Letters to the Editor for Jan. 3, 2012

Published: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 10:07 p.m.

Why the ‘ag gag' bill is a really bad idea

You've likely heard about the so-called “ag gag” bill that has been reintroduced in Florida, proposing to limit unauthorized entry and audio or video recording on farms.

Those who commit livestock abuse should be held accountable, but closing the barn doors is not the way to build public trust in today's food system. Instead, we should encourage greater vigilance in animal care and reporting.

Being more transparent about production methods would help show that farmers are good stewards of the land, are producing safe, nutritious and affordable food, while providing livestock with great care.

Further, those who witness animal abuse and record it instead of stopping it should also be held accountable.

The public would be outraged if someone videotaped willful elder or child abuse and chose not to stop it.

We should expect the same when it comes to the willful abuse of animals.

Charlie Arnot,

Center for Food Integrity

Gladstone, Mo.

Obama is dishonest

My Dec. 23 letter calling President Obama a “despicably dishonest man” has elicited at least three letters taking me to task. The fault was mine because I was carelessly imprecise in my meaning. Let me clarify.

I was specifically referring to Obama's remark that, “Unlike the old empires we don't make these sacrifices for territory or for resources. We do it because it's right.”

Anyone familiar with the history of U.S. foreign involvements over the past 50 years should know that's a lie and a shameless assertion of “American exceptionalism” — the pretext all too often for our imperial designs.

The tragedy has been, aside from the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, that our soldiers have died or been maimed for life as they acted in idealistic belief in this self-serving fiction.

Arnie Harris,


What if biomass plan defeats other goals?

What if a city owns its own power company? What if that city cuts a really high-priced, long-term deal with a biomass company to provide fuel into the distant future?

And what if that deal costs the city so much that it keeps the city from ever making good on a promised improvement for an old ethnic area of the city?

In short: Will the GRU deal with American Renewables kill Plan East Gainesville?

Nina Postlethwaite,


A postscript on inter-service rivalries

In reply to Jim Lynch (Voice, 12-16): Being in a superior branch of service (U.S. Navy) it is my duty to help those less fortunate.

I suggest he contact the Navy football coach and request that, next year, he bring his elite “A” team instead of “seafaring scallywags.” Then, when Navy wins again, Lynch can tell his friends that Army was the “first loser,” rather than the second best team. Sounds better.

As for Col. Harold Wilber's (Voice, 12-22) reference to the Navy being excellent taxi drivers for Marines, I feel it is my duty to return the compliment: Marines are known worldwide as door openers and gate guards for the Navy.

On a more serious note, we live in the best nation on earth, and the volunteers, men and women, who make up our service branches are far superior to all others.

Robert F. Phillips,

U.S., Naval Air (retired)


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