Letters to the editor

Dear editor,

When I read or hear something that is most likely not true I almost always make a note of who the writer or speaker is and file away the fact that anything and everything that person claims is suspect until proven otherwise. Now, I’m not referring to one of those “opps” moments that most of us are guilty of, when we say something without thinking, but when opinions are stated as facts, when “facts” are simply fabricated, or when something is clearly intended to mislead. For example, after an exchange of letters in the Sentinel with Rex Redden in January, 2018, I stated in a subsequent letter that he did in fact, “distort my comments and fabricate conclusions which he could not possibly know if they were accurate or not.”

So, knowing Mr. Redden’s propensity for partial-truths (or worse) his assertions in his April 25 letter to the editor were not only not at all surprising but clearly demanded a rebuttal (in addition to Rev. Zavah’s letter last week).

Rebuttal #1: Mr. Redden stated, “Every major piece of environmental legislation was put into place during Republican administrations…” Yeah, right. Knowing that basic Republican “deregulate” ideology is to trash environmental regulations (any regulations about anything, actually) rather than support them made that rather vague inference that Republicans are great protectors of the environment patently absurd. It is true that some important environmental legislation has been signed into law by Republicans, most notably Richard Nixon, but “Every major piece?” That’s a joke, right?

Just for fun I Googled “Obama environmental policy accomplishments” and then substituted Clinton for Obama and guess what, there were dozens of environmental policies signed into law by only those two Democratic presidents. So much for “every major” in the quote above, especially since “major” is subjective; what’s major or minor depend not on actual fact but on what we think (or assert).

Rebuttal #2: “Today, the USA is among the 10 best air quality countries in the world…” That statement doesn’t pass muster for truth either. Yes, the US is 7th best in the category of “PM2.5” pollution (basically super fine particles), but is 8th worst in carbon dioxide per capita and is similarly bad in other pollution categories. Besides, if our air quality is so great why has our asthma rate risen from 3.1 percent of the population in 1980 to 8.3 percent today? And why do 111 million Americans live in counties with air pollution levels above EPA minimum quality standards? (Stats from EPA, CDC and AAFA.org)

Rebuttal #3: As for Mr. Redden not just disputing the accuracy but denigrating John Kerry’s (alleged) testimony that “98% of all scientists agree that human activities cause climate change,” well, Mr. Redden may be correct…somewhat. According to https://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/ a mere “97% or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree” with Mr. Kerry’s statement, not 98%. OMG, how could Kerry have been sooo wrong? But it was Mr. Redden’s additional comments about “15,000 scientists” essentially disagreeing with the 97% – or 98% – of those noted by NASA that makes his argument bogus.

I could go on about Mr. Redden’s other baseless claims and nonsensical references to “Chicken Licken,” “Heaven’s Gate eunuch cult,” and “Gullible’s Travels” in attempts to trash Democrats environmental concerns in general and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in particular but what’s the point? Those chosen few who believe Mr. Redden’s uncorroborated hype probably won’t change their minds, and the rest of us know better. If you’re not sure, it’s easy enough to check out the facts from NASA, the CDC, EPA and AAFA.org.

Fred Gossien

Dear editor, Behind the Curtain

Steve Bannon; emblematic of the neo-fascist radical right, opined the dif ference between his side and the other is “We take headshots!” Think about that.

They’re ruthless authoritarians. Examples this week: A discredited effort slurring presidential candidate (D) Pete Buttigieg with false allegations sexual misconduct, https://www.advocate.com/news/2019/4/29/far-right-activist-created-fake-sexual-assault-story-involving-pete, USAG William Barr on-going refusal to release an unredacted Mueller Report to Congress and testify before a Dem House committee.

Denials and documented lies concerning Trump Campaign’s numerous Russian contacts amount to “Obstruction of Justice”. Barr’s employment credentials for Trump include protecting Reagan-Bush over the Iran-Contra scandal and a law firm relationship with Russian oligarchs, http://www.politicalnovel.com/attorney-general-william-barr-man-many-conflicts. Redis covered is Barr’s dubious character confirmed by little enough professional integrity and commitment to constitutional responsibilities.

He committed perjury claiming not to know Mueller was unhappy with redactions and 4 page ‘spin’ covering for a compromised President. Neither Barr nor (R) Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Graham read Mueller Report yet pontificated about it exonerating Trump!

Contrast that to Fox outrage about a Dem Representative; responding Barr’s feathery spine, by eating KFC at his House seat. Are we as offended by Trump’s relentless assault upon Constitutional norms and Congressional GOPers’ enabling?

No? Founding Fathers “. . . we’ve had a problem here!”

Americans need to shoulder some responsibility. We have the power reject the radical right’s template. The bad Wizard behind the curtain; pan dering to our lack of knowledge on political and constitutional matters, isn a good person. Trump makes that clear daily.

Rev. Barry Zavah