Category: Letters to editor

Letter to the editor: Hogs and free trade

Wrote to the News & Observer again, this time in response to a four-part series that looked at Japanese investment in Eastern North Carolina pork. Some interesting stuff, but I think reporter J. Andrew Curliss might have gotten carried away with the excitement of writing a sweeping international business story and neglected to look more closely at facts on the ground—little things like worker compensation and safety, for starters.

The series is here, getting the special online, multimedia-reading-experience treatment.

My letter, which ran Saturday, I think, is here.

Today, the N&O waived its length limit to allow two pro-globalization employees of UNC to extol the series and The UNC system’s “Global Connections” report, which “endorses the Center for International Understanding’s plan to work with businesses, lawmakers, nonprofits and educational entities to develop what will be the nation’s first comprehensive state internationalization strategy.”


Letter to the editor: torture

Every morning, I pick up the paper from my driveway. I like having the morning paper and my coffee while it is dark outside.

Yesterday, the paper published a letter from someone who thinks the United States should torture people.

I wrote a response, which was published this morning. This is what it says:

Regarding the Dec. 11 letter “ Don’t neuter CIA”: The letter-writer declared that “this is what a spy agency should be doing.”

If the writer, after looking at his letter in print, had chosen to look at the facing page, he would have seen the reprint of a Charlotte Observer editorial (“So much better than this”) that itemized the CIA practices detailed in the Senate report. Among them were “threatening to rape a detainee’s mother in front of the detainee,” “mock executions,” “Russian roulette,” “subjecting detainees with broken feet … to stress positions” and much more.

All of these practices would be perfectly acceptable if, say, North Korea’s spy agency had Americans in detention. Unless his letter was simply foolish bluster, this is surely what the writer meant.