Puppy love: I was electrified by your "bombshell" on the puppy and mother-dog experiments at St. Joseph's Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute ("Screwing the Pooch," January 4). James Hibberd did an excellent job. He simply must do a follow-up, as this cruel scenario has not played itself out yet. I think the cross on top of St. Joseph's should be replaced with a swastika. Only that will symbolize what is happening to animals in its basement-dungeons/concentration camps.
I am an animal rights activist who, along with others, organized the demonstration against Dr. Michael Berens' canine experiments on December 29. Finally, the public knows the secret, sick tormenting of gentle pups. It is like the gates of Hades have been opened at last. I have been doing these pickets for almost three years, along with many other dedicated, wonderful activists. These people deserve all our admiration and gratitude. I hope at some future date they can be given medals for their sacrifices in aid of these animal-slaves.
Cures for humans are not found using animals. These agony-producing abuses are only done to get grants, to enrich an institution financially, to protect companies from patients who sue them in court for injuries, to get promotions, to publish papers and to obtain sadistic pleasure from infliction of pain on helpless, innocent animals.
Dog daze: Joan Shapiro, vice president of Barrow Neurological Institute, states that "people could be very seriously injured by me because I will do something first and ask questions later." It appears to me that is exactly what she and Michael Berens have been doing all along. While millions of Americans cannot afford to go to a doctor or get a prescription filled, it is a blessing, not only for the innocent animals that have been tortured and killed in the name of science, but for all of us, that this project may end this spring. Maybe then our tax dollars can be spent on science that can truly help humans. A quote to think about: "There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of Science, as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of Religion."
Margaret M. Loos
Off target: In Jeremy Voas' exposé on Alan Korwin ("Second Thoughts," December 21), the author took the time to explain that he was an experienced gun owner. Yes, he worked very hard to show us that he had no ax to grind. He spent the first 20 percent of the column to convince us. Then he spent the next 25 percent of the story setting up Korwin as the straw man. Nearly half of the article goes by before Voas allows Korwin to utter his first disembodied, out-of-context syllables. Even then, Voas treats himself with the honor of explaining Korwin's positions, when perhaps Korwin might be more up to the task. This includes a third of the article which is dedicated to Voas' vapid interpretation of the Constitution and criminology.
First, Voas blames guns for 30,000 people dying each year. He fails in his omission that two-thirds of these are suicides. Study after study shows that gun control laws do not reduce suicides, gun or otherwise. Japan has the strictest gun control laws in the world and 1.6 times more suicides, some years without any guns being used. Voas also includes more than 2,000 justifiable homicides by citizens and police. My guess is that Voas considers it to be more moral to find a woman raped and strangled with her own pantyhose than to find her attempted rapist with a bullet in his chest or crap running down the side of his pants from the fear of seeing an armed woman. That's Voas' choice. It doesn't have to be hers.
Voas also assumes that Britain's low homicide rate is because of its recent gun control. That is, gun licensing, which led to gun registration, which led to gun confiscation. Problem is, England's homicide rate was always low, and had been for the last century, when it was equivalent to America's homicide rate. One cannot say that its recent gun control measures are responsible for that. Homicide has never been an answer to British criminals' problems. It is to American criminals. I will not be disarmed for that very reason.
The London Sunday Times reported last year that Britain's criminals (living on an island nation) are now heavily armed with three million firearms. Gun control appears to work no better than the war on drugs. Switzerland, on the other hand, has more guns and more machine guns than America and the lowest crime rate in all of Europe. It ain't the guns. America always had guns.
Voas says he doesn't "see the Constitution as inviolable." Webster's defines that as being "incapable of being violated." He is quite correct. Under the watch of people like Voas, the entire document is under threat, not just the Second Amendment, which, as Justice Joseph Story wrote, is the "palisade of liberty." I will work to protect the entire Bill of Rights and the Constitution, not just those that are politically correct at the time.
Shooting blanks: In my opinion, "Second Thoughts" was very well written. For some reason, Jeremy Voas was not completely clear on the purpose of the Second Amendment, perhaps to avoid an argument difficult to rebut, based on the gun lobby's millions spent to confuse citizens about the right to arm.
Concerned that a federal government would destroy the power of the states, certain states demanded an amendment to ensure the right of states (also in legal language, the people) to maintain a militia. The importance of this amendment showed up when the Southern states seceded and used the militias to battle the federal government in the War Between the States. These militias were guaranteed by the Second Amendment, which has nothing to do with any individual's right to own either a pistol or a machine gun. Except for interstate commerce, all gun rights are within the jurisdiction of the 50 states unless their territory is not part of a state.
The courts have made the above facts clear. However, the gun lobby, believing a conservative court might change the previous rulings, is going to court to reinterpret the Second Amendment.
Hunt and gather: I grew up on a small farm in the southeast corner of South Dakota. Pheasant hunting was a yearly fun time but also a time to fill the freezers with meat for the long winter.
The "beater" hunters would fan out in the corn rows, usually 25 feet apart, and walk the field from one end to the other, usually one-half to two-thirds of a mile. The "stand" hunters would position themselves accordingly, 25 feet apart at the end of the field. When the hunters came together, the pheasants would "flush" (fly up). Everyone shot at birds overhead, never, never, never at a bird flying horizontal whereby a fellow hunter may be hit by shotgun pellets.
The incident Jeremy Voas describes illustrates just that type of asshole hunter. That person would be banned from hunting with that group on the spot, no questions asked. In 300 hunting forays of this nature, I never witnessed stupid hunting, therefore the chaos described by Mr. Voas is an extreme, not the norm.
Mr. Voas takes Alan Korwin to task for his "beliefs in" the Second Amendment to our Constitution. First, Mr. Voas, I had the honor of packing a rifle for two years courtesy of my government and all others who were in need, including our Yellow Belly President, i.e., the great lover.
I spent two years full-time protecting the citizens of this country; now it's time to protect myself.
Food for Thought
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Office politics: "Pay Chex" by John Roark ( Eater's Digest, December 28) really tickled my funny bone. Being a blue-collar woman in a white-collar world, I never tire of corporate bashing. I am especially interested in these stories because I am a mid-management-level Generation Xer surrounded by boomers making their living working 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. five days a week. I find this amusing, since my real life has nothing to do with my occupation.
Eating right: What can I say except the truth hurts! I know -- I'm the one who organized our office potluck party! And I'm moving to an office with a window!
Name withheld by request