Reach for gun only if shooting is justified
In response to the indefensible claim by a letter writer who theorized that self-defense should require me to take two steps back and fire a warning shot: First, what if I can't take two steps back? What if I am against a wall? Shouldn't I be able to defend myself? What if I am thrown to the ground? I certainly can't take two steps then. What if I only take one step backwards?
Second, the writer obviously does not know anything about firearm safety. No matter what our misguided vice president suggests, you should never fire a gun randomly into the air. A projectile fired into the air will come back down and what is to guarantee it does not strike an innocent person? Nothing.
If you want to scare someone, buy a Halloween mask. You use a firearm to prevent imminent great bodily harm or death, which is what George Zimmerman did. For every projectile that comes out of your barrel, there is a lawyer attached to it.
Prosecutors have another name for warning shots: attempted felonious assault or the improper discharge of a firearm. Removing a handgun from a holster or even just uncovering it can be considered a hostile act and could be considered a criminal act. So, if you are going to take your firearm out of its holster, you better be legally justified in using it.
Abandon God myths
The Sept. 6 letter writer who tried to justify God's demand that Abraham sacrifice his son Isaac only pointed up how appalling the story is. Instead of finding it ennobling and an example of God's glory, all I see is a petty, small-minded God playing a cruel trick on a good man in order to satisfy the insecurity of his own divine ego.
The fact that the story ends with God saying "Nah, I'm only fooling, you don't have to really kill your son" doesn't mitigate its horror and only shows his barbarity that he would put a devout acolyte through such agony. If God is all knowing, he doesn't need to employ Mickey Mouse ruses to test the faithful and prove his power.
It's time to abandon the myths written by primitive tent-dwellers of a God who delights in sycophants, payback, punishment and kindergarten rules. That God isn't much different from Zeus or Odin or Ra. Just try to live your life with dignity and decency, honor and honesty and that's all any god in heaven can expect from you.
Charles Edward Pogue
According to government data, the climate has not warmed over the past 15 years while CO² levels continue to rise. The eco-alarmists are switching gears and inventing a new scare — ocean acidification.
This is a repeat of the 2010 misrepresentation of shellfish deaths and coral-reef bleaching caused by ocean acidification. Shellfish in the Northwest Pacific were dying, not from acidic sea waters, but from sewage discharge containing a pollutant, Vibrio tubiashii.
Fact: there is no acid seawater. The pH of ocean water varies from pH 7.9 to 8.3. A pH above 7.0 in considered alkaline. The oceans contain 38 trillion metric tons (38,000 GtC) of dissolved carbon. Humans put 9 GtC into the atmosphere annually. Half of that dissolves in the ocean. It's akin to blowing a puff of air into an Olympic size swimming pool and expecting it to cause the pH to fall.
CO² forms a weak acid in water. Weak acids create buffer systems. Buffer systems resist shifts in pH. The small amount of carbon added to the oceans is easily assimilated by the eco-system.
In the hypothetical article, we are fed the results of laboratory experiments where CO² levels were adjusted upward to concentrations toxic to the crabs. Most anything can be made toxic if you up the concentration and dose. The CO² levels used in the experiment were, as always, based on farfetched computer projections of future seawater conditions.
Pseudoscience misinforms people and creates false fears. Why do it?
Congressmen Andy Barr wrote a commentary protesting the article about his receiving $150,000 in PAC contributions from the American Bankers Association and others in the finance industry. He was upset by the implication that bankers were buying his influence on the House Financial Services Committee which oversees them.
It is disconcerting that the first item Barr addressed in his commentary was not the issue of the $150,000 but instead was an attack on the Environmental Protection Agency and its coal-mine permitting even though there are no coal mines in the 6th District.
So I wonder how much he received in contributions from the coal industry, because unlike coal mines, at least there are banks in his district.
Equally disturbing was his attack on the regulatory process. The outcry against regulations is always the same — they are inconvenient, cumbersome, cost jobs and adversely impact profits.
Have we forgotten how the unregulated credit default swap derivatives nearly destroyed the U.S. economy, cost jobs not created them and necessitated taxpayer bailouts?
The choice is never between too much or not enough regulation but for effective and meaningful regulation. Barr's focus is from the banks' perspective not their customers.
An example of a politician who is a real consumer advocate is Sen. Elizabeth Warren. I know that because Barr's banker buddies lobbied to keep her off the Senate Banking Committee, and that's the difference between authentic and fake.
The Bankers Association certainly got their money's worth with Barr.
James F. Wisniewski
Why not CentrePark?
Having read and followed, with a great deal of interest, the many great proposals as presented in the Herald-Leader for development of CentrePointe I note what appears, at least to me, to be a lot of indecision on the part of those capable and responsible for this decision.
While I was impressed with the creative, thoughtful designs, some of which are quite innovative, none capture the Lexington that I came to in 1942. They do not blend well with the present landscape and would, in fact, stand out like the proverbial sore thumb.
With that said, it appears that CentrePointe would be a great location for a Central Park. This park could then be connected with the uncovering of Town Branch and leave downtown Lexington open to the sky instead of turning Main Street into a tunnel with more tall buildings.
Additionally, a well-thought-out selection of trees would contribute significantly to improving air quality in the downtown area and we could really become "Tree City USA."
Of course, hope springs eternal, and perhaps I lean to the green much too much.