More drilling isn't the answer
In a recent interview, Bank of America's retired CEO Hugh McColl remarked that one of today's realities is that our economy is struggling and we need to make serious changes. We must find alternative energy sources and get at it with a vengeance, starting with nuclear. Drilling for new oil is a joke. We don't have enough refining capacity and very little reserves. This is sound advice from the executive that built a small Charlotte bank into the second largest bank in the country.
Andy Jackson's opinion piece of July12 attempts to convince us that we can drill our way out of the current record prices at the gas pump. President Bush and a vocal group of scared politicians, seeking political cover, promote more drilling to make us feel good and boast that they are taking positive action. Unfortunately for us, more drilling is bad public policy for the American public. It will do nothing to reduce the price at the pump
As McColl has observed, our current national energy policy is a joke and a cruel hoax being fed to a car-driving public by Big Oil and their pals in Washington. The price at the pump will never come down until we drastically reduce our national consumption. Currently, 70 percent of our petroleum usage is imported! If the small amount of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve were miraculously available tomorrow, it would only lower the price of gas between $1.44 per barrel and 41 cents per barrel. That's peanuts at the pump, considering a barrel of oil currently averages $145. If drilling were approved by Congress, it would take more than 10 years for the oil to flow into the world market, with no guarantees that this U.S resource would not be sold to Japan or other Asian countries.
Currently, the United States, with only 3 percent of the world's oil reserves, consumes an inordinate 25 percent of the world's oil supply. Projections call for dramatic growth in petroleum demand from India and China that will push the world oil commodity price to levels never imagined. President Bush in his 2006 State of the Union speech remarked that, as a nation, we are addicted to oil and must reduce our demand or be forever held hostage by a group of petroleum-producing thugs and dictators. It was true then and truer today.
Our nation needs a comprehensive energy plan that acknowledges that we are in the midst of a national emergency that is affecting our economy and threatening our domestic freedoms. All of us must call on our representatives in Congress to draft a plan that will start us down the road to achieving energy independence in the shortest time possible. The current Bush plan, designed by Big Oil and supported by a group of craven politicians, is driving us into a dead end. Car driver beware, the price is going up regardless.
Edmund J. FitzGerald
Statement made by someone else
Regarding a recent letter from Jerry Walden: I was quoting Vincent Blackwell when I wrote of, "... Obama is the first candidate in recent memory who has attempted to run as an American." Walden wrongly attributed those words to me, and I still don't understand what Vincent meant.
It would have been reasonable, had Walden given one example where my letter about Obama was wrong. I am a Libertarian, not a conservative. A Libertarian is the same as a classic 18th century liberal of a Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine stripe. That was before FDR introduced his socialistic legislation but called it "New Deal Liberalism," forever distorting a great word.
Too many dogs are mistreated
Everyone in South Carolina has seen them -- dogs that live at the end of a chain or in a pen, day after day, month after month, year after year. Dogs are pack animals, and it is cruel to keep a highly social animal isolated with no interaction or socialization. They live their entire life in solitary confinement, which we use as a method of punishment for prisoners. These poor, helpless creatures are dependent upon humans to take care of them. Why do people have a dog only to leave them languishing at the end or a chain or imprisoned in a pen?
This state needs to change its laws on how animals are treated. In York County alone, there are approximately 200 dogs euthanized monthly. Currently this tax burden is put only on those residents who own property in this county, regardless if they are pet owners or not.
We need to have a state law that mandates differential licensing along with breeding licenses. The differential licensing would shift some of the financial burden to those pet owners who allow their animals to reproduce, either intentionally or accidentally, adding to the rising number of unwanted pets in this county. This would also help protect the public safety.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 70 percent of bite cases come from unaltered male dogs; 94 percent of all fatal bites involve unsterilized animals; sexually intact dogs are 2.6 times more likely to bite than neutered dogs, and chained dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite than unchained dogs.
Please help be part of the solution to this problem by getting your pet spayed/neutered, and please do not get a pet unless you are going to be a responsible loving pet owner.
Shooter was troubled soul
I would like to give a statement on the other side of the Darren Lee Winchester story. You never know when too much is too much until it all just clicks, something in the brain. The Winchester family is sorry for the the Cairnes family's loss, but we also lost a family member who was special to us.
He was not a monster. He was just a simple man who felt God put more on his shoulders than he felt he could handle. My mother, Darren's sister, Deanna Winchester, is the only one left besides her mother, Shirley Helms, who is in nursing home suffering with Alzheimer's. Darren and Deanna had their brother Gene pass away in April 2008. This family has been through a lot, so unless you really know someone personally, then don't speak of them because of some wrong actions. No one is perfect.
Keep an eye out for abused animals
No one can know for certain why people abuse animals, but there must be reasons that contribute to the abuse. To really think this issue through, I volunteered at the Horse Protection Society in China Grove, N.C., with the hope of gaining some enlightenment on this issue.
After finishing my work, I decided to spend some time with the horses. Some of these regal animals were dying of cancer because of neglect, with tumors the size of baseballs on their necks. Another horse could walk on only three legs because of the owner abusing it, and at least one-third were terribly foundered (hooves curling upward) so they could not walk. Others were just completely human shy and wild.
I came to the conclusion that people are most likely mentally sick or do not care about the law and animal as long as they can release their anger. It takes a community of watchful eyes to find animals under abuse. We all need to constantly look out for signs of abuse for animals such as shyness, dirty, matted and smelly hair, tick or flea infestations, limping, patches of missing hair, extremely thin and starving animals, wounds and animals who are left alone repeatedly without food and water, often left chained outside. If we can all watch out for these signs and call out local shelter, then we can make a change for these animals.
Congress guilty of wasteful spending
I just learned that the original Farm Bill included $175 million dollars to build a lake in the Nevada desert. That is one more indication of the incompetence of Congress.
The great increase for the Food Stamp program is another thing that bothers me. While the unemployed family man should be eligible for food stamps, there is a lot of fraud in the program. Always has been. State employees who administer food stamps refuse to take them away from those who are selling them, for example. They say that they don't want to accidentally take food stamps away from someone who really needs them. If programs are not audited, then the entire program should be done away with.
As a senior citizen living on fixed income, my wife and I are constantly irritated by Congress' waste of our taxes. One of the big items is Congress spending the excess Social Security money. One of these days, there will be a major movement to vote all incumbents out of office. It would take six years to get rid of all of them, but it would be worthwhile.