Your April 24 editorial
praising the Supreme Court’s Stevens ruling affording protection to
videos including the most explicit depictions of animals being cruelly
maimed or killed as being “respectful” of the First Amendment while
denouncing the court’s Citizens United ruling protecting corporate and
union speech as “reckless” reflects a disturbing inversion of First
The Stevens case rightly protected the vile
portrayals of animals being tortured but only because the First
Amendment generally “reflects a judgment by the American people that the
benefits of its restrictions on the government outweigh the costs.”
Citizens United ruling, on the contrary, protected the heart of the
First Amendment, the right to engage in political speech during the
pre-election time period, during which the Supreme Court has long held
that the Constitution’s limits on the government have their “fullest and
most urgent application to speech.”
Your endorsement of the first
ruling while condemning the second reflects an odd sense of First
New York, April 25, 2010
The writer, a
prominent First Amendment lawyer, submitted an amicus curiae brief on
behalf of Senator Mitch McConnell to the Supreme Court in the Citizens
Note from KBJ: Expecting the editorial board of the New York Times to be logically consistent is like expecting a lion to purr.
on Drugs” (Op-Ed, April 18), Donald Kennedy states that giving
antibiotics to large numbers of animals raised for food leads to
antibiotic resistance in humans. It is important to note that there is
no evidence that banning or limiting the use of antibiotics in
food-producing animals has decreased the rate and severity of resistant
infections in humans.
Antibiotics are an important part of the
veterinarian’s tool kit. Using antibiotics judiciously to prevent
diseases before they occur and controlling them before they spread help
protect the health and well-being of food animals and, ultimately, the
safety of our food supply.
Passing legislation like the Preservation
of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, which would ban the use
of these antibiotics before science-based studies are done to determine
if there is an actual risk to human health, would have a negative effect
on animal health and food safety.
Schaumburg, Ill., April 19, 2010
The writer, a
veterinarian, is president of the American Veterinary Medical
Note from KBJ: We must protect the health and well-being of the animals so that when we slaughter them, they are healthy and well!
John Stossel says that "everyone prospers with free trade." That is manifestly false. There are losers as well as winners in international trade. It may be possible for the winners to compensate the losers, but unless they are made to do so, which they are not, there are losers. I care about the losers: specifically, Americans who are put out of work by free trade.
Don't mess with Belgium. In case you're wondering, I support the application of litter laws to professional cyclists. It sickens me to see them throw food wrappers onto the roadway, when they could easily stuff the wrappers into their jersey pockets. Plastic bottles are different, because fans collect them.
Science In Denial" (op-ed, April 22), Richard Lindzen's attempt to
catapult a series of minor errors into a sweeping condemnation of
climate science, represents an irresponsible and misleading attempt to
substitute polemic for reason. While ignoring the vast body of evidence
of ongoing climate change, from increasing sea level to retreating
glaciers, from basic theory to advanced climate models, Mr. Lindzen
clings to his agenda of denial, advancing spurious hypotheses that have
been thoroughly refuted in the peer-reviewed literature, even by climate
scientists otherwise inclined toward a conservative view of the issue.
No climate scientist
denies that the present state of the science entails large uncertainties
in climate projections, with possible outcomes ranging from benign to
catastrophic. While science works to reduce these uncertainties,
citizens must decide whether and how much resource [sic] should be devoted to
mitigating the uncertainly estimated risk.