published Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Just the facts on crane hunting and other letters to the editors

Just the facts on crane hunting

The public discussion of a proposed sandhill crane hunting season has, so far, been emotionally charged and largely uninformed. In making policy recommendations regarding a public resource, state and federal experts rely on scientific studies that are indisputable. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service actually counted 87,796 sandhill cranes in the eastern U.S. in 2012 and professional biologists estimate that the population is today more than 100,000.

Modern day, regulated crane hunting has existed in the U.S. since 1961 and it has never impacted crane numbers. If permitted, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will issue a very limited number of permits with the season being a maximum of 60 days.

Every effort has been made to accommodate all the stakeholders, including the bird watchers, the farmers, the conservationists and the hunters. The sandhill crane migration is a resource extensive enough to support all the different uses. We have a big tent here, and I think we can all fit under it.


Put assault rifles only in war zones

Dr. David Lauter, a Doctors Without Borders surgeon, in the group’s 2013 newsletter explained the significant difference between the wounds of a handgun and of a military rifle. The speed of a bullet as it leaves the barrel of a typical 9mm handgun is 300 meters/second compared to 900 meters/second for a military assault rifle. The force behind the bullet is in direct proportion to the speed of the bullet, squared. If a bullet from a Kalasnikov rifle is traveling three times faster than a bullet from a Glock 9mm handgun, it carries nine times the impact.

Dr. Lauter, operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, writes of a patient hit with an assault rifle leaving a 2-inch diameter hole through his mid-upper arm. “I could see straight through to the other side. It is indisputable that bigger guns make bigger holes.”

“Civilian” assault rifles discharge one bullet each time and as fast as the trigger can be pulled. Following the Newtown, Conn., massacre of children, 80 percent of Americans realize assault rifles belong only in war zones. Yet Congress refuses to enact sensible gun regulation. Please remember this in the 2014 congressional elections.

FRANCIS X. WALTER, Sewanee, Tenn.

Don’t blame unions for companies’ ills

It would seem that the authors of a Sunday Perspective column criticizing unions would at least try to get some of the facts in their story correct. Yes, Detroit is in bad shape just like the steel town Pittsburgh. More from companies not putting monies back into the businesses to upgrade and improve the factories.

General Motors has been bankrupt three different times since they started making cars, all because they felt that their way was the only way and would not change with the times or do what the customers wanted, not because of the unions. Like still making big gas guzzlers when people were buying more fuel efficient cars. The government pulled them out all three times.

GM let Saturn do their thing until Saturn started doing a lot better than them and then they moved in and started changing things until GM shut them down.

I’m not in a union nor do I have a horse in the Union of VW race. Most of the items that unions get surprisingly are offered from the companies themselves. Nobody ever says anything about the big bloated salaries that a lot of the upper management gets or when they run a company into the ground and people lose their living.

DAVID RATCLIFF, Cleveland, Tenn.

Justice was done in Zimmerman case

I understand the sense of outrage felt by some due to the not-guilty Zimmerman verdict. I felt the same outrage about the O.J. verdict. However, under the American legal system, justice has been done. We must accept the verdict.

The verdict is polarizing largely along racial lines because we see life through our own cultural lens based on our values and upbringing. Black and white people often view the same event differently based on their respective cultural milieus.

It appears all the furor is that a black man was shot by a non-black man. Had George Zimmerman been a black man it wouldn’t even be a local news story. It seems no one is really troubled by the deaths of thousands of black men murdered by other black men. Where is the outrage within the community about the senseless shootings?

If the verdict was based on racial bias then we should all be troubled. It looks from outward appearances that race had nothing to do with the verdict. The law is clear — you have the right to “stand your ground” and defend yourself against malicious attack regardless of the race of the perpetrator.


Companies, unions work together now

After reading the letters and editorials against unionizing the Volkswagen plant, they all have one thing in common — the opposing view.

The adversarial relationship between the company and union is gone. They now work together with a mutual fiduciary responsibility for a viable company. The wildcat strikes and work stoppages are moot issues now. What happened with Jimmy Hoffa is no different than the corporate greed. There has been no mention of workers killed on the jobs with union safety committee, and that is how unions got started.

