December 31, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Dec. 31, 2012


---- — Pollutant problems

TO THE EDITOR: I write to thank Don Hassig for his many years of effort to protect public health by increasing awareness of persistent organic pollutants and their connection to cancer and other diseases.

With scientific evidence accumulating to support his claims, Don decided to make a run for Congress on the Green Party line as a vehicle to keep this vital information in the public’s mind. In the course of his campaign, Don suffered a number of principled arrests for refusing to relinquish his First Amendment rights to speak about the dangers of pollutants.

If you take the time to educate yourself, you will find that, if anything, it is even worse than what Don has been saying. We are swimming in a soup of 100,000 man-made chemicals that have not been adequately tested for health effects.

Dr. Samuel Epstein, emeritus professor of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, says: “The petrochemical companies and other industries have contaminated our environment — air, water, workplaces, and foodstuffs — with a wide range of petrochemicals and other carcinogens. They have done this knowing full well that these chemicals are carcinogenic.”

I am invoking my R.N. degree for whatever credit that gives me. You should understand that they don’t teach about persistent organic pollutants in most establishment medical schools. I learned about these on my own by reading widely.

Instead of shooting the messenger (or throwing him in jail) we would be better served to confront this depraved indifference to life with a society-wide dialogue about the facts. Start with

Thanks again, Don Hassig, for your work to protect public health.




School shooting

TO THE EDITOR: The school shooting in Connecticut is a tragedy that we all wish could be prevented. And, we should look into ways of possibly preventing future atrocities.

However, the politicians and talking heads should stop trying to take the easy way out. Making another gun law, on top of the 20,000 already on the books, is not going to solve anything. There are millions of semi-automatic guns out there and several times that many magazines.

If anyone thinks that not producing anymore is going to stop them from being used, they are sadly mistaken. If they think all citizens who legally own them will turn them in, they are delusional. Even if the law-abiding citizen did this, the criminals and mentally unstable would not. Which means that nothing would be gained in avoiding another tragedy.

On top of this, if you could magically make the rifles and magazines under question disappear, a criminal or mentally unstable person will use the next best tool at his disposal. 

Are we going to outlaw handguns, shotguns, knives? If we did, would that stop a deranged individual from finding a way to inflict harm?

It’s time for the politicians to get serious, quit talking nonsense and look for real answers.