I was completely blown away by Eugene Dey's story and plight ( Aug. 30). I don't use the word "tragedy" often, but in this case I do. Please pass along to Mr. Dey--if it's possible--that at least one person, and I imagine that I'm not the only one, heard him and would like to help in any way that she can.
Linda Ludwig, via e-mail
Wattled and witless
I am a hard-core conservationist in regards to saving several species of heritage livestock and poultry, and I found the light in which you spun your story ( July 19) to be in extreme bad taste. Species conservation shouldn't be portrayed in such a light-hearted manner. Your article made mention of the fact that there may be fewer than 300 viable breedstock head of red wattles left in the world. I hope to have that many here at my farm by spring of '08. I take my job seriously enough to lose money I have invested just to make sure my animals are OK and increasing their herd size, not becoming something my children will only be able to read about someday.
I can do that without selling animals that mean something to our family, our heritage and our very income to someone who thinks little or nothing about where their food came from or who raised it. I would rather lose income than to sell my soul to some yuppie, plastic-world, clueless crowd such as yours.
Allan Sterbinsky, God's Way Farms, Midland City, Ala.
Poison the pike in Lake Davis? Seriously, there has to be a better idea! Clearly, even the experts don't know, but as we're waiting for them to develop the perfect solution, let's try to keep the poisons to a minimum. It also seems to me that the Fish and Game Department is not properly utilizing its most potent fish-killing weapon: anglers. Put a bounty on pike--say, $3 a fish. Distribute literature on pike-fishing methods and hold pike derbies. Give the winners jobs as professional pike hunters. Compare the cost of these strategies and number of pike taken by anglers with the cost of a government-run poisoning campaign, and you'd probably find that we'd be getting more for our tax dollars.
Peter Bauer, Santa Rosa
South and North somewhat
One listens incredulously to the recent ravings of the Strangelovian Donald Rumsfeld. Harshly authoritarian and antidemocratic himself, he decries the "fascism" of Muslims and accuses those who disagree with him and question his bogus but enormously profitable "war on terror" of appeasement and "moral and intellectual confusion about what is right and wrong." In using such rash rhetoric, he invokes the likes of Joseph McCarthy and Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda chief, who wrote that "it is important for the State to repress dissent, for truth is its greatest enemy."
At this point, why would anyone believe a word he utters? On the eve of his "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq, Rumsfeld, who met personally with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad in 1983 to arrange chemical and other arms sales, informed us that the war "could last six days, six weeks, I doubt six months." More recently, he announced that "we know where the weapons of mass destruction are: around Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
Brian Boldt, Santa Rosa
Californians have a chance to make history on Nov. 7. We can help take our country back from the giant corporations that are running it. How, you ask? By freeing our elected representatives from dependence on special interests for their election campaign money. If we citizens fund politicians' campaigns, they would then work for U.S. instead of for big-buck funders.
Californians have a chance this November to pass public funding of state election campaigns. It's called Proposition 89, the Clean Money and Fair Elections Act. It's a voluntary funding system, paid for by a 0.2 percent increase in state corporate taxes, and applies to proposition campaigns, too.
Folks in Maine and Arizona passed similar acts five years ago, and now three-quarters of their legislators were elected as "clean" candidates; that is, they took no special interest money and are therefore free to serve all citizens. In Arizona, 10 of the top 11 officers, including governor, won as "clean" candidates. Clean elections work!
Tom Wodetzk, Albion