Letters To The Editor 3/4/2019

March 4, 2019 GMT

Scavo needs to go

Editor: As a former resident of Old Forge, I was embarrassed by the Facebook posts made by perennial political also-ran Frank Scavo, regarding the Muslim faith.

As someone with three nephews who will be educated in the Old Forge School District I ask that Scavo do the right thing and step down from the Old Forge School Board. My sister, Jenna Jones Shotwell, is a member of the school board.

Scavo’s remarks are breathtakingly ignorant. They categorically disqualify him from holding public office.

I reside in New York City, home to an estimated 700,000-plus members of the Muslim faith. I live and work among Muslims every day. Scavo has nothing to fear from them.


I would invite Scavo to join me on a Muslim history walking tour of New York. There are two planned. The first is March 31. The second is April 2. More information can be found at muslimhistorytournyc.org.




Baseball’s regional nobility

Editor: Montoursville’s Mike “Moose” Mussina — and his knuckle curve — will join quite a list of NEPA greats in Cooperstown, New York, when he is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July.

Others with local connections in the hall include some with colorful nicknames and interesting stories:

■ Christy Mathewson, from Factoryville, was a pitcher known as the “Christian Gentleman,” “the Gentleman Hurler” and “Big Six.” He was even the main fictional character in one of the finest baseball novels ever written, “The Celebrant,” by Eric Rolfe Greenberg.

■ Stanley Coveleski, from Shamokin, who came from a hardscrabble background. He was a miner who developed a penchant for throwing a baseball. As a pitcher, he threw an infamous spitball, which was legal back in the early 20th century.

■ ”Big Ed” Walsh from Plains, a Chicago White Sox pitcher who inspired James T. Farrell to write the American literary classic Studs Lonigan trilogy. The name Studs was later taken as his moniker by Pale Hose fan and oral historian Louis Terkel.

■ Hughie Jennings, from Pittston, was known as “Ee-Yah” for colorful antics on the diamond as a coach and player. He would hoot and whistle and agitate foes. A fantastic tactician for the Detroit Tigers, he was also part of the great and influential Baltimore Orioles teams of the 1890s.

■ Nestor Chylak, of Olyphant, was a fine umpire from 1954 to 1978. Chylak, as an American League arbiter, worked the game when baseball was still king. He wore his chest protector on the outside during an age when the leagues had distinct and competitive differences.


It’s quite a local baseball lineage that Mussina joins. Who knows, maybe names like Spangenberg and McCarthy will join them in the future.




Deceived about socialism

Editor: It is about time that Americans get educated and informed about what “socialism” is and is not.

In true socialism, the state controls the means of production. In other words, all workplaces and businesses are owned, controlled and run by all of the people for the good and well-being of the people. They are not privately owned by individuals and groups.

Under true socialism, we would not be totally equal in terms of how much we would get paid for our work, but it would be much more equal than where we are now. There would not be billionaires or people who have hundreds of millions or tens of millions of dollars in wealth, most of which people often inherited and did not earn by their own labor. We would share what we have.

Individuals such as Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who call themselves Democratic socialists, are actually ultraliberal, progressive Democrats who believe that the federal government should do more and spend more on the safety net and other social programs that help the poor, near-poor and middle class. People in those categories have financial struggles and problems, especially medical and health care expenses.

They don’t advocate for replacement of our capitalist economic system with a truly socialist system. They support capitalism, but want an economic system that has more federal government spending to help all people, just as our traditional allies do more of that than we do in the United States.

Republicans and Democrats should stop spreading the false belief that programs like Social Security somehow make us a socialist country; they do not.



Jesus not socialist

Editor: Some people think of Jesus as a socialist.

Taken out of context, Scripture has been used to falsely support just about anything, including socialism. The claim that Jesus didn’t like rich people and wanted to eradicate poverty is not true. The Bible actually contradicts that claim.

Jesus had rich friends and said there will always be poor people. In Matthew 26, Jesus approved of a friend pouring expensive perfume on him. When the disciples questioned this luxury, Jesus responded, “For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.” I’m not saying Jesus didn’t want to help poor people, he certainly promoted charity. I say this statement doesn’t sound like someone determined to eradicate poverty.

A good illustration in Matthew 25, the parable of the servants, tells of a wealthy man who entrusts money individually to his attendants while he was away. But the money wasn’t distributed equally. The servants were each expected to invest the money wisely and have something to show for it upon their master’s return. The servant who was given the most money doubled his amount, while the servant given the least did not invest the money at all. In the parable, Jesus did not rebuke the servant who doubled his investment, or call him selfish or redistribute the wealth he earned. On the contrary, the master commended the servant with the most money for his efforts, and says, “Well done good and faithful servant.” He called the attendant who didn’t invest the money a “wicked, lazy servant.” Then the master added injury to insult by saying, “Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 . For the one who has will be given more and he will have more than enough.”

The lesson here is, no matter how meager our resources or limits we are expected to make the most of whatever opportunity God gives. This story that Jesus told doesn’t sound anything like socialism.