Dig deeper on coroner problems

I was overjoyed to see an article on the coroners in Georgia (“Coroners expertise optional,” News, Dec. 6). It only touched the surface of the problem, but it was a good start for showcasing the problems. I hope there will be more to come.


Pitts better than substitute

I’ll say this first: I prefer Leonard Pitts to Robert C. Koehler (“Is courageous humility one answer to Trump?,” Opinion, Dec. 13). Since Koehler can call Trump a dangerous idiot in your liberal left column, I can call Koehler a dangerous and unfit journalist whom you allow to share space with otherwise decent views. Koehler’s call for moderation should first be directed at the people responsible for making Trump’s clarion call sound even more American to the people who want the world to quit laughing at us and our leadership. He should direct his call for humility to those who want to kill all of us for no other reason than our being decent, law-abiding American citizens. Koehler and the word courageous do not belong on the same page. Bring back Pitts, who only has a disdain for a certain segment our citizens.


Moderate Muslims and modern Islam

Ross Douthat’s column “(Dilemma: What would moderate Islam look like?,” Opinion, Dec. 15) begins as though critical of Donald Trump’s “Ban Muslims” demagoguery. However, his narrative further feeds Islamophobic hysteria. Douthat says, “Moderate Islam” must “leave behind the lure of conquest, the pull of violent jihad.” Moderate or not, Islam does not promote that “lure,” unless he means the overwhelmingly rejected ISIS-type criminals. Then, “What would a ‘moderate’ Muslim believe,” or “modernized Islam” be? Obviously, he implies those words be defined on our terms — “moderate’ Muslims/modernized’ Islam” fully supportive of our encroachments.

Further, Douthat believes, “the heart of Islam is necessarily illiberal … born in conquest,” resistant to “pluralism.” And, “Muslims simply cannot be at home in the liberal democratic West” (so ‘trump’ them!); transformation requires setting “aside the sword.” That is Crusades-like propaganda. Like so many “experts” on Islam, he only seems to know that it is “there.”

Nicholas Kristof once cautioned against feeding Islamophobic bigotry by highlighting only the horrors while neglecting the diversity of Islam’s l.6 billion adherents, “including many who are champions of tolerance, modernity, and human rights” (“The Diversity of Islam,” AJC, Oct. 9, 2014).


Trump’s believers ignore real woes

Many support Donald Trump because they fear for their safety. That vague fear translates into a fear of refugees who are at the most vulnerable time in their lives. Or that fear is manifested into an entire religion being held accountable for the actions of a couple of extremists. Yet, Trump’s minions aren’t fearful of real issues like our national disgrace of gun deaths, the consequences of climate change, the nation’s wealth inequities or the education crisis. What scares the rest of us is that his supporters have been around just waiting for someone to voice their beliefs.


Climate change hurts sea ecology

Thank you for your recent stories on the climate conference. In 2014, I spent 4 months in Antarctica funded by NSF to study the flight of the sea butterfly Limacina helicina. It is dissolving. Why? Because CO2 enters from the atmosphere and makes the sea acidic. Within 30 years, this delicate creature is predicted to go extinct in the West Antarctic Peninsula region. While I care that my students will see the demise of this tiny flying snail, I am more concerned about the fish, penguins, and whales that love to eat this delicious organism; those charismatic megafauna will have a hard time finding another food that is so protein-rich. What will the world look like? What else will disappear that supports our lives? Please limit your carbon usage.