The debacle of Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge traffic jam is significant. It’s not significant because it fuels the Democrats and liberal media with more political ammunition or because it dampens the New Jersey governor’s chances of winning a 2016 presidential bid. It’s significant because it sets forth a classic template of a “real” scandal.



Take the so-called Benghazi scandal. We all grieve the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens. No matter what your sentiments are in regard to the president, to make the argument that the deaths could have been prevented is unfair. Former President Bush could have prevented the 9/11 attacks had he acted on prior knowledge.



In spite of intense investigations, no evidence has surfaced that even remotely suggests that the president and his staff were engaged in wrongdoing.



In reference to the so-called IRS scandal, as of yet, FBI investigators haven’t turned up anything substantial, but the conservative media continue to call the IRS controversy a scandal.



Real scandals have scandalous substance. They take on a life of their own.



When uncovered and exposed, they fester and die. Warren G. Harding’s administration was so ridden by scandal that upon his death, his wife destroyed all his business records. Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency rather than face impeachment charges for his role in the Watergate break-in.



On center stage presently is the traffic jam scandal, which was aimed at punishing Democratic Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, N.J., for not endorsing Gov. Christie’s re-election bid.



Four top people have lost their jobs and 20 subpoenas have been issued, as the governor himself hired a defense lawyer.



It’s ironic that the debacle would surface at the onset of the new year, as the extremist faction of the Republican Party has vowed to repeal Obamacare and continue its obstructionist strategies.



It is embarrassing that the debacle’s substance would unravel before the nation and world. Everybody can see how the bridge, IRS and Benghazi scandals rank in comparison.



Alfred Spencer



Warren



 



Behind the ?shoving match



I read with interest the latest chapter of the shoving saga between Mayor Don Plusquellic and Councilman Russel Neal (“Mayor denies race played role in fight,” Jan. 25) and Plusquellic’s letter to the community.



I firmly believe that the mayor is not a racist. However, I also believe Neal’s assertion that the shoving match was initiated by the mayor’s involvement in council committee appointments.



Plusquellic has been the 14th member of the council since he became mayor. Dictating to the council president and council members has been his forte.



Should Council President Garry Moneypenny mediate the issue between the mayor and Neal, then I would fear for Neal. There is no way Moneypenny would side with him. You would need a three-person panel to listen to both sides and base its decision accordingly.



Matt Contessa



Akron



 



Out of the cold



I was really upset when I read the article about the St. Joseph School’s administrator, Tom Acker (“Snow days brushed off at parochial elementary,” Jan. 22).



How dare he feel that schoolchildren’s days off are “stupid.” How many of his students walk two miles in the snow and cold? How many have to stand at a bus stop with the wind blowing and faces and hands freezing?



I’m proud of the school districts that care for their students in this freezing cold weather.



I have five great grandchildren who are lucky to have thoughtful school administrators.



Phyllis D. Kasarnich



Hartville



 



Right of ?self-protection



Regarding the Jan. 22 letter “Guns in the modern world,” yet another person displays misunderstanding of the purpose and importance of the Second Amendment.



The Second Amendment was placed in the Bill of Rights because it is so essential to our ability to protect the rest of our rights and to protect ourselves against all governments, domestic and foreign.



It guarantees our right of self- protection (for individuals and families). As long as governments and evil people exist, it will always be an essential, relevant right.



The writer apparently has the misconception that our present society is less violent than it was during the times of our Revolution. In my opinion, we are worse off today due to the fact that we are raising a generation of individuals that has no respect for the sanctity of life and the Ten Commandments.



Dale Cameron



Stow



 



In the dark ?about fracking



The public knows very little about drilling and fracking for natural gas and the accompanying, prized liquids. We know we need the gas for industry and our homes. We know that many landowners will profit in some way and that the energy companies will profit in a very big way. Beyond that, we are pretty much in the dark.



We are told that whatever it is that they pump into the ground is safe. We have no way to prove that it is harmless; we can only doubt it.



We don’t know the makeup of what is used in fracking, the formula being proprietary for each company, supposedly as a trade secret.



Their formulas are about as proprietary as my wife’s recipe for scrambled eggs, the proprietary part being which store the eggs came from, Acme or Giant Eagle.



We don’t know what happens to the waste, unless some careless tank truck driver gets caught dumping it down a storm sewer. We don’t know if our well water is becoming contaminated, until it smells or tastes bad, and then it is too late to do anything about it other than to quit using it.



We have no idea how many years it will take for this waste to find its way to the surface, but it will certainly happen over time. After all, what compelled Edwin Drake to drill where he did was the presence of seeps and pools of petroleum that had oozed up from below, a natural process that no doubt took thousands or millions of years.



I don’t understand why and how it is that citizens can be kept ignorant of the materials used. If the technology in its entirety is known to all, so what? The gas companies would keep on doing what they are doing, and we would still be left wringing our hands. Our reason would be different, though. It would be because of what we know instead of what we don’t know.



Paul Forney



Akron



 



Give the Browns ?a full makeover



The Browns have hired their eighth coach since they rejoined the NFL in 1999. The previous seven had losing records. Why would this one be any different?



I think the problem is that the Browns, without a doubt, have the ugliest uniforms in the NFL. They don’t even have an emblem on their helmets. Even the Steelers can afford to put an emblem on at least one side of their helmets.



If you look good, you feel good and you play good. First of all, the Browns need a new name. What is a Brown, anyway? Maybe a long-dead coach from 50 years ago?



Time to move on. Get some cool uniforms, a cool emblem on the helmet, maybe a dog baring its teeth, and call yourselves the Cleveland Dawgs. Some cheerleaders wouldn’t hurt.



Frank Pannell



Stow



 



Burden on ?the Postal Service



Is everyone aware that the price to mail a letter increased by 3 cents on Monday? What you may not know are the reasons.



Not surprisingly, the reason that the Postal Service has to keep raising rates is all political. It is because Republicans in Congress wish to destroy it. After all, so goes their thinking, grandma could simply FedEx cookies to her newest granddaughter, rather than mailing them through that stodgy old post office.



That would get the job done and support private enterprise.



In keeping with this unspoken desire, back in 2006, Republicans rammed through a law requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund its pension obligations for the next 75 years, a onerous task no other agency or business is asked to do.



Tom Prebis



Medina