At astronomical cost
Two readers recently wrote suggesting that floodwaters be routed to water-starved states, thus solving two problems: flood damage and water shortages. If these writers had husbands that were chemical engineers from Texas A&M, their suggestions would have been answered prior to submitting their letters.
Without spending time actually sizing the pipeline to transfer the rising water from the Arkansas or Mississippi Rivers, I'd guess and say it would have to be at least 20 feet in diameter, and would stretch 1,500 miles (distance from St. Louis to Phoenix). The pipeline would also require a number of extremely large booster pumping stations. The cost and logistics of installing this would be astronomical, and would only be put into service once or twice a year, at most.
I'd rather see my favorite writers, Philip Martin, Rex Nelson and John Brummett, receive hefty pay raises.
Nature and survival
In the front-page article titled "Virus trends worry experts," under the section "Anti-vaccine rhetoric," the paper reports: "A host at the conservative network Newsmax said vaccines are 'against nature,' and members at a conservative conference cheered last weekend when a speaker said the U.S. missed its immunization goals."
I'm just astounded on a couple of levels. First of all, it's hard for me to understand how so many people can hold such an extreme position on covid-19 vaccines, even after massive statistics show them being hugely effective and having absolutely minimal (but not zero) side effects. Secondly, I don't understand the comment about vaccines being "against nature." Of course they're against nature! Absolutely every medication and medical procedure in the world is "against nature."
In case you haven't noticed, nature is trying to kill us. That's "us," as in every human being on the planet. Viruses (like covid-19, influenza and many others), bacteria, earthquakes, hurricanes and a bunch of other stuff, all completely "natural," are trying to kill us every day. From a human species standpoint, we absolutely should be trying to eradicate and eliminate these diseases. Literally, human existence is against nature.
So don't equate covid-19 vaccines to all of the completely unfounded conspiracy theories floating around the Internet. Get vaccinated. It's safe, effective and absolutely the right thing to do. This isn't a political issue, it's a personal survival issue. Both my wife and I are fully vaccinated; you should be too. As Nike says, "Just do it."
Aw, gee, thanks, guys
I would like to congratulate our Republican-led House and Senate, the anti-vaxxers, and the anti-maskers for making us finally at the top of a list. Since you tied the hands of state and local officials on responding to public health issues, we are leading the country in new covid cases.
I hope you are happy with the consequences, and may karma find you quickly. But I'm betting our representatives and senators are vaccinated hypocrites and are letting their unvaccinated constituents pay the price.
Ditch the networks
I enjoyed the Sunday editorial on "Opposing polls" regarding how far that the news media has fallen in the polls as a trusted source of information.
I'm old enough to remember that when Walter Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley told you something on the news, you could believe it. Those days are gone, and it's a damn shame. News has become an opinion presentation, and that is not what the news is supposed to be.
I've become dependent on the print news to find out what is going on without the ever-present follow-up on "what this means" or how it affects me and what I should think about it. That is their opinion. I'm perfectly capable of forming my own opinions. I don't need anybody to tell me what to think. I can figure that out for myself.
I enjoy reading the Democrat- Gazette because I feel that it follows that philosophy. Even then, I look at the bylines in the articles to see what the source is. If it's The New York Times or The Washington Post, I'll take the piece with a large grain of salt.
What I need to know is what is going on out in the world. Period.
Television network news is the worst. They have lost all objectivity in reporting the news and it has become an opinion journal. If you want to hear left-wing news, watch NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS or MSNBC. If you'd like to hear the right-wing interpretation, then watch Fox News or Newsmax.
Here's an interesting idea about reclaiming your peace of mind. Turn off the network news. Last year, we began a practice of watching the local TV news and then turning off the TV. Unless you feel the need to be constantly depressed about the world going to "hell in a handbasket," it will go a long way to making you feel more comfortable about your world and your life. Our local stations will tell you all that you need to know about our community and what is happening out in the world, and usually without their opinions.
It has worked for us. I recommend that you give it a try.