Legalizing MMA not akin to dog fighting
This is in response to those trying to ban mixed martial arts (MMA) fighting, calling it “too violent” and comparing it to dog fights.
First off, don’t compare it to dog fights. Those poor animals are being forced to be violent and trained to be vicious by fault of their owners and anyone who supports them. They are forced to fight in cages for profit. MMA fighters fight on strict rules and guidelines. If those are broken, they are out of the fight immediately and penalized for it. They go through intense training, both physical and mental, and use their profits to help support themselves or family or sometimes a cause they support. It is no more violent than boxing, which has been going on for years, or wrestling, which involves more violence than MMA.
In MMA, you don’t see men throwing each other into chairs or tables. MMA fighters are doing this because it’s what they love to do. They train themselves and push themselves and go into this sport knowing fully well what injuries they may or not receive. You make it sound like these men are being forced to fight. If you don’t like the sport, then don’t watch it.
Obama’s patriotism verified by his actions
This letter is written in response to Mr. Don Cazer’s “March 21 letter.
It is truly amazing how Mr. Cazer wants us to believe the nonsense Rudy Giuliani is peddling on Fox News. Giuliani is a disgruntled ex-politician who still wants to be relevant. As a result, he makes outlandish statements to keep his name in the news. How sad for Rudy and for Mr. Cazer for believing this nonsense.
For a president who doesn’t love America, President Obama behaves in a most strange manner. His policies have helped end the war in Iraq and drastically reduce our combat involvement in Afghanistan; save the automobile industry; revitalize the economy and create millions of new jobs; cut the unemployment rate from over 10 percent to 5.5 percent; and provide health insurance to millions who were previously uninsured.
While true that he attended Occidental College, President Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School — not exactly paragons of Communism.
Candidate Obama ran for president on a platform to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, his theme was to “bring change” to Washington. However, he was not advocating a change in our form of government, but change in how Washington works. Unfortunately, this effort has been unsuccessful. Congress is more dysfunctional now than ever before.
The Republicans’ goal has been one of obstruction. They are against everything the president proposes, even when it was something they supported in the past. (Remember Mitch McConnell’s admonition to Republicans — we want this president to be a one term president. We cannot let him succeed.)
Today the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class is slowly disappearing. President Obama is not proposing wealth distribution, but the idea that everyone pays his fair share in taxes. Is it fair that someone like Mitt Romney pays approximately 14 percent in taxes while a working family pays on average 20 to 30 percent? Is it fair that some corporations pay no taxes? Is it not reasonable to advocate for a change in our tax code to address these discrepancies?
President Obama has been the most disparaged president in the history of our republic. Some GOP members have questioned his loyalty, his patriotism, his religious beliefs (claiming he’s a Muslim) and his right to be president. (Remember the “birthers?”) Yet, throughout all of these attacks, the president has kept his dignity and self-respect.
“Global” is key word in global warming
The irrepressible Vito Spinelli has informed us again of the importance to observe locally (it’s cold here this winter) and infer globally (therefore global warming is false) [March 25 letter].
Earth has a surface area of about 197 million square miles. The eastern half of the United States, which did have unusually cold weather this winter, covers about 1.8 million square miles, or about 1 percent of that. Global inferences require the other 99 percent. What happened there? Well, globally, 2014 was the warmest year on instrument record (since 1880).
The western United States and Canada were unusually warm. So were Europe, South America, Africa, East Asia and most of the oceans, especially the western tropical Pacific and Indian oceans and the subtropical northern and southern Atlantic Ocean. (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/13)
Mr. Spinelli’s citing of ice on the Hudson River in winter, for example, is hardly global-scale evidence, nor is his noting that the arctic, from which the cold winter winds have come, is “the very same region we have been told for 30 years is melting.” Well, remember that it’s winter up there, too, so of course it’s cold. On the other hand, this year the Arctic Ocean saw the lowest winter sea ice extent on record (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews), continuing its downward trend (http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/sea_ice.html).
Words like “global” have meanings that are important for informed discussion of global warming. Evidence, like long-term, global-scope temperature records are also important. Year-to-year weather changes in one spot, however, are not important except as evidence added to the whole.
The global warming topic is broad and complex, but the basic workings of it, and its effects, can be understood by just about anyone.
The writer is a member of the Geology Department at Union College.
Someone out to ruin farmer’s reputation
There’s more to the West Wind Acres/Joshua Rockwood story than meets the eye.
Neither the town of Glenville nor the Glenville Police Department engage in witchhunts, and Mr. Rockwood neither abuses nor neglects his animals. A town I have enjoyed living in for 45 years is being nationally vilified and mocked, and an honest, hard-working man’s reputation and livelihood is being ruined. The whole episode does not pass the odor test (no pun intended).
So I took a ride up West Glenville Road. West Glenville is rural and agrarian. There are many older homes, some needing paint or repair. But the area is also scenic and tranquil and it has attracted upscale home builders/buyers. Some of these new homes are within smelling distance of Mr. Rockwood’s farm. One would have to be naïve not to see what’s going on here.
One of these “newbies” is ignorant of what it’s like to live next to a working farm and objects to a.) the smell of foraging pigs, b.) the untended dandelions in Mr. Rockwood’s front yard, c.) the peeling paint and crooked shutters on his house, d.) all of the above. This embarrasses him (her?) when upscale friends visit on the weekend for a cookout.
So, because he has a.) money, b.) power, c.) influence, d.) all of the above, he calls the police chief or a town councilman or the town supervisor and makes a nuisance of himself. But because he has money/power/influence, the police are compelled to “investigate.” And, of course, it’s easy to find something amiss on a working farm. So by issuing a summons, the police can mollify Mr. Big Cheese and the police chief and the councilman and the supervisor. (Don’t you just love this country?)
Neither the town nor Mr. Rockwood deserve what’s unfolding here. To salvage both Mr. Rockwood’s and the town’s reputation, the charges against Mr. Rockwood should be dismissed forthwith, before further damage is done. This entire travesty is ripe for investigative journalism. FOIL requests. Hard questions. (Emails? Are they on a private server? Have they been deleted?)
The real villain here is as yet unidentified. Who is really behind this and why, and what will it take to make this person act civilized? Every Glenville resident should be interested in seeing justice done because this reflects badly on your town, and a good human being is facing ruin.
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Categories: Letters to the Editor