Barr hears only what's expedient on health care law
I just received the following email from Rep. Andy Barr: "President Obama repeatedly promised Americans that, 'If you like your current health care plan, you can keep it.' Now, millions of Americans are discovering that is a promise the administration could not keep. Are you one of them?... Please click here to share your story and help me as I continue fighting to alleviate the harmful impact of this law."
Plenty of folks in the 6th District will recognize this. It comes from the same congressman who told us recently that all comments he has received about the Affordable Care Act were against it.
I know that isn't true; at least one was in favor.
But the honorable congressman is skilled in self-deception. As is plainly apparent from the above text, he obviously has no interest in hearing two sides of an issue.
A true representative of the people should seek opinions from all corners, not just from those people who he is sure will reinforce his own political expedience (read, contribute lots of cash).
Goodbye, old tree
I wasted 4.5 hours at the city council hearing on the zone change for land across Military Pike where the 300-to-350-year old bur oak grows. We had good attendance despite starting at 5 p.m. when many people are still working. Citizens made it, but only 10 council members attended. We needed eight of 10 votes to save the tree.
The tree ultimately lost to development. The promise that a 50-foot perimeter proposed by Ball Homes' paid experts was "sufficient" to save the tree contradicts what our own zoning ordinance says.
In fact, the tree's safety radius should be 72 feet to 108 feet. Arborist Dave Leonard stated that England has trees older than 500 years and their tree manual recommends a radius of more than 150 feet to 200 feet. This old tree will not get that consideration.
Ball Homes says it wants to save the tree, yet a 50-foot wide road will have more than 400 cars and trucks driving daily beside the tree. This tree will not survive the blasting, grading and filling of its environment currently uninhabited by humans.
This tree will not survive the exhaust and weight of more than 400 vehicles on the only way in and out of this subdivision.
Five years ago, I witnessed the same discombobulated voting process. Council members repeatedly voted for the same issues with different wording. They were so confused. It was painfully clear they were clueless about their vote.
Lauren Larson, M.D.
Climate of bias
As a retired journalist of 42 years, I am appalled at the Herald-Leader's lack of objectivity when reporting on one of the most controversial issues of our time: climate change.
Your readers are constantly peppered with stories warning us of a coming apocalypse. You recently ran a story quoting a study published by a Hawaii University professor suggesting that our globe may have already reached the "point of no return," that many cities will become so hot by the year 2047 they will be unlivable.
Where is the other side? Are you oblivious to the growing number of scientists who debunk these kinds of theories? What are the professor's credentials? Are you aware this widely quoted study was conducted by his students?
You often publish letters from global warming activists who trash the character of their opponents rather than provide scientific evidence supporting their conclusions.
George Tomaich, who currently teaches an extension course on the global warming hoax and is a frequent contributor to this page, was unjustly labeled a "member of the flat earth society" in a recent letter.
Readers deserve objective reporting. Get off the global warming bandwagon and start doing your job.
Ice loss no sweat
Stories of melting glaciers causing rising sea levels and coastal flooding are part of almost every global warming scare story. A good example was the 2006 Science paper that received tremendous publicity claiming that Greenland's glaciers were melting at an accelerated rate of 53 cubic miles a year as determined by satellites.
Now that sounds scary, but what does that amount to relative to the total mass of Greenland and the corresponding sea level rise?
The Greenland ice mass is estimated at 685,000 cubic miles. Therefore, the accelerated loss of ice amounts to 0.008 percent per year. This translates into two-hundredths of an inch per year of sea-level rise. Two other studies of Greenland ice loss, published by the same journal in 2007, put the average yearly loss at 25 cubic miles.
Yet major media frequently publish articles warning of rising sea levels of 20 feet by 2100. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projects an average sea-level rise of just two inches by 2100 as a result of Greenland glacier melting.
Then there are the mountain glaciers that are receding with dire predictions of their loss before the end of the century. A note for perspective, Greenland and Antarctica hold 99.4 percent of the world's ice volume and mountain glaciers hold the rest. If all mountain glaciers melted that would add less than two inches of sea-level rise.
But these losses are countered by the continued growth over the past 50 years of Antarctica's ice sheet. Hopefully, this will take the scare out of exaggerated flood stories.
No heart or brain
Oh yes, our wonderful elected officials in the White House and Congress are protecting us from ourselves once again. Not only did the shutdown cause an immediate cost of more than $24 billion, there are the long-term effects, too.
Oh, and do not forget that these same jokers, who have free benefits and travel along with staff and income, do not think that the unemployed or underemployed should be able to eat now with the cutting back of supplemental nutrition and other programs.
Did these morons without hearts or brains come out of the Wizard of Oz or are they just evil and traitors? I cannot wait to hear their answers if they have any honesty in them. Remember not to re-elect any of them.
James E. Seymour Jr.
Enough with the rhetoric and finger-pointing. It's time we tell our representatives what we tell our kids when they're supposed to be doing their homework: If I see your face, you aren't working. If I hear your voice, you aren't working. If I see you on any social media, you aren't working.
Frankly, the next time I hear from any of our lawmakers, it had better be to tell me they have done their jobs. Otherwise, I'll have to assume that they don't want their jobs, nor do they deserve them.
If, however, they desire a job that beams their partisan opinions into my home and car every hour, I hear you can get that from MSNBC or FoxNews.
Letters about candidates in the Dec. 10 special election for the 13th Senate District are limited to 150 words and must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Letters from candidates, their campaign staffs and family members will not be published.