Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, August 17, 2015

Devastating egg industry

The U.S. egg industry is reeling from a colossal outbreak of avian flu, mostly among egg-laying chickens. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 48 million birds, accounting for 11 percent of the nation’s egg-laying hens, have been slaughtered for fear of infection during the past few months.

The effects are far-reaching, from how to dispose of millions of potentially infected bird carcasses to job losses and rapidly rising egg prices. More than 40 countries have restricted U.S. poultry imports.

Although the precise cause of the outbreak remains uncertain, the horrendous conditions in today’s factory farms make egg and chicken production extremely vulnerable to disease outbreaks, and therefore, not sustainable.

A number of innovative companies have stepped in to offer plant-based alternatives that mimic closely the taste, texture, and cooking properties of eggs and chicken. They are available in the frozen food section of every supermarket.

Many of us favor replacing polluting fossil energy sources with clean renewable ones. That takes concerted national action. But every one of us has the power to effect that same transition for our food sources every time we shop for food.

-- John Bennett

Macon

Cost of immigrants

Reference the letter in Friday’s, July 7, Telegraph from Esiquio Hernandez. I agree with everything he said. Most immigrants, legal or illegal, regardless of their origin, come to the U.S. for economic reasons and to improve their lives. They blend in, learn the language, work hard and actually adopt the U.S. as their home.

What he fails to mention is the amount of money spent by local, state and the federal government on the entire illegal population. Attention in the media is focused on immigrants from Mexico and Central America because they are the majority of the illegal population. Two recent murders in California (a state that welcomes, dotes on and protects illegal immigrants) by illegal immigrants who had been arrested and deported multiple times, but were allowed free to walk around because of the sanctuary policy in many cities highlights why there is so much animosity toward illegal immigrants.

A 1997 GAO report stated that the cost of social services provided to illegal immigrants in California included $700 million for AFDC and $430 million for food stamps. Throw in the cost of educating the children plus health care and you’re talking about real money. The federal government gets some repayment in the form of taxes but local and state governments don’t.

The one thing that irks me are the illegal immigrants who come to this country and demand the government change its policies on immigration and deportation to benefit them as if they had the same rights as a citizen. They walk on and deface the U.S. flag (the same flag Hernandez swore to defend) and then expect to be treated with respect. Not gonna happen, sunshine.

Just for reference, I’m also retired military

-- Bert Peters

Warner Robins

Healthy lifestyle

An interesting study from the American College of Cardiology found that adults over 65 who walked briskly, engaged in leisure activities, drank moderately, didn’t smoke and avoided obesity could significantly reduce their risk of heart failure. This is important information for older adults for whom heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalizations affecting millions of Americans.

While the study’s finding that alcohol in moderation is included among the healthy lifestyle factors may surprise some, it is well supported by the scientific literature. The key, however, is moderation.

According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, moderate drinking is defined as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. The guidelines define a standard drink as 12 fluid ounces of regular beer, five fluid ounces of wine, and 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits. Each of these standard drinks -- be it spirits, beer or wine -- contains the same amount of alcohol, 0.6 fluid ounces.

Importantly, no one should begin drinking alcohol as a means to attain potential health benefits. But for those who enjoy the conviviality of sharing a cocktail with friends or family, this study provides further evidence that alcohol in moderation can be part of a healthy adult lifestyle.

-- Raymond Scalettar, M.D.

Washington, D.C.

Sleeping dogs

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto was quoted as having said, “I fear we have only awakened a sleeping giant.” His prediction proved true. The same could be said of the self-serving race baiters and displaced/disgruntled Yankees who are calling for the destruction or removal of all things related to the Confederacy. The “sleeping giant” in this case, is the group of would-be extremists/martyrs (in their own twisted minds) such as the cowardly idiot who entered a house of worship and murdered those innocent people.

No true “son of the South” would ever stoop to that level. But, as the Roof boy proved, there are crazies who will. The old adage “let sleeping dogs lie” might be appropriate here.

-- Larry Smith

Knoxville

Public laws

Public Law 85-425 was enacted by Congress in 1957/58 to recognize all Confederate shoulders, sailors and marines as American veterans. Public law 810 was enacted by Congress in 1957/58 directed to mark and place headstones on all Confederate grave sites. Placing flags on these grave sites to recognize these American veterans.

-- Ronald Fouse

Macon

All lives matter

Professional journalism involves researching and reporting the truth. The truth is we have the best nation on earth and it has an alarming rate of violence. The children and the elderly cannot protect themselves from people obtaining guns without proper background checks.

The statistics state that starting with Revolutionary War up to the war in Iraq there has been 1,171,177 killed. There has been more people killed since 1968 than this with guns according to statistics. This issue needs to be addressed because all lives matter.

-- Renee Lee

Macon

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