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June 20-26, 2007

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Letters to the Editor


Plane Truth

Wow, Metro scooped every paper in the country with the news that besides Jeppesen, there are other companies that help facilitate the CIA's torture flights ("Breaking Jeppesen," June 13).

Diane Solomon's excellent article calls them out by name: Air Routing International, Baseops Flight Planning, and Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. Hopefully anti-torture activists in Houston, where at least two of these companies do business, can turn the public spotlight on the illegal and immoral business going on in their city.

Thank you for publishing real investigative journalism, a responsibility that the Merc doesn't seem capable of.

Charlotte Casey, South Bay Coalition to Stop Torture San Jose

Put Up or Shut Up

This letter is for Silicon Veggie. I'm not sure you really understood what they were saying in Vegan Freak ("Meatless Little Lies," Silicon Veggie, June 6). First, when they say the phrase "vegan freak," they mean us vegans, who are considered freaks by the rest of society, and they are not referring to people who claim to be vegans and yet get lazy and eat animal products. If you read the part about calling yourself a vegan, you are right, they want the word to mean something. If you just let it go, sometimes it doesn't mean anything.

There are a couple of problematic issues that come up when you are a lazy vegan. One is that you make it more difficult for the rest of us who actually stick to it. If someone can say, "But I know a vegan and she doesn't mind if I drizzle her vegetables with butter," then they assume other vegans won't mind that, either. The fact is, as you become more educated and move toward a truly vegan lifestyle, things like butter no longer qualify as food. The excretions of other animals become something you wouldn't consider food. Just as I would not suck on the tit of a cow, I would not allow that stuff to be on my food. It is really not that hard at an Indian restaurant to ask for the food without ghee or to ask that Thai food be made without fish, especially in the Bay Area!

The other problem is, if you are an ethical vegan, you have to stick to your ethics all of the time in order for them to mean something. If you do not believe animals are our property to use as a commodity or that their suffering is worth the pleasure you get from eating their products, then you shouldn't eat them at all. If you were against racism, would it be OK to be just a little racist some of the time? Or just a little sexist some of the time? No, you have to stick to your morals for them to mean something, otherwise they don't mean anything. If you wish to continue to eat fish sauce and butter, then you should just say you don't eat dairy or meat most of the time, and leave the vegan off. That way it will still have meaning as a movement.

Jeani S., San Francisco

Feelin' It

Loved your March 21 issue, especially the article on page 16 ("Don't Call It a Comeback," MetroNews). I agree strongly that there is a huge disparity between the tech workers and the less skilled.

I somewhat disagreed on the salary figure of $160,347 a year. Most senior tech professionals make just over $100,000 a year. I was just asked to take a 15 to 20 percent pay cut, which I refused. So I'll be laid off this month. I turned 60 today and am faced with working until 65 just to pay for health insurance.

Dr. Leonard F. LaBar, Milpitas

I Said, Show Me The Park Money!

Re "Show Me the Park Money," (The Fly, June 21, 2006): As one of the founding Vice Commissioners of the San Jose Women's Softball League, I am also concerned that the funding for Measure P will eventually "disappear." Being told that the funds are safe until 2011 is not reassuring!! It is now 2007, with the Measure passing in 2000—seven years ago!—and with 2011 only four years away, seemingly no progress has been made regarding location or construction of this sports complex.

How sad that San Jose has been outpaced by neighboring cities such as Sunnyvale, Milpitas, and even Fremont when it comes to taking care of the citizens and our recreational needs.

Danelle Gilmore, San Jose


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