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Issue Home June 9, 2010 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

History Regurgitating Itself

The crypto-Fascists of the Republican Party are up to their old tricks again.

During the Clinton Administration, they embarked on an Impeachment Crusade in search of an offense. They were out to get him before he was even nominated! And they were willing to use all means, fair and foul. At first they poked into the old Whitewater mess, even though no illegality there could be used for impeachment, which covers only crimes committed while in office. But when that didn't pan out, they ultimately settled for a cheap sex scandal. Thankfully, their coup d'etat failed.

Now Republicans are calling for a Special Prosecutor to poke into some innocuous "Sestak-Gate." They're claiming the Administration's job offer to him is some sort of illegal bribe, when it definitely is not. It is totally fair game for them to offer a job to anyone, whether or not it would foreclose other options. Now if you wanted to work for Amalgamated Widgets, and Consolidated Widgets offers you a job so you won't benefit their rival, is that illegal? Not in the slightest. But the GOP is hoping to make it look that way to fool the American people. (A similar Rovian tactic succeeded in railroading former Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama for a non-illegal non-offense!)

Note that the Bush Administration actually bribed columnists Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher, with cash, to tout Administration policies. No Special Prosecutor there. No one was arrested. No one was fired, or even reprimanded. No one harped on it - certainly not Fox!

And Bush buying an endorsement from a Black minister (using the dubious Faith Based Initiative) is indistinguishable from a disguised bribe. There was even less to-do over that. So let's note the grotesque double standard here: real bribes ok, non-bribe is grist for spinmeisters.

If the Republican Party takes over Congress, I guarantee they'll make another ridiculous attempt to impeach over trumped-up piffle. The previous effort during the Clinton years distracted us from the looming threat of Al Qaeda. We cannot afford to replay such nonsense again, or we'll deserve the rewards of our foolishness.


Stephen Van Eck

Rushville, PA

Alternative Energies

We don't have to hurt our land, air, water to get the energy we need to be independent.

“The world’s whole petroleum resource is estimated at a million terawatts, which happens to be equal to the amount of solar energy that reaches the earth every day” (from The Independent Home by Michael Potts).

Just as the world is moving forward with sustainable and alternative energy sources and management, we are allowing our county to be raped and plundered by Big Gas.

Just as the United States consumers are buying more and more local, we allow our farmland to become an industrial zone.

We are willing to let a small minority of our fellow citizens pollute the resources one hundred percent of us use. What is sane or democratic about that? We all share this air and water.

Our aim should be to make each home energy independent. No monthly bills. That is what we can leave our children. That would be American.

Join our Citizens Watch Group and help keep this land free from exploitation from the corporate greed and check out our website: www.nepagasaction.org.


Vera Scroggins

Montrose, PA

Wolves In The Pen

There are many wolves in the sheep's pen of late. Self proclaimed "Catholic" leaders who try to drown out the voices of our shepherds. John Paul II, in The Gospel of Life, n. 101 told us, "to be actively pro-life is to contribute to the renewal of society through the promotion of the common good. It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop." Pope Benedict XVI has strongly promoted this historic encyclical. The Gospel of Life goes on to say, "therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops ... I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being ... No circumstance, no purpose, no law whatsoever can ever make licit and act which is intrinsically illicit." Therefore one cannot be Catholic and be in favor of, in any way promote or support abortion. May God have mercy on the sheep who do not hear the voice of the shepherd.


Annette Corrigan

Jackson, PA

To The Bleeding Heart

This is a memo to the “bleeding heart” for lonely sales reps with a car radio. Rush, good buddy, you told the world of your hope that President Barack Hussain Obama junior would fail. Well, I should like to know just how much failure are you hoping will fall upon his head.

Are you hoping he’ll fail to get that oil spill plugged in good time to save, say, Chesapeake Bay here on the East Coast. Just off the top of my head, this is what I’m surmising. Let’s start with a simple supposition.

Let’s just suppose that oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues until it’s stopped sometime in August. In the event that happens, the Atlantic currents will have enough oil to transport around Florida, up the East Coast, and then into the Chesapeake.

True enough, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where I live is separated from Chesapeake by Maryland. Lem’me tell ya’ something, good buddy Rush, about what I do every quarter. I pay $70 to keep the Susquehanna River clean enough to sustain the beauty and the integrity of that bay. Lem’me tell’ya something else.

It’s not so much the likely waste of my money that infuriates me. It is the shameless and remorseless and continuing arrogance of the jack asses who pursued a national policy of general deregulation.


A Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

Bless You And Yours

I am such a lucky woman; I say with pride that I live in a community that still has a sacred ceremony to lay a wreath at the town monument, to show gratitude, honor, and remember the memory of those young, and old men and women, who answered the call, with a pride and passion. And a discipline to ride the events, under a flag, that came to stand for the family they leave behind. Which is everything.

I always get teary, and my heart beats wildly, to be in the presence of true grace.

This Memorial Day, under a beautiful sky overhead, I saw and felt grace. I saw all living generations gathered there. How cool is that?

I see the "greatest" generation, pass the torch to the newest "greatest" generation, the Vietnam Veteran. I see valor and honor in these men who answered the call on hostile foreign soil, and on the motherland soil. I see that they ride to honor and welcome back the newly returning vet. I see grace and courage under fire.

I come from a long line of veterans; in fact, I can say with complete candor, I never met a veteran I didn't love. They are some of the finest people I know. I know that when a vet is serving, he leaves behind a strong woman, who is a warrior in a different type of war.

