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Septic system regulation is flawed
To the editor:
The Anderson County Board of Health Regulation 2004-01a is flawed. It does not address the stated problem that spawned its creation; namely, “that failing septic systems contribute considerable amounts of pollution to groundwater.” How is a failing septic system related to pumping a properly functioning septic tank every three years? The board’s solution equates with treating a broken leg by splinting the sound leg and ignoring the leg with the fractured bone.
Was the considerable research referenced in the regulation done in Anderson County? The source and location of that research and the statutory authority for the regulation are not cited.
The regulation presumes to impose septic tank pumping once every three years on systems installed on or after July 1, 2004, and ignores the systems installed prior to that date unless they are inspected or repaired. How did the board come up with once every three years? That number is as flawed as the regulation. The gallon capacity of the tank, the number of individuals living in a household and garbage disposers are the variables that determine how often a septic tank should be pumped.
Because of those variables, the pumping frequency of the average size septic tank ranges from once every 15.6 years to once every one year, or once anywhere in between those two extremes. In other words, some septic tanks should be pumped more frequently than once every three years and some should be pumped less frequently.
Given the foregoing variables, my new septic tank, which is larger than the average tank and ahs a life expectancy of 40 years, requires a pumping once every 18.9 years. I will have it pumped once every three years if the Health Department can convince a judge that I should pump it every three years, and for what purpose? Those unnecessary pumpings will not affect anything but my bank account, and they surely won’t repair “failing systems.” I would much prefer to spend money on court costs than to have it spent by a regulation that serves no purpose other than to offend responsible homeowners.
Moreover, mandating that a septic tank, which poses no health hazard to anything or anybody, be pumped at the homeowner’s expense years before it should be pumped is arbitrary and amounts to an indirect form of taxation. The Board of Health has no authority to impose that type of spending on private citizens. As far as I can tell, there is only one individual on the Anderson County Board of Health accountable to voters, the judge-executive.
Fisher-Price should recall 2-in-1 learning kitchen
To the editor:
I have a concern with the Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Learning Kitchen. When you (turn on) the light sensor, there’s a song that sings “Someone’s in the kitchen learning, someone’s in the kitchen with Ray (or to play), someone’s in the kitchen learning, do you think they’ll be gay?” And then there’s a song on the spinning numbers that says, “Someone’s in the kitchen making cookies, someone in the kitchen is gay.”
Now, I have called Fisher-Price and the woman I talked to would not give me her name, but I told her I have a concern with the Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Learning Kitchen songs.
I’m just concerned. I don’t want my daughter thinking that it’s OK to be saying the word ‘gay.’ I was making cookies and cupcakes last night and my 17-month-old daughter looked at me and said, “Cookies — gay.”
Something has got to be done. And I’m not stopping until it’s done.
Stop wasting strength in ‘fruitless wars’
To the editor:
“Tell me, how does this thing end?”... General Petraeus, 2003.
The surge, under the expert guidance of Gen. Petraeus, has been successful. But can we really expect that the Sunni, Shiites and Kurds would live peacefully absent American military power?
And can we really afford to continue this role as the world’s policeman given the fact that our government is bankrupt, with some $70 trillion of future obligations in excess of anticipated revenues?
This mislabeled war on terror should have terminated when we had driven Saddam Hussein from power.
At that point the lesson against terrorism would have been well understood, and the government in power would have been entirely the responsibility of Iraqi political interests. The Iraqi popular acclaim for the United States at the time of the liberation of Baghdad has turned to widespread hatred as collateral damage has climbed to several million Iraqi dead, wounded and displaced persons.
Our seven-year war with Afghanistan is potentially more harmful than Iraq. If Russia, with its sophisticated weaponry and not being constrained by moral principles, could not defeat the Afghan guerillas in 10 years, how could we expect to?
Using only 460 American personnel and substantial airpower and allied with the Northern Alliance, we defeated the Taliban and their al Qaeda allies within three months and witnessed the installment of the Karzai government. At this point we were popular with the many Afghans who had been tyrannized by the Taliban government and we should have left the country.
By remaining in Afghanistan this initial acclaim has become widespread hatred as civilian casualties have mounted. What will we have if we eventually win again, except another country which is no threat to us and which we would have to occupy indefinitely, because there is no other way a now unpopular government would stay in power.
Continuing military operations in Afghanistan also puts us in a potential conflict with Pakistan and could lead to a militant/terrorist takeover of Pakistan and its estimated 75 nuclear missiles.
Consider also the ongoing financial and business sector bankruptcies that will surely total over $2 trillion in the current recession, with proportional taxpayer bailouts. These were foreseen by several important sources over the past several years. Warren Buffett has said for several years that the hundreds of trillion dollars of derivatives out there were a walking time bomb.
Fedhead Bernanke has said he would print all the money necessary to forestall recession (depression?). In the private sector, this is called counterfeiting. When the government does it, it imposes an inflation tax, which few people understand is directly related to printing press money and, of course, inflation is most harmful to the poor.
Bottom line, Russia and China both seek world power, and a strong America could be all that would constrain them from such an attempt. This is no time for us to be wasting our economic and military strength in fruitless wars. It is also no time for us to be exporting essential industry and losing millions of industrial jobs on the pretense that it is free trade (on a very uneven playing field)
During World War II we were called the arsenal of democracy because our military power was supported by our economic and industrial strength.
Malcolm L. Lilly