City of peace

Whereas Bush lied, people died: And whereas about $247 million in Sacramento’s federal tax dollars have gone to prosecute the war in Iraq (according to the National Priorities Project), local activists are lobbying Sacramento’s mayor and city council to pass a resolution opposing the war in Iraq and urging Congress to immediately bring the troops home.

They are hoping to convince the council that the war is bad for local government, arguing that money could have been better invested in housing, transportation and law enforcement.

The resolution isn’t all about enlightened self-interest, of course—the “whereas” portion includes much of the litany of wrongs you are no doubt already familiar with. You know, the stuff about flouting international law, killing 1,700 U.S. soldiers and some 100,000 Iraqis.

Backers of the resolution are shopping it around now to city-council members for a sponsor but so far haven’t found any takers.

Even if they can’t get the item on the official agenda, the Sacramento Coalition to End the War plans on showing up for the evening city-council session on Tuesday, August 9, to press their case.

Bites’ll be there, and you should too, although getting the council to actually pass this thing seems doubtful.

After all, this is no San Francisco (voters passed a similar resolution on last November’s ballot) or Arcata (well, duh). Hell, Bites doubts we’re actually as progressive as any of the dozens of so-called Cities for Peace that have passed their own anti-war resolutions: you know, radical strongholds like Plainfield, N.J., and Gary, Ind.

Dr. Lou says “no”: The argument for allowing pharmacies to sell clean injection needles without a prescription is this: Drug users won’t be forced to share and reuse needles, thereby risking the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, and causing infections that clog our emergency rooms or, in the worst-case scenario, lead to death.

Here’s Sacramento County Sheriff Lou Blanas’ argument against it: It provides no benefit to the community or law enforcement.

So, let’s follow that logic. Stopping the spread of disease is not beneficial to the community, Lou? What police academy did you go to?

Luckily, the decision ain’t Lou’s to make.

The state recently passed a law that allows local municipalities to write their own rules regarding the legal sale of needles, and the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take up the issue on Wednesday, August 10.

Nothing but the dog, dog: Bites knows dogs. Those shivering, sniveling, puffy-eyed overgrown rodents they call Chihuahuas—those aren’t dogs. Not to mention Pekingese. Those waddling mops on leashes don’t qualify either.

Now, a Labrador is a dog. A German shorthaired pointer is a dog. Capital-D Dogs. Back in the golden days of youth, Bites found a best friend in a canine—a big floppy-eared dog named Sissy. That’s why our ears perked up when we read that a group of South Korean scientists have successfully cloned a dog. Their results are to be published today in the journal Nature.

The scientists impregnated 123 dogs with cloned cells. Only three became pregnant. Of those, two carried to full-term, and only one puppy survived. That dog, the scientists say, is genetically identical. Bites wonders if there could be another Sissy. We could have a friend again.

The scientists are working in legally and ethically unfettered South Korea. Here in California, at least one politician, Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, has already tried and failed to make it illegal to sell cloned animals in the state.

Of course, the problem with the South Korean experiment is that they cloned—not a shepherd or a boxer, or even a beagle or any kind of real dog at all—an Afghan. Now that ought to be a crime.