To The Daily Sun,
It has been recently reported that 93 percent of FDA personnel were deemed non-essential. That breaks down to 9 out of 10 employees. How much money does this mostly non-essential department control?
An online article reported that the 2012 FDA budget was going to stay the same at $2.5 billion dollars. This year, in a press release, the FDA said that it requested $4.7 billion dollars to ensure the safety of food and medical devices. That is not quite double last year's budget.
And now, the $4.7 billion dollar question; in this bad economy, with millions of Americans financially suffering, why would this government fund a department that is almost wholly non-essential? An additional question could be, is it possible for a private company to do a better job, for much less money? If we care about those paying taxes, should we at least explore some of the answers to these questions?
We need to make much wiser decisions in how our immense, yearly tax burden is spent. Maybe, just maybe, we could decrease taxation, which would effectively give everyone a pay raise. If the government really doesn't need so much, then they don't need to take and spend so much. I know- call me radical!
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 12:45
To The Daily Sun,
To any that have an ear, let them hear:
As a resident of the Newfound Region, I am very disgusted by the invasion of industrial wind projects in my community. With the potential of four different foreign-owned projects planned around Newfound Lake, I see the Groton Wind Project as not just an eyesore, but an assault on the environment and the well being of people (taxpayers) who are left dealing with reduced property values, loss of quality of life in their homes and on their property, and strife within their communities.
Residents of the Newfound Region living around the Groton Wind Project now live with red flashing lights at night, loud roaring of industrial engines whenever the blades are spinning (day or night), shadow flicker from the blades for hours at a time during various parts of the day, the whooshing of the blades as they spin, and the low frequency vibrations that are not audible but are felt within the body.
The Newfound watershed is of great concern as this is what provides residents of this area with drinking water. Industrial wind turbine construction will alter the flow of ground water affecting the watershed in ways no human, specialist, or agency can predict.
I have lived in this community for almost a decade and enjoyed the numerous sitings of red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, owls, blue heron, bats, migrating Canadian Geese and other seasonal birds, moose, black bear, coyotes, fox, and yes, even a wolf or two! Raptors rely on the thermal currents of air provided by the Newfound ridge lines in order to feed. A number of birds migrate along the Newfound ridge lines. It is not wise to place 500-ft. industrial turbines with blades larger then a 747 spinning at speeds that can reach well over 100-mph directly in the path of such animals that help to control our mosquito population and our rodent population.
As for economic benefits, I see very few. There may be a handful of temporary local jobs created, but not guaranteed. There will only be a few permanent jobs created and those are not guaranteed to be filled by local residents either. PILOT payments made by Industrial Wind companies to host towns only reduce the "town portion" of your tax by a minimal amount. The rest of the PILOT money can be used to increase town employee's payroll or benefits, purchase new equipment, upgrade roads, etc. It is not likely that tax payers will see any significant reduction in their property taxes unless they receive an abatement for the reduced value of their property. Those that benefit the most are the landowners leasing their land to the industrial wind company, and of course, the foreign-owned industrial wind companies.
Industrial wind is not just an eyesore issue. This is a quality of life issue, environmental issue, community well being issue, political issue, and an economic issue.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 12:40
To The Daily Sun,
One wonders if James Veverka misleads the public intentionally or if his irrational hate for Republicans makes him unable to think logically or comprehend what he reads, even the article he referenced.
Among other misleading claims in his hate filled diatribe on September 26, Veverka talks about hardships (reduction of SNAP —food stamp — benefits) to 31 million poor Americans. This hardship is being caused by Democrats, not, as he charges by Republicans.
The article that Veverka references (www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3899), that we were apparently not supposed to check, clearly ties this hardship to two things, both controlled by Democrats. First, Democrats set an expiration date and criteria for the identified SNAP benefits. Second, the USDA, under President Obama's control, provided the information which reduced the SNAP benefits.
But, it is not the loss of a few dollars of SNAP benefits that so greatly harms middle and lower income Americans, it is the lack of decent paying jobs.
If Veverka really cared about the people he claims to care about, he would demand an end to President Obama's policies that kill jobs, cut workers' hours, cause employers to stop hiring altogether, or turn full-time into part-time jobs.
It has been more than four years since President Obama declared the recession was over. But instead of creating the good new jobs needed to put laid-off workers back to work and provide opportunities for people entering the workforce, President Obama's policies have put about 13 million new people on food stamps, slowed our economic growth, and created a job environment that is so bad that, in many months, more people give up looking for work than find jobs.
Unfortunately, President Obama's policies do exactly the opposite of what is needed to encourage people to create jobs. Obama regulations, increased costs, and bureaucratic delays created by numerous Federal Agencies, including the Departments of Energy, Treasury, Agriculture, HEW, and many others, make being an employer in America much more difficult and risky. And, rather than rewarding people or businesses that accept those challenges, many new Obama taxes make taking risks less rewarding.
The result of Obama policies is that many businesses prefer to invest and create jobs overseas or not to invest at all, than to invest and create good jobs here.
Any claimed concerns for America's poor is fake unless it demands that Obama end his war on America's employers and businesses that is destroying America's jobs and making Americans poor.
