To the editor:
I was living in northeast Nebraska up until a couple of months ago, and I observed firsthand the building of a pipeline that ran just to the east of Norfolk, Neb. I did not know where it originated, and I did not know where it would end, but as I observed it being laid underground for many miles across corn fields, I did not see more than 25 employees during the construction.
Machinery did most of the work, and I can’t imagine the Keystone XL pipeline demanding any more employees than I observed near Norfolk. There will be a few trucks hauling supplies and pipe, and a few administrative employees ordering materials and setting up land leases and right of way, but again, this does not require thousands of employees. And many, if not all, of the administrative employees will be Canadian.
If the pipe is not manufactured in the U.S., and with some of the workers sure to be Canadian, how is it that the Keystone project will create thousands of jobs? And even if the pipe is manufactured in the U.S., there is no way it takes thousands of employees to do this. Having observed a pipeline being constructed, and then hearing later on how a pipeline creates thousands of jobs, the question arose in my mind: Where is it these thousands of employees work?
To the editor:
Regarding Rich Lowry’s column on the police (“To stop hate, stop the lies,” Dec. 28 Review-Journal), the surface nature of his comments suggests extraordinary naiveté. How innocent can you be when you state that the police did not target Eric Garner because he was black (probably true), but fail to mention the police ignoring his repeated “I can’t breathe” pleas? Or when you fail to reference all of the proved cases of police brutality in New York, as well as those around the country?
How innocent are you when you omit mention of problematic records of officers often involved in such incidents, or speak as if the debate began with Michael Brown and Mr. Garner in 2014, when it ties into numerous incidents such as Rodney King’s trial in 1992, Emmett Till in 1955 and beyond? How innocent are you when you fail to mention that the “dead cops” chant was a singular exception rejected by other protesters and blacks in general, and that many people experienced in such matters (white and black) now express the need for an independent police review process?
How fair are you when, with no black son of your own, you condemn Attorney General Eric Holder and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for what they feel and say? Black Americans understand that the vast majority of police are brave, decent people. However, Mr. Lowry ignores the possibility — and, in fact, the reality — that some officers are not good, and that sanctions upon their misconduct are most often very minimal (if at all), which perpetuates the tensions.
CALVIN B. ROCK
Obama and the economy
To the editor:
Regarding Michael Winne’s letter to the editor, it appears he just copied a President Barack Obama press release, then complained that the Review-Journal did not report on the president’s accomplishments (“Anti-Obama bias,” Thursday Review-Journal).
First, the accomplishments were not his nor his administration’s. The issue with the biggest impact in the press release was the effect of lower gas prices on the economy. I will grant that those costs have a huge impact for consumers, but that came about due to the fracking revolution, which is opposed by the Obama administration and environmental groups, and maybe rightfully so. More investigation is needed to determine the safety of this process.
And on employment, President Obama and his administration oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. Why? Because it doesn’t “pencil out.” The construction jobs created would be short-term jobs and not a real boost to the economy, even though these jobs would be paid for by private enterprise. Let’s pencil this out: about 2,000 jobs, with overtime pay and benefits of $100,000 per job, would pump about $200 million into the states building the pipeline. I think that is a fairly nice boost to those states’ economies.
West Bank construction
To the editor:
I read with disgust Israel’s plan to construct 243 new homes on land once owned by the Palestinians, which was annexed by Israel after the 1967 war (“Israel approves more West Bank settlements,” Dec. 26 Review-Journal). These settlement activities have drawn criticism from the European Union and the U.S. Might I remind Israel and the Jewish people in our country that we did not own any land in Germany after winning World War II? The same goes for Japan.
Give back the land, and just maybe the hatred against the Jewish people would subside. At one time, both countries got along just fine. Israel would not exist today without aid from America over the years. I would wager that trillions of dollars have been spent by America to keep Israel afloat. Do not push the world community too far. It might hurt you in the long run.