To The Daily Sun,
Are we seeing the end of American culture? Recent events have caused me to look a little closer into what is our American culture, and what's happening to it. Maybe it's because I'm a little older and wiser and think the younger generation doesn't care about anything anymore.
According to Wikipedia, American culture began with Jeffersonian democracy. Our sports, holidays, prevalent ideals, arts and entertainment give a strong sense of national pride among the population as a whole. Some call it American exceptionalism. We're proud to be American. I'm proud to be American.
American culture incorporates many Christian ideals specifically about redemption, salvation, conscience, and morality, ie, confession and forgiveness to public figures. Christians comprise 80.2 percent of the American public. Atheists, 4 percent. Then why do atheists control the thoughts of the rest of the country?? Why can't we exhibit the 10 Commandments or prayer in public places if we want? They call it "Political Correctness". That 4 percent may be offended! What about the 80 percent being offended by NOT having their say?
Other diminishing cultural norms are the family unit, illegality of hard drugs, the majority of Americans speaking out (they are silent!), volunteerism, nudity in movies. If the new culture is "do whatever we want", then why political correctness to stop one from doing or saying whatever he wants? Why do we now have "victims" where before, people would excuse misuse of language as a flaw of that person's thoughts. Now Americans have to be fearful of what they say, of what they write, and of what they think. They have to be afraid of using the wrong word, a word denounced as offensive, or insensitive, or racist, sexist, or homophobic, even when that wasn't the intent. You could be accused of a "hate crime" even though that wasn't the intent.
Such restraints on our speech is an offense against the First Amendment. Yes, we don't want to hurt others, but it's not always intended that way. Political correctness was intended to help instill sensitivity in the student body of colleges, and encourage them to refer to ethnic and social groups in a politically correct manner. Then came the "thought police".
Now, it is at the point that on Halloween, in some places, children are not allowed to dress as cowboys or Indians! It this what it is coming down to? How can we stop this? My favorite football team is the Washington Redskins. Heavens, they've been Redskins for 100 years. Indian peoples don't care if they have that name. It may be one tribe somewhere who complained, because now complaining results in money, lawsuits, etc. My gosh, people, grow up!
We want our First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech back!
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 08:58
To The Daily Sun,
You recently printed a response to a letter on climate change from Scott Schoonmaker. Though he laughed at my letter, the inaccuracies in his letter are no laughing matter. What concerns me is how many people seem to accept such drivel because it does not fit their political views.
Let's discuss his letter point by point.
Schoonmaker: "The fear of climate change has been around for decades. Even in the 1970s people were talking about....."
Actually, the idea that carbon emissions might cause climate change was first suggested in the 1800s
Schoonmaker: (Theories that the climate is warming or cooling due to volcanism) "Sounds the same, only different."
Actually there is a similarity between these two proposed theories. They both were rejected long ago because they could not explain the decades of climate data collected worldwide.
Schoonmaker : "It was all the pollution and ash from volcanoes that was blocking the sun and making the temperature drop."
There have been many theories trying to explain changes in climate over the past decades. The beauty of the scientific method is that after theories are suggested their validity is tested and those tests are subject to peer review to see if the theory holds up. Volcanoes, Menkovich cycles, sunspots, cow farts and many other ideas have been considered. None, except increased carbon emission suitably explain the observed climate data.
An interesting side point; since it is impossible to do controlled experiments on climate, it turns out that volcanism has helped us to confirm the validity of climate change models. Specifically, the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo offered a unique opportunity to test the validity of climate models. The data on the dust and gas put into the atmosphere from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption was plugged into several models, the models predictions were compared with actual climate data and lo and behold, the models predicted the changes observed worldwide. Similarly when the conditions at the beginning of the industrial revolution, were entered into models along with the ongoing emissions of carbon, they predicted quite accurately the current climactic conditions.
Schoonmaker: "In Dec. 2009, the Global Warming Summit was held in Copenhagen. On the final day of the summit, Copenhagen received four inches of snow overnight due to a blizzard....That is some harsh global warming right there.."
The fact that it snowed in Copenhagen on a certain day when it usually doesn't snow, or that it was 90 degrees in March in N.H. several years ago, or that we've had three 100 year floods in N.H. in the last 10 years, or that there was a Hurricane Sandy or that Colorado just experienced a 10,000 year flood are not individually indicators of anything, they are weather anomalies.
It is a fallacy and scientific fraud to equate a single weather event to long term changes in the climate. Climate models DO predict such events will occur more frequently, but until we can look at those events in the context of long term trends they cannot be individually identified as caused by climate change
Schoonmaker: "The reason is of course that the average global temperature has been dropping over the past 13 years."
You can do almost anything if you pre select the data. Picture a graph of the average world temperature 1750-2013, this is represented by a line going from lower left to upper right. Now let's plot the number of pirates on the high seas in 1750 - 2013. There were more pirates in 1750 than now, their number has decreased dramatically. This line runs from upper left to lower right. Looking at this graph one can easily see that as the number of pirates on the high seas declined, the average world temperature rose. So, based on this graph, it is obvious that the decline in pirates on the high seas has led to the increase in average temperatures. Are you laughing Mr. Schoonmaker?
