A bygone era of

right and wrong

When I was still working, there was an office joke about co-workers ... men ... that retired and spent a lot of time watching old westerns on TV like “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza.”

Why were these shows such a draw to older men?

Now that I have been retired for a while, I think I have discovered the answer ... These shows represented a time where there was a sense of absolute right and absolute wrong!

In the TV western, Sheriff Roy Coffee on “Bonanza” or Marshal Dillon on “Gunsmoke” were above reproach. They always caught the “bad guy,” all within the hour. They wouldn’t tolerate evil coming to their towns. The “bad guy” was easy to spot and usually the TV townspeople all were happy when the sheriff or marshal slammed the jail door on the felon or even more exciting, defeated the bad guy in an epic gunfight in the middle of the street.

So why do men my age find this comforting? Well, there is so much confusion and “gray,” no absolute right and wrong can be distinguished in today’s age. Up is down and right is left, on the news, in TV programming ... everywhere, everywhere but TV westerns and oh yeah ... with God!

David Hurst

St. Joseph

Mask compliance

is disappointing

This is about masks. On Sept. 14, a mask mandate was enforced on St. Joseph. I was very happy when I heard the news, because I want everyone to stay as safe as possible, but other people don’t care about this virus.

When I walked into Walmart for about 30 to 45 minutes, I counted 30 people not wearing a mask over their nose, wearing it on their chin, or even worse, not wearing one at all. This is a problem at my church, too. There are full rows of unmasked people and it really makes me uncomfortable.

I wish people weren’t so clueless and ignorant.

Evan Haley

St. Joseph

U.S. should pursue a fee

on carbon

Mari Yamaguchi’s piece by the Associated Press succinctly outlines Japan’s strategy for tackling climate change, aiming to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Without amply available domestic alternative energy sources, Japan’s goals might be hard to reach alone — but they won’t be alone.

This is just the latest in a flurry of climate-action plans published recently. Outside Japan, Canada has also put a tax on carbon; EU countries are pricing carbon, too.

In the United States, experts including Martin Feldstein and George P. Schultz suggest we implement a similar policy — a carbon fee and dividend. This prices carbon, which discourages the use of fossil fuels, and the revenue generated by the fee is then redistributed back to every citizen in the form of a check — the dividend.

Economists say this is the best way to lower our emissions quickly, and that it won’t harm U.S. business but will drive innovation. Best of all, most Americans would come out of the exchange with some pocket money. With more countries on board, the affordable “green” technologies and systems needed around the world will be delivered by the free market. It’s the smartest first step to stemming global warming.

Kyle Beauchamp

St. Joseph