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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Letters | Dog story unbalanced
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Wednesday, November 23,2011

Letters | Dog story unbalanced

Correction and clarification:

The “Politics of pills” story (Nov. 17) stated that the “gray market’s inflated pricing costs the health care industry approximately $213 million a year.” The actual figure should have read $200 million a year.

And as a point of clarification at the company’s request, the Premier Healthcare Alliance report that documented the drug offers of 18 gray market vendors did not identify any of those 18 gray market vendors, and Premier has not publicly released the names of any of said gray market vendors subsequent to the publishing of the report.

Dog story unbalanced

Your recent “Surviving shelters” story (cover story, Nov. 10) was unbalanced at best. At worst, it undermines the positive outcome that results when animal shelters and rescue organizations work together. There are many approaches to saving the lives of animals whose relationships with their guardians have been severed for one reason or another. Each animal welfare organization plays a role in the ultimate goal — finding loving homes for as many adoptable animals as possible.

The Humane Society of Boulder Valley is an open admission shelter, accepting every animal who comes through our front door. The partnerships we have with other groups and organizations give us options and additional resources as we make individualized plans for each of the 9,000 animals we serve annually. The expertise and dedication we have in our team of staff and volunteers — combined with these partnerships and the strong support of our community — have enabled us to save more lives each and every year and reach the incredible milestone of a 92 percent live release rate.

Your article focused on a very limited number of animals and organizations, ignoring the scope of our collaborative relationships. Dozens of shelters, rescue groups and other organizations rely on services we provide, from transferring animals to behavior modification to medical support for thousands of animals at risk and in need.

The resulting article, with its narrow perspective, negatively portrays the important work that our dedicated veterinarians, animal behaviorists and trainers, shelter staff and more than 600 volunteers undertake to save as many animals as possible.

Animal welfare groups and rescues collaborate because we share the same goal — to save the lives of as many homeless, abandoned and abused animals as possible.

Lisa Pedersen, CEO/Humane Society of Boulder Valley

Danish and GMOs

(Re: "Anti-GMO activism is evil," Danish Plan, Nov. 17) Paul, your rambling tirade against the citizens of Boulder County who refuse to allow GMOs to be grown on their land is one of the more miserable excuses for a compelling argument I’ve ever read.

Not only do you downplay the plethora and depth of scientific, peer-reviewed articles and studies that show GMOs not to be safe, but you condescend those that have done such research as Luddites, emotional and “evil” reactionaries sadistically intent on starving the developing world.

Do your research, and you’ll find that organic, permaculture and other more naturally harmonious agricultural practices offer far higher yield than GMOs have ever offered, all without the corporate debt, weed and pest problems, and litigation potential associated with, indeed ingrained in, the GMO farming model.

Do some more research and you’ll find that the Third World starves because of lack of access to, not shortage of, food. So, before pontificating in such an outrageously ignorant and offensive manner, you should at least come up to par with the informed folks who care enough about their communities and the integrity of their food to put up a fight against the intrusion of wind- and pollen-carried patent infringements waiting to happen, courtesy of the company that brought you Agent Orange and DDT.

Your hateful judgmentality is truly astounding, but I can’t return your disdain in good faith. Rather, I mourn for the intellectual potential you’ve squandered in your arrogant rant against the very people that care enough to overcome passive acceptance of government- and corporate-sponsored propaganda you’ve mindlessly accepted yourself. Paul, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Stephon Smith/Boulder

Paul Danish has had the courage to put in print his understanding of the position taken by the anti-GMO lobby and has explained his reasoning very well; so well, in fact, that I hope that at least some readers will amend their opinions of plant biotechnology and start to appreciate that the adoption of this science has a great deal to offer the world and very little to threaten it.

