at the local level or perhaps statewide? If so, does the System support the ALA in the form of dues/membership fees, and how much are these? What are the benefits of association with the ALA?

If a minor has their own card, does that incur responsibility on the minor's part, such as making restitution of a lost or damaged item?

Why should a librarian or library worker have the right to know what a child is checking out, whereas the parent should not?

Are their any restrictions on what a minor may check out, either under the current policy or the amended one you desire or does any card holder regardless of age have carte blanch?

In closing, I want to mention what a curious form of democracy we've evolved, where a faceless bureaucrat can compel a community to comply or else: "Do what we demand or we will cut off your funding!" Often I wish the reply would be, "no problem, and thanks anyway."

Kind regards,

Reid Fitzsimons, Thompson, PA

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Registration Requires Legislation

With Gov. Josh Shapiro announcing Tuesday his administration will be implementing an automatic voter registration system in Pennsylvania, House Republican Leader Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said that new system should be created through legislation, not executive guidance.

"The problem here is not necessarily the end, but the means. The governor is following the sad and misguided precedent set by his predecessor that recognizes our election laws need updating and modernized but then disenfranchises the General Assembly from exercising its constitutional prerogative to make laws," Cutler said. "This unilateral action on the eve of what is likely to be a hotly contested and close election will cause many Pennsylvania voters to continue to question the security and results of our system."

Cutler also noted the irony of automatically registering people to vote when they obtain a state-issued identification, but then not requiring them to show that identification when they proceed to vote.

"Voter identification is a widely supported proposal that makes more sense than ever with this move toward automatic voter registration. If the Commonwealth is automatically registering people to vote when they obtain identification, they should then be required to provide that identification when they vote," Cutler said.

In addition, Cutler pointed out questions remain about how automatic voter registration will work practically in terms of determining voter eligibility and the additional burdens it will place on an already stressed bureaucracy.

"Just because someone is eligible for a state-issued identification card does not mean they are eligible to vote. With legislative proposals that would provide driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and the ability to vote taken away from those who commit serious crimes, there has been no information provided to us about how automatic voter registration will remain nimble in the face of change and workable in the determination of eligibility," Cutler stated. "Even more concerning is that the burden of determining eligibility could further stress an executive branch that continues to fall short of Pennsylvania's expectation of top-notch customer service. It is remaining questions like these that underscore the need to have major policy changes like this vetted through the legislative process instead of hasty unilateral executive action."


Rep. Bryan Cutler, 100th Legislative District

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Shame On The US Senate

Shame on Chuck Schumer and the US Senate for allowing the dumbing down of the dress code in the Senate chamber of the United States of America. They are degrading the Senate Chamber in the same way that Joe Biden has degraded the United States of America in the eyes of the world.


Betty Hendsbee, Sebring, FL

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