Please hold applause
I find myself both bemused and perturbed by the controversy over who stood up and applauded during the president's State of the Union address.
I am opposed to all applause and standing ovations during this speech. This isn't a high school pep rally, for heaven's sake. I want to tell the president and members of both parties, "Sit down. Shut up. Stop congratulating yourself. Get to work."
Attack on the planet
As a former science teacher in 1970 celebrating the first Earth Day and the implementation of the EPA by Richard Nixon, I am shocked to see how far we have backpedaled in 48 years. With overwhelming evidence from increasingly accurate scientific studies, we now bring you President Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, installed climate-change denier Scott Pruitt as EPA director, and attempted twice to install Kathleen Hartnett White, a woman who knows less about the effects of carbon dioxide on the planet than the average high school science student, to head up the Council on Environmental Quality. All of these nominations and appointments are applauded and supported by deep coal pockets like the Koch brothers, and an unbroken broadcast range of evangelical and conservative talk-show hosts.
It's a full frontal attack on health, the planet and common sense for the sake of heating up the economy and betting the planet's future on production and consumption.
This is not just about our guns, abortion, and immigration. The planet is at peril at the hands of politicians who care nothing about the degradation of the planet or the effects tactical nuclear weapons would have on it. It might be time to pull our heads out of the sand.
Along with Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt, we have Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary, who supported measures to increase production of fossil fuels; Rick Perry as Energy secretary, who once vowed to eliminate the agency; and Jeff Sessions as attorney general, who opposed nearly every piece of legislation to protect the environment in his 20 years in the Senate.
It took the signatures of 300 scientists and a few Republicans to cause Kathleen Hartnett White to withdraw her candidacy for the Council on Environmental Quality, so let's see which fox President Trump has up his sleeve next to protect our environment.
Cherrypicking of facts
This is a reply to Don Kline on his "Constitutional matters" letter. Yes, the 14th Amendment does say in the second part of Section 1 that no law should restrict the rights of a citizen. But it seems Kline is cherrypicking his facts.
1: The 14th Amendment has repeatedly been stated to be to protect everyone.
2: There is no clause in the Constitution that allows you to discriminate against anyone.
3: No decent human should discriminate against anyone.
That is why so many of us young people are pulling away from religion. We are tired of being hated on because we are different. We are tired of being told we can't date that person because that person is a different race. We are tired of suffering because someone read a book from 2,000 years ago.
Pedestrians in danger
Several weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the editor expressing my concern as a pedestrian who daily walks from my remote parking space downtown to my office building. I have come close to being hit several times by cars turning right but ignoring "Walk" signs. I constantly have to dodge cars during evening rush hour because a crosswalk is blocked by impatient or oblivious drivers. At the end of my letter, I added, "I don't want my obituary to read, 'She was mowed down while crossing Capitol and Broadway'."
Sadly, Monday a woman died after she was hit on the sidewalk at Sixth and Broadway when two cars collided. Let that sink in for a moment. She was standing on the sidewalk.
I can't stop thinking about her. Was she one of the many downtown workers who walk to lunch or park in lots several blocks from their workplaces? Did she come downtown for an appointment or to meet a friend for lunch? Who was waiting for her?
My daily route doesn't take me to Sixth and Broadway, but I have walked across that intersection many times when going to meetings or to lunch. Every day, I stand on sidewalks patiently (impatiently when it's raining or 20 degrees) waiting for the light to change and watching for red-light runners before crossing Broadway. I thought I was safe on sidewalks until now. I imagine the victim of Monday's crash thought so too.
Coverage is negative
I'm not sure what media outlets Ronald Byrd Jr. has access to, but I believe his claim that President Obama received twice as much incivility and bad press as Donald Trump is tragically uninformed, at best.
A study on media coverage of Trump's first 100 days was published by Harvard's Kennedy School, which is not exactly a right-wing group.
The study shows that 80 percent of the coverage on Trump was negative. They compared that to 41 percent negative for Obama, 57 percent negative for George W. Bush, and 60 percent negative for Clinton. It's not even close. So, Mr. Byrd, it's time for a little bit of your "polite incredulity."
The vast majority of the media coverage studied, both network and print, on Donald Trump was negative. I guess that is what we should have expected.
A lot of people like me voted for Donald Trump hoping that he would go to Washington and shake up what I call the "ruling class" of politicians (of both parties), lobbyists and bureaucrats.
I am pleased with the results ... so far.
Editorial on 02/07/2018
Print Headline: Letters