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Letters to the Editor

Mormons and Scientologists, McGovern's Dietary Legacy, and more

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Cults and Religion

Many in the Muslim world rioted and murdered in the name of Allah and the religion of "peace" in order to vent their unhappiness over a bad internet movie insulting to their prophet, accusing him of being a fraudulent womanizer.

But Mitt Romney, the present head of the Republican ticket, is a follower of a "prophet" who was also accused of being a fraudulent, womanizing cult leader. And the election of this man now seems to be okay for any conservative to the right of Timothy Leary. In America, of course, we can't have a religious test for politicians. So maybe a cult test?

If the Scientologists had run a conservative presidential candidate, I guess Wall Street and the Tea Party would fall into step behind him as well. If you examine the history and tenets of the LDS, you'll find that Mormonism might just be Scientology all grown up. There's some crazy stuff there.

The maraschino on this sundae is the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, who once was a "communicant" of Ayn Rand's Objectivism, the "Church of Give Me Mine." Another cult but, this time, modern and atheistic.

For me, neither hellfire authoritarianism nor the insular security of cultism are traits that we want in our secular leaders. Robust, progressive humanism and tolerance that protects human dignity and diversity seem much saner options for choosing the leaders of what we in the West call civilization. 

David Brown
Memphis

China Trade

It was a blip in the headlines, but the Obama administration's decision to go after China on auto and auto parts violations will really help our jobs problem and our trade imbalance. And this isn't just an election year move. The administration has been consistently pursuing and winning enforcement actions for four years.

We've got so much more to do, but a record is a record, and this is the first president of either party in 50 years to protect and expand manufacturing jobs. Unless we revitalize manufacturing, our economy won't move into high gear. These trade cases are a step we need, and we need to ratchet them up.

William E. Jones
Alliance for American Manufacturing
Nashville, Tennessee

Scary Letters

I have been an avid reader of newspapers for decades. A person can generally find the front page filled with stories of war, epidemics, natural disasters, political unrest in the world, and so on. Scary stuff. But to my mind, the absolute scariest material can be found in the letters to editor section these days.

All too often, letters rely on innuendo, unconfirmed information, just plain lies, or words adopted from vitriol spewed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News. Even worse, much of the criticism of President Obama drips with venom that can only be explained as racist.

As the most important election in many years approaches, I would offer the following advice: Anyone on Medicare, any person who relies on Social Security, any Hispanic, and most assuredly any woman who is contemplating voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket should seek counseling immediately.

Rick Adams
Memphis

McGovern's Legacy

Last week, we lost former U.S. senator George McGovern. Although many will recall his disastrous 1972 presidential loss to Richard Nixon and his subsequent leadership in getting us out of Vietnam, McGovern's truly lasting legacy will be his war on hunger and malnutrition.

In 1977, following extensive public hearings, McGovern's Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published Dietary Goals for the United States, a precursor to today's Dietary Guidelines. It marked the first time that a U.S. government document recommended reduced meat consumption.

The meat industry forced the committee to destroy all copies of the report and to remove the offending recommendation from a new edition. It then got the committee abolished, helped get McGovern voted out of office, and warned government bureaucrats never to challenge meat consumption again. Yet, after 35 years of studies linking meat consumption with elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other killer diseases, the MyPlate icon, representing USDA's current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommends vegetables, fruits, and grains, never mentions meat, and shunts dairy off to one side.

And it all started with one brave senator from South Dakota.

Morris Furman
Memphis

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