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Issue Home May 17, 2005 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

No More Smoke Screens!

I am very disturbed about the recent trend of personal attacks in political campaigns. While this year there are mainly local races, and very little on the state and national levels, recent years have resorted to candidates attacking each other with half truths, sometimes out and out lies, and taking things so far out of context that they might as well be lies. I personally believe, for example, that people do not want to hear about an incumbent’s personal affairs, but the way they handle taxpayers’ money, views on issues, etc.

The recent incident with Congressman Sherwood has motivated me to write this. While I am not very happy with these reports, they are none of my business. HOWEVER, there are some very important issues that I do take great exception to with regard to the Congressman’s performance in office. Namely, Congressional Investigations of Professional Baseball and fights over the 10 Commandments while the price of fuel is literally destroying our nation’s stability.

Think about it: Can you show me one person who has had their livelihood, their ability to provide for their family threatened, hindered, or infringed upon in any way by the public display of the 10 Commandments? How about the price of fuel?

Think about it: What good will Congressional Investigations of Professional Baseball do if people cannot afford to put fuel in the tank to drive to the stadium, or will not pay for the ticket to see the game because they are saving money for fuel in the car and home heating tanks?

Think about it: How will any education plan help any kids learn if they cannot get to school?

Think about it: What about Law Enforcement, and National Security? Just how much more in tax dollars are we going to need to pay to make up for their fuel consumption?

Think about it: Just how are we going to have good tourism with the jacking of fuel prices out of sight?

In addition, just how does the Congressman (or Senators Santorum and Specter) expect any plan to save Social Security when this price gouging of fuel will put half the country out of work? Nobody working equals nobody paying into social security! This is not rocket science.

I also find it laughable that many of our distinguished Senators and Congresspersons received “Friend of Farmer” awards, while the farmers are struggling with making a decent living due to the price of fuel. I don’t know if anyone informed our good Congressman or Senators, but the farmers’ tractors do not move across the fields without fuel. Perhaps the award should be titled “Friend of Professional Baseball” instead.

Not only are we being held hostage by “foreign oil baron terrorists” with regard to the price gouging of fuel, but now we are open to a whole new form of terrorism. If we allow them to put our family farms out of business, we will give foreign interests something else to hold us hostage over: the price of FOOD! There is in my humble opinion absolutely no reason for the price gouging of fuel. The so called “experts” are nothing more than “excuse generators” spreading their propaganda about why the price of fuel is so high. Let’s start calling them what they are: “Foreign Oil Baron Terrorists”, and their “Excuse Generators”! With this new form of terrorism, we no longer need to worry about terrorists guns and bombs. All they need to do is keep their “back-room political connections” to the oil barons and they will destroy the U.S. without one shot being fired, one bomb exploding, or one hijacking.

Possible solutions: Well, as much as I like the idea of boycotting Exxon/Mobile, that would be like putting a band-aid on a gun shot wound. Quick fixes will not give lasting results. I was happy to see the students at Scranton H.S. making their public statement this past week. That was an excellent start. Those kids really showed good thought and devotion to their community and should be commended! We first must realize that the free market can no longer control the price gouging of fuel. I am a very conservative person; however, we must at least acknowledge that we need fuel as much as we need air and water. Second, we must send a message to our U.S. Senators and Congresspersons that we no longer want to listen to excuses, political “run around” answers to questions, hear about Congressional Investigations of Professional Baseball, fights over the 10 Commandments, etc., until the price of oil is fixed. There is no solving any other issue until the price gouging of oil is stopped! I am sorry to say that Senators Santorum and Specter’s complacency, support of these distracting smoke screens, and lack of action makes them just as guilty as our good Congressman.

My suggestion would be to start a nation wide campaign to fire these people at the ballot box. If this type of irresponsibility was observed in the private sector, the employee would no doubt be fired. Re-elect NO U.S. Senator or U.S. Congressperson next year. It is time to pledge to make NO personal digs about any ones personal life, and fire these guys. Then, tell the ones we put in, fix it or they will be “one termers”. Let them know in no uncertain terms that we are sick and tired of wasting our tax dollars. This may mean voting outside our political parties. So Be It! I fear that once the price gouging of fuel starts to have long term effects, people are not going to care about left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, Democratic vs. Republican, or any other ideology vs. ideology. I fear that we are racing towards and economic disaster that will make the Great Depression of the 1930's look like a “Sunday School Picnic”. No more political double talk or excuses. “We’re working on it”, and “It won’t be fixed over night” are unacceptable answers! If you want to keep your cushy high salary job, you “ best get to fixin’ ”, and fix it NOW! Do your job or you’re fired!

Good friends and neighbors, this is not a partisan issue. We must put aside all differences until this problem is taken care of. This issue is bigger than any one of us, bigger than any of our other differences. Lets put aside any and all animosities. We can have plenty of time to fight over the other issues once this “oil hostage crisis” is over. Feel free to email me at if you would like to get involved and see what we can do to help!


Barney Wilkins

Gibson Township

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