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Letters to the Editor 

Imperfect Compass

Jeremy Alford's recent article ("Tao of Cao," News & Views, Nov. 3) praising U.S. Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-La., for allegedly having and following "an inner moral compass" was unfortunately one-sided and missing some important points. What his article fails to mention is that all four of the examples he cited had absolutely zero political cost for Cao. They were strictly feel-good measures that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone opposing.

  When it comes to an issue where there is, in fact, a political calculus, Mr. Cao's moral compass is completely missing. I will cite a two-part example:

  In January, in one of his very first official acts, Mr. Cao voted to enthusiastically support the racist Israeli massacre in Gaza. That resolution was a product of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby that has a stranglehold over the U.S. Congress. When I called his office to inquire, I was told that "some people" had advised Cao to vote for the measure.

  Today, Mr. Cao not only voted for, but co-sponsored House Resolution 867, another AIPAC-inspired resolution "Calling on the President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the 'Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' in multilateral fora." This resolution is filled with outright lies and Zionist propaganda. It is nothing less than an endorsement of war crimes.

  Clearly, Mr. Cao approves of racist massacres, the denial of war crimes, and secret nuclear arsenals when it is politically expedient for him to do so.

  Moral compass? I don't think so.

  I hope your newspaper will pay more attention to Mr. Cao's actual positions on measures that truly show where he stands, such as those cited here.

Jedd Haas

Save The Cows

  I was reading with great interest the interview that Stacye Markey had with Emarie Wiltz ("Model Citizen," CUE the Interview, November). The more I read, the more impressed I was with this beautiful and caring woman who not only models but has designed her own T-shirt line to promote global awareness.

  I was impressed until the very last sentence, when Ms. Wiltz was quoted as saying, "A lot of leather and animal prints are good items for the fall season." Leather? Does global awareness not include putting an end to the factory-farming of cattle who are mercilessly raised and slaughtered for their skin to be used for fashion? Perhaps Ms. Wiltz should stop promoting leather and include an "End Torture and Exploitation of Animals" T-shirt in her Global Recess line.

Susan C. Levin


Health and Jobs

  I would like to commend U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu for the attention she's paying to the impact on small businesses by health care reform. There are over 373,000 small businesses in Louisiana representing more than 97 percent of the states' employers. Nationally, small businesses have generated 64 percent of the net new jobs over the last 15 years.

  I own a small feed store in Calhoun, La. We sell feed for horses and cattle, farm equipment and pet necessities. We are the only local store of our kind in the area and have always been a staple in the community. Our business is a very small operation, employing only four to five staff members, and I have grave concerns about the health care legislation facing our congressional leaders in Washington. If this health care reform forces me to provide government insurance or pay extra taxes, my business will not survive.

  Clearly, small businesses like mine will play a vital role in rebuilding our economy. How health care reform plays out will be a key to this. I believe health care reform must be smart reform that addresses the underlying issues that hurt small business: tort reform, high costs, unfunded government mandates, new taxes, red tape and competition by insurance companies across state lines. My only hope is that Sen. Landrieu is listening to — not just hearing — what we're saying and follows through with a vote against legislation that endangers my business and my ability to continue to create jobs.

Roger Craighead

Owner, Pine Hill Feed & Hardware


Corps Problem

  Thank you for a perceptive editorial ("The Corps' Mixed Signals," Commentary, Oct. 5). You correctly pointed out that the main obstacle to having the best protection for the 26 neighborhoods and 100,000 people in two parishes served by the 17th Street Canal has been the U.S. Corps of Engineers itself. We couldn't agree more. The Landrieu/Vitter provision for a study of the Corps' three "options" for the canal was appropriate and responsible. It would have directed that a study of real costs, not Corps idiosyncrasy, determine the best solution. And it would not have delayed any significant aspect of design or construction. Unquestionably, its recent rejection by the Conference Committee was a disappointment. However, it was a setback, not a defeat.

  We would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight on one of your comments: You implied that the Pump to the River option was favored only by Jefferson Parish. In fact, it is supported by unanimous resolutions of both the Orleans and Jefferson parish councils, as well as the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, the Regional Planning Commission and our congressional delegates, among others.

  As a keen observer of local politics, you are in a unique position to appreciate that depth of solidarity. The area drained by the 17th Street canal is united in its resolve, and none of the Option 2/2a supporters are deterred by this latest turn of events.

Debbie Diaz


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