Few cities know as well as Fayetteville what is happening in Iraq: We are surrounded by people who either have been deployed multiple times or are missing someone who has. It's not any easy way to live, and it's little surprise that some exasperation is showing up in the polls.
But soldiers are an honorable bunch, and so they board those planes over and over again. They do not quit because of personal discomfort. They run the risk of dying "in some Humvee on a street in Baghdad" because they don't want the rest of us to risk dying on our morning commutes or our vacation flights. (What do you suppose those Baghdad suicide bombers would be up to if we pulled out of Iraq tomorrow?)
So if the anti-war cause feels like an uphill battle in a city full of people who have actually been to Iraq, perhaps these two gentlemen need to do more listening than talking.
Plummer appears especially troubled by the fact that many soldiers are too young to drink. Maybe he could channel some of his passion for protest into lowering the drinking age for active duty soldiers--that's a cause we could all get behind! Also, how did Plummer have the war all figured out in 2001, when it didn't even begin until 2003? Can he share with us what's going to happen in 2007?
Lia Vanderclute Tremblay
The price of progress
Your article on governance of development issues ("Growth Rules!" July 6) makes for a good lead-in to a topic I have long wanted to address. I am a local organic grower, selling produce at area farmers' markets and through a CSA. This is a risky and difficult proposition and we rely entirely on the support of folks dedicated to eating local, healthy produce. Anyone who read last week's cover story should consider the way that they eat a form of activism that can affect these development issues. If farmers are successful, then area land stays protected. If folks buy organic, then toxic runoff from pesticides, herbicides, etc. do not threaten favorite ecosystems like the Eno, the Haw and Jordan Lake.
Small, independent farmers are on no oversight committee's radar. They will not protect us from encroaching subdivisions or golf courses. By shopping at your local farmers' market you become an environmental activist. I regret that there may be a misperception that buying organic is more expensive, that the farmers' market is pricey. In reality, in a price comparison between Food Lion's produce and mine, you are often paying less for fresher, healthier produce--your tomato was picked the day before and driven 30 miles to town, not 3,000 from California. A few examples--green bell peppers: 75 cents at market, $1 at Food Lion; squash: $1.60/lb. at market, $2/lb. at Food Lion; cherry tomatoes: $2.75/pint at market, $3 at Food Lion.
Land preservation, unsustainable growth, degraded water supplies, cancer, global warming, poor child nutrition, suffering local economies--these are just a few of the problems that can be simply addressed by making a commitment to shopping at the local farmers' market.
On top of all that, there ain't nuthin' beats the taste of a home-grown tomato.
Maple Spring Gardens
Rule them out
Thanks very much for the in depth story about the Rules Review Commission ("Growth Rules!" July 6). I would like to see it disbanded, totally. Big Business controls it and nixes any strengthening of regulatory rules. Conservation voices, workplace safety and other protections of the public health and welfare are put through an ongoing cynical process of rewriting most new rules submitted. The RRC, by political appointment, thwarts the legislature's responsibility to care for the land and the public good. I sincerely hope the courts find this board unconstitutional under the North Carolina Constitution.
This kind of investigative reporting is exactly what we need more of in the N.C. press. Kudos to Ms. Strom and the Independent Weekly.
Brothers in arms
Kudos to David Fellerath for his perceptive piece on the movie Brothers ("Coming Home," June 22).
Since our military strictly controls media access to its combat rehab mental wards, the best way for the public to see a realistic depiction of war's effects on soldiers is drama. Brothers achieves this better than any recent movie. Our American studios seem to have given up on dramatic realism and Hollywood seems destined to join American carmakers as an irrelevant producer of consumer goods. Go see Brothers while it is on the big screen, and take a potential Army recruit along. It's a realistic portrayal of war's effects on families. Be prepared for serious, stimulating conversation afterward.