July 17, 2013

Letters to the editor: Toshi Seeger was legend in her own right

Re: "Singer Seeger's wife dies at 91" (July 12): "Singer Seeger's wife" was a successful person in her own right and has a name, Toshi (nee Toshi-Aline Ohta) Seeger. Your headline was a slight to Toshi, who was a most magnificent woman. Pete Seeger's success was her success.

SEEGER-OBIT
click image to enlarge

Folk singer Pete Seeger, center, and his wife, Toshi Seeger, sit in on a recording session with Mississippi John Hurt. The headline on Toshi Seeger’s obituary overlooked her role as organizer and producer of thousands of events, a reader says.

Harry Naltchayan/The Washington Post

I am privileged to know Pete and Toshi from volunteering on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (Maine-built by Harvey Gamage) and at the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival.

She was no "ornament" -- she was the organizer and producer of thousands of events, concerts and films, including the Emmy-winning PBS documentary "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song."

The Great Hudson River Revival is rated one of the best festivals in the United States and is just one piece of Toshi's legacy. Toshi was always friendly and involved with the volunteers.

I learned about plans for the first festival from Toshi. She made whatever project she was involved in work.

Most recently, at this year's Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival, Pete Seeger sang verses Toshi wrote to "Turn, Turn, Turn," which the audience loved.

Toshi Seeger will be missed by many people. Please honor her with her name.

Carolyn Vetro

Portland

Retreat could help Congress regain moral, civil footing

I offer a modest proposal for a guided congressional retreat to put our leaders back on a civil, moral and spiritual footing. Retreats, after all, are common throughout our culture. The focus: the good society and the good life.

My proposal is prompted by Harvard political philosopher Michael J. Sandel, one of the most popular college professors of his generation (author: "What Money Can't Buy -- The Moral Limits of the Market").

Sandel, whose Jewish upbringing evidently immersed him in the Hebrew prophets, believes it is possible to have a conversation on "the good society and the good life," and to have such conversation without leaving moral and spiritual convictions at the door.

The retreat is for members of the U.S. House and Senate to share with each other personal experiences that shaped their vision of the good society and the good life. While opinions divide, experiences unite.

But some norms, I believe, must be observed to avoid the danger of what the Harvard professor of government calls "sectarian strife." The following norms must be included:

There is to be no expectation that the retreat will produce closure on the good life and the good society.

The media are not invited.

The process of sharing formative personal experiences in confidence is the purpose of the retreat.

Unacceptable shall be any move to convert, judge or invalidate the experiences that fellow members share. Bipartisan facilitators will ensure norms are respected.

The retreat is not to be a win-lose contest. It is an exercise in respectful listening to others' experiences. Period.

Is the promise of a new paradigm and a more civil, less rancorous political culture worth a history-making "time-out" for a congressional retreat?

I invite our Washington legislators to seek bipartisan planning for it.

The Rev. Alfred M. Niese

Woolwich

Manmade warming theory not supported by science

Real scientists form a hypothesis, design experiments to test it, collect the data and, if the tests prove positive, form models that can predict happenings that can be shown to occur.

The models of physics predict we can land a rover on Mars, and we have. The models work. Models that don't work are changed or thrown out.

The science used in manmade global warming is not real science. A hypothesis is as far as it goes. The tests and models do not work. Their predictions fail.

Forty-seven years ago their models predicted that by now the oceans would have risen, polar bears would have died off, severe storms would have occurred and dire consequences would be the result. Yet none of this has happened.

Real science needs no consensus. The models work or they don't.

Global warming uses the consensus of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Rajendra Pachauri, their lead scientist, admitted that no warming has occurred in the last 17 years. Check it out online.

Another admitted he falsified data, in fact, never did the tests he claimed to do. You don't get away with this in real science.

Galileo was sentenced to house arrest the rest of his life for proving that Earth was not the center of the universe because of the consensus of men of his time. See what consensus does? Looks likes man hasn't changed in the last 500 years. It took the Catholic Church till 1992 to admit Galileo was right.

Before people enact laws that restrict carbon emissions, shouldn't we re-examine our models and throw out the present models that prove no results?

Howard Cutler

Dixmont

Nemitz offers candid view of LePage 'misadventures'

It is summer in Maine, and of course there are rhododendrons, lupine, rugosa, shorts and sandals, boats and floats. I love returning to Maine in the spring to see all of these changes.

But best of all, you have Bill Nemitz telling it like it is, and I look forward to reading his column. He is so far the only columnist who has the courage to tell the people of Maine how their governor is perceived by comedians and news services in other states.

I personally look forward to his candor on how the governor is embarrassing himself or us with what he says and does.

Maine has had some outstanding leadership over its history, but the current governor is not in that category (in my opinion). It is refreshing when you read Bill Nemitz's column and he calls out the governor or other leadership for being self-serving and not properly representing the people of Maine.

The governor's extremely partisan ideas and actions do not represent most people in Maine, and I hope for the residents of Maine that there will be new leadership in two years.

If Mr. Nemitz continues to write his opinions each day, I feel certain that the next two years will have plenty of fuel from the pronouncements and misadventures of Gov. LePage.

Thank you, Mr. Nemitz, for telling it like it is. Maine is lucky to have your column in its daily newspaper. You are a true Maine treasure.

Jane Metzler

Yarmouth

 

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