Letters to the Editor - Dec. 26

December 25, 2011

Is David Limbaugh a 21st-century Westbrook Pegler?

To the editor:
The more of David Limbaugh’s columns I read, the more I wonder if he is trying to become a 21st-century Westbrook Pegler. Westbrook Pegler was a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who, among other things, called for the assassination of Robert Kennedy, stated that Jews were not victims because they were being rightfully punished and eventually became an embarrassment to the John Birch Society. Pegler provided an insight into his mind when he was quoted as having said, “My hates have always occupied my mind much more actively and have given greater spiritual satisfactions than my friendships.”
In order to lead people into folly, one must first make them fearful. In column after column, Limbaugh is attempting to scare the American people by telling them that the liberals, the intelligensia, the educated people, people with master’s degrees and doctoral degrees are attempting to destroy the country. If Limbaugh can convince enough people that compassionate people and educated people are a danger to the country, then politicians preaching hate and fear will have a much better chance of being elected.
We have seen this before. Repeatedly, politicians trying to be elected or re-elected have stirred up fears of our country and our culture being destroyed by dangerous groups such as the abolitionists, the Irish, the Italians, the Chinese, the Mormons, the Catholics, the Wobblies, those who would allow women to vote, the anarchists, the Communists and the integrationists. Now, it is the Muslims, the illegal immigrants, the liberals, those who would take money from the rich, homosexuals and evolutionists, among others the fear mongers tell us are about to destroy the country.
If one chooses to read Limbaugh, I strongly suggest that you keep in mind the story of Chicken Little. While Limbaugh can be viewed as somebody running around yelling that the sky is falling, calmer and wiser heads say, “Yes, these are difficult times, but we must keep our wits about us. We must not hand over control of the government to those politicians who try to scare us into supporting their fear-driven attempts to achieve power. Such politicians can only achieve power if they can convince a majority of the people that the elimination of one particular category of U.S. citizens will turn this into a perfect country.”
If we can calmly keep our wits about us, then we will get through these times.
Russell Williams

Let’s clarify where fire funds should be spent

To the editor:
First, let me acknowledge important things. People who volunteer are priceless. People who volunteer at times when their lives will be endangered deserve a special respect. Finally, fire departments have been a centerpiece in community life for over 100 years.
Now, about fire departments and paid firefighters vs. volunteers and the price of new equipment in Washington County or Berkeley County (W.Va.) or anywhere else.  Numbers are trotted out. Does it occur to anyone to ask how it came to be that a single firetruck can cost $450,000? Is it really necessary? Is the truck more effective or functional? A friend who lives and breathes fire apparatus says no, that it is all about insurance regulations.
The Herald-Mail reported “response times of greater than 10 minutes were recorded in 28 percent of more than 2,300 reported structure fires between 2006 and 2010,” which sounds huge and scary. Do the math. They were over 10 minutes 161 times per year. How big was the fire? Did it matter?
Reports also state “more than 14,000 incidents from 2006 to 2010” were answered by five fire companies. Do the math. That’s 1.91 incidents per day per department. How many were fires? (2,300?) How many were emergency medical calls and how many were calls that resulted in no needed activity. How many times were they the second or third to a call as opposed to the primary responders? Three to five companies often respond to a fire.
Let’s get clear on where money needs to be spent and why. Paying for a perfect society free of all danger gets expensive.

Amy Schmersal Paradise

Obama’s decisions based on hopes for re-election

To the editor:
I would love to get up one morning, turn on the news and see that our “Hope and Change” president has an idea that would create some private-sector jobs. It seems like the only jobs he wants to create are public-sector ones that put us further into debt.
Recently, the president decided to delay a decision on the Keystone Pipeline until after the election. The president’s reason for this is that it needs further study. What most media sources haven’t told you is that this project has been studied for three years already. The State Department, headed by Hillary Clinton (hardly a conservative lover of oil companies) has approved the project. This project was going to transport 1 million barrels of oil per day, from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico.
This pipeline would benefit the country in several ways. 1. Getting more of our oil from a friendly nation like Canada makes much more sense than from the Middle East. 2. Getting this oil from Canada makes more sense strategically, because the pipeline couldn’t be shut down in a Middle East war. 3. The pipeline project would create 20,000 immediate, private-sector jobs and another 200,000 related support jobs. 4. This project doesn’t cost the taxpayers a dime.
So, why has the president decided to delay this project? Very simple — he wants the votes from the environmentalists. Wouldn’t you think the union workers who would benefit from this pipeline would be furious with the president? Of course they are, but President Obama knows that labor will always stick with the Democratic party. If you are thinking that we will get this pipeline after the election, guess again. The Chinese are already talking to Alberta about buying this oil.
So, yet again, this president makes decisions based on getting votes, not on turning the country around. It makes me laugh when people complain that the Chinese have stolen our prosperity. We have given, and are still giving, it away.

Bill Stryker Jr.
Waynesboro, Pa.

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