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Opinion Letters

The N.C. Senate and House voted to lift the moratorium on fracking and Gov. Pat McCrory is signing the bill. The bill will not allow cities to ban/limit fracking and does not require the companies to disclose the chemical content of the fracking fluid.

I realize a lot of people do not know what fracking is. There have been reports on the news about earthquakes related to fracking but that would be a blessing if that were the only side effect. “Fracking” is hydraulic fracturing, where natural gas is extracted from rocks beneath the surface by drilling into the ground and pumping a mixture of water and chemicals into the rocks to cause cracks, releasing the gases. The fluids released into the ground are some of the most harmful substances we can be exposed to and since they are being put into the ground, it contaminates the drinking water.


In light of the recent VA issues, it is a real pleasure to pass on to the Franklin Community Based Outpatient Clinic my sincere “job performance well done!” The receptionist, nursing staff, lab personnel, and others who are involved in patient care have been exemplary in conduct and service. They have emitted an attitude of genuine service unencumbered by the usual falsetto of “have a nice day” crowd.

Surely this is noteworthy in a difficult environment of providing care to veterans. And from my experience sorry to say, some of us can be a bit crotchety. In addition the building has always been clean and uncluttered. Way to go housekeeping!


Talk is cheap.

Our country has just observed another Memorial Day. The print, TV, and social media and politicians have all waved the flag and urged us to thank our veterans and honor those who sacrificed all. But, if anyone suggested that we all pay enough taxes to keep our promises to the veterans and those presently serving, I missed it. Yes, we owe our freedoms to them. The corporations and billionaires, who have become rich in many cases by the military spending, are not required to pay their fair share of taxes.


June 8 marks the 47th anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty (GTR-5), in international waters, approximately 17 miles off the Gaza Strip, killing 34 and wounding 171 of the 295-man crew. I was aboard one of Liberty's sister ships (USS Jamestown GTR-3). We had just left Singapore and were steaming toward our assigned station off the coast of Vietnam.

Americans not yet born, or have long since forgotten the attack on this virtually unarmed U.S. Navy ship and every administration since Lyndon Johnson has down-played the incident, national media cooperating by rarely mentioning the event.

The reason is simple. Liberty was not attacked by any of our adversaries but by our perceived friend and ally, Israel. Without warning, Israeli Air Force Mirage fighters strafed Liberty, resulting in 820 rocket and cannon holes topside. After the fighters, Mystere bombers dropped napalm. While the crew battled the fires, Israeli torpedo boats fired five torpedos at Liberty with the clear intent to sink her. Fortunately four missed but the one that didn't, left a 40-foot hole in her starboard side, killing 25 men.


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