Readers write, March 1


Response to “This ‘thug’ could save your life,” Opinion, Feb. 23

I am an airline pilot. Like doctors, we hold the lives of innocent citizens in our hands. Unlike doctors, if we make a major mistake our “patients” die in a burning hell of extreme violence. Flying requires extensive education, critical thinking skills, abilities, attention to detail, and personal discipline — as does medicine. Airline pilots are consummate professionals. Our uniform, properly worn, is a statement of adherence to the highest standard, methodical attention to detail, and personal self-discipline. It is immediately indicative of who we are as practitioners of our art. I have no doubt that if I showed up on the aircraft in Jordans, open shirt, jeans, and a hoodie that Dr. Osborne in first class would insist on being let off the airplane. If a surgeon, showed up in my treatment room in like attire, I would also insist on being “let off the airplane.”



Carbon Tax is Simple and Effective

Recent letters have mentioned a revenue-neutral carbon tax as the best solution to making a smooth transition from fossil fuels. There is evidently some confusion about this but the idea is simple. The carbon tax has been proposed to solve a serious problem. Emission of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels is causing serious harm to the environment. This is well-supported scientifically and there is more than enough risk to deserve a concerted effort to address the problem. The situation will continue to get worse as long as fossil fuels are cheap. The President has taken executive action where he can but it is not enough. What is needed is a way to send a clear signal to the market that the cost of fossil fuels is going to increase and that investment in alternative energy sources are likely to pay off. The only way to do this is with a carbon tax imposed at the source. It is made revenue neutral by returning all the proceeds to households. The tax is increased gradually to a level which accounts for the cost of carbon to society. It is simple and effective. The time to act is now.



Controversy flares to state’s detriment

The flag controversy has raised its ugly head again, this time in the form of the confederate battle flag on car tags. The black friends that I talk to say that this emblem is as noxious to them as a swastika is to Jewish people. Why, then, would we inflict such hurt on a large minority of our population. I’m told it’s for the sake of our heritage. Really? Why do we want to memorialize our ancestors who engaged in the reprehensible practice of slavery and who drug the nation into a bloody Civil War to defend that “peculiar institution?” The proceeds from sale of these tags is used to maintain memorials to the confederacy. We should be tearing them down instead. I find this part of our southern heritage shameful, not glorious. I expect there are some national events, like NCAA tournaments, who will agree with me and boycott our state because of this ignominious symbol of hate.


Southern heritage worth preserving

Unlike several letter writers, I respect the Confederate Battle Flag under which dozens of my ancestors fought and all too often died. They believed they were fighting, as did their Revolutionary ancestors, to free themselves from an oppressive, overbearing central government increasingly intent on suppressing them with heavy taxation.

I condemn the pointy-headed white racists of the 1950-60 time frame because they hijacked “my” flag for their own selfish, misguided purposes. I likewise disdain today’s black racists for their self-serving, profiteering attacks on my Confederate heritage.

I lament the ignorance of those who obviously lack knowledge of the multitude of reasons which impelled my confederate ancestors to declare their separation from a nation which they had conditionally joined. Unfortunately, all too many Americans have become so “dumbed-down” that they are incapable of, or afraid of, understanding certain truths of history.


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