Letters to the Editor, March 12

Mar. 11, 2014 @ 02:16 PM

How about, ‘ambisinisterous?’

As another long-suffering southpaw, I thoroughly enjoyed Neil Offen’s column “The Right Way and the Wrong Way” in Monday’s edition.  I, too, have suffered through the anguish of using right-handed ladles and butter knives, and realize I will develop arthritis in my left elbow because of the wear and tear of using right-handed door knobs.  (Oh, yes they are!)

I must call out my friend Neil on one item in his column, however.  He missed a golden opportunity to demonstrate how deeply engrained the bias against us is.  “Ambidextrous,” is derived from the Latin “dexeter”  (meaning ”right”) and actually means “both hands are right.” I, for one prefer a neologism I attribute to David Tull, a colleague in the 1970s at Ohio Wesleyan University, who described himself as “ambisinisterous” (as “sinister” is Latin for “left”). 

By the way, like many of the best things in American culture, “Southpaw” has its roots in baseball.  Most professional ballparks are situated with the pitcher’s mound facing west, meaning the pitcher’s left hand is to the south.  In the words of that great sage, social critic, and fellow lefty, Casey Stengel, “You can look it up!”

Thanks again for a great column!

Bill Ingram

President, Durham Technical Community College

Defending EPA

I was glad to see Reps. David Price and G.K. Butterfield defend the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to fight global warming by voting against the Polluter Protection Act – HR 3826 – last week. The bill would prevent EPA from reducing carbon pollution from power plants -- the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. 

Scientists say events like the extreme flooding we saw this past summer -- the worst we’ve seen in more than 70 years -- foreshadow what could be a new normal of extreme weather unless we rein in global-warming pollution. Power plants have limits on arsenic, lead and mercury, but there are no federal limits on their dangerous carbon pollution.

North Carolinians have submitted more than 76,000 comments to the EPA supporting limits on carbon from power plants

The representatives stood up to big polluters like the American Petroleum Institute by opposing this bill, but unfortunately, the majority of the House of Representatives did not. I hope the Senate has better sense and puts this attack on our climate and future generations to rest.

Marlaina Maddux

Student, N.C. State University