Just suppose we had already adopted genetic modification as an established method of plant breeding and then someone somewhere suggested that we should use mutagenesis instead. The rational thinker would, I am sure, be horrified, and there is at least some evidence (although not much) to suggest that mutagenesis can be harmful. Whoever you are, Mr. Danish, I congratulate you on both your courage and understanding of this subject and I hope that other publications have the backbone to publish this article and others on this theme. You have grasped the main issues well and then explained them clearly and in a very readable way.

J.A. Harrington, Optima Excel/Wales, United Kingdom

Honestly, does Paul Danish think that people actually see his op-ed articles as anything but the off-the-wall rantings of a disgruntled white American male despot?

Surely Mr. Danish can’t believe that his thinly woven web of cherry-picked statistical info and rhetorical opinions actually matter. Perhaps, were his ideas not dangerously touted as approximations of the “truth,” Boulder Weekly should run his articles as comedy/humor.

In the closing remarks of his latest “fart in the wind” meanderings, Mr. Danish states: “I don’t find tampering with the world’s ability to feed itself for political gain a very moral undertaking.” Perhaps Mr. Danish should consider applying this opinion to the WTO or tell that to farmers who have been prosecuted by Monsanto for patent infringement when their fields grew proprietary strains of canola that volunteered in their fields due to cross-pollination, etc. Indeed, one could quite easily apply the aforementioned statement to Mr. Danish’s own behavior, because in an objective sense, by voicing his opinion, isn’t Mr. Danish engaging in his own form of “tampering for political gain”? Perhaps Mr. Danish should have said “political gain that subverts my own personal opinion”?

This D-minus journalism wouldn’t pass muster in a freshman year college term paper, so why does it fly in the real world? Does the Boulder Weekly simply publish Mr. Danish so as to ensure a healthy batch of editorial comments for the next issue?

Mr. Danish would do well to think more objectively about his “opinions” before his moribund world-views embarrass him even further; I’d be laughing if his angle wasn’t so scary.

Richard Saunders/Boulder

Danish replies

In a letter to the Boulder Weekly regarding my Nov. 3 column “Cain’s manager inhales”, J. Adams writes: “When Paul Danish refers to Herman Cain’s future search for ‘all sorts of unexpected and ignored constituencies’ that, like the Smoker’s Block he’s presumably won over, will Cain be going after the Union of Concerned Alcoholics? The Serial Groper Community? The Cannibals Bund? Or even the extremely closeted Eaters of Belly Button Lint (and you know who you are)?”

I would have referred to “Smoker’s Block” as “Smokers’ Bloc,” but then everyone is entitled to a Rick Perry moment.

Eighteen- to 29-year-olds are Obama’s strongest constituency, and he has consistently ridiculed them and given them the back of his hand for even raising the pot legalization issue — despite the fact that it is the issue that they have most wanted him to address whenever he has asked Americans to tell the White House what issues they want him to speak to.

Now what if Herman Cain (or any other Republican candidate, for that matter), were to say, “About this marijuana legalization thing — I think the federal government should leave the issue of legalization up to the states”? (This would be similar to how the 21st Amendment ended Prohibition; it made booze a state issue.) If a Republican were to do that, I think it would be like Nixon going to China — and I think we could well see that 18-29 demographic fracture and a substantial part of it drain out of Obama’s base. Especially since Obama gets in touch with his inner nanny statist whenever the issue of pot comes up. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, buster.

Adams also writes: “Who will stand up for the willfully ignorant? It will certainly not be the egg-headed do-gooder liberal elite.”

Come on, man! The Occupy Wall Street movement is hands down the most inchoate and willfully ignorant political movement to appear in my lifetime — and “the egg-headed, do-gooder liberal elite” (his phrase, not mine) are its loudest cheerleaders.

Paul Danish/Longmont

Old people having sex

Regarding Jenni Skyler’s response to “Sex in Assisted Living Homes” (“Amorous Aging,” Sophisticated Sex, Nov. 17). People in assisted living homes are not in prison. Moreover, they are adults who do not need permission. My hope is that the worker and her boss provided the couple with privacy and supplies for safe sex.

Joan Campbell/via Internet

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