Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor March 31

When should humans
override the machines

It may not have been your childhood nightmare, but many people dream of showing up to elementary school in their underwear. Now, imagine you are the pilot of a 737 Max Jetliner flying under clear, blue skies, carrying 140 passengers. You need to ascend in altitude, so you point the nose up, but then the automatic pilot frustrates your efforts, over and over again.
This is the dark side of automation. You’ll hear that a sensor had ice in it or some other explanation that deflects the core issue. In an emergency situation, the automated system maintained control, denying the pilot’s attempts to take over. Indeed, pilots were under-trained on how to disable the system because of engineering hubris, the assumption that automation is good for you just like apples and carrots are.
In fact, automation is more likely to save your life than destroy it. But when it does fail, it taps into the human fear of losing control. Under current law, if a pilot or driver makes a mistake, the first blame is on the pilot. But if an automated system fails, the liability falls to the company that designed and engineered the plane or car. This is partly why self-driving cars are rolling out more slowly than expected.
There’s been a comparison of the situation we now face with the rollout of the Boeing 727 some 50 years ago, which was accompanied with multiple deadly crashes. The problem was that the 727 descended harder than most pilots expected. The argument is that people forgot all about those crashes once the pilots were trained, and so we will soon forget the 737 Max issue.
We will get beyond this, but until we figure out when humans should be in control versus the machines, these problems will  nag our society. And, of course, the relatives of the victims won’t forget.

Steven Knudsen

All Huggins wants to do
is make us all proud
Good day Mountaineer Nation. I’d like to say I’m so thankful for Bob Huggins. He is the best thing to happen to our state for a long time. He understands West Virginia, he’s one of us.
He cares and does it the right way. Take time to enjoy him, read the articles, listen to the stories, the insight … listen to pregame, listen to post game and his radio shows. Soak it all in.
He always gives 110 percent effort for his home. All he wants to do is make us proud. Does it get any better than that? Please stay behind the program and our Hall of Fame coach.
Yeah, they struggled, but they will buy in; you saw flashes during the Big 12 tournament. Enjoy the ride all the way back to the top.
It will be fun watching it unfold. He said he will fix it. We believe in you Coach, we don’t need a rearview mirror either. Let’s go …
Derek Bonner

Consumers cannot just
wash ‘away’ pesticides
What a misleading front page article in the Saturday, March 23, newspaper.
I appreciate your publishing the highly respected Environmental Working Group’s 2019 Dirty Dozen, aka the fruits and vegetables containing the highest levels of pesticide residue when produced by what I call the agricultural-industrial complex. But you go on to quote another respected expert and friend, Dr. Jim Kotcon, as saying, in essence, “No problem! Just wash it away.”
I’m sure Kotcon would’ve loved to have also told readers that consumers aren’t the only ones  on this planet. What was left out was that buying organic produce that doesn’t use pesticides and herbicides supports cleaner waters, less contaminated soil, healthier farm workers, healthier animals and insect life and healthier air.
I assume he chose his words in haste and I hope The Dominion Posts understands that there is no such thing as “away,” as in washing pesticides “away.” If so, I’d love to hear it.
Tell us where downstream do pesticides and herbicides still not poison the dwindling animal life and degrade water and soil of all life’s systems?
I wish The Dominion Post would try to write detailed articles without such “either/or” attitudes that limit  critical thinking.
But back to the article: Yes, if one totally removed the dirty dozen from his or her diet, he or she might be worse off, health-wise, depending on many other non-linear factors. But choosing organically raised strawberries, spinach, kale, on down the list of the dirty-dozen, would help him or her support all beings on this big blue planet. Thank you for publishing the EWG list.
Susan Sauter
Bruceton Mills

Water filling stations
make a big difference
April is Move More Month and the American Heart Association encourages everyone to get more active. As partners with the association, we recommend children get about an hour of physical activity a day. This also means we want to make sure kids stay hydrated by drinking plenty of safe water every day. A key way to ensure all children drink more water is by installing water filling stations in their schools.
The recommended amount of water a child should drink in a day ranges from seven to 10 cups, depending on their age and gender. But fewer than a third of children and teens drink enough water per day. That’s concerning to organizations like the American Heart Association, because water is critical to a child’s heart and brain health.
Studies have shown how filtered water filling stations, which have a water bottle filler along with a traditional bubbler, have increased the amount of water kids drink. One study found water consumption nearly tripled among students when a water dispenser was put near their cafeteria.
We believe every child in West Virginia deserves free access to clean water, and water filling stations in their schools is an effective way to encourage kids to drink more water.
Laura Dice Hill
Gina Sharps
American Heart Association

We need to go back to
the past to find future
Now that the Democrats have completed their journey down the yellow brick road, and failed to find the rabbit hole, what have they got left? Nothing, because there never was anything to find.
Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and their band of fools have nothing left, except the egg on their faces, and a grief-stricken base, that will soon learn this: The American people are men and women possessing common science and we’ve had it with these fools.
True many of us who have been taking a long winter’s nap,  allowed this nonsense to take root, and grow; be it known from this day forth we are awake now, and we won’t put up with this nonsense any longer.
We’re taking our country back; we’re going back to the past to find our future. We must return to the time when every person understood this one basic fact, nothing in life is free. That all we want is ours to have, if we have the will to go for it. We need to return to the day when hard work and determination was considered honorable, and no man got a free ride.
We need to return to the time when a helping hand meant just that, a fresh start, not a way of life. A young man recently told me he wasn’t going to work at anything that required getting his hands dirty. I said, “When you get hungry enough you will.”
There should be work requirements for  able-bodied people on public assistance, and they should be drug tested. Public assistance to feed a drug habit is counterproductive and a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.
We also need to purge our schools of these socialist activists that have been indoctrinating our children with their new world ideas. Our state legislatures need to take control of our schools’ agendas.

Only in the last few of my 80 years have I experienced the vitriol that exists in our world today; if we as a people don’t change, we will destroy ourselves and the world in which we live.
Riley Thomas

Inspirational  slogans
don’t do much for nation

“Let’s not fund the Special Olympics!,” “Mexico will pay for the Wall,!” “Replace and Repeal Obamacare”; these are a few of the many inspirational GOP election slogans for the upcoming campaign.
President Trump and education Secretary Betsy DeVos propose eliminating federal funding of the Special Olympics in their 2020 budget while increasing the salaries of their administrative staff.
We all know we’re paying for Trump’s wall that even Senate Republicans don’t want.
Meanwhile, Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but the ironic part of “Obamacare,” the name Republicans coined as deroisive, turns out to be a  popular program.
Just think what “repeal” would do to opioid treatment or hospital costs. Everyone knows that the Affordable Care Act needs modification, but Republicans couldn’t get this program repealed in two years of congressional control. The U.S. House will likely come up with a bill to correct some of Obamacare’s deficiencies; but any bill needs the Senate and Trump’s approval to become law. What are the chances of that happening with their egos? Two more years — perhaps then.
Robert Shumaker