Re: Michele Bachmann
If anyone would be a supporter of Rep. Michele Bachmann, it should be me ("Whose America?," June 29). I am a white, male, Christian, 59-year-old Republican. But would I vote for her? Not just no, but hell no.
In January 2011, Rep. Bachmann wanted to introduce legislation to cut $4.5 billion from the Department of Veterans Affairs. With two hot wars still going on, really? This would have jeopardized the medical care for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as veterans of previous wars.
A party that says they support the troops has to mean more than a yellow ribbon or a bumper sticker. Words have to be put into action.
I am myself a totally and permanently disabled Vietnam veteran, and the father and stepfather of U.S. Navy veterans.
Rep. Bachmann would like to invoke the Founding Fathers. Well, here is one for her:
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation." —George Washington
Re: Climate change
Orrin Pilkey and son need to be reminded that pure science is an apolitical pursuit of truth ("Duke professor Orrin Pilkey takes on the deniers in Global Climate Change: A Primer," July 13).
There is no question that climate change is a reality. No one with an ounce of rational thinking can reasonably challenge that fact. But it is equally true that our precious planet has undergone periods of heating and cooling throughout its life. It occurred before the Industrial Revolution, and it occurred well before even the appearance of man. The primary driver is, has always been and will continue to be the sun. Solar activity and solar radiation wax and wane in short and long cycles, and the climatic conditions on earth respond, as they must.
The poisoning of the biosphere due to man's activities is another undeniable fact, but to believe that humans and their institutions have, until now, been a serious contender in the global climate change game is ludicrous and incredibly arrogant. The prodigious quantities of greenhouse gases emitted by the earth itself through natural processes each and every day put man's contributions to shame, and the Pilkeys should not deny that fact if they are indeed intellectually honest "observers of the Earth."
I deplore the promiscuous soiling of our nest as much as they and their readers do, but let's not allow our limited comprehension or appreciation of proportionality and scale to overwhelm our innate abilities to reason with each other in a civil and respectful manner. And please, for the good of us all and the planet we share, let's do this reasoning outside of the political arena, in which truth is often an unwelcome guest and the prevailing agenda is the blind pursuit and corrupting influence of raw power and other people's money.