What can we learn from near-shutdown?

To the editor:

The recent budget battle in Washington, during which we came so close to a government shutdown, seems to be one of those “teachable moments.”

I learned that President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., along with most of their Democrat colleagues, just do not appreciate the enormity of our fiscal problems. For example, during the final week that a budget cut of $38 billion was being negotiated, our national debt reportedly grew by $54 billion.

I also learned that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, needs support (pressure?) from the tea party movement to stand his ground in dealing with this administration. Has Rep. Boehner been in Washington too long to really accept the opinion of America’s citizens, as clearly expressed in the last election?

Finally, and sadly, I learned that President Obama and Sen. Reid place a higher value on Planned Parenthood and National Public Radio than they do our troops.

Robert R. Kessler

Las Vegas

Protecting the weak

To the editor:

In response to Glenn Cook’s Sunday column, “The slippery slope of the animal welfare agenda”:

I found Mr. Cook’s comments regarding proponents of Senate Bill 223 rather disturbing. He paints an unfavorable picture of people who care about the welfare of animals, going so far as to call them “fascists.”

He quotes Las Vegas police lobbyist Chuck Callaway, who said that passing SB223 would make beating your dog a more serious offense than beating your wife. That may be true. However, the wife in question would have options and the ability to protect herself. An animal would not. Nor would the animal have the ability to call for help or report the abuse, which is why the bill is important. It would, hopefully, deter those who seek to do harm upon defenseless beings.

As far as the bill’s implications for farmers and ranchers, I wonder if Mr. Cook has researched any of the investigative footage and reports of abject cruelty to animals who are exploited in the food, fashion, entertainment and research industries. These cases aren’t isolated incidents, but the norm for the unfortunate creatures who are victims.

The shelters that deploy screening methods relating to adoptions do so precisely to avoid placing animals in potentially harmful situations. Animal abuse has been directly linked to crimes against humans and property. This affects all of us, whether or not we care about animals. We live in an increasingly violent society where there appears to be a lack of respect for self and others. I would think that most people would rather live and raise a family in a world that places value on all life forms. I know I would.

Twice throughout his discourse, Mr. Cook refers to animals as “property.” It is precisely this type of specieist thinking that is part of a larger, deceptively dangerous agenda, not SB223, as he suggests. It should be the duty of the strong to protect the weak, rather than label them as property. Otherwise, it seems to me that we are just seeking justification for the exploitation of other life forms.

Annoula Wylderich

Las Vegas

Disgusting prosecution

To the editor:

In response to your Sunday article, “Immigrant may lose family in abuse case”:

It is time to file a lawsuit against the county, District Attorney David Roger and the individual prosecutors who refuse to stop the malicious prosecution of Victor Fakoya.

The legal system worked and found this man not guilty of murder, not because of a technicality, but because the evidence was not there to prove otherwise. The Department of Family Services determined that this man is not a threat to his own children as well.

It’s time for Mr. Fakoya to be be set free from worry about losing his family without falsely admitting to a crime he did not commit, as he is being required to do in a separate Family Court case.

It is the job of the DA’s office to set free the innocent as much it is to prosecute the guilty. Set Mr. Fakoya free.

DAVID MEYER

HENDERSON

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