Letters for July 23, 2009

Safety off

I actually feel my safety slipping through the hands of the criminals. As for myself, I have always been on the right side of the law. I can only see danger for all of us—including the criminals—when our right to own firearms and the ammunition that our guns fire are taken away. I can’t express how strongly I believe the necessity to protect ourselves from the unlawful groups of people who I assure you will find sources everywhere to keep themselves armed. They will then have as much control as they desire over the rest of our country. I can only imagine how impossible it will become for our police forces to protect us all.

Teressa Alger

Speak out

Re “Illegal alphabet” (Feature story, July 16):

Kat Kerlin is a prize. Kerlin manages to write stories that reveal the hidden lives of the struggling (remember her excellent story on eating on a food stamp budget) without being condescending or playing into stereotypes. She also does an excellent job of relating her subject’s story rather than her interpretation of it. I have worked in social service jobs where I encountered immigrants who ran the continuum of ability to speak English. I have experienced the frustration, fear, and sometimes shame that we both felt at not being able to communicate with each other when they really needed my help. I have always wondered at those who through sheer determination learned a language on their own, as I am sure I would never be up to such a task. This article allowed me to understand the experience in a new way. Thanks, RN&R. I hope others come away understanding that when someone says of an immigrant, “They should learn English,” it’s just not that simple.

Rebecca Thomas

Thumbs up

Re “Illegal alphabet” (Feature story, July 16):

What a perfectly balanced story! I am going to send oodles of copies to all I know who teach in English as a second language classes, both here and in other states.

You did a great job!

Georgia Hedrick

Over supplemented

Re “No such thing as organic?” (GreenSpace, July 16):

As a dietitian who has worked in the organic food service industry for many years trying to make organic food possible in schools, hospitals, restaurants, airports, hotels, etc., the barriers that were keeping us from having success were something I was very interested in.

Working for an organic cereal manufacturer and having been a WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) dietitian, it was obvious to me that the conventional companies were huge in government food programs. I thought the participants should have one organic choice. It should be possible because our cereals were around the same price.

When I heard the government was going to review nutritional guidelines for cereal for the first time in like 20 years, I looked up the current guidelines. I was shocked to find out that the guidelines for iron were so high, you would never achieve it naturally. Therefore, you would have to add iron to the cereal to qualify, which was something our organic company was against.

I responded with a letter to the USDA and was told we would have to channel our grievance to the review committee.

I have read articles by scientists that this food-grade iron can be collected with a magnet when you crush the cereal. High iron can accelerate heart disease in some people.

Here we had organic whole grains in our cereal, and yet we would not qualify due to the amount of iron required by the WIC guidelines for cereal.

For the school breakfast and lunch program, a grain can be considered whole if it is made of processed flour and bran. The wheat germ, which hold most of the nutrition such as Vitamin E and B vitamins is not required to be whole grain.

Unfortunately, when guidelines are under review, the general population does not have a clue and is not able to give feedback.

We need to do a better job getting the general public involved in the decisions that are going to impact which foods our children eat as one-third to one-half of their daily calories. Children are more susceptible to pesticides because of the dose to weight, and total food eaten compared to body weight.

Current pesticide guidelines determined to be safe are for an adult male.

Elaine McFadden, MPH, RD
San Bernardino, Calif.

Fed up

There is a very important piece of legislation which is gaining rapid support in Washington on the crest of a wave of grassroots activism. I am referring to the bills to Audit the Federal Reserve Bank, HR 1207 and S.604. These bills currently enjoy the co-sponsorship of 60 percent of the Representatives in the House and 9 percent of Senators.

Clearly, the time has passed when the nation will continue to tolerate the printing and management of its money supply in the hands of a private group of unelected and unaccountable central bankers. Our recent financial and economic crisis is a direct result of the fallacious assumption that private interests in control of the public money supply will foster the national good. Increasingly, the public and their elected representatives are questioning that assumption and looking towards a fundamental change in the nation’s monetary policy.

While legislators are quite likely to pass “The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009” and force an audit and, for the first time, accountability at the Fed, at the same time the Fed and the Obama administration are attempting to delegate vast new powers to the central bank. The proposal to make the Fed the “Systemic Risk Regulator” must be opposed. In fact, no such risk regulator is needed since it is the imbalances fostered by government and central bank intervention into the market that cause moral hazard and systemic risk. The suggestion that the entity, which is itself the greatest systemic risk through its engineering of massive, unsustainable debt and inflation of the money supply, should be the dictatorial über-regulator of risk throughout the economy is absurd at best and catastrophically dangerous at worst.

Reno News & Review needs to bring this debate to its readers through increased coverage of these bills and the underlying issues involved. Readers should write letters and make phone calls to their Congressmen and Senators and urge passage of HR 1207 and S.604 and a firm no to any new Fed powers.

David Fryling