Meat Eaters, Like Danehy, Show Poor ThinkingIt always amazes me how Tom Danehy likes to disgrace himself with his arguments against vegetarianism. It's unsurprising, though. It's quite common for meat eaters, in their desperation to justify their behavior in the face of sound reasoning, to appeal to poor thinking. In "Re-Defining Liberals" (Feb. 25), Danehy claims that humans are carnivores, and evolution can determine our ethics.
First, humans are not carnivores; they're omnivores. If you attempt to eat like a carnivore, your body will think it's undergoing famine and begin to produce ketones to keep the brain from dying.
Second, if it's OK to eat animals because we evolved to do so, then it's OK for us to murder each other, and it's OK for men to rape women. Simply put, evolved behavior cannot form the basis of ethics. This is known formally as the appeal to nature. It's a logical fallacy. Look it up.
Time to Take off the LabelsThank you, Tom Danehy, for your intelligent piece on re-defining liberals. We can be our own worst enemies. It is high time we no longer accept "liberal" as an epithet and start being heard.
Liberals, as you point out, can have lasting marriages, eat meat, go to church, temple or mosque and raise good kids. We can also be decent, law-abiding, patriotic Americans and still disagree with the conservative/Republican agenda. Hell, we can even agree with some of it. We can support our troops yet recognize the egregious set of lies and deceit that got us into an unjust war.
I would imagine one of the ways to impact this sort of change, however, is for us liberals not to see all conservative/Republicans as gun-toting, war mongering rednecks and wealthy oil barons attempting to ram Christian values down our throats. That's no easy feat.
I do have a couple of minor disagreements with Mr.Danehy: Thank God for NPR!
I can't speak for God, but I'm thinking he sanctions love, period, and if gays want to marry, why on earth would that have anything to do with me? We have a 50 percent divorce rate in this country! Are we worried about homosexuals further deteriorating the institution of marriage? Want to talk about God-sanctioned? Then someone please explain to me why this country is more incensed over some homosexuals getting married than they are over a legacy of priests sexually abusing children?
I'm with you 100 percent, Tom, in removing the stigma from the term "liberal," and just maybe, we can start removing other labels as well.
Rick C. Bianchi
More on Vegetarianism and DanehyI appreciate Tom Danehy's opinions on redefining the notion of "liberal" in our culture, and I agree with him on so much of what he writes in the column, but he really gets me when he claims that all liberals do not have to be vegetarians.
No shit, Tom, but justifying this--saying that we deserve to eat meat because we are inherently carnivorous--misses one of the biggest reasons why people do choose a vegetarian lifestyle: Mass-produced factory farming is unethical and unhealthy for people and the animals they are eating. I, myself, am NOT a vegetarian, but I do agree that factory farm practices are unethical and that we should not be eating meat from companies that raise their animals in such destitute conditions. I buy organic, free-range or other kinds of meat and dairy where I can at least be assured that the animals I eat are raised in a healthy and safe environment.
You're right: Liberals do not have to be vegetarian, but let's not forget the basic ethical standard of liberalism that makes me proud to call myself one, whether I eat meat or not.
Read the Seven Tenants of LiberalismWhile it is the Tucson Weekly's right to have liberal columnists such as Renée Downing, Connie Tuttle and Tom Daheny dominate its opinion pages, I find it especially amusing to read Danehy's defense of the word "liberal." Perhaps your readers may find interesting how this registered Democrat (since 1997) sees liberal ideology with the seven tenants of liberalism: (1.) Pessimism: conspiracy theories; the CIA caused every problem; the Man is keeping me down; Zionism is everywhere; America is a terrorist nation; Iraq is a disaster; language barrier; cultural bias. (2.) Protectionism: free-trade barriers; the Chinese and Indians are taking our jobs; stop NAFTA; stop the WTO; anti-globalism. (3.) Economic envy: taxing the rich; corporations are evil; unfair distribution; the playing field is not level. (4.) Progressivism: homosexual marriage; pro-abortion (pro-choice); affirmative action; the ACLU; legalize drug trade; illegal aliens (undocumented migrants); pornography and prostitution. (5.) Marxism: communism; socialism; redistribution of wealth; collectivism; it takes a village; Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Castro and Kim Il Sung only misconstrued Communism, but Marx's vision was right. (6.) Pacifism: Downsize the military; the United Nations should make our security decisions; American soldiers are baby killers; every military engagement is another Vietnam. (7.) Secularism: atheism and anti-Christian.
