Keep fracking waste
out of New Jersey
The top-down, cigar-smoking, empty-can-tossing joy ride that big business is currently relishing, courtesy of a Congress that just can't do enough for them, has picked up another happy rider for the back seat - fracking's effects on New Jersey.
New Jersey residents face a threat from the fracking waste that is a byproduct of this process.
Last June, in a burst of vision and accountability, our Legislature anticipated the dangers of this water-polluting, landscape-ruining waste and passed legislation to prevent the processing of fracking water in the state. Predictably, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed this bill.
Already, a Pennsylvania drilling company has exploited our lack of protections and has made four shipments of fracking slurry to our state for processing. Fracking slurry is wildly toxic. It contains benzene, cadmium, arsenic, radium 226 and mercury. It doesn't have a hope of ever being recycled.
Legislation to keep fracking waste out of New Jersey will be introduced again this summer. Overriding Christie's veto should be a no-brainer for our legislature. Residents should contact their state senators and Assembly members to encourage them to keep this toxic slop out of New Jersey.
We are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. We don't need to be blindsided by a deal to dump fracking slurry in our state to make somebody rich.
Support Food and Water Watch. These folks form one of the few thin lines between you and further exploitation.
Government could learn
from tea party members
The federal government is under attack, even from some Democrats, because it lacks openness and truthfulness.
Truthful answers were missing in the Fast and Furious scandal in 2010, when the Justice Department provided weapons to a Mexican drug cartel to track them. The incident ended in the death of one of our border guards. There are serious questions about the attack on our mission in Benghazi, where four Americans were killed, the Boston Marathon bombing and now the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative and tea-party groups.
In the tea party's "March on the Capitol" in 2009, approximately 1.5 million people gathered on the Washington mall to protest the federal government's ignoring of our Constitution. These were primarily church-going "salt of the Earth"-type people, who follow our laws and protect our Constitution. Unlike protest groups who leave behind destruction, the tea party was complimented for leaving the mall very clean for such a large gathering.
The IRS should have many more real targets for oversight than the tea party. The tea party should be viewed as an advisory group to government. It remembers honor, duty, God and country.
Some Quran passages
Regarding Amitabh Pal's May 12 column, "It is wrong to blame Islam for the acts of sociopaths":
People should proceed with caution and investigate on their own.
The column quotes the Quran: "If anyone kills another without a just cause ... it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind. And whosoever saves a life, it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind". (5:32)
The ellipsis points in that passage mean he is leaving something out. Could it be what that "just cause" is for killing someone? The author is implying that the Quran would not teach killing.
In a passage (5:51) not far from the above passage, it says "take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors." The Jews and Christians are considered unbelievers or pagans.
Other passages read "Those who follow Muhammad are merciless for the unbelievers but kind to each other" (48:29); "fight and slay the pagans wherever your find them" (9:5); "I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them" (8:12).
These are just a few of the teachings.
Islam does not mean peace. Jesus is the prince of peace and love.
New Jersey should value
volunteer EMS workers
What better way to mark national Emergency Medical Services Week (May 19-25) than to thank Gov. Chris Christie for his veto of S1650/A2463, the so-called EMS Redesign Bill. Twice in 16 months, Christie has rejected an ill-conceived attempt to push out New Jersey's EMS volunteers and replace them with a system of paid providers that would have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Nowhere did the bills outline how they would improve patient care.
These past few years have been difficult for New Jersey's volunteer EMS community. A 2007 report falsely predicted the imminent collapse of the EMS system. This triggered hysterical calls for immediate statewide reform. We EMS volunteers have endured numerous financial and legislative hurdles, scare tactics meant to panic the public, false propaganda intended to besmirch the character of volunteers and decreasing volunteer rolls. There was no system collapse, and we're still here.
The New Jersey State First Aid Council has always supported changes to the EMS system that lead to better patient care. We objected to parts of the bills that would have increased costs and red tape and would have pushed out volunteers without improving patient care.
The 83-year-old NJSFAC represents more than 20,000 EMS volunteers affiliated with more than 300 volunteer first-aid and rescue squads throughout the state. In 2012, our members spent more than 5 million hours providing their towns with EMS service and answering more than 355,000 calls, saving New Jersey residents - and their insurance companies - more than $227 million.
We had hoped the efforts that our volunteers put forth before, during and after Hurricane Sandy would remind the bills' backers how fortunate New Jersey is to have such a large, well-established, dedicated volunteer EMS community. We'd hoped our efforts would have softened their stance on this detrimental legislation, but it did not.
One question for the naysayers: When did "volunteer" become a bad word?
New Jersey State First Aid Council
Musical Mother's Day
is much appreciated
I would like to thank the Ocean City Art Center's Friends of Music for the free concert by the West Chester District Senior Strings Orchestra on Mother's Day.
If you didn't look at the musicians, you would have thought you were listening to a professional group. What great talent.
I graduated from high school in Pennsylvania in 1936 with no music at all. When I hear people say that we are wasting taxpayers' money on music and art, I get very upset.
My great-grandchildren live in Hatboro, Pa., and have the advantage of excellent art and music teachers.