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Letters to the Editor - March 11

March 11, 2012

Please tell me something good about Keystone pipeline


To the editor:

Regarding George Michael’s column (Feb. 17), I take issue with the statment, “Gas prices will continue to rise as long as the Democrats are running the show, blocking things like the Keystone Oil Pipeline and following the environmentalists agenda ...” Evidently, he isn’t aware the tea party in Texas is fighting this pipeline tooth and nail as well.

This pipeline isn’t a Democratic or a Republican problem — it is an American problem, and according to everything I read, it is a catastrophe of major proportion waiting to happen.

According to an inspector of the pipeline, TransCanada has a track record of undercutting quality at the expense of the environment, using cheap foreign steel that cracks when welded, and shortcuts on steel and rebar that are essential for safe pipeline operation.

This pipeline is scheduled to cross the U.S. for access to export routes where oil is already scheduled to be sold to foreign buyers like China. The first pipeline built by TransCanada had more than 12 spills in the U.S. in the first year. This sand tar passing through these pipes is probably the dirtiest substance on earth, and it is routed to go through the Ogallala Aquifer, one of America’s most important repositories of fresh water supplying water for eight states. 

The State Department estimated this pipeline would create only 20 permanent jobs and 5,000 to 6,000 temporary jobs, some of which would be filled by Canadians. And the majority of processed oil would not benefit us, as it is already scheduled for export.

So, what is in this for us except a good possibility of ruining our water, land and definitely our air? And you question the present administration, the environmentalists and the Texas tea party for fighting this?

Please research this Keystone XL Pipeline and let us all know one positive aspect.


Jean Berger
Smithsburg




A civil union should not be called marriage


To the editor:

I believe that every person is entitled to equal protection under civil law. Therefore, I am in favor of a law that provides such protection to homosexuals who want to unite under a civil ceremony that provides it.

I believe that such a ceremony is not, and should not be called, marriage. Marriage is an institution of God provided for the union of one man with one woman, and was never intended for homosexual unions.

I believe that the American Civil Liberties Union is wrong when it attempts to legislate against Judeo-Christian beliefs. I think that when it objects to the display of manger scenes and menorahs, it is actually expressing jealousy that it has no similar icons to display. I believe, likewise, when it objects to the word “God” in the pledge of allegiance and tries to take God out of our schools and colleges.

I believe that even though our Founding Fathers might not have used the word “God” as they wrote our Constitution, they were deeply religious people who lived their faith from day to day. One of our popular images of George Washington is of him in prayer at Valley Forge. A faith in God was the motivating force behind many of the early settlements of this country. Maryland was founded on the principal of religious freedom and equality.

I believe that the religious community in this country has been passive. I believe that the time has come for us to begin to push back and to assert ourselves, and to put God back in our country.


John Porter
Hagerstown




Political, religious lines are starting to blur


To the editor:

I am getting more and more confused about the upcoming presidential elections. Are we hiring a pastor? Or are we supposed to be electing a president? As I see it, the lines are starting to blur.

Take Santorum talking about the president’s theology, then backtracking by saying he didn’t mean the Bible kind. The only definition I can find of “theology” is that it is the study of religion.

Then there are the cartoons. Obviously, the cartoonists are Protestants for they only lampoon the Catholic and Mormon candidates. There are those who want to imply, or even outright state, the president is a Muslim. So what if he is? Not that I believe he is. Do they think that because his is not a traditional European name, or is it because he is black?

When are we going to discard these smoke-screen distractions and face the real issues concerning our nation?

A person’s faith, or even the lack of it, should not be an issue for any election. Or are we becoming like the Taliban, where everyone is supposed to follow the same beliefs?

If so, we would no longer be a democratic republic. We would no longer be Americans.


L.E. Carroll
Martinsburg, W.Va.




Why must we blame others when things go wrong?


To the editor:

It is human nature for people to look for someone to blame when things are going wrong. We naturally reject the idea that we might be the cause of our woes or that we somehow could have contributed to our situation.

We only need to watch our politicians to see people who are highly compensated for doing little more than pointing to someone else when asked what got us to where we are or why things are so bad. We see the left pointing right, the right pointing left, Democrat to Republican, Republican to Democrat, backers of President Bush to President Obama, and backers of President Obama to President Bush. None of them will admit being even slightly responsible. Fact is they are all responsible.  Their actions and often their inaction led us to where we are.

But we also need to look home to see the real cause of the problem. We complain to our co-workers, call in to the local paper, blog in forums and write letters to the editor, but more often than not we blame ‘the other guy’ or ‘the other side’ — it is never me or my side.

We blame the teachers when our kids can’t read, but we spend little time with them on their school work, don’t spend time reading to them before they even start school, and don’t expose them to hobbies that would divert their interest away from the TV and video games.

We blame our local politicians when they vote to raise our taxes or spend our money on things that we feel are wasteful,  but less than half of us vote when given the chance.

When one or two of our elected officials actually does something that can change things, we see multiple columns in the local paper taking issue with those who exercised this guaranteed right.  It should not matter if you agree with the petition movement; the act itself should be celebrated, not berated.  We should celebrate anything that results in people participating in their government. It is truly sad that those who are regularly given a voice in the paper choose to belittle citizen action.

Citizen action, not apathy, should be applauded.


Cliff Lane
Hagerstown




Current leaders’ agenda doesn’t reflect country’s needs


To the editor:

Washington, D.C., does not have a realistic energy policy, and without leadership you create chaos. Gas prices in the U.S. will continue to climb even with consumption at 11-year lows, and a surge in onshore drilling. In order for prices to reflect true supply and demand, an efficient supply chain must be allowed to evolve.

The EPA shut down two major refineries in New Jersey due to new environmental regulations. Under pressure from the current administration, the Keystone Pipeline was stopped. The current administration/EPA has prevented building pipelines to supply the remaining East Coast refineries access to U.S. oil. Our East Coast refineries get their oil from the Middle East.

Did the oil companies see this coming? Yes. Did the administration in D.C. see this coming? Yes. Why was nothing done? Because the current administration, our elected leaders, have other priorities and an agenda that does not reflect what America needs.


John Louderback
Hagerstown

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