Northeast Times

Letters to the Editor (June 19, 2013)

Rat Res­cue mem­bers make them­selves look silly

A hu­man­ist in the mold of Erasmus, I cringe when those sup­port­ing what might be a worthy cause ad­opt po­s­i­tions li­able to make them look silly or have their con­cerns dis­missed as laugh­able.

So just when we thought polit­ic­al cor­rect­ness couldn’t get any daf­fi­er, North­east Times read­ers are treated to a mem­ber of our city’s here­to­fore un­her­al­ded Philly Rat Res­cue spar­ing a mo­ment from her oth­er­wise richly re­ward­ing life to cas­tig­ate polit­ic­al car­toon­ist Tom Stig­lich for com­par­ing heart­less ter­ror­ists to … um, rats.

She sup­ports the Mickey Mouse con­ten­tion, Rats Are Our Friends, by sug­gest­ing the Black Death was not spread by ro­dents, but by “fleas and hu­mans who traveled fre­quently throughout Europe … Re­cent find­ings in Europe have shown this as well.”

Eight-hun­dred years fol­low­ing the dis­sol­u­tion of the Ro­man Em­pire of the West are termed Dark Ages pre­cisely be­cause few traveled. Roads turned green with grass, tree roots knocked down town-walls, har­bors sil­ted-up, weeds stilled cours­ing rivers, trade hal­ted and lan­guage changed every 20 miles. You didn’t speak Lat­in, you wer­en’t un­der­stood two days’ stroll from your own chim­ney-smoke.

And the fleas lived on genus Rat­tus. Rats were the vec­tor – the host – just as birds spread avi­an flu by what lives on the birds.

So, cuddle these wee furry charm­ers all you want, be both “in­sul­ted and dis­tressed,” just don’t mouth in pub­lic for­um with shoddy, ill-con­ceived facts laud­ing your pet pro­ject and please don’t live in my neigh­bor­hood.

Jerry Briggs

May­fair

Holo­caust edu­ca­tion is ne­ces­sary 

I would like to re­spond to Mike Zecca’s let­ter pub­lished last week op­pos­ing man­dated Holo­caust edu­ca­tion in the schools and chas­tising sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing state Rep. Brendan Boyle and state Sen. An­thony Wil­li­ams.  

Mr. Zecca ar­gues that the of­fi­cials are “pan­der­ing” to a spe­cial in­terest group by pro­mot­ing Holo­caust edu­ca­tion. If by spe­cial in­terest group, he is re­fer­ring to Jews, I must re­mind him that in ad­di­tion to 6 mil­lion Jew­ish murder vic­tims, Hitler killed 6 mil­lion non-Jews in the camps and oth­er places, in­clud­ing polit­ic­al op­pon­ents, gays, Roma, men­tally chal­lenged and oth­ers. In fact, 1,700 priests were murdered in the camps.  

If he thinks, as in­dic­ated later in his let­ter, that the Holo­caust did not af­fect “us,” he needs to be told that what star­ted out as hatred and bigotry was fol­lowed by all-out war that cost the lives of over 50 mil­lion people, in­clud­ing too many brave Amer­ic­ans.

While sci­ence, math and tech­no­logy are ne­ces­sary com­pon­ents to a great edu­ca­tion, there is no more im­port­ant les­son that can be learned by our young people than what hatred and in­tol­er­ance can lead to. 

For those of you who read his let­ter with equal dis­gust, let me as­sure you that we at the Mu­seum do not re­gard it as a “wake up call.”  We have been awake for dec­ades.  

In the school year about to end, we sponsored more than 260 sur­viv­or pro­grams reach­ing over 35,000 stu­dents, mostly in the five-county area. Our 20 sur­viv­ors and ac­com­pa­ny­ing fa­cil­it­at­ors have done edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams in pub­lic, private, charter and pa­ro­chi­al schools to young audi­ences who sit in awe of hav­ing the op­por­tun­ity to listen to eye­wit­ness testi­mony from people who lived through the darkest peri­od in hu­man his­tory. They use the ex­ample of the Holo­caust to help our young people un­der­stand the con­sequences of gov­ern­ment-sponsored hatred (Cam­bod­ia, Dar­fur, Rwanda, Bos­nia).  

Many of these pro­grams, which are fol­lowed by ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sions, end with stand­ing ova­tions for our hero-sur­viv­ors.

But reach­ing 35,000 stu­dents a year is not enough. The Boyle and Wil­li­ams le­gis­la­tion will provide an op­por­tun­ity for hun­dreds of thou­sands more stu­dents throughout Pennsylvania to learn a life les­son that un­for­tu­nately is ne­ces­sary in a world where Holo­caust den­iers are on the rise.

“Spe­cial in­terests” and  “pan­der­ing” for votes?  It is our fer­vent wish that their col­leagues see the im­port­ance  of this le­gis­la­tion and join them in this ne­ces­sary en­deavor.  

For the read­ers who are in­ter­ested in help­ing us in our mis­sion, please con­tact us to see what you can add to our amaz­ing pro­gram.

Chuck Feld­man

Pres­id­ent, Holo­caust Aware­ness Mu­seum at Klein JCC

Don’t re­ward il­leg­al ali­ens with cit­izen­ship

At the present time, we are so over­whelmed by gov­ern­ment scan­dals that we might over­look the glar­ing ab­use be­ing per­pet­rated right be­fore our eyes.

Our pre­cious gift of cit­izen­ship is be­ing de­val­ued like the U.S. dol­lar by cor­rupt politi­cians. il­leg­al ali­ens, and their many well-fun­ded ad­voc­ates, make de­mands, and we suc­cumb. There is no re­spect or grat­it­ude for our lar­gesse. Our coun­try and its rule of law are be­ing dis­mantled/des­troyed with the help of our elec­ted of­fi­cials. We must re­fuse to sit back and watch it hap­pen. We must be ad­voc­ates for the law-abid­ing cit­izens of the United States.

Un­for­tu­nately, we are in a battle with our own gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials for the sur­viv­al of our coun­try. Our weapons are phone calls, emails and faxes to let our le­gis­lat­ors know that we are firmly against their pro­posed thou­sand-page im­mig­ra­tion re­form le­gis­la­tion. We don’t need re­form; we need our cur­rent laws to be en­forced.

Our le­gis­lat­ors, Demo­crats and Re­pub­lic­ans alike, are schem­ing to pass a re­form bill by Aug. 1, just be­fore they go on va­ca­tion. Will you join us in thwart­ing their ef­forts? Be per­sist­ent; be di­li­gent. A phone call a day, an email a day, a fax a day isn’t too much to ask. It’s the least we in­formed pat­ri­ots can do to save our be­loved coun­try.

Mar­garet W. Ad­els­ber­ger

Wil­low Grove

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