It's very easy to tear things down, to kill an opportunity for honest change, to destroy a fragile alliance, to shut out the truth by telling dramatic lies for the cameras and repeating them day in, day out. Even if people don't believe your lies, they'll be confused enough to not act on the truth you are trying to defeat. The tea-party town hall protesters have learned this lesson well. They've discovered that there is no need to put forth good arguments for their points or to meaningfully debate their ideas at the congressional town hall meetings set up just for that purpose. Why should they do that, when they can go on a rampage, yell and scream, intimidate and threaten, even bring guns to the meetings? Such activity guarantees the presence of TV cameras. News organs will report these activities as "passion" for a cause, and not as the lunacy that it really represents. It's very easy to destroy someone else's effort, to denigrate the fragile progress of those sitting at the table trying to work out a common goal. Like Republicans everywhere have learned, all you have to do is shout and swear, wave guns and flags, threaten and rant, and they can get their way. Not by converting anyone to their cause, but by simply making politics so unpleasant that most people just go home and hide.
Thomas L. Creed
Healthcare's line in the sand
I am a marriage and family therapist and healthcare provider, and want to urge President Obama to continue to push for a public option for healthcare. While I believe a single-payer system is preferable, not having at least a public option is capitulating to the lobbying of insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and to the harassment of right-wing groups. Allowing them to control the process only encourages them to escalate their outrageous tactics. When taxpayer money bails out Wall Street, we don't hear right-wing pundits railing at socialism but, when healthcare may be provided to the middle class, working class and the poor, well, that's socialism and we can't have that. Such hypocrisy is shameful. Unfortunately, many Democrats have also received substantial contributions from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries which is obviously a conflict of interests. This is not Democracy. At what point do we call campaign contributions bribery?
President Obama was elected along with a majority of Democrats in Congress to initiate change. Healthcare reform is a place to draw a line in the sand for the benefit of most of our citizens. A huge majority of Americans want healthcare to be available for all and affordable, not to enrich the already wealthy companies.
In line with your effort to educate folks about anaerobic digesters as a way to process agricultural waste ("Waste? Not!" Aug. 12), we do have a few in our region. Clos du Bois Winery installed one at their winery several years ago, as did Strauss Dairy in Marin County, and most recently, one was placed at St. Anthony Farm, which was an incredible rehabilitation facility as well as a pretty progressive farm with an anaerobic digester, large garden and their own butter-making operation—until they were forced to close. Another dairy bites the dust.
Beans and Slaw only, please
I am blown away in dismay at your leading column on the Texas barbecue chef ("Lonestar State of Mind," Aug. 5). Good God almighty, where the hell do you imagine the meat comes from? The animal kingdom in the air, on the ground and in the sea live in terror of humans and our instatiable appetite for their lives, their meat, their pelts, feathers and skin. Why do you glorify our ignorance?