Letters to the Editor - Jan. 2

Published: Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 11:14 p.m.

Contaminated jobs

In response to the 12-10 story titled "Stearns opposed ban on imported nuclear waste," and the 12-23 letter "Lefties hate nuclear":

Pity the unemployed of Florida. U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns was unable to stop the ban on importing Italy's nuclear waste to America. The result, we are told, is fewer jobs for the Sunshine State.

Those silly Italians want to keep radioactive waste products away from their olive orchards, vineyards, ancient cities and tourist attractions. They must hate economic development and the free market.

Because the nuclear waste importation ban is still law, Florida has lost careers transporting and burying foreign-produced plutonium and cesium waste deep into our soils, close to the aquifer. So what if cesium has a tendency to spontaneously ignite or even explode when coming into contact with water?

Susan Bottcher,


Nuclear distortion

The Dec. 23 "liberals hate nuclear" letter by Anthony Piferrer was one of the most illogical and distorted pieces I have ever read.

The waste generated by nuclear power is a concern to the health and welfare of our society and the environment. This should be everyone's concern, regardless of political affiliation.

It does not matter if the nuclear industry does not make up a large percentage of the donations to the political coffers of Cliff Stearns (although $136,000 sounds like a lot to me). He is a relatively minor player in the House, but his party, strongly backed by the nuclear industry, opposed banning importing nuclear waste into this country. Rep. Stearns was at the forefront of this movement and deserves much of the flack for supporting this import.

I don't think one letter questioning Stearns' political motives on this issue constitute an "assault" on nuclear energy, And calling it a threat to jobs and "America's competitive stance in the nuclear industry" is fear-mongering at its worst.

Scott Erker,


What security?

How is it possible that our security agencies virtually ignored the warning that Abdulmutallah's father, a respected banker and former Nigerian government official gave us? The people who failed to take appropriate action to revoke his visa, or at the very least make sure that if he attempted to board any airplane he would be carefully searched, should at the very least be fired and if possible maybe even prosecuted.

This kind of laziness in Homeland Security and our other government agencies is just the kind of stupidity that allowed the attacks of 9/11 occur in the first place.

Our entire approach to homeland security seems to be faulty, at least when it comes to screening passengers at airports.

George L. Barnett,


Free Iran's Baha'is

On Dec. 2, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution (already passed by the House) condemning the "state-sponsored persecution of the Baha'i minority in Iran and its continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights." Thanks to those who contacted our U.S. senators and made this vote possible.

And on Dec. 18, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution expressing "deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations" in Iran.

As to the seven imperiled Iranian Baha'is who have been imprisoned for over a year with no charges and no access to their counsel, they now have been charged with espionage and insulting Islam. A recent issue of Time magazine reported "Banning the Baha'i" in its "Top Ten Religious Stories for 2009."

"The charges against these imprisoned Baha'is are baseless and a pretext for the persecution and harassment of a disfavored religious minority," Leonard Leo, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, told Time.

This wave of unprecedented support for the Baha'is in Iran is testimony to the human family's growing sensitivity to the mistreatment of any of its members anywhere on the planet.

Taraneh Darabi,


The 2010 Quality of Life Survey

Take it at www.gainesville.com/2010survey

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