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Compassion is a two-way street

To the Editors:

I am writing in response to Ben McGill's letter in the Feb. 5 edition of the Telegraph. Mr. McGill presents an impassioned argument for the continued diligence of this city's animal control officers, based on the mauling of his young toddler. While I commend him for presenting a heartfelt description of his experience, it is important to remember that there are always two sides of a given situation. It is true there are aggressive dogs, often mistreated by humans, that can attack and kill children and adults alike. It is true that there are normally good natured dogs that, for reasons we do not understand, turn violent and bite. However, it is also true that children and adults can precipitate atttacks from unfamiliar animals by their actions, body language and behavior.

Compassion is a two-way street. We would all do well to remember this.

Robert Ziegler,


The plight of the inholder

Dear Editors:

You're not in Minnesota? Access issues could happen where you live and very likely already are.

This is about access in/to national forests.

If you're an inholder, you're already aware of the intent regarding you and your private property (you're viewed as a "threat to the ecosystem"), even though you only became an inholder because of the ever-expanding federal boundaries of forests, parks, reserves, monuments and "protected" and/or "managed" (controlled) lands and waters.

Multiply the following quote by 155 other national forests; then consider that federal land/resource holdings never retract. Then consider all the state-owned lands and resources, and how private property shrinks daily truly, private property (that not held by such nongovernmental organizations as The Nature Conservancy, Trust For Public Land, and others) and is, like freedom and responsible resource providing, becoming really endangered.

"One of 155 national forests, the Chippewa was the first national forest established east of the Mississippi. The forest boundary encompasses 1.6 million acres, of which over 666,325 acres are managed by the USDA Forest Service over 1,300 lakes, 923 miles of rivers and streams, and 400,000 acres of wetlands."

The document is lengthy, but an excellent example of language deception and how it is used to create a "risk" that is not there but is created in the mind of the public. Words like "could," "may," "might," etc., are triggers to make the reader think that the areas need government "protection" and/or "management."

Julie Kay Smithson,

via e-mail

End religious intolerance in France

Dear Editors,

The French Assembly is wrong to ban Muslim headscarves in public schools. France claims to be a secular state. This is not true. The Christian and Jewish Sabbaths are holidays in France, but not the Muslim Sabbath, Friday. The religious holidays Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Pentecost Friday, Whit-Monday, Assumption Day and Christmas are all statutory holidays in France. France subsidises religious schools. Crucifixes will still hang in schools in Alsace-Lorraine.What is next? Will they forcibly shear Sikhs whose hair is "liberated" from the tidy turbans they usually wear? Will they cut off circumcised Muslim or Jewish penises that appear in school showers? Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by France and the UN in 1948 states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."The ban on wearing religious garb and manifesting one's faith we can expect from savage dictatorships like Saudi Arabia, but not from France, the very cradle of equality, fraternity and liberty!I urge the French Senate to abandon this act of intolerance. In the short run, it encourages racism and bigotry. In the long run, this law will segregate Muslims into madrassas where fanatics are hatched or onto the streets uneducated where they can learn a life of crime. This is a bad, intolerant law that will only cause trouble and teach intolerance.France's Senate must reject it.

Tom Trottier, via e-mail

Bush's efforts at damage control

Dear Editors,

It would appear now that, in fact, there were no WMD, and Bush's regime is hard at damage control. The question would have to be, now that Americans know they were fooled into support of an invasion of Iraq, will they continue to let more soldiers die to support a deceitful regime in order to keep the "other party" out, or will Americans be adult enough to realize a mistake and demand the return of our forces? This should not be political, there are people dying out there for a real questionable reason and with the rising rate of suicides among American soldiers, the soldiers must know it. We need to bring our armies home and take a new look at what's happening in the world.While we talk about war, the country continues to slide economically. Just like believing in WMD, we are asked to believe in the economic recovery that is occurring. And yet, despite 13 rate reductions by the Fed, all that has happened is a lot of Americans are even deeper in debt, and with all this massive effort the only effect seems to be a temporary stall of an economic adjustment that must take place. There is a general feeling among traders that until the election, no long-term positions can be taken. Such is the power of government to manipulate economic numbers to attain its end.And have you ever sat in your town and wondered how in the world your problems can be heard when the power is not in your state, but in Washington? Well, wait until the power players move the country to globalization. Then, we will have to ask the world governing body for permission to do things. And then we will be like the serfs of England slaving for royalty.Bush is not a conservative. He is a Republican, for sure, but not a conservative. The party needs to look at its roots and get back to them.

JR Borsos,

via e-mail





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