Bob Scott letters to the Sentinel editor

In thinking about socialism our government – almost without exception only gets involved or takes something over when the private sector can’t or won’t do that something in the best interests of the country. I have worked where companies polluted the environment and they would not stop unless they were made to stop. Kingston Pike in Knoxville was once a private toll road- can you imagine if all roads were little toll roads? They have private armies in some countries- no one thinks that is a good idea. Private health care has resulted in many people who don’t get the care they need. Well paid publicly employed police are needed to protect all the public and prevent corruption. The availability of patents is really appreciated by inventors. The private sector can do many things very well but often regulations are needed to prevent a race to the lowest cost regardless of any unpleasant consequences.
Unregulated capitalism quickly deteriorates to oligarchy. For a great example look at what happened to the poor Russians- they went in a few months from communism to unregulated capitalism with wealth concentrated in a few oligarchs. There should always be evaluation and correction but capitalism with well considered regulation and some functions run by government is the best current system even if people who don’t like government involvement want to label it a dirty word-SOCIALISM. If this be socialism, make the most of it.

Single Payer Medical
I have had medical insurance- I am currently on Medicare- for most of my adult life and I appreciate the feeling of security it gives me. The people who are against Obamacare and single payer insurance do not have any thing that will give everyone the feeling of security that we who are insured have. I pay more for my insurance than it pays for my illnesses and surgeries and I am happy to do so.
Medicare for all would be a very good system- Medicare has one serious problem, however. The US congress decides how much the doctors and hospitals are paid and congress- particularly when controlled by Republicans- will not pay what is needed for doctors and hospitals to thrive. A good single payer system- like Medicare for all- would be a benefit to our country and a person who knows about Medical costs like Phil Bredesen could really help -in that or in any debate on changes to the medical care system. The pharmaceutical industry spent 2.3 billion dollars in this decade lobbying and It shows incredible lack of understanding of reality for a recipient of a lot of that money to criticize a person with a degree in physics who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry and founded a large health maintenance organization. Or maybe she thinks voters won’t bother to discover that Phil Bredesen knows what he is talking about.

Please do not elect a climate denier to anything.
Carbon dioxide is a waste product when people burn coal, oil and natural gas and it is mostly disposed of into the atmosphere. Worldwide fossil fuel burning will result in about 35,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere this year and this will raise the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 411 to about 413 parts per million, When I first saw the Keeling curve ( look it up) I thought it was interesting but not worrisome- the carbon dioxide yearly rise was only about 2 parts per million- but it has kept on going up from 315 to over 410 ppm and is still going up.
What does carbon dioxide do in our atmosphere? It controls the earth temperature. If we had no carbon dioxide in the atmosphere all the oceans would freeze. Do climate deniers know that? If we have too much carbon dioxide the oceans will get too warm and the ice caps will melt and raise the oceans by several hundred feet- goodby Florida!
Our generation must quickly stop extracting fossil fuels from the ground and go to massive solar power installation. We have the technology now- we never had it before and we have been given the technology just in time. All that is needed is the political will to lead the world into power generation without carbon dioxide.
People in the past have done remarkable things- the Egyptian pyramids, the pre Columbian Indian towns made without iron, the mound builders. Now it is our turn to do something wonderful for our children but like the great wall of China it can’t be done without political leaders who have the ability to understand the damage climate deniers are doing right now and stand up as leaders.
Everything else can wait- we humans have to turn the Keeling curve downward and do it now.
Do not vote for any candidate for any office who will not promise to lead on cutting out carbon dioxide emissions by massively increasing renewable power generation. Find out who they are.

Abortion letter
We got a blind phone call from a man who said he represented a “ pro life “ organization. This was a misrepresentation- he represented an organization that opposes legal abortions. The pretext is that Roe vs Wade initiated millions of abortions and repealing it will save millions of unborn children. Anyone who favors legal abortions is a baby killing murderer. The facts are never stated- only the emotional scream that the Democrats are evil people who “rip the innocent baby out” and murder it and sell the parts for a profit.
Worldwide about half of all pregnancies are unwanted and about half of the unwanted pregnancies end in abortion – whether they are legal or not. If you really want fewer abortions then you need to have abortions safe and legal so you can know how many there are and devise policies to reduce the number. If you want to stop all abortions you should move to another planet. Making birth control readily available seems to be the most effective way to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and concurrently the number of abortions. Good education also helps.
Under presidents Clinton and Obama the number of abortions in the United States was trending down. The Republican fight against birth control and safe, legal abortions will reverse the downward trend and there will be more abortions but screaming about murdering babies will still blind many well intentioned people and raise money and influence votes. And people who voted for Trump and believe Fox News are probably not willing to understand this.
If you think outlawing abortions solves problems then maybe you think outlawing alcohol and drugs solves problems?

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Is one of our country”s treasures.

I have worked in refineries and chemical plants and I know they are serious sources of air pollution because the operators cut corners and ignore spills and venting. A responsible company would not be building next to a national park and the fact that a company plans such a plant is evidence that it is irresponsible and it will have poor management. Responsible management starts at the top and there is essentially no chance the plant will be run to minimize air pollution. It will be run to lower operating costs. I ask you to google Bhopal to see how poorly irresponsible plants are run. The Bhopal plant management removed the air conditioning on a tank and didn’t even reset the alarm temperature- and killed thousands of people. I have seen how poorly some companies act and the fact that this company is siting a plant next to a national treasure is an Indictment- whatever they pontificate about how great they are.

There is a more suitable location. Large-scale industrial development does not belong next to a national park.

I hope you care about America’s natural and cultural heritage. I hope you will reconsider the significance of this storied landscape and relocate the refinery to a more suitable location where Theodore Roosevelt National Park will not be affected.

I appreciate your consideration.

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