Dear Dr. Scribblerflag:

Over a month ago, I left a voice mail with Republican Headquarters on Columbia Avenue reminding them that their American flag was torn, faded and frayed. Crickets. It is only worse now. Apparently, these “patriots” are more concerned about a football player taking a knee. What do you think?

Jack Howell

Lancaster Township

Dear Jack:

The Scribbler thinks your photo accompanying this column hardly shows that flag in its worst form, Jack. When billowing in the wind, the flag was even more obviously torn, faded and frayed.

The Scribbler uses the past tense because a new flag is flying. On Tuesday morning, the Scribbler called the headquarters of the Republican Committee of Lancaster County. “Michael,” who declined to provide his last name, said he knew nothing about the voicemail or the condition of the flag outside his building.

He called back at noon and said a new star-spangled banner would wave over GOP headquarters before the sun set.

Thanks, Jack, for flagging that down.

Dear Dr. Scribblercard:

Your Dec. 12 column on the number of Benuels in the Amish community stated that the Amish do not participate in Social Security and so wouldn't be counted. I don't think that is accurate. My understanding is that they do have to pay in. They choose not to collect.

So I think they would be required to have a Social Security number and card. Thus, their names would be recorded in the counts.

Lisa Garrett


Dear Lisa:

You are wrong, Lisa, and you are right.

As a group, the Amish have been exempt from paying into Social Security since the 1960s. Amish who work for “English” employers who are not exempt must pay into Social Security, but most Amish work within their own community and do not pay.

In order to become exempt from paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, the Amish must fill out IRS form 4029, by which they waive their rights to receive benefits.

But in exchange for form 4029, all Amish receive a Social Security number. Therefore, the Social Security Administration's record of babies born with the first name Benuel would include Amish names.

As the Scribbler stated in the December column, Social Security recorded only 764 babies named Benuel from 1880 to 2019. The Scribbler also stated that those babies would not include Amish Benuels because they are not recorded by the Social Security system. But they are recorded.

Therefore, including Amish Benuels during all those years would seem to reinforce the Scribbler's bottom-line assertion that there may have been more Amish than “English” Benuels in America.

Dear Dr. Scribblerstump:

I enjoy your weekly articles and the Dec. 5 article was especially interesting since I graduated from Northern Lebanon High School located in Fredericksburg.

You mention Frederick Stump and Hans Eisenhower, who I’m sure is an ancestor of President Eisenhower. Local history mentions the Eisenhower clan living in the Fredericksburg area prior to the clan moving west; however, we don't know exactly where they lived.

Rodger Brown


Dear Rodger:

You are correct about the connection between Hans Nicholas Eisenhauer, Frederick Stump's bonded servant and partner in American Indian-killing sprees, and the 34th president of the United States.

Greg Grandin mentions that relationship in an end note in “The End of the Myth” (the book the Scribbler referenced in the Dec. 5 column). Eisenhauer (aka Ironcutter) was a great-great-great grandfather of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Jack Brubaker, retired from the LNP staff, writes “The Scribbler'' column every Sunday. He welcomes comments and contributions at

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