From: Hans Madland
I like pumpkin pie with whipped cream; you like that pie with ice cream. You like your steak burned on the outside and like leather inside; I like my barely warm and still cold on the inside. We agree to disagree and life goes on. Those are opinions about what we like to eat. Some people like cilantro and some say it tastes like soap. Opinions.
Facts, however, are just that — facts. Ice is cold; steam is hot. We’re born and we die. If we only eat burgers and Pepsi, we get sick. These are facts. I am thinking about this distinction because I am trying to make sense of Mr. Doerr’s letter to the editor of this newspaper, which was published on April 22.
In his letter, Mr. Doerr makes statements that are simply not factual. He may, for example, truly believe that our government is “similar to that which invaded Poland in 1939.” That statement would surprise my father. He fought in the Norwegian Army; was captured and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp; released with the advice that he should think about joining the Nazis; joined the Norwegian underground; along with his two brothers, he rescued British and Norwegian commandoes sent to destroy the heavy water works in Rjukan, Norway, that the Germans were hoping to use as part of the program to build an atomic bomb; and finally, spent the remainder of the war fighting the Germans in the Royal Air Force. He saw first-hand the brutality of the Nazis. He saw the bodies of the American paratroopers that became stuck in the mud of a swamp that they inadvertently jumped into, only to be shot by the Nazis who used the American paratroopers for target practice.
My father died in 2006, a war hero. Were he alive today, he would rage against the claim that our government is “similar to that which invaded Poland in 1939.” Mr. Doerr is, of course, entitled to his opinion. However, he is wrong. This great country that took in my immigrant family in which I have raised my children, a place that has given me and mine so very, very much is not “similar to that which invaded Poland in 1939.” Mr. Doerr is simply wrong. This is not about whether pumpkin pie or apple tart is better. This is about facts. Hard facts.
Mr. Doerr makes a number of statements that are simply not factual. The Civil War was not fought over the tariff. It was about slavery. The Southern leaders said so at the time. I am pretty sure there is not “a 60-million member Somali, Hmong, Muslim, etc., invasion/occupation force.” Mr. Doerr should be ashamed of himself for making claims that are obviously not true. He is just plain and simply wrong.
Real cheese is made from milk. Milk comes from cows. Cows eat forage and produce milk. Grass grows from the ground. Sun and rain and good soil produce good food for cows. In the end we get cheese. These are facts. You say you like cheddar and I like Muenster. That is OK. We have our opinions. We do not, however, get to say that cheese comes from the recycled bodies of aliens that landed on our planet from a crashed spacecraft. That is not a fact.