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March 4-11, 2009

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Letters to the Editor

Animal Rights Activists Vindicated

RECENTLY four UC students accused of harassing animal lab scientists were arrested in Alameda County. Sleep easy. folks, Kemper, Manson, John Frazier and now the "UC Four" are off the streets.

I was hoping these students would stay low until the statute of limitations ran out. Yes, they were heavy-handed, but when they continue to be ignored by UCSC officials while what they see is an animal Holocaust being conducted, passion takes over reason. And come on, what did they really do to inconvenience a few faculty scientists for a brief moment? There were no bombs, no weapons: they made some noise in front of a few scientists' houses. It got the public's attention, didn't it?

Not only do these intrepid animal rights activists decry the suffering and terror of lab animals, they know the evil behind it. This is the profit between the UC lab purchasers and animal farms. The dirty little inside story of unnecessary experiments and redundant tests to keep the cash flowing, indeed, how many hundreds of times do you need to blind a rabbit with hairspray before you conclude it may be harmful to human eyes? Whatever the lab animal market bears, right guys?

We all know things which are disturbing and rankle us but who will risk the inconvenience of arrest to call attention to a horrid situation? These four students did, they went straight to the perpetrators-and now a lot more people are aware of the unnecessary atrocities committed upon our critter friends. 

 Theodore Meyer,
Santa Cruz


Letters Better Than Cartoonist

PAUL Sosbee misses DeCinzo's "biting humor," and says that "Humor begins with a grain of truth and then blows it out of proportion, that's what makes it funny." Setting aside the fine distinction that this defines satire or parody, while much daily humor depends instead on the unexpected twist, this is true. And it's exactly why I felt DeCinzo failed. Once in a while he was right on target. I don't remember ever being outraged by him, because he never attacked any subject close to me. He did seem gratuitously mean-spirited, and I did often feel sorry for his victims, who seemed to have been subjected to random attacks. But most of the time he simply baffled me. My reaction was "Huh?" The "grain of truth" was missing. It would be like picking on Obama for wearing Bozo the Clown undershorts. Does he? Damned if I know. But that wouldn't stop DeCinzo. He seemed too often to take easy caricatures and cram some easy target into them, whether they fit or not. This is the sign of a lazy mind, not a brilliant one. Yes, Tom Tomorrow does get repetitious and tiresome, but at least I can see the "grain of truth" in them. DeCinzo mostly bored me. I don't miss him at all. However, the passionate letters he evoked were hilarious, and I'm glad to see Mr. Sosbee carrying on that tradition.

Shari Prange,
Bonny Doon

The credit for the image that ran on the cover of the Feb. 18 issue should read as follows: Ed Webber, courtesy Covello & Covello Photography.

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