Peck stuck in the past with his attack on crows

With his latest column (Sunday, Page 6B), Ted Peck exposes his outdated biases and willingness to rationalize killing for fun and simple destruction, stating crows “carry” the West Nile Virus and maliciously labeling them “dirty pests.” While crows, like other birds, can contract West Nile, insinuating they spread the disease is nothing more than fake news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the virus is spread by mosquitoes, period.

Crows are known for their intelligence, communication, use of tools, and they mate for life. In addition to vultures, eagles, hawks, owls and other birds and mammals, they eat carrion, which actually benefits the ecosystem. Peck’s trigger-happy promotion of “disease mitigation” is erroneous nonsense. Not only is proof of contamination lacking, experts say this practice controls the spread of disease.

While Peck has demonstrated he can write the occasional gem, he too often proves himself to be happily stuck in a past that many have grown to understand is no longer ethical, despite what the law allows.

He shamelessly indicates a yearning for the rampant carnage of wildlife from previous centuries. Hunting for food is reasonable, but Peck’s assertion that crows are filthy disease-spreading pests is simply a lame, flawed excuse for having a “hoot” blasting them out of existence.

Due to a rare departure from monotonously narrow subject matter and, worse, his backward-thinking archaic promotion of practices better left behind decades ago, surely The Gazette can find someone who writes a more principled, diverse wildlife column, such as Duncan Pledger did. A change is long overdue.

ANGELA HANSEN

Beloit

Here’s how to finally make Milwaukee Street right

Do you remember Milwaukee Street in the 1940s and ’50s with its slow, inefficient two-way traffic pattern? Then the three-lane, narrow, dangerous one-way raceway known as the circuit?

Now we have a meandering, two-way cow path that causes drivers to weave back and forth like an OWI driver.

Isn’t it time to change the traffic pattern on Milwaukee Street into a correctly done project?

1) Make two wide lanes from Atwood Avenue to Centerway.

2) Create curbside left-turn lanes at all appropriate intersections.

3) Allow on-street parking on both sides of the street as prudent.

It is simple, safe, cost efficient and correct.

LEONARD W. KOTWITZ

Janesville

Marquette professor punished for defending free speech

Alas, in our present political climate wherein political correctness has become enforced groupthink and common sense has become endangered and dangerous, one of our prestigious private schools, Marquette University, has entered the 21st century proudly maintaining the Catholic Church’s centuries-old tradition of silencing, nay, vigorously punishing dissent.

Let us all be grateful the Church can no longer burn heretics at the stake as it did Jan Hus or threaten brilliant thinkers with torture as it did Galileo. However, Marquette has done its best to castigate now-former professor John McAdams for defending a student’s right to disagree.

In 2014, a student in an ethics class taught by Cheryl Abbate dared to dispute Abbate’s approval of same sex marriage. Really? An ethics class of all things, and the teacher slams down all discussion posthaste and with a vengeance!

McAdams was subsequently fired because he wrote a blog criticizing Abbate’s silencing of the aforementioned student. Marquette’s president, Michael Lovell, gave McAdams an ultimatum: Apologize or be suspended without pay indefinitely. McAdams did not apologize. While the school, as a private institution, is apparently entitled to disregard First Amendment rights, Marquette guarantees academic freedom to its tenured faculty.

Consequently, McAdams sued, and last May a Wisconsin trial court ruled in favor of the school. However, McAdams has appealed, hoping his case will be accepted by the state Supreme Court.

I pray the court takes the case and has the wisdom to decide in McAdams’ favor.

HESPERUS L. SPOONER

Delavan

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