The right way to respond
There is nothing wrong with commenting on another’s letter or column. As long as the response contains facts and is well reasoned not just condemnation. Frank Gadbois did not like Sloan Oliver’s column. Instead of identifying specifics and providing a cohesive and intelligent response, Frank savaged Sloan. He claimed he is naive, idealistic and not realistic.
If I do not agree with someone’s option, I identify why, then present my reasons and give my opinion. I do not attack their character, intelligence or motivation. If the individual does not like my comments they can respond. I enjoy reading what others have to say. I know that I am not always right and that my option is just that, an opinion.
I believe it is better if we respect each other and respond accordingly. There is enough anger and stupidity in the world. We should not add to it. We should let readers think that we are writers of reason. That we are not petulant egoists who believe that we have a moral obligation to criticize and enlighten.
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Weakening the EPA
The Trump Administration’s efforts to undercut the work of the Environmental Protection Agency are appalling. I am old enough to remember the Cuyahoga River on fire due to pollution, a tragedy that helped prompt the Clean Water Act of 1972. I can also remember when the young and old in San Diego were routinely advised not to go outside for fear of respiratory distress. The administration’s plans to weaken the EPA threaten to reverse the enormous progress the nation has made on environmental issues during my lifetime.
Worse, we are now faced with the threat of global warming, which cannot be left to the ignorance and anti-intellectualism of President Trump and his Cabinet. The scientific consensus that global warming is real and the result of human activity is overwhelming. The distinguished scientist James Lawrence Powell shows in an article entitled “The Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming (Skeptical Inquirer, 39 [Nov.-Dec., 2015], 42-45) that President Obama’s assertion that there was 97 percent agreement is wrong. The actual level of agreement “is above 99.9 percent.” The EPA is in the forefront of the struggle to preserve the planet. It should be strengthened not weakened.
Fred R. van Hartesveldt,
The people of Houston County have continued to re-elect Sheriff Cullen Talton election after election. Sheriff Talton has always shown himself to be a professional law enforcement officer determined to protect the people of this county. That professionalism and determination to serve is reflected in the demeanor of his deputies.
During the wee hours of Saturday morning I was awakened by bright lights shining in my yard. I raised the window and demanded to know who it was and what they wanted. They announced themselves as Houston County Sheriffs deputies, and informed me they had noticed smoke coming from behind my house so they had stopped to check.
As it turned out it was an artificial log smoldering in the portable fire pit on my back deck, which is covered by a spark arrester and poses no threat of starting a fire. I thanked the two deputies for checking, but neglected to get their names.
So I’d like to thank them again in this letter and hope that if they don’t see it, someone else from the department will and communicate my thanks to them. And thanks to Sheriff Talton for maintaining a department of professionals who understand their role in protecting our community.
From The New York Times the costs of Trump’s wall and expelling millions of undocumented aliens is mind-boggling. Immigration enforcement alone costs $19 billion annually. Or $306 billion since 1986. ICE and the Border Patrol detain more than 400,000 people annually.
Trump has asked for 10,000 more ICE officers and 5,000 Border Patrol agents. Tump wants a 2,000 -mile, double thick, very high wall. We already have 700 miles of fencing on the border. This fencing cost between $2.8 million to $3.9 million per mile.
The total costs for the wall vary from $27 billion to $40 billion. Congress requires the Homeland Security department to maintain 34,000 immigration detention beds. Cost estimates for this is $2 billion, or $5.5 million a day.
Unauthorized immigrants pay $13 billion a year into Social Security and get only $1 billion back. All of the above is total insanity and will drastically hurt our national economy and the national debt.
Frank W. Gadbois,
Nuclear launch codes
Crazy Donald is at it again, this time claiming former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election, a claim Crazy Donald made without any corroborating evidence and a claim both Obama and FBI Director James Comey have denied. Since Obama’s and Comey’s denials haven’t assuaged Trump, he wants the House Intelligence Committee to investigate his claim and reach the alt-right conspiratorial truth. If the House Intelligence Committee eventually decides to investigate this matter, I suggest it also have Trump examined by a competent physician to determine if a hostile extraterrestrial parasite or a Russian transmitter embedded deep in his pre-frontal cortex could explain his bizarre accusations.
Columbia, South Carolina
I propose an analogy for arguments I have actually heard from climate change skeptics. A man goes to his doctor and learns that several tests have shown that he has cancer. His doctor also informs him that he has conferred with colleagues to verify the diagnosis. The man explodes in laughter telling his doctor that he is on to the scam. “You’re just telling me this so you can perform a bunch of tests and perhaps squeeze in an unnecessary operation or two and fatten your wallet and justify your position here at the hospital.” The confused doctor says, “No sir, I am serious, you actually do have cancer.” The patient walks out of the doctor’s office laughing all the way down the hall. Some of the people that I have heard proposing this same idea regarding climate scientists seem to be completely rational in other respects. Go figure.