Letters to the editor (03/02/13)

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Organic farmers will be feeding our grandkids
Editor:
This is in reply to Baxter Black’s column, “Sustainable farming? Really?” in the Feb. 2, issue of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
I must say, Mr. Black, I was shocked you think industrial agriculture including “pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics, concentrated feeding and genetically modified seed” is sustainable. How do you define “sustainable?”
It seems from the chart in your column “Sustainable Farming? Really?” that increased wheat and beef production from the 1950s to the 2000s is the only criterion.
But if “sustainable” means “being able to maintain production in the future” (as defined by New Mexico State University genetic engineer Stephen Hanson in the film “Genetic Chile”), then how do you justify depletion of the soil, if not toxicity, as a result of those same pesticides and chemicals?
How do you justify risking loss of crops to disease as a result of monoculture, which is where genetically engineered crops are heading as GE seed companies monopolize food production and put an end to biodiversity?
How can you consider agriculture dependent on carbon-emitting petroleum products sustainable when oil is getting more and more expensive and our planet is overheating, suffering drought and extreme weather events?
How can farmers contracted to buy patented and expensive genetically engineered corn year after year instead of saving their own seed be engaged in sustainable agriculture?
How can cows going sterile after being fed rGBH growth hormone and GE corn be sustainable?
How can bees dying from corn genetically engineered to harbor neonictides keep pollinating our crops?
How can you explain thousands of farmers in India committing suicide by drinking pesticides and herbicides when their fields don’t yield enough for them to repay their debts to Monsanto?
And what about people in the United States eating untested GE corn and soy because they’re supposedly “substantially equivalent” to conventional crops? Will our people live long enough to tell the tale?
Someday you won’t look back on organic farmers as pied pipers playing with toy trains (your mixed metaphor) but as the only ones capable of feeding our grandchildren, the world’s grandchildren.
My advice: Stick to humor.

Geri Rhodes
Tomé

Everyone has the right of freedom of speech
Editor:
I am a lifelong Democrat. I fervently believe in the principals of government espoused by the Democratic Party.
I support and vote for Democratic candidates. However, first and foremost, I am an American!  I carry a copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in my pocket every day; and refer to it often proudly to remind myself just what “We the People” hold as our creed.
I travel between Albuquerque to Belen several times a week, and see the “Worst President Ever” sign twice on each trip. Every time I see it, I am reminded how great a country we live in.
America is one of the few places where anyone can profess and shout from the hilltops what they believe. I would not have it any other way!
I am acquainted with the people who own the sign in question, and have served with them on a few civic committees and projects. They are fine, upstanding Americans who are committed to and participate in the community’s well being.
They have strong opinions (that I disagree with) to which, as Americans, they are entitled; and they have the right to express them in any legal fashion they choose!
I would remind Ms. Padilla-Gutierrez that both highways N.M. 47 and N.M. 314 could bring her from Bosque to Belen without having to view the sign which she finds offensive.
Finally, to boycott a community because of the beliefs of some of its citizens is a political style which is more reflective of Nazi Germany than the greatest country in the world ― the United States of America!

David Blacher
Albuquerque

Amendment should be clarified for intention
Editor:
I agree wholeheartedly with Eizo Nishiura’s ever-so-rational observation that the Second Amendment should be re-written to clarify the intent of the folks who wrote it in the first place.
Clearly, we modern sophisticates know better than they did what they meant, and we can absolutely trust our benevolent government to not infringe upon our rights in the process.
Since our intellectually impaired Founding Fathers could never have foreseen the existence of repeating firearms ― to say nothing of rifles with vertical grips ― the sooner we act, the better off we’ll all be.
In fact, we should revise the entire Bill of Rights to reflect 21st century sensibilities. What has the Constitution ever really done for us, anyway? Those people who were so stupid as to live in the 18th century never foresaw television, cell phones or the Internet, either.
I’m sure Mr. Nishiura would agree that the First Amendment should be re-written to specify licensing journalists, background checks for cell phones, registering TV sets, and limiting the bandwidth of modems. All without infringing upon our rights, of course.

Bob Christensen
Belen