Regarding the Nov. 19 editorial, "Undergound power lines/No easy solution":
Although new development may lend itself to underground distribution of power lines, retrofitting the existing distribution lines presents big hurdles and costs, as you pointed out. It also doesn't solve another vulnerability problem: Protecting the high-tension, cross-country lines on those huge metal towers. As we see in the northern areas (Canada, especially), ice storms can defeat even those giants.
There are serious practical, technical limitations with burying high-tension lines often carrying voltages in excess of 350 kilovolts, so our power grid will remain an easy target for storms or, God forbid, attack by an enemy. Looking to the future, we should develop technology that would allow decentralization of power - a system where power generation is localized. For example, every industrial park or residential area would have its own power source. Then the concept of underground residential distribution lines could be applied.
If you really want to brainstorm the future, imagine a country where every household or business has its own power source from fuel cells or some other future power source. Fantasy? Perhaps. But if such a less-vulnerable distribution system is ever to be reality (and I believe it can be), planning and development of such technology should already be under way.
However, the foreseeable future, sadly, has us as sitting ducks for nature's wrath or mankind's military ambitions, including cyber warfare on control elements of the power grid.
Cape May Court House
Letter writer right
about the flat tax
Why isn't the writer of the Nov. 18 letter, "Congress should adopt this grand bargain," running for office? I haven't read a better-written letter in this paper in some time.
Here's a person with solutions as well as complaints. I've been running around my house screaming about a flat tax for years. I also feel that 15 percent is plenty with absolutely no loopholes. I don't think even this country could spend it all, but I'm sure officials would try.
The only problem with a flat tax is that legislation like that would have to go through the Congress, and the key power that Congress has is the power to tax. If they lost that power, they would all have to go to work in the fast-food industry.
To the letter writer, keep up the good thinking, sir, and you will definitely have a good effect on society as a whole.
Egg Harbor Township
Galloway takes step
toward fiscal sanity
Regarding the Nov. 17 story, "Galloway cuts 14 jobs, may lay off more":
Leadership in government at any level is hard to come by or almost nonexistent. When I saw this front-page headline, I said to myself there's someone who is actually doing something about the size of government and runaway spending.
Galloway Township Manager Arch Liston had to make a financial decision based on the best interest of the township's 37,000 residents - not the government workers' unions. Government at all levels has gotten so big/bloated/costly that those of us who work in the private sector can no longer pay for the burdensome apparatus. But when I see a local official start to make strides toward fiscal sanity, I think all hope may not be lost.
Egg Harbor Township
Now, maybe Obama
will focus on doing the job
President Barack Obama spent the past four years campaigning for another term in office. He was successful at being re-elected, so maybe now he will focus his undivided attention on actually doing his job in the next four years.
The good news is that he cannot have a third term in office. Otherwise, he would already be out and about campaigning for another four years.
DAVID M. LEVIN
GOP needs platform
for the 21st century
Today is the best time in our history to be a Democrat. Your man is re-elected, the demographics are on your side, and the opposing party embraces outdated ideology. So how did this come about?
The cornerstone of our democracy has always been free elections, equality, and the welcoming of people from other lands. These displaced masses from faraway places were the source of cheap labor during the industrial revolution of the late 1800s, which produced billionaires with names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan and Carnegie. Big business and the wealthy backed the Republican Party and vice-versa. The Democrats became the party of the working class and minorities.
This worked fine for Republicans in the 20th century, as 11 out of 18 White House residents were their guy. When the Dems did win, it was usually not a vote for their man but a vote against the Republicans. So what happened?
We entered the 21st century, the population hit 300 million, the numbers of minorities exploded, and blacks, tired of being marginalized by rich white guys, found someone they could identify with. America's historically downtrodden came out in record numbers to make a difference at the polls. It also didn't hurt that states with the largest number of minority votes were also the states with the most electoral votes.
We should also not forget women in this equation. Informed and empowered, they cannot accept a party that is fundamentally opposed to their issues.
Republican dogma rails against immigration reform, same-sex marriage, Planned Parenthood, increased taxes for the wealthy, marijuana decriminalization and affordable health care. Although controversial, attitudes favoring these issues are now the trend.
To survive, the Republicans first need leaders the masses can identify with. Bobby Jindal, Michele Bachmann, Marco Rubio and even Herman Cain come to mind. They also need a platform that embraces and doesn't alienate the middle and lower-middle classes. In short, a new ideology that reaches across the aisle in tune with the future.