Thirteen years is not enough time to evaluate long term climate trends. To do that we must look, not at short term weather phenomena (which do indeed vary both up and down in the short run), but long term climate patterns. When you look at 120 years of data collected by NASA which uses the period of 1951-1980 as a baseline, (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/), it is clear that though temperatures do rise and fall in the short term, the long term pattern is temperature rise. Looking at the same graph showing Surface Temperature Anomolies (variations from the 1951-1980 average) we do see several small areas on the earth's surface which were below the average, but the overwhelming majority of the area was above the 60 year baseline.
Schoonmaker: "Now we can spend money no matter which way the wind blows."
Finally something we agree on, yes, we spend way too much money subsidizing energy. The overwhelming majority of subsidies are spent on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Over the past 60 years support for non-renewable energy has been more than three times that of renewables. This doesn't count the indirect costs of resource wars, keeping troops in more than 70 countries and the health costs from asthma, heart disease and cancer all of which are correlated with air pollution caused by fossil fuels.
Schoonmaker: "Sorry to say it, but the science of climate change leads to big government and that is a Democratic endeavor."
I'm sorry you said it, too, as it shows a total lack of understanding of science and the scientific method. Science does not lead to any type of government. Science leads to understanding objective reality. It is up to the citizens of a democracy what to do with that information. Science is telling us that the climate is warming and humans are the major cause of that warming.
I really don't care if we have a market based solution or, as you put it, a big government solution. I would be quite happy if ALL subsidies for energy were dropped. In a truly free market, Adam Smith's invisible hand would reach out and without our propping them up, we would see the price of fossil fuels triple or quadruple, and the cost of renewable energy drop. You'll recall that the Republican Party proposed a "free market" approach which made carbon a commodity which could be bought and sold. When the Democrats agreed to this, the Republican support was quickly withdrawn. It's time to stop playing games and, do something significant about climate change.
Professor of Energy Services
Lakes Region Community College
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 10:50
To The Daily Sun,
In response to George Maloof's letter of Oct. 26: It is my understanding that the reason that most newspapers require a person to include their name with their letter is so that other writer's might know who it is who is addressing them and who it is that they are addressing. Furthermore, in writing and public speaking class you might learn the importance of knowing who your audience is. For that matter it is a good idea to know who it is you are writing about as well as what you are writing about. Clearly you're not always good at either of these for if you were, you would not have made blasphemous insinuations about my Lord, which by the way is not polite either, nor would you have written in an attempt to belittle my friend Bob Mead.
For your own good Mr. Maloof be careful about what you write.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 10:43
To The Daily Sun,
On Thursday, Ms./Mr. Siden wrote: "I was very disappointed last week to read a letter from Mr. Jones in which he uses veterans as a pawn in the political chess game that we've been witnessing in Washington."
On Friday, I wrote: "In Thursday's Daily Sun, L.J. Siden wrote that Bob Jones was using veterans as 'pawns' in his criticism of Representatives Shea-Porter and Kuster."
On Saturday, Ms./Mr. Siden wrote that in my Friday letter, I paraphrased his comment: ". . . into something I didn't say."
Also on Saturday, Professor Maloof jumped in to offer a few comments: "To accuse half of the N.H. congressional delegation of 'using veterans' as pawns is despicable and is typical of right-wing thinking." The professor then goes on to tell us that "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
First to Siden. I really do thank him for his or her service but, as the quotes above show, I did not misrepresent what he or she said. However, I do thank him for his apology to Corpsman Jones
As to Professor Maloof, you once again get hoist on your own petard as you too, insult Corpsman Bob Jones with your comment. As to your patriotism comment, it sounds like you are willing to go to some lengths to avoid being called a scoundrel.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 10:38
To The Daily Sun,
In reference to the recent letter titled, "It seems to me that Obamacare is declaring war on women," nothing could be further from the truth. Quoting from the National Women's Law Center: "All new and nongrandfathered private health insurance plans must cover, without cost sharing, mammograms every two years for women over 40, cervical cancer screenings every three years, contraceptive methods and counseling, screening for gestational diabetes, well woman visits, breastfeeding support, screening for HIV, DNA testing for high risk strains of HPV, counseling regarding sexually transmitted infections, prenatal screenings and visits, diabetes and blood pressure screening, depression screening for adolescents and adults, smoking cessation programs as well as a range of vaccinations important to women such as flu, HPV, hepatitis."
Under Obamacares, as I like to call it, gender can no longer be a factor in setting premiums which had led to previous rate discrepancies of as high as 10 times. Increased access to preventative care and screening will help reduce more serious and costly health issues.
In addition, Obamacares ends the use of lifetime dollar limits on health insurance claims and already over 200,000 N.H. women have benefitted from this provision.
Never let facts get in the way of fearmongering, Mr. Knytych. It is much easier to attack an intelligent, fair minded community member like Kate Miller who actually takes the time to research her articles out of respect for the reading public.
Kay M. Anderson
Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 10:34