Got Leaks...?

Written by Sybele Capezzutti on . Posted in Sybele's Point Of View

Learning About Pipeline Leaks, (Part one of two in a series) 

With the recent news about President Trump’s executive orders to move forward with two very disputed pipelines and foreseeing the inevitable upcoming protests from environmentalists, I've decided to find out what causes pipeline leaks. 

I've worked in the construction industry for many years, so I'm a little familiar with regular plumbing and possible leak causes. Thus, I imagined that it couldn't be much different in the case of pipelines because it serves the same purpose although it carries a different substance.  Sure enough, the three main causes for leaks are corrosion, material/weld failures, and excavation damage. 

One would think that all three are preventable to some extent.  If an adequate blueprint of the existing pipeline is available, excavation damage can only be the result of poor management in preparing areas for excavation. As homeowners, we all know to "call 811 before you dig," so we don't end up with a broken water line while planting a tree. That's because the city will come and mark where not to dig.  If they can do that, then surely someone can figure out where not to dig and break an oil pipeline pipe. 

Corrosion - that is simple maintenance..!  Pipes will corrode over time.  But, the origin of the pipes and quality of the manufacturing can greatly reduce corrosion. 

Material/weld failure - Another preventable problem if the right material is used and the correct weld is applied by a skilled welder. At this point I was curious about what type of material we have been using and who was manufacturing it. Could it be that some of the leaks could have been avoided the same way that we could have avoided thousands of homeowners with leaky copper pipes imported from China? Maybe. 

So where do we get the materials to build these pipelines?  It seems that Sen. Jim Brewster from Pennsylvania (Democrat) found himself asking the same question, and also found the answer for me.  In 2015, concerned with the closing of a steel plant in his state, Sen. Brewster decided to find out why the plant was forced out of business.  What he discovered was that there was no requirement that drillers use domestic steel, so the oil companies were buying their pipes mostly from Canada, Austria, South Korea, Turkey, Russia and China. 

Here's where this gets complicated.  Pipelines require different types of pipes, different diameters, thickness, joints, etc., and the standards are different in each country.  If an oil company needs let's say five different types of pipes and has to buy them from three different countries and then put them all together, they are then assembling three different types of products that were manufactured slightly different from one another.  I'm not an expert on the subject, but it is pretty obvious to me that for maximum safety one would have a stronger joint if the materials being welded together shared exactly the same properties. 

Another area to be considered is the quality. My friends in the construction business can verify that materials from China are not only inferior, but have cost builders thousands of dollars in losses and homeowners to even lose their homes. It seems to me that the solution to avoiding future pipeline leaks is not to deprive ourselves of the incredible economic growth that new pipelines could bring, but double down on that growth by having American steel companies produce the high quality materials necessary for the oil companies.  Which explains why President Trump signed an executive order to move forward with the XL and Dakota pipelines, but required that American companies produced the pipes. 

He might be orange, he might have goofy hair, but there is a lot of knowledge behind everything he does!

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Marching For Bad Choices...

Written by Sybele Capezzutti on . Posted in Sybele's Point Of View

The "Women's March" taking place today is being sponsored by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, both which claim to protect women's reproductive rights, which is a scrubbed term to make abortion sound like something positive.

I'm not known for being completely against abortion, there are cases where I do believe (with a heavy heart) that it should be accessible legally.  I am though, 100% against it being government funded.

It is not anyone's responsibility but your own to pay for your decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy when there are several birth control methods that would have avoided killing an unborn baby! And while we are at it....what about the fathers?  Why do we make them responsible for a child's financial burden in case of a divorce but completely ignore their participation in producing that child in the case of an abortion?

None of the abortions performed by Planned Parenthood is the result of a situation where the life of the mother is at risk, so I ask you...if PP is so concerned with women's health, why aren't they spending their money on preventing instead of terminating pregnancies? Do they even bother to teach women the health consequences of an abortion? Of course they don't, abortion is a very profitable business.

When a pregnancy must be terminated due to health by doctor's recommendation, it becomes a medical procedure like any other and covered by one's health plan.  The difference between an abortion that is covered and one that isn't is the same of breast implants which are covered after a mastectomy and not covered for aesthetic reasons.

It breaks my heart to see so many women completely misled by these money hungry organizations who cleverly coined the term "reproductive rights" in order to recruit an army of volunteer soldiers to march in their behalf so they can keep profiting from procedures that not only are not a right but also damages their reproductive system, sometimes irreversibly.  

They talk about "abortion on demand" like if it was a movie that you select on pay per view and they want the tax payers to fund it!  And to the politicians on the pro-life side...you are not helping either!

What about some legislation to make adoption a better alternative?  What about making birth control pills available over the counter like in other countries and at a low cost?  Making something illegal never kept people who are determined to carry on with their actions stop from going forward, but education and options do work.

