History Must Not Repeat Itself: How the Democrats Could Lose the Presidency–Again

    by Walter Brasch In 1967, the United States was digging itself deeper into the war in Vietnam. The anti-war movement was being forged by the youth, energetic and willing to stand up to establishment values. They were the peace-loving environmentally-friendly hippies, the more radical but fun-loving Yippies, and those who held weekday establishment jobs and resented the structure and rules of an older generation that had survived the economic depression of the 1930s, the war years of the 1940s and early 1950s, and now wanted the “Happy Days” comfort of the 1950s. But it was during this decade that the Cold War emerged; the right-wing surfaced and declared anyone with non-establishment views were Communists. The witch hunts of … Continue reading

Explosions, Leaks, and Health Contamination: Fracking’s Effects Even if You Don’t Live Near Well Pad

  Train engines pulling 100 oil tank cars that derail, causing fires and explosions, trucks and 50-year-old pipelines that leak and explode into fireballs releasing toxic methane into the air, contributing to leaks in the protective ozone layer, are just three problems related to fracking, according to an expert on the controversial drilling process. “You can live 100 miles away from the nearest gas or oil pump and you will be affected,” says Dr. Walter Brasch, author of Fracking America: Sacrificing Health and the Environment for Short-Term Economic Benefit. “Toxic fumes don’t stop at the nearest county but travel with the winds,” says Brasch. Almost three-fourths of the oil produced in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota is transported by … Continue reading

David Washington New Leadership for Chesapeake

Hello! I’m David Washington running for Chesapeake City Council this election year in May. Please allow me to tell you a little more about myself. First and foremost, I am a man of God, husband to my wife April and father to our daughter Angela. I’m a Navy Veteran, former Obama Campaign Staffer and Campaign Manager to Chesapeake Councilwoman Dr. Ella Ward. I am President of the New Chesapeake Men for Progress. I am also serving the Chesapeake community as the Chairman of the Chesapeake Human Services Advisory Board. I’m a Prince Hall Mason, Summa Cum Laude graduate of Norfolk State University with a degree in Political Science and member and Ministry Leader at the Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church … Continue reading

Katrina: A 10-Year Review

by Walter Brasch This week is the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the southeastern gulf coast by Hurricane Katrina. More than 1,800 people died. There is no estimate for the number of pets and wildlife. Damage was estimated at more than $100 billion. About 80 percent of New Orleans was flooded. In Mississippi, the water surge flooded as much as 10 miles from the beaches. The Category 3 storm should not have caused that much damage, but it exposed poorly-designed levees that should have protected New Orleans. Sanctimonious critics, many of them conservative politicians, claimed that if the residents had evacuated New Orleans like they were ordered, the death toll and suffering would have been significantly less. What they … Continue reading

Canned Pleasure: The Thrill of the Kill

By Walter Brasch Would you like to go to Zimbabwe, kill and behead a lion, just like that dentist from Minnesota or the physician from Pittsburgh recently did? They paid about $50,000 each for that experience. How about a black rhino, an endangered species? A professional hunter from Dallas, Texas, won a $350,000 lottery to stalk and kill that animal in southern Namibia. In the 1950s, there were about 70,000 black rhinos. There are now fewer than 2,400, most of them killed off by the human predators. If giraffes are your thing, you can go to South Africa and, like a woman from Idaho, kill the world’s tallest animal, pose with it, and post it onto your Facebook page. But, … Continue reading

Citizen-Journalist Fined for Telling the Truth

  by Walter Brasch   Vera Scroggins of Susquehanna County, Pa., was found to be in contempt of court, Thursday, and fined $1,000. Her offense? She tells the truth. Truth is something that apparently has bypassed the court of Judge Kenneth W. Seamans, who retired at the end of 2014, but came out of retirement to handle this case. The case began in October 2013. Scroggins, a retired real estate agent and nurse’s aide, was in Common Pleas Court to explain why a temporary injunction should not be issued against her. That injunction would require her to stay at least 150 feet from all properties where Cabot Oil and Gas had leased mineral rights, even if that distance was on … Continue reading

Divesting America of Ozone-Destroying Energy Sources

  by Walter Brasch   Long before the price of gas and oil began to plummet, socially conscious churches, universities, non-profit organizations, and local governments began to divest themselves of fossil fuel stock and shock the fossil fuel industry to understand the environmental and public health concerns. The World Council of Churches, which represents about 590 million Christians in 520,000 congregations, decided in July that to continue to hold fossil fuel stock would compromise its ethics, and recommended that the 349 member denominations consider divesting oil and gas stock. Six of the eight Anglican dioceses of New Zealand and Polynesia, and four dioceses in Australia divested their portfolios of fossil fuel stock. In the United States, the United Church of … Continue reading

The Fracking Boom is a Fracking Bubble

  by Walter Brasch   Gas prices have plunged to the low $2 range—except in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, the prices at the pump are in the mid-$2 range. That’s because Gov. Tom Corbett and the legislature imposed a 28-cent per gallon surcharge tax. Until 2019, Pennsylvanians will be paying an additional $2.3 billion a year in taxes and fees—$11.5 billion total—to improve the state’s infrastructure. In addition to the increased tax on gas at the pumps, Pennsylvania motorists will also be spending more for license registrations, renewals, and title certificates. For far too many years, the state’s politicians of both major parties, preaching fiscal austerity—and hoping to be re-elected by taxpayers upset with government spending—neglected the roads, bridges, and other … Continue reading