Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

December 4, 2013

In Your View

ASHLAND — Pardon people, not turkeys

While most of us are beginning to overcome the affects of Thanksgiving dinner, there are two turkeys, pardoned by president (intentionally left lower case in the tradition of Quakers) Obama, who are, unbeknownst to them, the beneficiaries of rare presidential mercy. It is a mercy extended to tasty birds, but not people who seek to expose government crimes.

Despite the fact that candidate )bama vowed to defend whistleblowers (which had also been punished under president Bush), president Obama has failed to live up to those promises. In fact, the administration has taken Orwellian steps in ensuring these vows are forgotten by removing them from the Change.gov website (1).

Bradley Manning, who bravely exposed war-crimes by the military, was detained by both the previous war-happy administrations. Edward Snowden remains on the run, fearful of retaliation, for exposing that the NSA was being used to violate privacy rights.

How many other political prisoners are being held by this administration? It’s difficult to know for sure considering laws that strengthen the secrecy of the state are being used to conceal that information. Despite promising to reverse the totalitarian policies of president Bush, president Obama has strengthened them by extending the Patriot Act and signed NDAA 2012 into law, which allows for the indefinite detention of Americans without a trial (2).

So while two turkeys enjoy freedom, whistleblowers remain targets of state aggression. While the privacy of the state is strengthened, the privacy of the citizen is compromised. Such a shame that the tradition of pardoning turkeys is honored while the tradition of civil liberties in America is cooked.

Sources came from, huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/obama-whistleblower and aclu.org/national-security/president-obama-signs-indefinite-detention-bill-law.

Jay Coleman, Ashland

Earth is not getting warmer

Earl Ferguson’s Dec. 1 letter had some facts right, some wrong and some that he “theorize(d)” out of thin air. His theory that the earth is sinking due to man’s mining activities is not found elsewhere, according to Snopes. They have no information, submitted, or asked on the subject.

 Evidently he did not bother to read the facts as I suggested in my letter as found in “http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=3”. There he could have learned that all ice is not “melting at an accelerated pace.” Let’s go there now:

MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index … shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, warming to 1941, cooling to 1964, warming to 1998 and cooling through 2011. The warming rate from 1964 to 1998 was the same as the previous warming from 1911 to 1941. Satellites, weather balloons and ground stations all show cooling since 2001.

Umn, cooling since 2001— fewer hurricanes.

MYTH 9:  Receding glaciers and the calving of ice shelves are proof of global warming. FACT: Glaciers have been receding and growing cyclically for hundreds of years

MYTH 10: The earth’s poles are warming; polar ice caps are breaking up and melting and the sea level rising. FACT: The earth is variable.The Arctic Region had warmed from 1966 to 2005, due to cyclic events in the Pacific Ocean and soot from Asia darkening the ice, but there has been no warming since 2005.

Current temperatures are the same as in 1943. The small Palmer Peninsula of Antarctica is getting warmer, while the main Antarctic continent is actually cooling. Ice cap thicknesses in both Greenland and Antarctica are increasing. Sea level monitoring in the Pacific (Tuvalu) and Indian Oceans (Maldives) has shown no sign of any sea level rise.

One thousand years ago Vikings farmed Greenland.

                                                                            William B. Secrest, Argentum

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