The bottom line is that there is no excuse for grown women who are educated to even find themselves in the situation of having to terminate a pregnancy other than in the case of rape or health.

The fact that over 3,000 abortions are performed every day in this Country due to pure negligence is a reflection of how ineffective pro-life groups have been against the money behind powerful organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

You will never hear me trying to make a point on this subject based on religion, I do not believe in imposing my religious beliefs on anyone.  But I will continue to stand firm on three basic principles when it comes to abortion:

1. It is NOT a reproductive right, your reproductive right is to choose not to get pregnant and have ways     to prevent it.

2. It is NOT a women's health issue, pregnancy is not a disease.

3. It is NOT anyone's financial responsibility but your own; you chose to have sex and of of the consequences is pregnancy.

I don't want to pay for your bad choices.

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Calling Dr. Trump, GDP In Grave Condition

Written by Sybele Capezzutti on . Posted in Sybele's Point Of View

For the ones who think our economy is doing well, you really need to understand GDP.

GDP (Gross domestic product) is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period. It is the "pulse" of a Country's economy and determines if it's growing and healthy, suffering of a chronic illness, if it's near death or on life support.

The higher the GDP growth the better the Country is doing.  Keep in mind that the GDP needs to grow with the population.

China's GDP growth rate is currently 6.6%, Iran's GDP is 4.6%.  Compare it to the US at 1.6%, that's the same growth rate for Lithuania!

Contrary to what the government wants you to believe our economy is near death, a few more years with only a little over 1% growth and it will be on life support....in simple terms - we're heading to another recession, it's just a matter of time.

You can ignore it, be an optimist, believe what the government tells you, and be caught by surprise when they next recession hits. Or you can learn how the economy really works, throw away all the ridiculous information you're given and study it yourself and understand that the published unemployment rate doesn't reflect reality, that salaries have been stagnate for the last 20 years, that inflation would be at about 20% if they added cost of food and gas to their calculation, that the stock market doesn't reflect your daily life, that only the rich have actually done well during the last decade, that big businesses are getting bigger and small businesses closing, that your grocery bill is 30% higher than it was a little over a year ago...and the list goes on.

We are now exactly where Brazil was 20 years ago; look at where they are now.  Like Trump or hate him, the undeniable fact is that he understands our economy needs serious revival. The kind that looks like a defibrillator or the patient is not going to make it.

Trump is no doubt a doctor with horrible bedside manners, but let's not sue him for malpractice before he has the chance to save the patient..!

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Obama's Parting Gesture "Read Between The Lines America"

Written by Sybele Capezzutti on . Posted in Sybele's Point Of View

Publisher’s Note:  As our regular readers know, Sybele Capezzutti has been a frequent guest on these pages, and it seems that her fingers never get tired of dancing around the keyboard.  Earlier today, those fingers did another magnificent foray around the dance floor of Op/Ed excellence and I am very pleased to announce that as of today’s article, she now has her own dedicated column.  

Please join me in congratulating this amazing and talented word smith who I am honored to call my friend.

Sybele Capezzutti:  During the last eight years anyone with the slightest conservative view has been attacked by celebrities, the media and our President.

If you didn't like being forced to buy insurance you were not caring for the people who couldn't afford it. If you didn't like something that Obama did you were a racist.  If you were worried about the refugee resettlement and the possible terrorist attacks you were a xenophobe and heartless.  If you cared about the environment but felt that climate change was a natural occurrence and not caused by human activity you were a climate change denier.

If you didn't care who marries who but felt that people who have strong convictions against gay marriage shouldn't be sued into compliance you were a homophobe.  If you knew that there were bad cops but not all cops were bad and they still need to do their job you didn't care about black lives.  If you thought that school choice was better for every child you were against education.  If you wanted Christians to be given the same respect Muslims were being given you were told to get off your high horse.  If you are white and you said you were a conservative you were automatically a white supremacist.

People were ridiculed, harassed and sued for their beliefs.  They were told day after day that they were scum by their own President, speech after speech.  So they got out of the house and voted against the oppression that they felt for eight years!  You would think that the election result sent a clear message that people have been pushed too far...but no, instead they go for one last spit on the collective face!  Not only people were once again accused of being racists, homophobes, xenophobes and white supremacists merely for voting to be free from their eight year misery, but they are also being told that they are completely irrelevant because the election was the result of Russian influence.

Accusing Russia of being responsible for the election result doesn't only de-legitimize Trump, it de-legitimizes his voters.  Obama never made the slightest effort to reach out to the people who didn't share his views, quite the opposite; he used every opportunity to mock them.  And he is leaving office exactly the same way he carried his entire presidency, showing contempt for all the Americans who did not view America through his eyes. 

This is the ultimate "you didn't build this" by Obama. 

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