Letters to the editor for Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015

Remembering Bob Kennedy

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Bob Kennedy.

I had the pleasure of working for Bob (and Joanne) at Kennedy’s Books back in the day, and I don’t have enough words here to express how important he was to me during that time. A man of quick temper and wit. A good and honest businessman and great boss; both tight with a buck and incredibly generous at the same time.

Bob did things his way — the old-fashioned way — technology be damned. His brain was his computer, and his word processor was a No. 2 pencil. He took his work seriously because books and the ideas they contain counted for something. I was already an avid reader, but Bob taught me to respect the written word in a way I hadn’t before because he knew that books were important. Books mattered.

He also taught me about how a man should act in everyday life. Not with lessons or speeches, but with his singular example of humor, integrity, and love.

Bob wasn’t perfect. He could be stern and stubborn and God help you if you ended up on his bad side. But he was also a loyal friend and ally with an Irishman’s sense of humor and hearty laugh ... who wasn’t afraid to laugh at himself.

In short, he was one hell of a guy and truly to be missed. All my best to Joanne and the Kennedy family.

Sean Mick

Carson City

9/11 was scripted

In the Feb. 8 edition on the Appeal is a story about allegations of Saudi Arabia being behind the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. What utter garbage. Let’s look at some undeniable facts about that day.

BBC reporter Jane Standley has announced the collapse of building 7, also known as the Solomon Brothers building. Behind her is a window, and through the window it shows the very building she said has collapsed. The building collapses 20 minutes later. It collapses in its own footprint at free-fall acceleration. A perfect example of controlled demolition.

She was obviously reading from a prepared script. The author of that script knew the building was coming down. How did he know it was coming down if he didn’t know demolition charges had been planted there? Obviously her mistake was reading the prepared script 20 minutes too soon.

If building 7 was brought down by controlled demolition, then buildings 1 and 2 must have been brought down by demolition. If the demolition of building 7 was scripted, then the whole operation was scripted. I’m sure Osama bin Laden didn’t write the script or 19 hijackers or Zacarias Moussaoui who has been tortured repeatedly and will say anything he is told to say. Maybe we should ask him; he would probably confess to it. Also prepared in advance was the Patriot Act for just such an occasion.

Alan C. Edwards

Carson City

Offended by president’s remarks

The rhetoric spewed by our president at the national prayer breakfast is the most offensive statement I have ever heard from a president.

To lecture Americans “not to wag our fingers” at the Islamic State for setting people on fire because we all remember what Christianity did a thousand years ago.

Mr. President, we have had a reformation since then. Perhaps you should have focused on more recent history, the mid-1930s when an evil man mesmerized his people and turned them into Nazis. The world stood by and did nothing as millions of people went to slaughter. Then, too, we said, “Nazis are dangerous but not a threat of existential nature.” How many lives could of been saved had we taken Hitler more seriously?

Mr. Obama, it is time for you to rally our allies to fight these savages.

Inga Silver

Carson City

Keep on being productive

As long as we continue to concentrate on “productivity,” it doesn’t matter whether we have a leader or a bellwether.

As Kevin Kelly writes, productivity is for robots. “Humans excel at wasting time, experimenting, playing, creating and exploring. None of these fare well under the scrutiny of productivity. That is why science and art are so hard to fund. But they are also the foundation of long-term growth.”

Kevin Kelly, The Post Productive Economy. The Technium, 1st January 2013.

Michael Goldeen

Carson City

More on climate change:

How many ways can Lynn Muzzy be wrong about climate change? I’ve lost count. A few weeks ago Muzzy dredged up the thoroughly debunked myth about meteorologists at the University of East Anglia conspiring to falsify their data for financial gain. Now Muzzy claims that Ursula Carlson’s explanation of how warming oceans affect rainfall patterns is “ignorance on stilts.”

Muzzy goes on to claim that the Weather Service “had to apologize recently when its computer modeling program ... incorrectly predicted a massive snow storm that petered out.”

Talk about ignorance on stilts! Winter Storm Juno didn’t “peter out” at all. It dumped 30 inches of snow in parts of Long Island. The models had predicted two feet of snow in Queens, enough to disrupt rail, air and road traffic, but the storm unexpectedly shifted 50 miles to the east and Queens only got one foot, resulting in far less disruption.

Gary Szatkowski, chief meteorologist at the Mt. Holly, New Jersey weather bureau, apologized to local officials for getting it wrong, but only because he’s a standup guy. Educated guesses are part of the process, and sometimes guesses are wrong.

Muzzy thinks the computer used to track Juno is “the one it uses to fraudulently ‘prove’ man-caused climate change.” Wrong again. Meteorologists do track short-term climate fluctuations, but only to enhance the accuracy of weather forecasts. Climate trends are tracked by NASA and the IPCC, which rely on very different kinds of computer systems.

Rich Dunn

Carson City

Dear Kathy Walters,

Significant ideological and partisan polarization has occurred on the issue of climate change over the past decade. True, the UN’s IPCC has assembled strong evidence supporting the view that climate change is human-induced, but there are strong dissenting facts as well, and here a few:

Yes, there appears to be a warming trend, but the past decade has seen a deceleration. Why?

Scientists believe that slightly less than half of global warming is due to carbon dioxide, a component of the greenhouse gases. Do you agree with this?

What about the theory that solar cycles affect how much radiation strikes the earth and this accounts for recent climate change, not carbon dioxide emissions?

Others cite man-made influences including industrial emissions of black soot, which warms the air by absorbing sunlight. Still others propose that multiple factors — black soot, land use changes, and more — compound the effects of greenhouse gases on global and regional climate.

Acknowledging so many possible causes of climate change leaves the average citizen confused. And I realize that this is a very complicated subject. I’ve read with interest your recent commentaries voicing your support for the IPCC conclusions and wonder if you would address what you believe — and why — concerning the dissenting views.

Joe Beben

Carson City


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