Letter to the Editor 1/29/99

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PEOPLE FOR ANIMALS

Re: Rebecca Schoenkopf's piece on adopting two cats (Commie Girl, Jan. 15): I have been involved with animal rescue work in Orange County for about 10 years. The situation is grim, but public education about "bunchers" (people-husbands, wives and children-who make their living by rounding up stray animals of all kinds and/or people's pets who are not inside a house or enclosed, inaccessible space) and the danger of "free animals" advertisements is bringing about awareness. The pre-adoption interview, paperwork and follow-up procedures probably would seem oppressive and unnecessary to many people wishing to adopt an animal, but to those of us who have witnessed the results of animal abuse (including neglect), it is a necessity! Rules and regulations are made with potential offenders in mind, but all of us are ultimately affected.

With reference to Schoenkopf's remark about why the animal-rights activists are not out feeding humans instead (a question posed to me on numerous occasions), I can only give a personal answer: I view animals as "innocents," along with children and the developmentally disabled; basically, those without a voice. I feel that the latter do have advocates-in Orange County at least. Even the homeless can go to a supermarket or restaurant and ask for food. I have been homeless, and I have done it. The same obviously cannot be said for the thousands of starving animals in OC.

I do, however, appreciate Schoenkopf's coverage of her experience. At the very least, it brought attention to the issue. My life has been irrevocably altered by the scenes of dogs with no skin left after being punished with baths of sulfuric acid; cats deliberately left during the summer with bowls of anti-freeze instead of water; starving momma cats weighing 1 pound or less trying to feed their emaciated, dying kittens after being placed in dumpsters. And then there were the cases of dogs-who were heard by neighbors crying pitifully-who had been chained to trees without food or water by the "nice" people who moved a week or two earlier.

-Cat Cassidy, Costa Mesa

MORE DRIVEL, PLEASE

In your Jan. 15 Letters section, a reader states that Commie Girl "has nothing to say of any real interest to anyone," and another reader writes that her column is "drivel." What stupidity. How dare the first reader assume to speak for everyone? And drivel? Commie Girl is one of the few opinion columns that capture my interest. Unlike most opinion columns, Commie Girl's does not fill me with loathing because of some idiotic agenda or political predisposition. Her column is witty, smart and original.

I view this world through the jaundiced eyes of a cynic, a world only made bearable by a little comic relief-relief I can find while sitting on Main Street in Huntington Beach drinking a Jamba Juice and enjoying Rebecca Schoenkopf's column in the Weekly.

If an original point of view-a funny one, at that-is considered drivel, then drivel is something I've been looking for in editorials for some time now.

-William Ash, Tustin

IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID

I don't get it. Maybe it's the chicken-egg syndrome. The public likes President Bill Clinton, even though they understand what a moral mess he is, because he is "doing a good job." As a result, they don't want to see him impeached-but if he is impeached, then definitely not convicted. Maybe there is a collective brilliance in all this.

While Congress spends its energy debating Clinton's fitness for office, the economy booms along. We know that the government doesn't produce anything and can only drag the economy down, so . . . as long as they are busy with Clinton, they can't make economic mischief, and sure enough, "Clinton is doing a good job!"

I believe the public, in a manner analogous to a flock of birds wheeling and swooping as one, is delicately orchestrating the impeachment to achieve the current result by supporting the president in the polls, but maintaining its apathy toward the whole mess so that there is no immediate resolution.

If my thesis is correct, Wyn Hilty's frustration, which she expressed in her column about Buy.com (Machine Age, Jan. 19), at "the failure of direct democracy" is mistaken. She (and the three Web sites mentioned in her column) may be playing a role in the public wheeling and swooping. Thanks for your help with the economy!

-Bill Mackintosh, Anaheim

NO DEFENDING MALICK

In response to F.X. Feeney's defense of The Thin Red Line (Film, Jan. 15): I thought Nick Nolte and Sean Penn and most of the cast were very good. However, John Travolta and George Clooney were practically wearing signs that read, "What Am I Doing in This Movie?" And Woody Harrelson? Sheesh! Never have I been so glad to see an American soldier killed off in a war movie, especially the way he was. While the scenery was great, it pissed me off that Penn was always asking what were they doing there. I mean, Pearl Harbor had happened a couple of months before. In 1942, an American newspaperman asked U.S. troops on Guadalcanal what they were fighting for. One said, "mom" and another called over "apple pie." And a phrase that defined an era was born.

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