Letters for Monday, February 26, 2007

• Widespread evil

• >Emancipation proclamation

• The real slaves

• Where is this heading?

Widespread evil

Mr. Smith’s letter and his views, as expressed therein, were truly odious (“Slaves serve middle class,” Letters, Feb. 24). Ms. Rose’s response, however, was at best ill-advised (“The cheap TV is king,” Letters, Feb. 25).

To suggest that slavery was and is the exclusive provenance of a free-market economy is to conveniently forget Stalin’s Gulags and, more recently, Pol Pot’s forced relocation and enslavement of Cambodia’s middle class. I would remind Ms. Rose that evil, unfortunately, is not bound to any particular economic and/or political system.

Arnie Breyer


Emancipation proclamation

As a follow up to my opinion that “slavery” is a fact of life (“Slaves serve middle class,” Letters, Feb. 24), I would like to suggest a way to end slavery. If the use of robotics could be approved by all entities, for instance the unions of the country, then slaves could be replaced by these non-human slaves. So far it has been my understanding that unions fight against replacing workers with robots — you know those don’t pay dues.

Years ago when I was working six days week to make ends meet, a neighbor who was in college at the time said he would live to see the day when one would only have to work if one wanted to. That all things could be for the most part made by robots. For the most part, this could be true today. For example a lot of the work of producing an automobile is done by robots. Stores are using “self-service” check-out counters with four machines and a human doing the work of five.

In my “dim-witted” opinion, the only way for the middle class to enjoy the “nice” things in life — like a car, a home of their own, a DVD player, cable TV — is for the makers of these things that so many need, or rather want, is for them to be produced by slaves of some kind. Either human or non-human.

Or we could do as the communist or the socialist countries do: have everyone be a slave and only the leaders enjoy the fruits of the labor of all of the rest of the middle class, since there would be no other class.

Gordon “Doc” Smith


The real slaves

When running for his second term, President Lincoln faced a pro-slavery Democratic party, then as now the majority of Democrats believed that some humans were property and could be sold or destroyed at the owner’s whim. The slaves today are the embryos, unborn babies, that can be frozen, their stem cells removed and destroyed at the rate 80 per experiment, these experiments are supported by today’s Democratic platform as the Democratic party’s platform in the 1860s supported adult slavery.

History has judged President Lincoln as being the morally correct on the issue of adult slaves; as history will judge as morally correct President Bush on embryonic slavery.

Ed Smetana

Arlington Heights, Ill.

Where is this heading?

The articles and letters published in this newspaper regarding the recent case of animal abuse have done much to misinform, and maybe even confuse, the general public. Perhaps this is because people can make any claim or accusation in such a forum without needing to make them factual or meaningful.

Michael Mann (“The authority is there,” Letters, Feb. 16) referred to a county leash law as evidence when Thomas Iannucci posed the question, “Does the Humane Society have law enforcement abilities and arresting powers?” Each county has a leash law, none of them gives wardens enforcement power, per se. They are only “authorized” to pick up dogs that are untethered on public property. All other offenses involving animals are handled by the police. I suppose one could categorize the Humane Society as a “law-enforcement authority” over the stray dogs its wardens pick up, but clearly the question was not about authority over canines.

Mr. Mann goes on to say, “This is authorization granted to them by the county. So, the Humane Society does have enforcement capabilities, and I would bet this extends to issues of animal abuse as well, though I don’t know the specific code.” Interesting. Mr. Mann was able to cite the “stray dogs” law (Section 22-2) — which in fact is not pertinent to this case since the dogs were on private property — but is unable to cite a law authorizing the Humane Society as having “enforcement capabilities.” This is because there are none, and when there is a suspected offense, the Humane Society calls the police like any other citizen of our community. Alluding to non-existing laws is at best misleading.

The one I find most disturbing is the diatribe by Dennis Chaquette (“It’s a dog’s life,” Letters, Feb. 15), who begins by referring to the separation of church and state. Then he rhetorically asks, “Does Mr. Iannucci care about dogs that are abused and killed? … Mr. Iannucci doesn’t say much of anything. All Mr. Iannucci does is defend Steve Cummings. Everyone likes to talk about how corrupt the Kaua‘i Police Department is. And then we get a police commissioner who writes a Guest Commentary like the one on Feb. 9.” Such disjointed questions and accusations, however meaningless, are nothing more than ad hominem attempts to muddy the water. Hopefully the public has enough clarity to see this. Suffice to say that Mr. Iannucci has constitutionally protected rights to his beliefs, as does every other person on the Police Commission. Mr. Chaquette’s attempting to somehow link KPD corruption to Mr. Iannucci is at best as meaningless and unsubstantiated, as are the rest of his accusatory remarks.

I love dogs and I detest animal abuse. I spend big bucks and lots of time on mine who is (perhaps not so) jokingly considered among the grandchildren of my family. He’s not a hunter, though he has gone hunting with me, preferring to chase sticks. But what’s frightening is that the outcome of all this is that Becky Rhoades, vis-à-vis the Humane Society, now has complete court-sanctioned access to the property where the dogs are being held, only limited to daylight hours. She has demanded a list of parameters which must be kept regarding the care of the animals. I fail to see the constitutionality of such an arrangement by even a law enforcement agency, let alone the Humane Society, which last year alone received over $500,000 from the county. Can Becky Rhoades now dictate what she believes to be required care by all dog owners? Clearly, the Humane Society considers the “lifestyle of a hunting dog” substandard compared to a “loving companion home” (as per their Web site). Is that so? Well, hunters beware, there’s a new sheriff in town, and we may all soon have to live up to her scrutinous demands.

Craig Contrades



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