Letters to the Editor, Sept. 2
Victim not served
Judge Patricia Crain awarded Robert Zundel 90 days in the county jail. He engaged in sex with his minor aged student in 2015.
Judge Crain called him "an idiot." In actuality, this individual is a sex predator who fulfilled his fantasy. He then manipulated Judge Crain's courtroom over a two-year period. The judge and prosecutor finally submitted, and gave the sex offender a slap on the wrist.
Lenient plea bargainers always strum the chord "it saves the victim further pain by avoiding a prolonged trial.". Don't believe it. Lenient plea bargains are only appropriate in weak cases. On the contrary, they are a fool's venture in strong cases.
Weak judges and lazy prosecutors can never hide behind name-calling. This provides no solace or support for the victim. County residents expect judges and prosecutors with good judgement and strong backbones.
Facts trump alternative facts
David Schott’s guest opinion criticizing let-burn fire policies in the Aug. 25 Mail Tribune smacks of alternative facts that would probably land him a job with the Trump administration.
First, the Chetco fire was a “suppress” fire from the get-go. Firefighters had to rappel into steep, remote terrain. The fire in July burned in a healthy pattern, increasing in intensity as the summer heated up and Chetco high winds kicked in. Putting more firefighters into that situation would have been a disaster. No amount of logging can slow down a weather-driven fire, as we learned from the Biscuit fire.
Second, his “sensible forest projects” have turned hillsides into flammable tree plantations that include mounds of slash as high as three-story buildings. Both the Douglas Complex and Oregon Gulch fires burned hottest when fire hit densely packed tree plantations just like thousands of other fires that have blown up when encountering plantations.
And finally, no one likes smoke. But the best way to deal with fire in general is to clear vegetation from the home outward, stop clearcutting native forests, and thin the existing plantations to reduce fire hazards. When it comes to fire preparation, facts trump hyperbole.
Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D., chief scientist, Geos Institute
Debate policy, not science
In a Sunday letter to the editor, Rob Schlapfer attempts to equate the science of global warming with political discourse. Yes, Schlapfer's "Weekly Talk" is likely to be a good way to get opposite sides talking in political discourse — such as policy issues related to dealing with the causes and effects of global warming — but does this have a place in the discussion of the science of global warming? I think Alan Journet, who is a scientist by training, knows it does not — any more than a discussion of the science of quantum mechanics would.
Much of the science of global warming is settled. Nearly 100 percent of climate scientists believe that the climate has been and is being altered by the actions of human beings.
Sure, there are a few holdouts, but science operates by consensus and peer review. We all need to believe in that. If you don't, then you'd better throw away your cellphone and many other conveniences we have come to enjoy as they, too, are based on consensus scientific beliefs.
Mencken's words prescient
Henry Mencken, well-known journalist and scholar of American English, was one of America’s most influential writers. His keen insight into the downward trajectory of this country’s socio-political mentality is keenly demonstrated by this prescient quotation:
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” — H. L. Mencken
Send it to Texas
Want to be a hero, Trump? Forget the "wall." Give the money to the Hurricane Harvey victims!
In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, sums up the hypocrisy of many in the "pro-life" movement:
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
It's a mess
Republicans are still saying they want to "drain the swamp." Before they do that, I suggest they clean out the rat's nest in the White House.