The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 8, 2006

Where's the civility at the Mosquito?

To the Editor:

The November 24 Mosquito editorialized on the need for greater civility in public discourse. That's good. We need it.

It's a pity that the Mosquito's high mindedness lasted a mere 168 hours. Your editorial of December 1 ("Out of step, Out of time") was decidedly uncivil in tone and substance.

Ms. Miller dismisses those that disagree with her views on climate change and the origins of man as "annoying and ill-informed." She recommends that readers disregard those who offer different facts and viewpoints. She goes on to equate those that question Mr. Gore's apocalyptic views with "17th century flat earthers" and to equate those that believe that god had some role in the origin of man with Holocaust deniers. The latter association is particularly odd as both the Holocaust and Ms. Miller's own rhetoric involve, at some level, the ridicule of individuals for their religious beliefs.

Ms. Miller's recommendations are unfortunate and harmful to the health of public discourse. Climate change and the origins of man are big questions. As with any big question, the facts are messy and often contradictory. The determination of what to do about big questions is as likely to be guided by scientific evidence as by philosophical and value judgments.

Mr. Gore offers one view on global warming. Many scientists such as MIT's Richard Lindzen differ. Let's hear them out. As Mark Twain wrote in Puddn'head Wilson, "It is not the best that we should all think alike; it is the difference of opinion that makes horse races." Ms. Miller wants just one horse in the race.

And as for the Mosquito, like all news media, the public interest is best served when all information is presented and the people decide. That includes the views of those that the editors may find "annoying".

James Bohn
Concord Street

The warm welcome home was appreciated

To the Editor:

I want to thank all of you for the warm welcome home last week. Monica and I especially would like to thank Charlene Hinton, Peter Duffany, Gary Davis, Alan Carpenito and the Selectmen, and Madonna Mackenzie. Monica asked for permission to put a sign out and was overwhelmed at the response to coordinate the posting of the signs and flags in the town center. We also want to thank Larry Bearfield of Ferns Country Store for putting all of his flags out and the Mosquito for the great Friends and Neighbors spot in the November 24 paper.

After being deployed to Baghdad, Iraq for five months, it was an awesome and humbling sight as we drove into Carlisle to see the patriotic display of welcome-home signs and the flags flying around the town center and over Ferns Country Store. (Okay, she had to drive me around the center once and park at Ferns before I saw it ... I blame jetlag.)

It's acts of support like this that are very much felt and appreciated by the troops deployed and stationed around the world.

We are proud to live in such a fine community.

Michael Jacobson, Maj., USAF
Russell Street

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito