Letters for August 23, 2007

Murdered animals, murdered trees

Re “It’s what’s for dinner” by Crawdad Nelson (SN&R Essay, August 16):

We were disappointed to read your “It’s what’s for dinner” commercial for animal flesh, which is correlated to animal agony, human disease (heart attack, cancer, stroke, etc. causing more deaths annually than war, traffic deaths, smoking, alcohol and domestic battering combined), deforestation, global heating, energy waste.

May your newspaper stop promoting animal murder printed on murdered trees.

Animal Rights Coalition of Sacramento
via e-mail

Meat made Crawdad write it

Re “It’s what’s for dinner” by Crawdad Nelson (SN&R Essay, August 16):

Crawdad’s thoughts on his diet should be less about the consequences of actions to external environments (life forms and other energy systems) and more concerned with the personal regression it causes, keeping him from a goal of enlightenment, peace and harmony. His tone and method of dialogue perpetuate an unhealthy state.

This negative energy he puts forth is produced from what he consumes!

Yes, his meat provides maximum strength to dig foundations and hammer together frameworks. Congratulations. And it will keep your brain function continuing your high level of professionalism. Good job.

But for how long and to what purpose? Hasn’t this mind frame become antiquated yet?

Uwe Jahnke
via e-mail

Happiness is selfish

Re “The big happy: Six lies we tell ourselves about happiness” by Melinda Welsh (SN&R Feature, August 9):

Philosopher John Locke said what was important for humankind was life, liberty and the right to own property—meaning the right to own your own home and land without government taking it away from you. It was Thomas Jefferson who decided to change Locke’s concepts to make it sound like participating in liberty in America also meant one had to take on “the pursuit of happiness,” a vague humanistic concept (as well as a non-Biblical one) that has unfortunately lead to much misery in this country.

For this “pursuit,” America’s leaders have become a war-mongering nation, grabbing for what it wants to satisfy itself and its leaders, rather than one pursuing the making of peace for the sake of our great Creator.

In my experience, even Christian leaders have taken on this belief of Jefferson’s and attempt to dodge dealing with problems simply because it doesn’t make them “feel happy.” If one knows anything about the Bible, a saved life is not about seeking one’s own personal comfort, but satisfying God. When one succeeds by doing that in community, there will be joy that goes beyond the mere “happiness” we try to produce for ourselves.

Michelle Kunert

Don’t pass the darn thing!

Re “Pass the darn thing” (SN&R Guest Comment, August 9):

I laughed—and then threw up—with this tax and spend typical Democrat’s comment about “governing requires choosing responsibility over recalcitrance.”

Wrong. A budget is a budget! How can you spend more than what you are expecting to take in? It’s very damn easy to spend somebody else’s money for “high and noble” causes. Isn’t this the lunacy that got us in this mess some time ago? How long can you pass the “buck” to future generations? Explain where this proposed bloated budget is responsible.

And then to bring up Prop. 13 like it was a bad idea!

I remember the pre-Prop. 13 days. Our county taxes kept going up, while the state legislature, dominated by Democrats, sat on a big surplus and could not figure how to spend it: give to those who had paid little or none of it or give it back to the taxpayers that they took it from! Finally, Prop. 13 forced them—yes, forced them—to give the money to the counties and everybody who paid taxes saw their tax bill decline substantially. In our case, taxes went from approximately $1,300 a year to $850 a year. Hooray for Prop. 13! We need another Prop. 13 to stop the Democrats from spending more than they can reasonably expect to get in taxes!

Just wait until many of your readers start paying taxes. When that happens and they see where there tax money goes, you can bet they will resist the legislature’s plans to spend what they do not have!

So I close with this thought: Republicans, hang in there. Make the Democrats be responsible.

Nick Schrier

Bad judges mean injustice

Re “Judge dread” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R News, August 9):

Once again your paper has highlighted an ongoing problem in our court system, this time focusing on a judge and the family law court system that he represents.

Judge Peter McBrien had several options he could have taken just prior to leaving the courtroom (one being not leaving). He chose to do nothing, and then to further damage the case, issued an order based on his lack of information and lack of completion of trial. This order was not only unfair to the defendant, but also resulted in the defendant losing his job, from which he was to pay support to his ex-wife and child.

Ulf Carlsson, the defendant, clearly was due his day in court, but did not receive it. There was no justice in the courtroom that day.

There are a myriad of problems that exist in family law court, including gender bias, discrimination, a disregard for children’s rights, and more. None of these issues will ever be dealt with until a higher caliber of judges sits on the bench.

Judge McBrien acted unethically in his responsibility as an officer of the court. Judges should exemplify leadership, not dictatorship.

“Judge dread’s” behavior was a disgrace to the position that he holds. He shouldn’t be allowed to “plea bargain” his way out of this one.

Jay Thomas

Promise us “clean money”

Re “Promises, promises” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, July 26):

Four years with Mr. Schwarzenegger as our governor have produced irrefutable evidence that he’s in a class by himself as a fundraiser: $136 million in three years. Eight top-ranking executives at AT&T each gave $5,000 to the Schwarzenegger campaign just after the governor approved a bill easing access for the telecommunications giant to California’s multi-billion dollar cable market. Seven of the eight donors reported addresses in Texas.

What does this mean to California voters? It means they are correct in viewing their state as largely run by a few big interests. They also have major concerns about the ability of our legislature to handle our state’s problems. Can California’s situation be changed?

The answer is an emphatic “yes.” Just look at what two disparate states, Maine and Arizona have done. Both states passed “clean money” bills in 1996, and have broken the hold of special interests on their legislators. Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano was elected as the first “clean” governor in U.S. history, and their budgets pass, balanced and on time. It’s healthy, it’s bi-partisan and a huge bonus is that voter turnout increased 11 percent in Arizona!

California has an excellent “clean money bill,” AB 585, carried by hard-working Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley). It passed the Assembly Elections Committee and will be considered by the Senate in the new session.

We voters want to know that our legislators are there for us, not for insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, or any other special interest. See www.caclean.org and get ready to support the one reform that makes all reform possible.

Mary Bisharat

Bring back deposits!

Re “Freecycle, reduce, reuse” by Amy Radbill (SN&R Green Days, July 26):

The recycling effort needs to involve more than the consumer and the government. It needs to involve those who sell (and profit) from those products that can be recycled.

For example, the manufacturers of bottles and cans, along with the producers of what’s sold inside them and the grocery stores that distribute them must take on a greater economic role in the process of recycling. The voluntary “blue box at the curb” approach is a good start, but it relies primarily on the altruism of the consumer.

The question is: Does the consumer bear sole responsibility for what happens to a can or bottle that contains the product used? Or should some of that responsibility be borne by those who profit from its use? Are these responsibilities being borne already and are they equitable?

Some time ago, bottlers would charge a five-cent “deposit” on a bottle, to be “refunded” when the consumer returned the bottle. It would seem that this concept could be reoperationalized for a whole host of products. The consumer could clean the bottle or can, return it to the grocery store for a “refund” and the grocery store would return it to the producer, then to the manufacturer, each receiving a “refund” along the way. When all parties involved have an economic incentive to participate, recycling will make a much larger contribution towards preserving the environment.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio


Heidi Watanabe of West Sacramento’s Watanabe Farms was misidentified in a photo caption with last week’s cover story (“Eat Me,” August 16).