Protest if you want, but play the game

Wednesday, Aug. 26 witnessed another example of professional sports disregarding the interests of the fans.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) postponed all the playoff games for that day after the Milwaukee Bucks players refused to take the court and play their scheduled game against the Orlando Magic to protest police brutality and social injustice.

While I support professional players having a voice calling for social change, canceling scheduled games and carrying their protests onto the court and arenas is not right. The fans watch professional sports games to be entertained — a respite from the politics and social issues of the day.

The NBA Office should have told the Milwaukee Bucks: “Play the game or forfeit.” Looks like the players are in charge. My message to the NBA and all professional players: Find platforms to protest without interrupting the game.

By the way, if I showed up for work tomorrow and told my boss that I was going to boycott working today to protest social injustice, I think his response would be: “You’re fired!”

Wes Snow


Why this election is bigger than politics or the pandemic

The coming election will have ramifications bigger than politics or the pandemic. Who we elect will take office when we are running out of time to make changes that could avert a climate catastrophe for our planet.

The reality of this for future generations cannot be overstated, and scientists are now saying, with rapidly developing “real life” evidence, that we don’t have until 2030 to delay action.

It is easy to lose sight of this reality when we are overwhelmed by a pandemic. But we have only one earth to live on, and an increasing number of scientists now believe we have reached the tipping point for climate warming. This will change the future for all human beings in some very dangerous ways.

The pandemic is real, and may kill a few hundred thousand people in the U.S., but our case/fatality rate is just about 3%, and dropping as we improve testing. The climate crisis will impact 100% of us far longer than just our own lifetimes.

The intensifying droughts and flooding resulting from severe weather events, and the ever growing megafires are happening now for all of us to see. The melting of the polar regions with sea level rise, ocean acidification, and species extinctions are less apparent, but are now measurable realities. Please google CO2earth or “Keeling Curve” to see the numbers for atmospheric CO2. More and more scientists are reporting that to avoid catastrophic changes in our planet we need to start making changes to CO2 emissions within the next two years, not within the next decade. This means having a plan of action to implement soon.

One candidate has such a plan to start dealing with the climate crisis. The other has questioned the reality of climate change, withdrawn America from the global climate accord (that 197 countries support), and just approved oil drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Please consider these very different future realities when you cast your vote this fall.

Dr. Edward Farrar


Let’s have respectful, spirited discussion of factual policies

I am writing regarding the disturbing trend I’m seeing in our country and unfortunately right here in our county: baseless accusations, misrepresentations, false information, and just generally nasty comments about a large segment of our United States of America.

And who are these comments being made about? Oh, the “spawn of satan, pedophilic, anarchy loving, America-hating Democrats!”

Who knew that your family, friends, co-workers, doctors, nurses, teachers, farmers, ranchers, government workers, shopkeepers, essential workers, and neighbors, were perpetrators of an evil conspiracy to bring down our country! And if you think there is any truth to that comment above in quotes, then you are part of the problem.

Could we all just take a breath and realize that having differing political opinions about how our nation, state, and county governed is a constructive mechanism, a way for opposing sides to come to consensus on important issues that affect us all. Taking the most extreme thoughts on the political spectrum and conveniently attaching them to an entire organized group, Democrat or Republican, is to distort truth and sow confusion and misunderstanding.

We all have our political bias; I’m a Democrat and while I will heartily argue the worth of ideals that include the common good of our nation, I don’t want to demonize the opposition, but I’ll admit I get angry or frustrated or saddened when I hear or read what some folks, even local folks, say about their neighbors, what they assume about Democrats, about me. I don’t want to do the same thing to Republicans; I’m trying hard to recognize our common humanity, not always easy when I see people pushing polarization and division.

Let’s not forget that having differences of opinion about how we govern is the promise of this nation. Let’s have respectful, spirited discussion of factual policies and issues, not made-up conspiracy theories bandied about for political gain, theories that assume the worst of folks who have different views — and bring out the worst in those who are perpetuating those theories. It’s harmful to our shared humanity.

Sandy Vaughn