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02.23.11

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Get Ready, America

There is nothing more poignant and vital for our cultural future then having an understanding and willful acknowledgment of the ideas contained in this little open mic article by Leha Carpenter ("Sweet Little Lies," Feb. 9). The uprisings going on in the Middle East, North Africa and now America are a symptom of this disease of lies and mistrust. Simply put, people are tired of the bullshit and willing to hit the streets for an opportunity to express their outrage and discontent with the status quo.

Get ready America. It's coming here in a big way.

Greg Schmidt

online


Shark Fin Ban: not Racist

Senate Bill 376, which will ban shark fin products in California, is a far cry from cold-blooded racism, as Sen. Leland Yee suggests. Shark finning kills up to 100 million sharks every year. Most people don't realize the importance of sharks in the ocean ecosystem, both here in the Bay Area and across the globe. Many shark species are endangered or becoming endangered, and are in need of being protected.

Protecting our atmosphere, ocean health and ocean food supply should be of greater priority than preserving an antiquated cultural tradition such as shark fin soup. Many young Asian Americans agree with this outlook.

I can understand how Sen. Yee might feel this is an insult to the Asian community. In my opinion, it has nothing to do with race—only preservation of our oceans, sharks and ecosystems. Certain practices, regardless of race, religion or political ideology, should and are updated to fit the world that we live in. For example, we do not find it acceptable for a woman's genitals to be mutilated at birth in hopes that she stays loyal to her husband; we do not find it acceptable to allow one man to marry multiple wives, even though some religions view it as right. The United States is indeed a melting pot of culture, but not all aspects of every culture are sustainable in today's modern American society. A perfect example is the end of the dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands, a practice closely tied to their economy.

The future relies on the lawmakers. No one wants to look back on 2011 and see it as the year we said to keep finning, when it could be looked at as the year that changed mankind forever.

Tyler Moore

Santa Rosa


Bedtime for Bonzo

There have been so many celebrations of Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, a person might easily forget how he attempted to go around Congress with the Iran-Contra scandal. Or that he persuaded people to vote against their own interests by selling us on the "trickle down" economics theory, resulting in the first of many exorbitant tax breaks for the wealthy and beginning the first serious assault against the middle class. Or how about the way he promised less restrictive care for mentally ill people, resulting in the emptying of hospitals all over the state, only to later proclaim that, in fact, there was no money for their care. Guess by "less restrictive care" what he really meant was "your new home is a sidewalk."

But he was such a likable guy, wasn't he?

Kevin Russell

Sebastopol


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