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October 28-November 4, 2009

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Letters to the Editor

Radical Times Call for It

I FIND IT morbidly amusing that the Weekly's "350" issue begins with Brad Goodwin's letter cautioning UC undergraduates against youthful urges of "radical idealism" ("Student Tantrums," Posts, Oct. 21). By 1990, when today's undergraduates came into this imperiled race of humans, the environmental movement was solidly entrenched into mainstream's budding eco-consciousness. Today's youngsters know almost no other life experience than that of witnessing our society's willful crossover from pre-apocalyptic emissions levels to the current 387 ppm saturation. The phrase "waiting to exhale" takes on a very real and traumatic meaning for young people who have been waiting their entire lives for the carbon emissions issue to stabilize under older generations' leadership. To socialize diplomatically into this particular environment can be reasonably perceived as the opposite of sanity. I perceive that convincing twentysomethings of the luxury of diplomacy and the virtues of faith and patience are themselves the very radical ideals.

Anna Vaage,

Playing by Rules A Waste of Time

WHY IS IT always up to the left to clean up after the non-left?

I refer to Mr. Goodwin's rebuttal regarding UC's sputter of a protest over salaries and tuition. First of all, sir, one thing I would suggest is a class in Rhetoric, wherein one learns how to argue a case using a modicum of logic when presenting a series of arguments. As far as maintaining calm during the heat of verbal exchange, perhaps the non-left could use some help in this area during town meetings. I use the phrase "non-left" to cover libertarians, birthers, Republicans, teabaggers, etc.

I never coined the phrase "class war" for the agitation attempt up on campus. Some guy quoted in the Sentinel used that phrase, which was also painted on the entry sign to the university. I thought "class war" was a little heavy-handed, but it serves well as rich kids will continue to be educated and the less rich not.

Mr. Goodwin suggests dialogue and intelligence will win the day. The university is very good at setting up task forces, study groups, committees, hiring independent consultants to deal with knotty problems. This may be more civilized, but it is a waste of time. What does work is a schedule of peaceful demonstrations and sit-ins, stopping the flow of activity and/or money; especially money. And the statement that "the UC system is a gift from citizens of California" is pure hogwash. A gift is usually given for free, not for thousands of dollars each school year. 

Kathy Cheer,
Santa Cruz

Vick and Speciesism

DAMN, I hate to rise to the bait, but I think Ryan Josephson ("Problem Bigger Than Vick," Posts, Oct. 21) has it wrong. According to some of the stories I've read about the Michael Vick case, Mr. Vick was a very hands-on player in the beating/drowning/hanging deaths of his dogs. Dogs who, by the way, had no idea that their offer of unconditional love would be rewarded with a horror show of a life.

"I'm not defending the guy," writes Josephson, but he comes pretty close when he gripes about Vick's punishment ("extreme") because, after all, "human life and animal life ... should not be mentioned in the same sentence."

OK, now I'm getting steamed. This tired excuse for our misbehaving ways smacks of specieism, which in part is the ability to look a fellow sentient being in the eye and say, "I'm going to hurt you (or work you or eat you) because you matter, but not nearly as much as I do." Well, show me a human writhing in pain from a compound fracture and I'll show you the same pain in a pit bull with his back broken by a baseball bat. The capacity to suffer, to feel physical and emotional pain--this is where the different-worlds connection is made. Or lost, as with Mr. Vick.

But "different than" does not equate to "better than." Assuming this conceit, we lose our way. Mr. Vick has a great opportunity to make amends; I hope he takes advantage.

Tim Rudolph,
Santa Cruz

Mars is That-A-way

MIKE SPEVIAK claims "Erin Copp's letter smacked of crying wolf so much as to reduce the credence" ("Wrong and Misguided Ideas," Posts, Oct. 21). Then he claims to have been hit by a 40 mph bicycle with no damage to the bicycle. Methinks he doth protest too much.

I have commuted across Santa Cruz for the past five years. In that time:

1. I have seen a dead bicyclist in the intersection of Bay and Mission
2. I had my route diverted for another dead bicyclist.
3. I was hit by a 5 mph car (with unrideable damage to my bike)
4. Cars swerved into the bike lane numerous times uncomfortably close to me. One time I had to pound on a van with my hand to alert the driver I was there.
5. I had a door open in front of me forcing me into traffic, with the bonus that the driver then laughed at me.
6. I have seen no progress on the Rail Trail.
In closing, I think Mike Speviak is damaging our image in Santa Cruz. Please move to Detroit, or better yet, Mars.

John Donohue,
Santa Cruz

Here's An Idea

INTRODUCING a new political party: Never Re-Elect Anyone (NRA). Never Re-Elect Anyone is the new political party seeking your vote. We don't ask for any membership dues, don't end you any material in the mail, have no solicitation of funds, will never phone you, have no meetings. We only ask you to never re-elect anyone.

Remember, a new broom sweeps clean.

Walter Schivo,

Obama Failing Miserably

REALITY CHECK: President Obama recently flew 6,000 miles round trip to San Francisco and back on Air Force One, a big Boeing 747, to help raise money for a political campaign. If the president was really concerned about global warming, why didn't he do the video-conferencing thing? I suppose if anyone could ever get close enough to the president to ask him about that, he would make some comment about pollution credits. Unfortunately, pollution credits do absolutely nothing about the CO2 that is going into the atmosphere right now. The pollution credit philosophy is all about building "environmentally friendly" power plants at some future point in time. President Obama campaigned on a platform of hope and change. I was hoping that the president would help to change America's wasteful consumption habits. I still see lots of Obama bumper stickers on the back of Ford Explorers, so with regards to changing America's consumption habits, from where I am sitting, he is failing miserably.

Duclo (Doug) Haymaker,
Santa Rosa

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