Coping with Aurora
Could the media please give us a break with endless grisly accounts of the Aurora killings?
I understand it was a tragedy, and our sympathies lie with the 70 innocent victims. But, we also need to appreciate that 86 Americans are killed by firearms every day, and nearly 4,000 are killed prematurely by chronic diseases linked with consumption of animal products and lack of exercise. (See cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_04.pdf.)
Let’s replace the vacuous hand-wringing over the Aurora tragedy with constructive personal steps to lessen the greater tragedies facing us every day.
~ PHIL GARGALIS, PASADENA
Learning from animals
PETA joins fans everywhere of Donald J. Sobol’s “Encyclopedia Brown” book series in mourning the passing of this talented author.
As with many children, animals were an important part of Encyclopedia Brown’s world, as was made clear by the inclusion of eagles, salamanders, frogs and dogs in the titles of the books and stories in which he cleverly solved crime after crime. But one doesn’t have to be a boy super-sleuth to deduce that nurturing compassion in kids — and deterring violence and cruelty to animals — is vital toward creating a kinder, less criminal society.
It’s no mystery: Decades of evidence show that a child’s attitude toward animals can predict future behavior. According to FBI profilers, psychiatric professionals, law-enforcement officials and child advocacy organizations, people who hurt animals may eventually direct violence toward humans. People who are capable of such acts have a severely underdeveloped sense of empathy, thinking of others as unfeeling machines.
As in Sobol’s delightful stories, the solution is child’s play: Teaching kindness and respect for animals is the first step in teaching young people empathy. To learn more about fostering compassion for all living beings, visit PETA.org.
~ JEFF MACKEY, PETA, NORFOLK, VA
The GOP candidate vetting process is hopelessly broken, because the party is controlled by a wacky combination of the pathologically greedy and a creepy doomsday cult.
When you look at the pathetic collection of nuts and repulsive losers who ran, Romney was the “most electable.” All of the issues that are accumulating were already apparent a year ago, but in Tea-Bag La-La Land, being a modern robber baron is an asset.
They couldn’t find anybody better because, in a party that thinks Sarah Palin is a gift from God and Newt Gingrich is smart, this was the best they could come up with. There is no dark horse, Plan B or even Plan 9. Only the comfort that they really could nominate Charles Manson and still only lose 53-47, as long as he supports tax cuts for the rich, more defense spending and would be willing to see an (R) next to his name.
And since Mitt perfectly represents everything his party has REALLY stood for over the past 90 years, I really don’t understand the reluctance of conservatives to embrace him.
~ TOM BECHAM, VENTURA
FROM THE WEB:
Re: “Something Wal-Mart this way comes,” July 12
The meeting was filled with skewed numbers from Wal-Mart. One woman in the audience worked for Wal-Mart for 4 ½ years and questioned the rep about the $12.79 wage that he promised. She said she still made $10 an hour there. What our community wants is jobs and empty spaces filled. What the two Wal-Marts coming to Altadena will do is fill two spaces and create about 120 jobs, but we will lose 2.8 jobs for each job created, three or four markets (Ralphs on Lake has said it will leave), numerous liquor stores and other small businesses due to the FACT that 25 percent to 40 percent of small businesses around Wal-Marts close. This gain of two stores will leave our community with many vacant retail spots and many more people out of work. Does Wal-Mart care? NO.
In the late ’90s, Wal-Mart unsuccessfully tried to take over the space owned and occupied by the San Gabriel Nursery, a popular family-owned business. The city tried to use eminent domain to acquire the property. More than 19,000 people signed the petition against Wal-Mart. SG Nursery is still there.
Inglewood successfully fought Wal-Mart. Elsewhere in California a dozen other communities like Oakland and Contra Costa County have passed zoning laws to keep out retailers like Wal-Mart. In Bakersfield, homeowners and union workers successfully fought Wal-Mart’s building plans by arguing that the superstore would destroy local business.
Recently, in Massachusetts, Wal-Mart abandoned plans to build in two communities, in part, because of local opposition. See the local coverage at wickedlocal.com/watertown.
Re: “Radioactive nightmare,” July 5
We certainly can’t count on our governments to monitor or warn us of this danger. Radiation is a silent killer, as you can’t taste, smell or feel it. Thank goodness we have Michael Collins — the EnviroReporter — to monitor and report. And thank you to the Pasadena Weekly for printing this most important story. It is truly the most important and crucial news in the world.
~ SUSAN H.T.E.
Re: “Health and taxes,” July 5
Regardless of how the activist majority of Supreme Court Justices feel about the mandate, it is their charge to find some part of the original document, i.e., the Constitution, to hang their biases on.
My copy of the Constitution says nothing forbidding it.
Parenthetically, the most rational solutions to our health care costs and complexity were left off the table before the debate even began with Obama. Perhaps the greater part of our health care resources is siphoned off by the private insurances to pay their executives. Single payer, national health care and so many other systems to take profit motive out of this important human service were never considered. And the Know-Nothings claimed the president was a socialist anyway!