I hope in this time of great service, that we can remember the family that waits for the warrior to return, with a life experience that you pray, you will never know, or the dread that comes with the understanding.

I hope you will support the American warrior, who knows his service keeps the enemy away from the land, and the family he and she loves. And give thanks for living in a small town, where things of the heart, and necessary for the soul, continue to be revered and respected, and tradition is still done with the American Spirit. Thank you to all of our American soldiers, and may God bless you and yours.


Cynthia Allen

Summersville, PA

Put Him In Jail

Suppose for a moment that you were CEO of a business and there was a piece of equipment on the market that would really help your company prosper. So you decided that, even though the risk and cost were quite high, you would take a chance and have it installed. You insisted on some pretty strict protocols to protect your investment. Then you went out and authorized the job. For some reason, you then took leave of your senses and gave the contractor a wink regarding the protocols and then didn’t even stick around and supervise while the work progressed. While you were doing other things, the job went horribly bad and not only was your investment going to go down the drain but your business was going to follow it if the contractor didn’t get a handle on the problem.

You decided that you needed to put pressure on the contractor to fix the problem and so save the business (your investment was already lost). You gathered around you all of your friends and cronies and planned on how to get the contractor motivated. You already knew that he was in a whole lot of doo-doo and was in more jeopardy than you might be. So, ya’ll hatched a brilliant scheme - threaten to put him in jail. That should make him really hop to and fix the problem which has already taxed all his resources and probably ruined him. If you used all of your many legal remedies, ignored and denied your complicity and bad judgment in the first place, and called in the press, you figure that you might just salvage the one item more important to you than any other - a vote of confidence by the board of directors.

Having our Attorney General, Eric Holder, announce that a criminal investigation of BP would be initiated, even before the problem was resolved, is how this Administration handles a crisis. God help us all. There is no cure for this level of stupidity.


Joe McCann

Elk Lake, PA

Considering The Unthinkable: Plan Z

British Petroleum's (BP) record of failures remains untarnished. Robotic efforts to fix the blowout preventer (BOP), failed; the 100-ton containment dome, failed. The attempt to stem the oil flow by inserting a tiny 4-inch tube into the 21-inch oil-gushing pipe met with some success, if not a failure than a fizzle.

The next two tries reflected a growing desperation: top kill: pumping a dense fluid into the BOP. This was a gamble; it might have increased the pressure in the BOP causing more leaks.

It failed but apparently did not exacerbate the leaks.

Junk shot followed on its heels. Engineers stuffed the BOP with shredded solids hoping to clog the gusher. But, again, there was the danger of causing additional leaks or even blowing the BOP off the well head.

It, too, failed but left the situation unchanged.

Next in line will be a 12-foot high containment dome, a down-sized version of the failed 40-foot high dome. Its purpose is not to staunch the flow of oil but to channel some of the gusher to a tanker.

But little dome is a nail-biter. The pinched riser opening is to be cut off. However, if the dome fails, the oil won't be exiting a crimped opening but through an unrestricted 21-inch diameter pipe.

The list of options to actually stop the gusher has now narrowed to three: first, attach a new BOP to the nonfunctional one; second, drill a relief well; and third, Plan Z.

Will a second BOP be able to master the subterranean pressure of the oilfield? That's a maybe.

Drilling a relief well started last month. At best, it will be another two months before it is completed. But eight weeks at 70,000 barrels a day, adds up to an additional four million barrels of crude mixing into the Gulf waters. And the hurricane season began this month.

Meteorologists are predicting as many as 14 of the giant storms for the Gulf. The August completion date for the relief well is highly problematic.

But what if the volcanic pressure of the undersea and underground oil reservoir cannot be plugged? Are we to do nothing but wait a minimum of 60 days more before the relief well slams the vent shut?

And the dreadful possibility: What is the relief well fails?

What can be done when there's nothing left to do?

The Soviet Union faced that problem in 1966. A natural gas well had defied every attempt to be capped. For three years a jet of flame roared higher than the Empire State Building. The Soviets had only one choice left: Plan Z - nuke it.

No, not with an Enola Gay flyover dropping an atomic bomb on it but with a nuclear device surgically placed one-mile underground and at a precise distance from the well hole. And it worked. The blast squeezed the well hole shut. The run-away gas geyser was extinguished.

In fact, it worked so well that the Soviets used the technique four more times. There were no residual radiation in any of the deeply-buried nuclear events. According to the Soviets, there was only one failure due to an improperly placed nuclear device.

That's an 80 percent success rate. Should we try it?

Last month, Mr. Obama sent a five-man team of nuclear physicists to the Gulf to survey the situation. The team had a day-long meeting with the president of BP, Tony Hayward. “They came up with one good idea,” said Hayward, but he refused to elaborate.

One need not reach too far to see that the “one good idea” was a replay of the Russian A-shot. But there are differences.

The Russian well was in a sparsely populated area, it was land based, and it was a gas well - all exactly the opposite of what we face in the Gulf. And there's that pesky problem of unintended consequences.

The Gulf oilfield is capped under three miles of rock. What would happen if the tremendous pressure of compressed gas and heat (250+ degrees F) pushing up on the cap rock were further stressed by the pressure wave of an atomic explosion pushing down?

The oilfield that BP punctured contains an estimated six billion barrels of oil. That's enough to keep 70,000 barrels of crude pouring into the Gulf every day for 235 years. If that cap rock were cracked, the amount of oil bursting through and into the Gulf would be inconceivable. There would be no way of stopping it - ever.

On the other hand, it just might work.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

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Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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