The union negotiates for all employees to receive wage increases, benefits, safety issues and representation for disciplinary issues. Non-union members accept this for free.

My union does not use local money for PAC funds. I give a separate amount specifically that goes for Political Action Committee.

All the letters say the unions killed Detroit. Check management salaries, raises, bonuses and pension packages. Look at the companies that went bankrupt; check the severance for upper management versus the unemployment checks for lower-level employees.

I will always choose to be a union member. Volkswagen workers, make your own decision without influence from the right-to-work (you to death) forces. If you do not believe me, ask the Dupont workers who did not unionize when they had a chance.

ANNETTE EVANS, Recording Secretary, ATU Local 1212

Blame the press in Zimmerman case

It is time to put the blame where it belongs in the George Zimmerman case: On the liberal press run by the liberal government. I was brought up to believe the press had to report the truth. I was duped. They print their slanted version of the truth. They edit the story to suit themselves.

Our politicians are so busy chasing votes they don’t care what happens to their constituents. We are all Americans, not to be defined by race or religion. The press dubbed George Zimmerman as a “white Latino.” Why then, is President Obama not dubbed a “white African-American”?

Let’s not fight amongst ourselves but against those who would incite violence for their own political reasons. It’s time to force the politicians and the press to speak and print the unedited news. Wake up, people, and stand up for the truth.

Natale Varman, Hixson

Where are the cries in Georgia killing?

We all know how the national media ran with the story of a “white Hispanic,” George Zimmerman, “murdering” a 17-year-old child, Trayvon Martin. Well, you probably didn’t hear about a murder case that happened earlier this month in Mableton, Ga., where four 18-19-year-old black teenagers attacked and killed a white man. Authorities said Joshua Heath Chellew, 36, did not know his attackers. A friend of Chellew said that the two had gone to a gas station when several men jumped Chellew. “They started punching him. They starting beating on him,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified. The four suspects are charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and violation of the Georgia Street Gang Act. They are currently being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.

Why haven’t we heard from the NAACP, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson Jr., President Obama, members of the Black Congressional Caucus, and others who demanded investigations of civil rights violations or wrongful death charges in the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case to do similar investigations into this murder?

GARY HAYES, Ooltewah, Tenn.

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Plato said...

Instead of hunting cranes, why don't the have open season on these zillions of geese that have become such a nuisance to property owners on the lake? We really don't need all these geese and their just as tasty as a sand crane.

July 21, 2013 at 10:10 a.m.
librul said...

"All these Geese" are the result of another failed experiment in wildlife "management" to serve the interests of gunners. As the midwest was covered with fields of corn and grain and countless streams were dammed up to create reservoirs, migratory waterfowl no longer needed to migrate to the Gulf of Mexico to find food and quiet standing waters and began staying further and further north during the winter. In an effort to overcome this "shortstopping" small flocks of Canadian Geese were brought to the Tennessee Valley in the hopes of restoring migratory flocks to provide gunners more airborne targets.

Needless to say, the plan backfired (as do most such efforts to meddle with nature) and now,sadly, it is the geese who are set upon as pests because they failed to do what erstwhile "wildlife managers" wanted. A similar result was seen after Black-tail Deer were brought from the western US to the fenced grounds of VAAP to be killed like fish in a barrel by bow hunters back in the seventies. In that case it was a brain parasite that foiled the plans of wildlife "managers" since the animals were not adapted to our warmer climate as were the parasites.

We need more wholistic policies dealing with all wildlife rather than the tunnel-vision of "game and fish" management since only around 10 percent of wildlife species are sought by the hook and bullet crowd but all species suffer from habitat loss and general degradation of the environment.

The old saw about "hunters pay the bill" is waaaay too long in the tooth to be at all convincing any more. The responsibility falls upon all of us to approach wildlife management as a public responsibility. Idiotic lawmaking placing hunting above reproach does nothing but show the ignorance of politicians to the declining diversity of life in the fields and woods.

In my opinion, people who would blast away at a beautiful flock of Sandhill Cranes slowly gliding by should at the very least, be evaluated for mental deficiency.

July 21, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.
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