Monday, May 14, 2018 1:00 am
Meal double celebration
Many thanks to the person or persons who paid for our dinner at Texas Roadhouse on April 29.
Little did they know we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary and also my husband, Tom's, birthday.
What a pleasant surprise. We will surely pay it forward.
Writer undercuts point through credulous claims
Tim Tiernon's April 29 letter (“US military solutions 'create our enemies' ”) is so emotionally overwrought that it deserves comment. It is so wrong on so many points and misrepresents so many others that he undercuts what might have been a reasoned examination of U.S. policy and of the Trump administration's recent military actions against Syria.
Tiernon states that “The United States has a long history at the United Nations of opposing the elimination of chemical weapons.” In fact, the United States ratified the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention and in January 2012 reported that it had destroyed nearly 90 percent of its original stockpile. Destruction of the remaining stockpile continues as a declared U.S. goal. The thrust of the remainder of Tiernon's perfervid letter is simple: Trust no one's word except the Russians' and the Syrians' (and, of course, his own).
He insists that “Syria and Russia have eliminated their chemical weapon stockpiles.” We have only their word for this, of course, and that apparently is good enough for him. In the process, he blandly ignores the Assad regime's savage attacks on its own people, with the critical support of the Russian military. They have deliberately targeted so many civilians, hospitals and medical personnel that the United Nations has given up even trying to count the casualties. Moreover, some 6 million refugees have been displaced and 13 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, causing a humanitarian catastrophe unparalleled since World War II.
In fact, this illustrates a curious blind spot about Russian government crimes that Tiernon seems to share with President Donald Trump. I was particularly struck by his rather credulous acceptance of the Russian denial that it had carried out the “non-lethal [i.e., novichok] poisoning” of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England on March 4. His “proof” is the claim that the Russian government had published the formula in 2008 and therefore “anyone” could have poisoned the pair. As for Tiernon's characterization of novichok as non-lethal, a former Russian scientist involved with its creation described its effects, even in low doses, as causing “agonising [sic] convulsions and pain akin to torture ... impossible to imagine.” Non-lethal, indeed. The scientist went on to volunteer that he himself was certain that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the Skripal attack. The British government emphatically agrees. Tiernon, of course, seems more inclined to believe the Russians.
'Feeling safe' not point
MaryClare Akers' article, “A peaceful alternative” (April 29) finally and correctly summed up the liberal viewpoint on guns and safety.
Akers' article was all about “feeling safe.” The point of owning a firearm, or any weapon, is not to entice any feeling.
Of course Akers still did not feel safe after purchasing a gun as her article states. “Feeling safe” or any other “feeling” is not a reasonable purpose of legally buying and legally carrying a gun. Simply put, the purpose of legally buying a gun, or any other weapon, is for the buyer to have the tool necessary to defend themselves against another human being or animal posing an immediate deadly threat.