I just wanted to write you a letter today stating that you lost a brave hero on April 6, 2005. His name was Clint Prather, and he was a resident of Cheney. He was a brave, proud American. You should honor him with the best that you have. Clint was my best friend. He was a CH47 pilot in the United States Army. He was helping fight the war on terrorism when the Lord called him home. He and 17 other heroes perished in a sand storm in Ghazni, Afghanistan. I just wanted to let you know about my friend.
Congratulations to Representative Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) for taking a stand against Tom DeLay! Shays risks the ire of the Republican party. Or perhaps he knows that if he moors his ship to DeLay's, he'll be dragged down into the muck and mire with him and his slimy cohorts (like Jack Abramoff). DeLay must go.
In Houston, I watched DeLay's career from close range. I'm surprised that it took this long for the national spotlight to find him. Even in the 5th congressional district where I was raised, DeLay was viewed as an extremist nut in the 1990s, before his ethical abuses were making & ordm;the front page (in the district that once belonged to Bush senior).
I applaud any member of Congress who demands DeLay's resignation as majority leader of the House. I support those who have boldly stepped out from behind the Republican veil of secrecy that serves as the twisted common etiquette for their pledge of brotherhood - even if they're doing it just to get DeLay's job for themselves.
The Earth Is What You Eat
The 25th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 should spur each of us to ensure that our irreplaceable natural environment will survive another 25 years. Indeed, it's the perfect day to cut the environmental impacts of our shopping, our driving, our diet.
Yes, our diet. Production of meat and other animal products dumps more pollution into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It's the animal manure and the runoff from animal feed crops that carries soil particles, salts, pesticides, fertilizers, and organic matter.
Meat production has been degrading our forests to pastures, feed cropland, then arid wasteland. It is the greatest threat to wildlife habitats and preservation of endangered species. The grains and soybeans we feed to animals could sustain the 840 million starving people in the Third World.
This Friday, let's celebrate Earth Day in the most fitting way -- by replacing meat and other animal products in our diet with a rich, tasty variety of vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains.
Spokane Valley, Wash.
Earlier this month, a coalition of public health and environmental advocates petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the routine use of antibiotics in factory farms. A ban will go into effect in the European Union in 2006. Two years ago, the World Health Organization recommended a worldwide phase-out. Two-thirds of all antibiotics in the United States are used in factory farms to promote the animals' growth and to contain infectious diseases induced by extreme crowding and stress. This practice develops bacterial resistance to antibiotics and jeopardizes their ability to treat human infections. The U.S. Public Health Service estimates that millions of Americans are afflicted and that up to 9,000 killed by food-borne infectious diseases. Whatever happened to the good old days, when meat eating was linked only with heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other chronic killers?
FDA should ban antibiotics in factory farms. We should simply replace these products with vegetables, fresh fruits and grains. These foods contain all the nutrients we need, without the pathogens, antibiotics, carcinogens, cholesterol and saturated fats. They are touted by every health advocacy group and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden.