Letters to the Editor

Livestock inspections: Letters to the editor, July 19, 2019

Pregnant sows in cages. The USDA has scaled back pork inspections, according to letter writer Mike Starry.
Pregnant sows in cages. The USDA has scaled back pork inspections, according to letter writer Mike Starry.

Fox is guarding the hen house

First, on May 23, The Bee published an article about the USDA initiating a nationwide recall of 62,000 pounds of raw beef for possible E. coli contamination. Also, from the favorably reviewed and highly rated Union of Concerned Scientists and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, I receive emails about governmental activities that personally affect me, like the following.

President Donald Trump wants to take official U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors off their beat — shifting the responsibility for inspections to the pork industry itself. The USDA has stopped testing pork for salmonella and other dangerous pathogens. Instead, they’re letting industry do its own tests.

Thus, the fox is guarding the hen house?

When I get to my grocery store’s meat counter, will the butcher be Alfred E. Neuman wearing an apron that says, “What, me worry?”

I invested in stocks and bonds, but, like Trump’s swamp cabinet, these examples are corporate socialism at its worst.

Pork exports are projected to be 5% higher this year, so regardless of retaliatory tariffs from China and Mexico, why put anyone at risk?

Due to nationwide campaign donations, will Republican Congressman Devin Nunes support the unhealthiest of these industries?

Oink, yes, oink.

Mike Starry, Fresno

Realism needed in health-care debate

Monday’s “Another View” (July 15, The Bee) reprinting a recent Orange County Register editorial, “The latest attempt to salvage Medi-Cal,” provides a readable and realistic explanation of how chronically inadequate provider and facility reimbursement rates have for decades abolished adequate access to health care for tens of millions of Californians.

The Register accurately notes that health care is a service, with complex costs that cannot be paid by political hot air, but instead requires “fair and reasonable reimbursement.” As a corollary, the gas station on your corner cannot and will not fill your tank for $1 a gallon.

I believe that almost all California physicians, dentists, other providers and health facility administrators concur with the Register editors. Improved health care access will require realism and real dollars rather than rhetoric.

Alan M. Birnbaum, Fresno

Attack by ‘squeaky wheel’ critics

In regards to Annie Laurie Gaylor’s protest to the readings of Fresno pastor chaplains to children: Your purpose in life is to make sure nobody preaches the belief of religion/education, and they are not doing that. Just reading books. Trying to help children and society. A person can complain about somebody’s belief in believing about education/religion. And that is unacceptable. But you can complain to the end of the world to preach atheism. Why can you do that, and on the other hand another person cannot believe in a different perspective.

You can try to influence your beliefs on anybody you want, but nobody can try to express their own beliefs. You know, nobody wants to come and say something about it because all of a sudden they are racist, religious fanatic, crazy, etc. But the average person just votes their conscience. That is why sometimes people don’t understand vote outcomes. Because the average person believes in another person or agenda, but they can’t speak openly about it because the “squeaky wheel” will attack them. So they keep quiet, perform their job, live their life, wonder why people spend their life trying to find something to complain about.

Mark A. Curfman, Clovis

Fresno State nursing woes

I am so sorry for students and parents of students that are trying to make it through Fresno State’s nursing master’s program. The rigors of that course are difficult enough without the worry of mismanagement by leadership. If I’m remembering correctly, a recent article was the third by The Bee on Fresno State’s nursing program difficulties.

Dean Hironaka-Juteau has been apologetic about the problems, but losing accreditation is not acceptable. Goodness, now the mental health nurse practitioner program is also no longer a accredited? Fresno State should be more than concerned. I’m surprised more students and parents haven’t demanded new leadership and management of the College of Health and Human Services.

Mary Jane Fitzpatrick, Fresno

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