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Issue Home August 4, 2010 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Humor In The Aftermath

Could it be? Glenn Beck with his tears and misspellings owns President Barack Hussein Obama Junior. To induce the Obama administration to throw Shirley Sherrod under the bus, so to speak, it took only a rumor. The rumor being, Beck was going to broadcast a video snippet, in which Sherrord vents racial animosity.

By now, the whole world knows that snippet was “doctored.” For the lady in question, that information came a little too late. Consequently, she was forced to resign her job with the Obama administration. As for Beck, well, whenever he tries aping Keith Olbermann, hilarity breaks out.

True to his sobriquet of “No Drama Obama,” the President very much fails to see the humor in the aftermath. Nope, he’s nowhere near bemused, especially so with all that much egg on his face.

With an eye towards its removal, Obama could do worse than enter into conversation with a Mister David Frum. The latter’s assertion that the country’s right wing works for Fox News channel cost Frum a choice gig at a media outlet for that political persuasion. Consequently, Frum is considered an “honest voice” for Obama’s opposition.


A Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

Hope For The Best

I am more confident every day that the citizens of our country realize what a horrible mistake they made in November, 2008. Significant portions of our Constitutional rights have been compromised. Many knew what was happening and they protested loudly, to no avail, as the Progressives crammed Obamacare and the shell of Financial Reform (less Freddie and Fannie, of course), written by the architects of the collapse. The first will turn Life over to the Bureaucrats and the second will turn Pursuit of Happiness over to the same crowd. Liberty will go if Fox News is muzzled. However, like some kinds of poison, the effects are not immediately apparent, but stand by.

I think it may be time to take a look at what will be necessary after November 2. The restoration of the purpose of the Declaration of Independence - “that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” - will be the prime objective. We unknowingly surrendered these rights when we made our collective decision to trust our future to the Progressive movement. We see now what we have wrought. So what should we expect after November 2? The Progressives cannot be expected to give up their “gains” without a struggle, after all, this is what they have been working toward for decades. It would not be unreasonable to expect that the unions, notably SEIU, UAW, NEA, the myriad of citizens dependant on Federal benefits, illegal aliens, state and federal workers to do whatever they must to avoid the return to individual Liberty, where a man is rewarded for his effort and not required to distribute his rewards to the slackers (not all are slackers, of course).

I foresee the possibility that the new House of Representatives, as originator of all revenue bills under the Constitution, might have to refuse to fund all the Progressive legislation which has passed over the people’s objection (God, I hope so). Thousands of unread pages of legislation to be followed by tens of thousands of pages of Federal regulations. This could easily lead to a Constitutional crisis wherein the Executive Branch refuses to sign any revenue legislation which does not fund the issues noted in the first paragraph and the Government ceases to function. Therein lays the rub. Do we cave and acquiesce to the loss of our Rights or do we stand fast in the face of whatever comes. I, for one, see only the latter choice as acceptable. You need to look at this possibility and not be surprised if and when it happens. Almost all of us purchase insurance to mitigate unfortunate occurrences in our life, such as accident or illness or we set aside a portion of our resources to allow us to survive misfortune. Take my word for it, I am practicing what I preach. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.


Joe McCann

Elk Lake, PA

Lyme Disease Is Hidden Epidemic

Lately there has been a great deal of interest in the “hidden epidemic” of Lyme disease, thanks largely to the efforts of Tunkhannock resident Robin Lynn and the Endless Mountains Lyme Support Group she is in process of setting up. The film “Under Our Skin,” shown recently in both the Tunkhannock Library and Abington Community Library, provides valuable insights into recognizable symptoms as well the effects of Lyme and its cousins. Everyone, it seems, knows someone who has been touched by this debilitating condition, and sometimes it is difficult for people who do not understand to offer sympathy, especially when the victim may not actually look extremely ill.

Awareness is at the same time the best protection and the best equipment for providing support to others. Anyone who has not seen the film or who would like to see it again - it is so densely packed with information one viewing is hardly enough - will have that opportunity. “Under Our Skin” is making another appearance, this time at the building popularly known as “911 Comm.” The full address is: Wyoming County Emergency Management Agency, 455 S.R. 6 East, Suite 1, Tunkhannock, PA 18657. Date and time: Wednesday, August 25 at 6.30 p.m. The following day, Thursday, August 26, also at 6.30 p.m. and in the same venue, there will be a screening of follow-up interviews and discussions appended to the original film.

Paul Rowker, 570-836-7708, will be happy to provide further information.


Faith M. Vis

New Milford, PA

Tired Of Pork

I was reading where a local community got a step up from a gas company. I believe the numbers went from $500/year to $5,000/a month. Holy cheese and crackers. That amount is astronomical in anyone's book. I understand the cost of business, but isn't that what could be really termed as stealing? What do you get for $5,000.00 a month? Health insurance? Or is it a new right to work in Susquehanna County tax? What about the taxpayer? You may think, they (gas co.) can afford it, but have you heard of the trickle down effect? Now if the reason is that the roads will be repaired, when does construction begin?

My real thought is that there is a savvy politician, who promises that the harassment, and tolling will be stopped, but won't be re-elected, and therefore, takes the money, and runs. Now that transparency in government is exposing politicians and how easy they can be bought, my beef is that I can't afford to buy one. How easy would life be, throw some money at a lobbyist, to grease the wheel, and continue to keep on, keeping on. Forgive me, that's just political business as usual.

I can't wait for election; time to remove a few politicians, and get a new bunch in. It would take awhile before the lobbyist would know who has the weakness for trips and parties, and maybe the work of the people would factor in, and the blatant theft could be controlled. And the cost of business, maybe that would be possible without gouging the consumer. I also wonder, now that it seems easy to go from one figure, to a substantially higher figure - not to mention from a yearly term, to monthly term - what does this mean to the small operator who just wants to provide for their family, and maybe one or two more; will we be able to compete with the new fees? I'm aware that once something like this is accepted, it’s hard to go back. Yet maybe going back, can be a step forward.

If for no other reason than the new politicians can read about what has gone before them, keep what makes sense to keep, and get rid of the things that got put in on a line item, back when pork was king. I'm tired of pork, which may be why I like turkey now.


Cynthia Allen

Summersville, PA

Pipe Dreams

Why, you can almost hear the thunderous hoofs of a hundred horses. The bugler sounds, Charge. Sabers drawn, the cavalrymen urge their mounds to a full run. The company's guidon held high, flutters in the wind, leading the troop forward. The relief well is coming to the rescue. And it might; then again, this isn't the movies.

A relief well may be completed late next month. In the interim, BP has another idea. If you're following the ad hoc antics of BP, you know that the company changes plans as often as a woman changes footwear in a shoe store. The new twist in plugging the well is an improved version of the tried-and-failed top kill but rechristened with a new name: static kill.

Two months ago top kill failed because the connection between the wellhead and riser pipe was poorly sealed. When drilling mud was forced down into the riser, much of it escaped before forcing the upwelling crude down into the oil reservoir.

This time an oil-tight seal is in place on the wellhead. Chances are good that the weight of the mud pushing down will overcome the pressure of the oil pushing up slamming the well shut.

But as always, this “nightmare” well, as one BP engineer called it, may not go along with the plan.

Key doubts are the integrity of the casing (the steel pipe in the well hole), the lower than expected pressure in the capped well, and the condition of the seafloor.

For three months a mixture of thick crude, pebbles, sand, and gas have been shooting up the casing. Propelled by enormous pressure to a high velocity, the casing has been abraded and weakened. The question is, by how much? Will the casing be able to withstand the pressure of static kill or be damaged further?

The less than expected pressure reading of the capped well presents an equally unsettling question. Engineers were hoping for 8,000 psi indicating no leaks in the casing. The actual reading of less than 7,000 psi has two explanations: 1) the pressure of the well has been depleted, or 2) the casing is ruptured allowing crude to leak out into the surrounding rock strata. Which one is it?

If static kill damages the casing, or if errant oil is jetted out into the rock strata, the chances of the “final solution,” the relief well, then achieving success would be dangerously diminished.

A crack in the seafloor 1.8 miles from the crippled well is another cause for concern (see youtube.com/cracks in the seafloor). Is this a “natural seepage” of oil and gas unrelated to the capped well as BP claims, or is it caused by increased pressure from the capped gusher? If the latter, then static kill could undermine the surrounding seafloor that contains the massive, highly pressurized oil reservoir. The consequences of this are apoplectic.

There are no definitive answers to these questions; it's a judgment call, risks of exacerbating a precarious situation vs. choking off the oil weeks before the relief well seals it permanently.

At this time it looks like fingers are crossed with a thumbs up - unless, that is, if BP doesn't opt for another change.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA

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