Standing for something
So now we know who will be the Republican nominee. I am appalled, as are many other Americans, at the level to which this beautiful, inspirational country has fallen. I would like to remind my fellow Americans of the words of Abby Mann, author of "Judgment at Nuremberg," both from his script and from his screenplay. If this nation had acted upon these words when Obama came into power, I believe we would have eliminated any possibility of the current Republican nominee.
“If all the leaders … were sadistic monsters and maniacs, these events would have no more moral significance than an earthquake or other natural catastrophes. But this trial has shown that under the stress of national crisis, ordinary men — even able and extraordinary men — can delude themselves into the commission of crimes and atrocities so vast and heinous as to stagger the imagination… . There are those in our country today, too, who speak of the protection of the country. Of survival. The answer to that is: Survival as what? A country isn’t a rock. And it isn’t an extension of one’s self. It’s what it stands for, when standing for something is the most difficult. Before the people of the world — let it now be noted … that this is what we stand for: Justice, Truth … and the value of a single human being.”
It’s time for good men and women to stand up and take our country back — from the xenophobes, from the bigots, from the haters.
Bridge not worth it
I’d like to make a brief response to the letters by transportation commissioner David Young and Ashland resident Roy Sutton that commented on my Nevada Street bridge opinion piece.
Many of us “misinterpreted” Young’s remarks at the meeting, but I accept his clarification of those remarks. I wish he had clarified them at the time I stood up at the meeting and expressed disappointment in them.
Sutton is right about the title of my piece being a little off. But I didn’t write the headline.
He also wrote that I didn’t mention those who favored a pedestrian/bicycle bridge with a lane dedicated to emergency vehicles. I wasn’t writing a news report of the meeting, just expressing my opposition to a vehicular bridge. I also don’t think we need a bridge for emergency vehicles at a cost of $6 million or more. The city could spend billions building roads and bridges in various neighborhoods to provide easier access or routes that would shave off minutes to this point or that, but I don’t think it’s worth it.
Relying on science
Being ignorant is no character flaw. Ignorance just means being uninformed about something. There is nothing wrong with being ignorant. None of us can know all about everything; inevitably we are ignorant about some issues. Luckily, we can overcome ignorance by committing to informing ourselves. The problem is not ignorance; the problem, abundantly demonstrated by Donald Trump, is being ignorant and thinking our opinion has merit.
Not so long ago, we recognized and valued expertise. Some of us are still inclined to visit a physician when we suspect illness rather than concoct our own diagnosis and treatment. We may be dissatisfied with what those trained in medicine tell us, but we would be unwise to reject their advice, especially if multiple additional opinions offered the same conclusion. Unfortunately, thanks to Donald Trump, developing and touting opinions based on ignorance is been encouraged.
It is fine to have opinions, but we should expect that justifying those opinions with evidence and argument will be required. If we accept unjustified opinions simply because they appeal to our personal preconceptions, learning inevitably eludes us. Accepting ignorant opinion merely confirms uninformed biases. It is time to challenge Mr. Trump to justify his opinions and claims.
Fortunately, Ashland has candidates in the forthcoming election, at both state and federal levels, who rely on science for their opinions, not mind-numbing opinion based on ignorance that has been generated by the anti-science corporate fossil fuel campaign. Voters are well advised to find those candidates and support them.