A question for a question

Columnist Marc Thiessen’s question, in his Nov. 2 column, of whether Joe Biden would have ordered the raid that killed ISIS leader al-Baghdadi deserves a follow-up. Would Biden have taken credit for actions of the people, institutions and allies he has continually criticized?

As U.S. Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass said after the raid, “The irony of the successful operation against al-Baghdadi is that it could not have happened without U.S. forces on the ground that have been pulled out, help from Syrian Kurds who have been betrayed, and support of a U.S. intelligence community that has so often been disparaged.”

A Kurd provided al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts; Trump has spent three years claiming intelligence agencies are deep state conspirators; and a bone-spur diagnosis from the family doctor kept Trump from ever wearing anything but golf spikes on the ground.

And as for the “whimpering and crying and screaming” in the terrorist leader’s last minutes, no one else knows what he’s talking about.

Mark Spencer,

Cross Roads

Re: The Denton fracking ban of 2014

I appreciated Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe’s Nov. 3 report on the five-year anniversary of Denton’s fracking ban that was killed with House Bill 40.

Though there was little in this piece to challenge the arguments of Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, I hope those counter arguments are forthcoming in the future reporting the Record-Chronicle has scheduled.

For now, I would like to respond to Staples’ contention that “HB 40 was necessary to prevent the spread of potentially hundreds of local ordinances that would seek to slow or stop the development of hydrocarbons in Texas.” Denton’s ban was simply to prevent the toxic effects of fracking within the city limits near those places where we raise our children.

Most locations in the Barnett Shale afforded vast areas of land that were not in close proximity to protected uses such as homes, schools and parks. The idea that the Denton fracking ban posed a threat to the industry is a specious argument.

Current science reveals that distances less than 1,500-2,000 feet from well sites can pose serious health and safety risks to individuals, especially those who already suffer from respiratory problems. The state’s current setback distances resulting from HB 40 are arbitrary and not supported by peer-reviewed data, data-driven analysis or historical events.

The City Council will be reviewing gas well setbacks in its Nov. 19 meeting. Citizens who care about the health and safety risks these wells create should be present to attend the 6:30 p.m. public session to speak or fill out a brief form registering your concerns.

Larry Beck,

Denton Drilling Awareness Group Board member, Denton

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