Joseph R. Damron
And Now for Something Completely DifferentThere's a much easier way to distinguish between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives are outraged when a blowjob takes place in the Oval Office. Liberals are outraged when a con job takes place in the Oval Office.
In Defense of ClerksI've had a subject I wanted to rant about for a while. Aptly enough, it happened to pop up (inversely, though it may be) in the Rant Issue ("Clerks Who Lick Their Fingers," Feb. 26). I am a clerk who licks my fingers to allow those annoyingly stuck-together plastic bags to open, thus making our job and your trip to the store go more swiftly. People like Chris Limberis, when they sharply intake breath or try to stop us from bagging their purchase as soon as they see our fingers go to our lips, make me want to grate my teeth beyond recognition.
I have a suggestion: Look up the word spermatophobia in the medical dictionary, but don't use any moisture to help you turn the pages. Or, to better yet understand our situation, wipe your fingers over 100 plastic bags, and see how well you can get them out after that. Some bigger store chains supply their clerks with convenient wax-container-something-or-others. But for those of us not so blessed, the relatively harmless saliva on our lips is a simple solution.
As far as the money is concerned: I haven't caught anything from all the money I handle yet, and neither will you. The money we hand you has circulated all around Tucson, so whatever bacteria is in our spit should hardly give you reason to fret. Now, if you catch ebola virus from the money, then my sorrows go out to you. But it wasn't me.
Here's Why Gays Want Marriage, ConnieI wanted to assure Connie Tuttle ("Right to Marry," Feb. 26) that as one of the people who is for gay marriage, I'm not on the Republican payroll. In fact, I'm a way-left Democrat who merely wants the same rights as your average heterosexual.
Straight people can go down to a courthouse, pay a small fee for a license and then get married. They then get a whole lot of legal rights. Gays and lesbians aren't allowed to do this. To get these same rights, they have to pay a lot of money to lawyers.
Some companies use overhead money for a Flexible Savings Account. Because the plan was developed through the IRS, domestic partners and significant others are not covered. No exceptions. As more and more companies move to this sort of plan to offset higher insurance rates, more and more gays and lesbians end up not being covered.
As a last note, next time you write about gay marriage, maybe you could do yourself a favor and actually ask a gay or lesbian person for some background material. Your column suggests a frivolous attitude about this issue. They could probably carefully explain why something you get to take for granted is so important to them.
Equality Schmality!In response to the questions raised in Connie Tuttle's column about why some gay couples want the same right to legally marry as heterosexual couples, I have to say that I don't understand what all the fuss is about, either.
It's the same question as why black people continued to fight for the same rights as white people once they got all those "separate but equal" protections under the law. I mean, water is water, right? Why did they insist on being able to get it from the same drinking fountains as whites?
I mean, just because the Declaration of Independence says that all men are created equal, that doesn't mean that every distasteful minority should enjoy the same full legal rights as everyone else. If we started treating everyone in this country the same, how would we know who is better and who is inferior? It would be totally anarchy!
We can only hope that our president's call for a constitutional amendment does not meet with the same fate as the Equal Rights Amendment. Can you imagine the barbarism that would have ensued if equal rights for women had been codified? As the saying goes, if you start giving rights to one person, everyone is going to want them. And we just can't have a society where everyone is treated equally, can we?
For Psychological Warfare, Perhaps We Should Look Inside Boegle's HeadRegarding Jimmy Boegle's review of Intermezzo ("Restaurant Mechanics," Feb 19) in which he states that he cannot recommend Intermezzo due to the scarcity of tables: There is no way we would consider avoiding Intermezzo due to the scarcity of tables. The food is wonderful and worth whatever wait may be involved. We have solved the problem of scarce tables by arriving early or late: However, even if we had to sit on the floor, it would be worth it. Despite the crowds, we have never experienced the psychological warfare to which your reviewer refers--perhaps he has mental issues?
Joy Phoenix and Larry Prewitt