National terrorism fanned by rhetoric

The flame of nationalism in America has been brought to a boiling point. The need to return to the moral foundation that built our country is urgent.

We appear to have forgotten the lessons visible in acclaimed books by authors like George Orwell and William Shirer. “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” clearly described how a great, learned culture in Germany could be brought to committing genocide, by the fiery hate-filled rhetoric of a madman.

The social media of the “dark web” has attracted followers’ intent on stirring white nationalism and xenophobia, bringing danger to our collective society. Shall we speak out about this danger, or continue to remain silent, and go about our daily routine like those in Stanley Kramer’s 1960 movie “Ship of Fools”?

Dale Aulthouse


Write-in campaign is not conspiracy

Gerrymandering? Really?

Quite frankly, the claim is not surprising given today’s divisive partisan politics. This feckless assertion is a clear attempt to disparage a legitimate election process and defame the intent and character of the candidate, all in an effort to create a negative opinion of both. The reality is that Roger Bunn’s write-in campaign is reflective of his dedication to service to his country and his community. It’s who he is. To suggest that his write-in campaign is some sort of nefarious conspiracy with the Tioga County Republican Committee to reject the will of the county electorate is preposterous.

In November, constituents may only vote for two county commissioner candidates and at the end of the day the top three vote getters will be our next county commissioners. For anyone to guarantee a specific outcome would require a coordinated effort with every registered voter in Tioga County to ensure that the right mix of paired write-in and printed candidate votes were cast in order to ensure that the final vote count favored a specific triad of candidates.

A long time ago, in a land far away, my high school civics teacher believed it was our patriotic duty to register to vote when first eligible. He also emphasized that, regardless of party affiliation, we had the obligation to know enough about all the candidates in order to be an educated, informed voter. He explained how casting a straight party ticket every time we voted would likely not always elect the candidate who best represented our values and legislative objectives.

In November, informed voters will reject the idea that their vote should be tied to an “R” or “D” behind a candidate’s name and vote for whomever they believe will move the county forward in a way that benefits all Tioga County constituents.

Lt. Colonel Mike Lichty, USAF, Retired


Nation needs to act, not react, to mass shootings

Last weekend’s mass shooting in Dayton represents the 256th mass shooting incident in the United States in 2019 with more than 1,300 people killed or injured. A mass shooting is commonly defined as four or more shot at roughly the same time or incident.

In Dayton, Ohio, some 35 people were wounded or killed. Police responded less than a minute after the first shots were fired. The carnage caused in 35 seconds was due to the shooters use of a semi-automatic assault style weapon and high capacity magazines legally purchased.

Seven of the 10 most deadly mass shootings have occurred since 2007 and all involved a semi-automatic rifle or handgun. High-capacity magazines were used in roughly half of mass shootings. These assault-style weapons also cause more severe injuries.

The United States alone has approximately one-third of the world’s mass shootings. They have tripled since 2011. The United States has the world’s highest per capita gun ownership at 120 guns per 100 people. The next highest is Yemen. The perpetrators of the majority (some 54%) of these mass shootings are not illegal immigrants or foreign terrorists, but white male citizens.

Rather than having a spirited Congressional debate on addressing this problem, as has been the case in other countries, we are spending tens of millions hardening our schools, churches and places of public assembly. Rather than lead, we are reacting, attempting to reduce the consequences of inaction. Whether right or wrong, it appears that the primacy of an unrestricted right to bear arms, has resulted for many American families in a loss of their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Kevin Connelly