Letters to the editor for Dec. 4, 2013

Union Democrat staff /

U.S. Constitution an imperfect document

To the Editor:

It is fascinating to read such interest in the U.S. Constitution today especially by those who have read and understand its torturous creation. Mr. Titchenal's letter is a good example. However I would point out that it is not true that the Constitution is or ever was a perfect document. It was seen even by the drafters that it needed a set of amendments to make it acceptable to the country. This is called the Bill of Rights. Only this promise of amendments made the Constitution a possibility. This is tantamount to the draftees admitting that the Constitution was not perfect. Second point is that the Convention rescued the Constitution by waffling in an almost un- American way by conceding that representation of the lower house should be based on white inhabitants and three-fifths of the "other people." Guess who the other people were. Since that time there have been 17 other amendments to the Constitution including the 13th, 14th and 15th. Guess what they addressed. I could not agree with Mr. Titchenal more; the Constitution is an incredible document. Yet, it is not perfect one nor ever was and thanks for the ability in this great country for the legal and constitutional, privilege to thoughtfully amend it as required by contemporary factors.

Jay Bell

Columbia

Logging legislation misguided at best

To the Editor:

Forest ecosystems, wisely restored and managed, can produce wood fiber for human benefit essentially forever. Fire is as natural as rain and sunlight in the long-term life of a forest. Once a fire has occurred, the science is increasingly clear that the fragile forest landscapes following fire are ecologically rich and extremely vulnerable to mechanical disturbance. The "pro-logging" legislators who have prepared and pushed HR 3188 and HR 1526 are misguided at best.

These bills will do nothing to insure long-term logging jobs, in fact they will do the opposite. They will trade off the long-term health and productivity and ecological diversity of the forests we all depend on for jobs, recreation, water and myriad other ecological benefits, for short term jobs removing low value/profit salvage logs in the short run.

If the legislators, like McClintock, who are pushing this misguided legislation were honest, they'd at least admit that they believe meager short-term benefits in the form of salvage logging jobs and the modest profits to Sierra Pacific Industries outweigh the long-term harm that would result. For forest ecosystem management, as with all disciplines of science, new knowledge continues to be discovered...and...with each new discovery that cries out for an adjustment in how we humans interact with the earth systems we live with, are part of, and depend upon...there are those who seek to continue to gain short term profit from the status quo who will fight change without regard to the future. We all need to have empathy for those who fear change, (their fears are often very strong and too often are manipulated by profiteers) and offer them assistance in moving to positions of accepting and transitioning to positive change based on real science.

Bob Wetzel

Murphys

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