Paging Mr. Gates

Many Wacoans probably read Dr. Alan Northcutt’s Sept. 30 column, “Let’s help City of Waco become green, clean,” about cities holding the keys to climate change and a “Go Renewable Waco” campaign to make Waco 100 percent renewable by 2050. They should also read a Wall Street Journal piece by Gerald Seib on the same date concerning the need to break from the “groupthink of Washington,” which was responsible for the inability of Washington pundits and pollsters to realize that Donald Trump would win the last presidential election (though Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel predicted it months before to Mr. Seib).

Mr. Seib received advice about how to deal with the groupthink habit from Robert Gates, a career CIA analyst before he became director of that agency and then secretary of defense under the Bush and Obama administrations. The summary of ways to avoid the aforementioned habit from Mr. Gates:

  • Get out of your bubble.
  • Build a system of hearing different views.
  • Be ready for some discomfort.
  • Show some humility.

Gates says this applies especially when dealing with experts. I believe Dr. Northcutt’s ideas for Waco becoming “green, clean” show that he has not sought other views in this realm. He operates from within the bubble. The editorial staff of the Trib would profit by adopting the habits of Mr. Gates before publishing such articles.

S.M. Bunn Jr., MD, Waco

Sporting folks

Au contraire, Jack Crane, regarding your Oct. 29 letter about the need for Mart’s coaching staff to feel shame for their team’s 90-0 score over Axtell and its not being a victory but a humiliation. Perhaps you should be ashamed. It is obvious you know not of what you speak. Mart Independent School District educators reflect the values of our community — responsibility, love, loyalty, honesty, compassion, justice and success, to name a few. Recently Mart Panthers walked on to a playing field to give their best as they’ve been coached to do. They ran only 14 offensive plays, had 280 offensive yards and scored six touchdowns. Special teams and the JV players, who played the whole second half with the clock running, did the rest. Anyone who knows football knows that is “not running up the score.”

Furthermore, Axtell ISD is a fine school. The Longhorns faced a tough, well-coached team that has been characterized as a “top 10 in the state” team.

I am so very proud of Mart ISD’s stellar school board members who hire the principals who hire the educators who teach the children of our community to be the best and give 100 percent every time they enter the classroom and every time they enter academic or athletic competition.

Do your research, Mr. Crane, before you point a finger and say shame. You pointed the wrong way this time.

Mary G. Mann, Mart