Animal cruelty is noticed only when humans are affected
In response to the Feb. 20 article, "On more US menus: reduce animal cruelty": While I am glad that the government and some corporations are improving standards against animal abuse, it is sad that this had to come about primarily because some of this abuse affects humans.
I am very happy that Safeway and other chains are concerned about the size of chicken cages and pig gestation stalls, but what about the abuse of people who produce all of our cheap goods?
Is it only toys with lead that concern us? As long as there is no negative effect on us, we don't seem to notice.
Economy can't grow exponentially
Regarding your Feb. 22 editorial, "China's carbon dragon": While I do not doubt that China's environmental policy plays a critical role in the future of the world, the misleading scenario of China's growth continuing at the same rate for decades is clearly impossible. It is no more possible for China than it was for Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, or the United States.
Sooner or later, the growth plateaus. In fact, the growth of China's economy is already slowing down, with skyrocketing inflation. The cost of doing business in China is shooting up, with its once seemingly limitless supply of labor running short.
True democracy is secular
Regarding your Feb. 21 editorial, "Pakistan's democracy difference": We in the US must stop being so naive about the nature of democracy. Pakistan has every right to freedom and democracy, but putting a ballot in a box is not a democracy.
Without secular institutions, a population wherein the majority of citizens are educated, and separation of religion and state, there will never be a stable democracy.
Superdelegates' damaging potential
Regarding the Feb. 20 article, "Backlash to superdelegates' role in picking nominee": I think it's important to recognize Barack Obama's strong support among young people, especially among 18- to 30-year-olds, and the fact that this constituency is turning out in record numbers to caucus and vote.
Should Senator Obama succeed in getting the majority of "regular" delegates, which looks increasingly likely, but have his nomination "overturned" at the convention by superdelegates' votes, the Democratic Party could conceivably be damaged for a generation. His disaffected young supporters may seek to throw their support elsewhere (that is, to some other party), or worse, leave politics altogether.
I think the superdelegates, being party leaders and officeholders, should carefully think about the long-term consequences of their respective decisions.
In response to the recent article on superdelegates: In Washington State, we were sent our newsprint voter information booklets and then our envelopes for voting by mail. I voted, put on my stamp, and mailed it.
To my shock the Republican Party will use only half of the votes to decide delegates, and pick the rest at caucus. The Democratic Party uses none of the votes for delegates.
This is every bit as distasteful as the idea of superdelegates, and it makes a mockery of democracy.
Moses Lake, Wash.
Wikileaks is still online
Regarding the Feb. 22 article, "Shuttering of website raises free speech concerns": The Wikilieaks site was not "closed" as asserted in the article, and disabling the Web domain "wikileaks.org" does not result in that site being "shut down" as stated elsewhere in the article. The Wikileaks media resource is still going strong at http://18.104.22.168/wiki/Wikileaks.
Stephen M. Couchman
The success of Blu-ray signals format update
Regarding the Feb. 24 article, "Why Blu-ray's victory might not matter for long": I'm glad that the format war is over. I plan on buying a player as soon as the prices start falling sometime this year. I don't think that this digital download stuff will matter. Broadband is fast but it's not that fast.
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