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Letters to the Editor: Oppose Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture

Letters to the Editor: Oppose Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture

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Oppose Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture

Tom Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture does not belong within Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

Vilsack has served as governor of Iowa, secretary of agriculture under President Obama, and chief lobbyist for the dairy industry. His candidacy is opposed by a vast coalition of small and minority farmers, as well as consumer, labor, and environmental advocates. Here’s why:

• He presided over consolidation of Big Ag to take unfair advantage of small farmers

• He failed to protect minority farmers and farm workers from exploitation by Big Ag

• He supported location of highly polluting factory farms in minority communities

• He promoted approval of numerous genetically modified food products

• He allowed meatpacking employees to replace government food safety inspectors

• He serves as a highly paid lobbyist for the dairy industry, a significant factor in the climate crisis

• He failed to lead our nation’s transition from a meat and fat-laden diet to a healthy, eco-friendly diet of vegetables, fruits, and grains

• Even in crass political terms, he failed to deliver the Iowa caucuses to the Biden candidacy and the rural vote to the Biden presidency.

Our senators must oppose Tom Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture.

Bryan Vicenti

Visalia

Not worth getting beaten down for

This past week, in one of our local food stores, I witnessed an elderly gentleman talking to a checker about another customer not wearing a mask.

He decided to escalate the issue when the maskless customer got in line at another checker. The store was nearly empty. He started screaming at the man with no mask, who tried to ignore him, but he persisted. I really thought the elderly man was going to assault the younger man, but he probably would have lost that fight, the age difference was probably 30 years.

Wearing a mask is a pretty painless proposition, most people get it and are doing it. The ones that don't, I just stay away from. The checkers are not the police. The stores are not the police. You or I are not the police.

I seriously doubt that you are going to shame someone into wearing a mask. And I really don't want to hear how your rights are being violated when you're standing in line somewhere, or about how communist or socialist the country is now that Biden is in office because, frankly, nothing is going to change, except the name on the door.

It isn't worth getting beat down for. Lighten up.

Robert Jones

Santa Maria

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