Censor This -- The article "Censored!" (9/25/03), was interesting, but it mentions "radioactive" depleted uranium used in the Gulf War, which actually emits very little radiation, thus the name "depleted." If your own vehicle were not hit (killing you from blast and heat anyway), you would likely get more exposure from the radium dial on a wristwatch.
A similar article in Rolling Stone cited burns as evidence of "high levels" of radiation, which is nonsense. It is precisely because of the enormous heat created on impact that these rounds penetrate, which also sprays molten metal everywhere. An anecdote or two are quoted, but not a single number is cited to back the radiation claims. The complete lack of quantifiable evidence, which should have been easy to obtain, puts the article on very shaky ground.
It might be possible that the uranium causes heavy metal sickness, creating potential for misunderstanding. The symptoms of radiation poisoning and heavy metal poisoning are remarkably similar.
It is not my intent to lend credence to Bush and his crowd, but the threat of radiation scares people. While heavy metals also cause concern, The Inlander should check a bit more before helping to spread unscientific drivel (unverified anecdotes) masquerading as fact.
Not Being Catty -- Hurray! Thank you for the commentary "Fighting Fire" (9/18/03). This was one the Spokesman-Review refused to print. Kootenai County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jim Reierson wrote the article and it raised many key issues regarding animal cruelty penalties in Washington.
In the case of the two teenagers, I commend the nonprofit facilities for refusing to allow these teenagers access to more defenseless pets. These facilities are looking out for the safety and well-being of these helpless animals.
I do not agree with D.F. Oliveria's article in the Spokesman, which supported allowing the teens a second chance.
I've read that Spokane has a lot of potholes. Let these two lemons fill potholes, pull weeds, or write reports on suffering and pain, or how to combat boredom appropriately. Boredom does not qualify one to be destructive or create pain and suffering on others. As for their picking up cigarette butts - no way should we allow those two around anything combustible!
I hope Judge Schroeder will amend the sentences for Brumback and Rardon and consider imposing jail time and/or volunteering in a hospital burn unit.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Chevy's Rumors -- I was so pleased with the article "Staying or Going?" regarding Chevy's restaurant (9/25/03). I knew the rumors weren't exactly correct.
When will River Park Square (RPS) stop trying to control our downtown? Let's see, RPS, Q6, Radio 590, Cowles...isn't that interesting? They mentioned in their reports that "local" owners do better than out-of-town owners. What does that tell businesses that want to move here?
Face it; the economy isn't that great right now - for anyone. It will turn, it always has.
Thanks again, Inlander. Great job!
Dead Meat -- I was happy to see the article "Et Tu, Tofu?" (10/2/03), focusing on something that 20 years ago was just a quirky hippie fad -- tofu -- but is now apparently becoming mainstream. I am a fan of Small Planet Tofu; it really is a wonderful product and has helped to change the image of tofu.
I have to say, however, that had I been a journalist, I would have a hard time writing the article on pigs ("This Little Piggie Went to Market"). There is such a difference between something made from a soybean and something that comes from a living, sentient being. How you make an article sound happy that is about something that is in reality so dark is beyond me, although I'm probably the one in a hundred that will see it that way.
The two words "happy" and "tasty" put together in the same sentence seems like an oxymoron. The title, so happy, echoing back to childhood's "This Little Piggy Went to Market," is in such sharp contrast to my own memories of, say, The Jungle, the dark, forever haunting description of what happens to pigs when they are slaughtered. How can we talk about how these pigs have distinct personalities, then betray them by hauling them to a place of such unspeakable horror as a slaughterhouse? Thinking that's OK is absurd. The only phrase that explains this practice is "cultural conditioning": We have been brainwashed to believe that pigs don't mind being our food, that they want to be our food, that they're happy pigs! "Happy" and "tasty" in the same sentence -- I just don't get it.
I know that people have been eating specific animals for centuries, as if longevity of a practice makes it automatically a good thing. There is a great deal of defensiveness because people want to keep on eating these specific animals. To acquiesce to awareness is to necessitate change, and it is human nature not to want to change anything that is comfortable.
Eventually, I hope, we will acknowledge and abhor the dark side of this practice of eating meat. Eating meat means that real, live, sentient beings with personalities have to die; their deaths are a pretty ugly thing. Until we include all perspectives, i.e., that of the animal in question, we will never face up to reality -- and this barbaric practice will go on.
Publication date: 10/09/03