Bush not at RNC over fiscal policy, war crimes
Why? Why at their National Convention in Tampa did the Republicans not have George W. Bush, who, from 2001 into 2008, they hailed as president of the United States and "Leader of the Free World"? Two reasons leap to mind.
First, George W. Bush entered the White House with a handsome federal surplus worked out by bipartisan efforts of Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich (one of history's top odd-couples). President Bush proceeded to waste this surplus and run up most of our current massive debt by slashing income taxes and borrowing from China and others the enormous sums of money needed to invade and conquer Iraq on the false claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Of course, all the gigantic money needs of our government continued over his eight years in the Oval Office and the interest on the borrowed money still grows.
Second, most of the top Nazis convicted at the 1946 Nuremburg War Crimes Trials were found guilty of "planning aggressive war." On that legal principle, George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other Bush cohorts are widely regarded internationally as war criminals for conquering Iraq.
No wonder the Republicans did not have George W. Bush at Tampa, beyond being in a brief video with his father. By contrast, when the Democrats met in Charlotte, their two-term President Bill Clinton addressed the convention and was wildly acclaimed.
Thomas C. Damewood
World needs more than carbon-burning industry
John Felmy's view, speaking for the American Petroleum Institute, expressed in Paul Nyden's Oct. 2 article, "Oil and gas producer criticizes tax, environmental policies," is classic near-sightedness. The objective of a corporation is to make money. The objective of a person's life is, by and large, to live well.
Felmy looks at life as an economist, ignoring the multitude of other "goods" that the wise person wants. Avoiding toxic materials, leaving resources for one's offspring, both on a personal and social scale, and avoiding loss of an esthetic and reusable environment are basic goals of a good life. Wealth is great, but leaving these things behind doesn't lead to the good life.
The problem is a lot larger than the carbon-burning industries suppose. They have been successful in turning whole geologic formations into components of the atmosphere. That is a big part of the problem. More of the same is not the answer, as Felmy seems to suggest. The world needs something different.
S. Thomas Bond
Roving patrols better than DUI checkpoints
Maybe it's time for West Virginians to rethink checkpoints. Sobriety checkpoints -- like the one that occurred recently in Charleston -- often fail to make any drunken driving arrests, despite law enforcement officers stopping hundreds of vehicles (CPD to conduct sobriety, child-safety seat checkpoint).
A 2009 University of Maryland study found that checkpoints don't have "any impact on public perceptions, driver behaviors or alcohol-related crashes, police citations for impaired driving and public perceptions of alcohol-impaired driving risk."
Local police should employ roving -- or saturation -- patrols in which officers patrol the roadways for dangerous drivers. State Supreme Court cases from Pennsylvania and New Hampshire revealed that roving patrols caught 10 times more drunken drivers than checkpoints.
According to the FBI, "It is proven that saturation efforts will bring more DUI arrests than sobriety checkpoints."
Patrols also stop distracted, speeding, aggressive and drowsy drivers because officers can catch them in the act.
Sarah Longwell, managing director, American Beverage Institute
Hydraulic fracturing no environmental threat
Anti-hydraulic fracturing activists congregated in Doddridge County to challenge the safety and environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing. The fact is: Hydraulic fracturing has been used safely for more than 60 years.
Recent advances in hydraulic fracturing technology have unlocked unprecedented amounts of natural gas. So abundant is natural gas on this continent that there's enough to supply America's electricity needs for the next 575 years at current usage, according to the Institute for Energy Research's North American Energy Inventory. Production of these vast resources is expected to support as many as 6,000 direct jobs for West Virginians by 2014.
The discredited film "Gasland" and flawed EPA groundwater studies -- recanted by EPA administrator Lisa Jackson herself -- have resulted in some confusion among the public. Far from an environmental threat, cleaner-burning natural gas was a major contributor to a drop in U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's June energy report.
Anxiety evoked by new technology is nothing new. Yet West Virginians should not allow unsubstantiated fear to reverse the train of progress.
Tom Pyle, president, Institute for Energy Research