Reincarnation not about pleasure

For all the materialism fueling our holiday feasts and celebrations, Christmas, Hanukkah and the Muslim equivalent, Ramadan and Eid-al Fitr, all signify seasons of faith, hope and charity, as well as a time for personal review.

Bidding farewell to the past and welcoming the new is a human ritual dating back thousands of years, helping us realize we also have experienced previous lives.

Rewards, paybacks, life missions and legacies are what reincarnation is really about, not the pursuit of pleasure.

Indeed, the person most central to Christianity, His fundamental message lost along the way somewhere, strove to illustrate this very point. Fulfilling His mission as a teacher, Christ’s 2,000-year-old legacy has been His graphic death, followed by His immediate reincarnation into His body, to prove that we come back.

The luminous spiritual holiday upon us begins this magical process by celebrating the ordinary birth of a baby under very humble conditions. A non-exclusive event, poor sheepherders and rich eastern kings alike were directed by the creator’s own minions to attend, a brilliant night star lighting their way toward the location, where a small crowd had gathered, playing music and offering gifts.

The baby grew up to be a teacher, leader and ultimately a martyr at a young age, not uncommon in those brutal days of the early Roman Empire. Since then, and before, like shooting stars trailing past lives behind us, we all have reincarnated numerous times, clues and physical evidence now easily available on the Internet, contained in family archives and books. Truth is, we do reincarnate, and ancient kings and queens are walking among us. As the Old Guard, many of us are experiencing our final episodes on Earth and struggling to leave our legacies, even while a new guard arrives. For this is the Apocalypse.

Wishing you a harmonious New Year.

Amelia Armstrong



Drilling will have economic impacts

Concern about health effects from drilling is only part of the problem. Consider the economic impacts.

First, there’s the lack of insurance. Virtually every homeowner policy has a “pollution exclusion” clause. If a spill or other accident contaminates your water, you won’t be covered. Nor can you get an “umbrella” policy for additional coverage anywhere in New York. The risk is too great. One accident and an insurer could be liable for the entire aquifer. Your only option is to sue.

Then there’s water testing you’ll need on a regular basis to prove liability. Figure anywhere from $400 to several thousand a year, and no guarantee it will be accepted in court, since there are no standard tests.

Then there’s home mortgages. The FHA won’t give you one if there’s a gas lease within 300 feet of your property. Many banks have even more-restrictive policies and will even call your mortgage if your neighbor signs. They don’t want the risk that your home will become worthless.

Then there’s property taxes. Road damage on narrow country roads is a certainty. Even if your town passes an ordinance requiring companies to post bonds, it might not be enough. Repairs can cost upwards of $300,000 per mile, according to the Delaware County highway commissioner. If damages exceed the bond, guess whose taxes will go up?

How many people are eager to buy land next to a drilling operation, with the traffic, the lights, the noise, the increased crime, the smell? Suffice it to say property values will decline.

Finally, the gas companies will cap their wells with cement plugs and leave. When the cement slowly cracks over the next decades, leaking contaminants into our aquifers, who will pay? And that’s only if the damage can be repaired.

Sound like a good deal to you?

Bob Rosen

East Meredith

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