Letters to the editor: May 8 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: May 8

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Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 9:03 pm | Updated: 9:53 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

 We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor


Using the issue for political agendas

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio continues his sweeps to arrest illegal immigrants, promptly followed by carefully staged media events. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon announces his opposition to Arpaio’s actions at an event to celebrate Cesar Chavez, followed by interviews on local and national news outlets. Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, introduces legislation that would prohibit students at the state’s universities and community colleges from forming groups based in whole or part on the race of their members. Former congressman turned right-wing radio bomb-thrower J.D. Hayworth routinely excoriates virtually any politician or newspaper that does not toe the extreme line he has drawn on immigration.

My question is this: Where have all our state’s leaders gone? Where have the men and women gone who could quietly and effectively put partisan bitterness aside long enough to present solutions that would heal, rather than divide. Where are the leaders who realized that our political discourse occasionally requires statesmanship, rather than partisanship. I am not so naive as to believe that individuals such as Barry Goldwater, or Burton Barr, or Sandra O’Connor, or Bruce Babbit, or John Rhodes, or Morris Udall, were not partisan. However, I also know that each of them had important moments of sober, effective, bipartisan problem-solving at times of crisis and political instability that took into consideration the good of our communities and our state. I may be wearing retrospectively focused, rose-colored glasses, but I’m still looking for someone to step up and lead.

And sooner rather than later.




Doing its part for Earth

Mitch Positto’s letter decrying the effect of animal agriculture on the environment is typical of a brand of activist that will twist scientific data any way possible to arrive at their own political ends.

Data from the USDA and from independent researchers show that agriculture releases 21 percent of the methane produced in the world, not total greenhouse gases. Methane is only one greenhouse gas, and compared to CO², remains in the atmosphere for one-tenth of the time.

Estimates of the total impact of agriculture, including crops, animals, production and transportation actually show that only 7.4 percent of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions originate from farming.

The writer also fails to mention is that all ruminants produce methane as part of their digestive process, whether they’re wild or domesticated. The total number of ruminants in the U.S. has likely decreased in the past 150 years, contributing to a real decrease in the amount of greenhouse gas emissions originating in the U.S. Better-fed and cared-for farm animals have also contributed to a decrease in emissions, as methane production per animal has also fallen by more than 3 percent in the past 15 years, at a time when CO² and other non-agricultural gases have increased.

Moreover, through the use of methane digesters, these gases can be harnessed as a source of energy, stopping their entry into the atmosphere and providing us with a truly renewable energy source. Agriculture is doing its part to combat greenhouse gas emissions.


Meat not a threat to climate

It seems like a new group of opportunistic propagandists finds a way to hitch its wagon to Earth Day each year, and this time around it was the animal-rights nuts pushing the envelope.

Not only were the claims in Mitch Positto’s recent anti-meat letter wrong-headed, but it wasn’t even his own letter to begin with. (“Meat worse than cars,” April 22).

While the United Nations claims that global livestock production may account for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, data from the Environmental Protection Agency show that here at home, domestic meat production only contributes 2.4 percent. Since American farmers are far more eco-friendly than their counterparts overseas, eating home-grown meat is a great way to be “green.”

More disturbing, however, is that Positto’s letter — the same exact word-for-word message — also ran appeared in more than 50 other newspapers last month. In each case, a different “author” signed it. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s a program of the deceptive Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), a Maryland-based radical group which misleads countless Americans by hijacking newspaper opinion pages every year.

There’s absolutely nothing environmentally unfriendly about eating a balanced diet, including meat and dairy foods. And anyone who wants to claim otherwise should articulate his own opinion instead of letting an agenda-driven form letter do the talking.





The French an example?

I wanted to post some thoughts in response to the editorial “When government thinks you need a sandwich” (Our View, April 20). I’ve got to be honest, I don’t normally agree with any sort of decision the French make. But for the first time, after reading about the French bill that passed making it illegal to encourage weight loss by pushing the inhibition of food intake, I agree with the French.

Modeling agencies all over the world threaten their models with termination if they don’t maintain their boney figure. These super skinny models are what our society mark as the standard of beauty, a nearly impossible feat for many to achieve without causing harm both physically and mentally.

This high standard of beauty has caused many forms of eating disorders amongst our youth.

The National Eating Disorder Association states that nearly 11 million Americans suffer from anorexia nervosa, with millions more suffering from bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. According to Patrick Sullivan of the American Journal of Psychiatry, the mortality rate associated with anorexia is 12 times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death among females between the ages of 15 and 24.

It’s nice to see that someone is finally doing something about this issue, and as hard as it is for me to say, touché France, you’ve set the example.




Can strike anyone

We are all guilty of judging the homeless or those neighborhoods that are less than desirable according to our standards. For the most part, we ignore those people instead of asking what we can do to help. Don’t assume that everyone is on drugs and alcohol and doesn’t want to work. I am one of those people.

I have a full-time job that pays fairly well. I was working just about every night through March 16. On March 17, I was put in the hospital by a doctor whose office removed a toe nail that went bad. My toe was amputated and then sent to pathology. That is when they found I had osteomylitis and MRSA. Since my release from the hospital, I have gone to the places that I have been told to go for help, St. Vincent De Paul and the Salvation Army.

Because I don’t have a lease where I live, they won’t help me. I can’t get unemployment because I still have a job. I can’t get general assistance because I haven’t been out of work for 12 months.

The greater Phoenix area is rapidly growing in the homeless population. As the economy grows worse, so does the number of homeless. There are so many empty buildings that could be remodeled into apartments, even if they are only one bedroom. I know I would appreciate being out of the elements, having a place to go to the bathroom, and a safe place to place my head when I’m tired.

For many, they might say “this won’t happen to me” because of your wonderful jobs; those jobs could end today or a medical condition can force one to use all of their savings. Please, for those who are fortunate enough to be able to live in comfort, don’t judge and don’t turn your heads. Many of us are like you.



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