Readers write: Standards for hearings, humanity and nature

Letters to the editor for the March 6, 2017 weekly magazine.

Mark Lennihan/AP
A rooftop is covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Feb. 14, 2017, in New York.

Standards for hearings

I’m concerned that a pattern is emerging, in which ultrarich people are not held to the same standards of accountability and ethics as other people. 

I thought the US presidential election was an uprising that expressed the frustrations of the working class. Now confirmation hearings are being held without background checks and financial disclosure because the candidates’ interests are too complicated because of their level of wealth. That is not acceptable. 

Extreme wealth is not a free pass in a democratic society. 

We cannot have two standards: one for the ultrarich and one for the rest of us, particularly in a new government that promised a fair shake for working people. 

No matter how wealthy these people are, they are being hired by we, the people, as our public servants; we are owed their respect and their transparent commitment to serve all the people. 

I have not seen this issue brought to the fore, and I think it’s an important one for The Christian Science Monitor to address. 

Thank you for the work you do on behalf of a fair and just society.

Risa Mickenberg

New York

Humanity and nature

In the Nov. 14 Upfront column, John Yemma presented yet another insightful and balanced view, this time on energy and climate change. But the description of the climate debate as between environment and economy stood out as discordant. 

Pitting the environment, or nature, against our economic assumptions concedes to a Western civilization mandate to subdue nature for humankind’s benefit – a losing battle, as we may well see. 

The message from nature through science mandates economies that mesh with nature’s will. Other species have had to adapt to nature or perish. So must we.

Michael Cook

Manzanita, Ore.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.