Letters Sept. 17, 2020
Angered by Kohls’ articles
For years, I have felt disappointed that the Reader publishes Gary Kohls’ articles.
Conspiracies can occur and we need responsible interrogations of authoritative accounts of important events. A responsible inquiry weighs evidence judiciously, concedes knowledge gaps, and avoids unearned certainties and predetermined or unsubstantiated conclusions.
These qualities are typically absent from Dr. Kohls’ articles. After several colleagues and I objected to his writings on mental health in 2012, I let it go. We made our case and the Reader kept publishing him. I settled for reading him with dismay and hoping he would mislead very few readers.
However, his 9/11 article pushed my dismay into anger. The sadness of that morning’s horror returns in some form every September 11. This year the sadness ran especially deep. I was glad, therefore, when your cover suggested the issue would contain insight, thoughtfulness, consolation, perspective, poignancy – something that befit the anniversary.
Nope. It was only more of Dr. Kohls’ pseudo-documented rot. And just that. He seems a lost cause, but I didn’t think the Reader would be so lost as to offer only his irresponsible views on this meaningful anniversary. Please do better next year.
Another article based on confirmation bias
Here it is again—911, and with it a trove of mostly easily disposable talking points amassed by a small minority of conspiracy thinkers, like Gary Kohls.
The template they chose to pattern their findings on, is the supposed existence of some sort of Government or secret cabal-like scheme to explain the collapse of the World Trade Center, based on the presumption that it must have happened some other way! But deniers follow misguided theories which virtually all have been scientifically disproved?
In the first paragraph of his article Kohls references a photo of one of the twin towers crumbling with enormous amounts of debris scattering from it in all directions. And Kohls says “(It is not burning down).” But no one ever said that either of the towers “burned” down. Rather, when large passenger jets hit them at hundreds of mph, they did set the floors around the points of impact ablaze, creating fires that burned office chairs, and tables inside etc., long enough to weaken the tower’s structural steel supports which began to sag and bend after being exposed to temps of more than 1000 F. One tower had 15 floors above it and the other had 22 floors above its point of impact.
The mass of the upper load in the north tower was equivalent to the mass of the Titanic – about 38,000 tonnes.” And unfortunately the load bearing beams in both towers were not built to withstand such weight after being exposed to fires. Thus after burning jet fuel lit chairs, desks, and many of the other combustible things near the points of impact, over time, the steel beams lost about 50% of their structural strength. Thus, when one enormously heavy floor fell, the one beneath it fell, etc. etc. as the total weight of upper floors was magnified as each successive floor dropped more and more weight onto those below them.
Another fly in the conspiracy ointment asserts that, in actual controlled demolitions, explosions begin at the bottoms of structures, along with a few placed in strategic areas to enable large structures to fall straight down without damaging areas around them. However, conspiracy theorists ignore all that, in favor of an unlikely (theory) about hundreds of precisely synchronized explosions causing each floor to collapse sequentially, from the top down, even though each tower had surveillance cameras watching every floor both night and day? So it’s extremely unlikely that hundreds of precisely planned “thermite” explosions were planted without detection. And if not for a day with very little wind, the towers would likely have heavily damaged many other buildings around them.
Conspiracy theorists also claim that no one dares to come forward with damning evidence because the government will kill them? However, conspiracy believers like Kohls must fail to notice that dozens of pro 911 conspiracy websites continue to discuss any theories they want, freely and openly, and no one has killed any of them for doing so. How about that?
Did GW Bush, or some clandestine and powerful group destroy the towers? The likely truth is that Bush took advantage of the traumatic effects of 911 to justify the invasion of oil rich Iraq, even though Sadam Hussein hated all religions and did not give a rip about the activities of a “religious” group like Al-Qaeda. Did Bush deliberately cause, or allow 911 to happen? Sorry, that’s not even probable.
Peter W. Johnson
The case for firing the incumbent
I will be the first to admit that politicians will most likely always play the game that gives them the slight advantage, that’s human nature. History is laden with presidents trying to “play the game”: Clinton’s affair and eventual admittance with Lewinsky, G.W. Bush and the disaster in Iraq, Reagan and Iran-Contra. These three are examples are basically of men of good heart.
But the current POTUS has taken the basics of human goodness and righteousness to a low that has never been seen in presidential behavior. From lying, to emoluments, treasonous dealings with Russia, nepotism with inept family members, and hiring and firings that should make anyone with a conscience wonder, Trump has hit a new low in presidential behavior.
So the question to any Trump supporter: if you find this type of behavior and patterns at all unacceptable, why would you vote again to see it continue or potentially get worse (and by all accounts, it seems to be getting worse). A classroom teacher wouldn’t allow a student to get away with it. A platoon sergeant wouldn’t let a new recruit get away with it. A company CEO or president would (hopefully) not allow an employee to get away with it. If those actions were allowed to knowingly happen by a surgical nurse, post operation, the doctor would certainly never allow it to happen again.
Anyway, Trump voters first time around can possibly be forgiven, although pre-election videos of mocking disabled, boasting of questionable issues with women, obviously childish name-calling, bankruptcies and non-payment of services invoiced, and the demeaning of many immigrants (to name a few), should, in my eyes, have disqualified him from the get-go.
We need to be the teacher that doesn’t allow the student (Trump); the drill sergeant that doesn’t allow the new recruit (Trump); the doctor that doesn’t allow the nurse (Trump) to continue poor care. To still support this incumbent with all that is known and has happened while on his watch is something I have a hard time fathoming by anybody at this day and time.
Quinn Nystrom will best represent us
This letter is in response to a recent letter by Katherine McLynn of Grand Rapids who supports Pete Stauber for Congress. I disagree as Quinn Nystrom is our DFL-endorsed candidate and I’ll explain why.
First, Pete Stauber has voted more than 90 percent of the time in line with President Trump’s policies, which hurt us every day at the grocery store, in regard to health and to a state of general fear and violence in our country. It’s time to move on from Trump-ism.
Katherine states that Stauber has a 100% pro-life voting record. To Pete Stauber pro-life means judgement, control and denied access to con-traception and health care, including prenatal health care. He has done nothing to reduce abortions and his actions may actually have the opposite effect. That’s not pro-life but cruelty.
Quinn Nystrom does not judge but instead would address the causes of abortion and prenatal death. She supports making contraception totally and freely available, which alone is said to reduce abortion by more than 40%. She supports addressing health care, food security, fair wages, poverty and much more, all which contribute to a higher abortion rate. That’s real pro-life!
Quinn Nystrom will accept no corporate PAC money because she will work for you and me, not big money. Quinn will always work toward our true best interests whether we vote for her or not. She has already proved this through her advocacy work in health care, especially prescription drug prices at the national and state level as well as her role in local politics.
Do vote on or before Nov. 3 for real representation and for real pro-life. Vote for Quinn Nystrom for Congressional District 8 Representative!