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 12:29
To The Daily Sun,
How would you describe the difference between modern war and modern industry — between say, bombing and strip mining, or between chemical warfare and chemical manufacturing? The difference seems to be only that in war the victimization of humans is directly intentional and in industry it is "accepted as a "trade-off." — Wendell Berry
WHAT ARE TAR SANDS? I needed to know just what the Keystone Pipeline would transport. I learned that the extraction of tar sands is the most polluting form of energy extraction on earth. I also learned that the Keystone Pipeline won't aid us in gaining independence from foreign oil, and it won't create the thousands of jobs advocates told us it would. These are just "PIPEDREAMS". I hope to share with you what I learned about this dirty, nasty, polluting form of energy that is too dangerous and costly for us to let the Keystone Pipeline carry tar sands across our heartland.
Producing synthetic crude oil from tar sands generates THREE TIMES the global warming pollution of conventional crude production. Extracting tar sands bitumen — a low grade, high sulfur crude oil — that must be extensively refined to be turned into fuel uses a vast amount of energy and water.
Tar sands oil is not only difficult and costly and energy intensive to produce but also the DIRTIEST and more corrosive than conventional oil. Leaks and spills threaten rivers, aquifers and communities along the route.
Raw tar sand is nearly solid at room temperature and must be diluted with toxic natural gas liquid condensates to create a thick sludge that travels in high-pressure pipelines. The sludge is 50-70 times as thick as conventional crude oil. When spilled, the light natural gas liquid condensates-vaporize, creating a toxic flammable gas that poses a health hazard to emergency responders and nearby landowners. The bitumen which is heavier than water, sinks into rivers and mixes with sediment. Bitumen contains significantly more HEAVY METALS than conventional crude oil and does not biodegrade.
Tar sands extraction:
1. Requires 2-5 barrels of water for each barrel of bitumen extracted.
2.Hhas created over 65 square miles of toxic waste ponds. (no plan for disposal)
3. Threatens the health of downstream indigenous communities.
4. Is likely to cause the loss of millions of migratory birds that nest in the forests and wetlands.
The proposed Keystone Pipeline would transport raw toxic tar sands oil right through the American heartland from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas — and threatens to wreak environmental havoc on both sides of the border and to be exported to anywhere in the world.
What's at risk? Here is a big one, the Ogallala Aquifer as an example. The proposed Keystone Pipeline crosses the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world's largest freshwater aquifers that provides 30 percent OF THE GROUND WATER used for irrigation in the United States, and drinking water for millions of Americans. The Aquifer covers areas in South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
One resident whose ranch would be crossed by the Keystone Pipeline said, "I just don't understand why we'd put our aquifer at risk. If oil gets into the water we're done. You can't drink oily water and you can't irrigate crops with it. "
There have been many spills. Here is a story of a tragic spill which occurred on July 25, 2010. An Enbridge Energy pipeline carrying Canadian tar sands burst near Talmadge Creek, which feeds into the Kalamazoo River that empties into Lake Michigan. Over a MILLION GALLONS spilled into the creek and quickly made its way into the Kalamazoo River contaminating river banks and sediments. Costing $700 MILLION and counting. The cleanup is the MOST COSTLY in U.S. pipeline accident in history. Thousands of people still are affected by the tar sands spill some forced to move, their businesses were hurt and continues to threaten their health. There is no end in sight. Along the waterways, red and white signs warn people the water is closed to fishing, boating and swimming. A constant reminder of the danger of a pipeline carrying toxic Canadian tar sands south into the U.S.
The first "PIPEDREAM" is that the pipeline is about jobs for Americans. Cornell University Global Labor Institute concluded the project would employ 2,500-4,600 construction workers." Most jobs created will be temporary and non-local." Keystone Pipeline will not be a source of jobs nor will it play a substantial role in putting Americans to work. To CNN, Robert Jones, vice president of TransCanada told that the project would create only hundreds of permanent jobs. Cornell University Global Labor Institute stated, "it is our assessment-based on publicly available data, that the construction of Keystone Pipeline will create fewer jobs than proponents claimed and may actually destroy more jobs than it generates." Cornell University stated it would kill jobs by reducing investment in clean renewable energy and efficiency gains.
What about reducing our dependence on foreign oil? Here is another "PIPEDREAM". Advocates of the pipeline fail to mention tar sands oil to be refined on the gulf coast is destined for export. Six foreign companies have already contracted for three-quarters of the oil. Keystone would have diverted Canadian oil from refineries in the Midwest to the gulf coast where it could be refined and exported. Many of these refineries are in Foreign Trade Zones where oil may be exported to international buyers without paying U.S. taxes.
Quoted by James Hansen, who directs the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies: "The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 280 parts per million to 393 parts per million over the last 150 years. If we turn to these dirtiest of fuels, instead of finding a way to phase out our addiction to fossil fuels, there is no hope of keeping concentrations below 500 parts per million — a level that would as earth's history shows, leave our children a climate system that is out of their control." Mr. Hansen further states, "The cost of acting goes far higher the longer we wait — we can't wait any longer to avoid the worst and be judged immoral by coming generations."
Please do not support the keystone Pipeline there is no "trade-off" worth the risk to the United States and the planet.
Judith A. Rothemund
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 12:15
To The Daily Sun,
Obama in negotiation? "My Way or No Way!"
I had a dream. I met a terrorist in a dark ally and he said "I am going to kill you and your sons and then take your women". I'm noted for my negotiating skills so I offered, "Take my women, but instead of killing me why not just make me your slave."
He sneered, "I never have enough women, but I already have too many slaves who will die for me, but I will shoot your in the head so you die quickly rather than shoot you in the gut so you die in agony."
The next day the Main Stream Media reported, "Man commits suicide rather than negotiate. Benevolent terrorist adopts man's wife and daughters."
Dale "P." Eddy
Last Updated on Saturday, 05 October 2013 12:10