Apparently exchanging insults with a paranoid tyrant with nuclear weapons was not enough to keep President Trump occupied. Now he has taken on the NFL. But as with the Hermit Kingdom, the words had the opposite result.
Borrowing Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine and traveling to August 2016, we recall Mr. Kaepernick taking a knee during the anthem so as not to “stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses people of color.” But after the latest tweets, what was a minor irritant is now a major event. (Insert heavy sigh here …)
So what are these gentlemen protesting? They are not victims of oppression. Purely by accident of birth and the genetic ability to run 40 yards faster than most, they live in a country that pays them very well to do something they enjoy. They are not marching in Selma and being beaten, bitten and hosed. Nor are they standing alone in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square. They are not kneeling in prayer at a high school game. And other than J.J. Watt and the Walter Peyton Award nominees, they are not actively working in Chicago or Compton or the Rio Grande Valley to improve the lives of the “oppressed.”
If these gentleman want to take advantage of their being born in the 21st century, in a country that rewards them for merely being big and fast, and in the employ of an organization that hides behind the façade of free speech, so be it. As for me and mine, we stand for the flag and the anthem.
Michael Fox, Midland
It is beyond tragic that so many innocent people, who have done very little to cause the circumstances which have produced the gigantic storms of this season, will suffer the brutal consequences of them and lose everything that they have worked for. Those at fault are those who are willfully ignorant about man’s part.
Whether one believes it or not, burning fossil fuels is a major source of the warming of the oceans, in addition to the pollution of our air, water, and soil. Warmer oceans generate the frequency and the destructive power of hurricanes and their attendant tornadoes. An unusually vicious storm season this year is probably just a prelude to more and more violent seasons to come.
Those who claim the destruction is caused by their “loving God’s” testing their faith are looking for a simple but illogical explanation which has no basis in fact or in the science of hurricanes. Who could worship such a God? He would be not only cruel, but petty and egotistical.
Many of the hardest hit areas, such as the islands of the Caribbean, have very little industry and few automobiles to cause pollution; but these people, many of whom are our fellow Americans, are forced to endure the end product of our greed. It is only fair that we assist them to rebuild their lives. Where are the billionaires who have reaped the benefits from industries that have helped cause the destruction? If they have a conscience, they will step forward and donate substantially to alleviate the suffering of these people.
Judy F. Brouillette, Columbus
We heard the term "building codes" during the tracking of hurricanes Irma and Maria, but no real explanation of what they mean.
I helped my Dad and hired contractors build our house in Miami in 1946-47. I was 13, so it was a good experience. The houses had to be CBS (concrete block structure) and the roof had to be anchored into it. The top layers of concrete block were U-shaped to permit the hanging of six strands of steel rods (rebarb). When this was ready the building inspector would check that it was done properly and then sign off so you could go ahead and pour the concrete to fill the top layer of U blocks.
Long bolts were then placed into the concrete to which each of the 4x6 wood beams would be attached. The roofing surface was constructed of 1x6 tongue-and-groove boards, tar-papered and then tiled.
During a 1947 hurricane of 150-mph winds, I heard of no orders for evacuation. People were safe just staying in their houses unless you lived near the shoreline, and I don't remember houses ever being built in these locations.
In later years there were situations where builders cheated on these codes and roofs were torn off of houses from hurricanes. They had removed the rebarb after the building inspector left the scene.
Richard Tieken, Columbus
Not so lucky
The article on the Amos Cancer Center expansion was well presented, as was the rationale for it. I was especially impressed by Mr. Tustin's comments noting that "Our community deserves it. You should not have to go anywhere or drive anywhere or go to Atlanta..." So sad that the same doesn't apply for Columbus children anymore.
With the loss of our hospital-based pediatric hematologist/oncologist and pediatric critical care physician, plus others in the community, children in this region are increasingly required to travel for care that only a short time ago was being provided here.
Yes, the elderly are a growing population, but children are 100% of our future. Surely they deserve the same consideration.
Joseph Zanga, immediate past chief of Pediatrics, MMC Children's Hospital