The CityBeat guide was clear and to the point, and I appreciate the in-depth detail on the issues.
It's the definitive guide to the elections this year, and I can only hope that you will have the same thing next year.
-- Paul Christodoulou, Fairfield
Hope for a Better America
Hear hear! What a fine editorial piece by Katie Laur ("Confessions of a Yellow-Dog Democrat," issue of Nov. 1). It was refreshing to read about the promise the Democratic Party has for all Americans.
The current state of affairs in our party is sad, no doubt, but I must continue to believe that things will turn around for both our country and our party. Thanks to Katie for sharing her poignant hope for a better America.
-- Aylee Fogel, Cincinnati
Hits and Myths
In the news article "The Myth of Your Rights" (issue of Nov. 1), I found Gregory Flannery's distortion of what the First Amendment actually states deplorable. I would think that, since he's a writer, doing research into anything he publishes would be standard.
First, it would be prudent to point out that the First Amendment gives you the freedom of press and the freedom from abridgment. It gives you the right to voice your opinion, but not the right to be heard. The United States does respect the right to freedom of the press, contrary to what Flannery claims -- otherwise his criticism in CityBeat would have been censored, which it wasn't.
Additionally, the right to assemble peacefully -- or, as Flannery put it, protest -- is guaranteed. Yet it doesn't mean that you can assemble anywhere you like.
Flannery's protester friends weren't stopped from assembling, as he pointed out. They simply had to assemble a block away from where Vice President Cheney was speaking. Flannery was stopped from assembling in an area that was considered a security risk.
Additionally, there are rights to using public sidewalks for walking. I actually looked, and I would like to see a citing in the local law that says you have the right to protest on city sidewalks. So when Flannery stepped onto the sidewalk, which is owned and maintained by the city, the law official was completely in his right to ask him to move and use force or arrest if necessary, given the circumstances.
Being a "working member of the press" doesn't mean you're above the law.
Finally, on a tangent, I found Flannery's tone of attitude toward guns quite condescending. People with guns protect his First Amendment and all other rights, be they a police officer or a member of the military. I find it ironic that members of the press are so quick to protect the First Amendment but act as if the Second Amendment isn't even real.
--Brian Robin firstname.lastname@example.org
Hats off to Bob
Before any makeup had been applied and with her hair standing on end, I heard loud laughter followed by "Oh ... my ... God" followed by "Oh ... my ... God" followed by "Oh, my ... this is funny." Sitting across the breakfast table from my "sweet babboo" isn't always such a joyous occasion, particularly in the morning before coffee, but this morning she was reading Bob Woodwiss' latest column ("Boo[bs]!," issue of Oct. 25).
My hats off to Bob for his clarity of vision, a way with words and sense of humor. The man can write!
Thanks, Bob. And, yes, I've read the column. Yes, you are funny. But can you cook?
-- Randy Dieter, Westwood
Projected Seafood Decline Stinks
A four-year study by an international group of ecologists and economists published in the journal Science warns that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if declines in marine species continue at their current rates. The declines are due primarily to overfishing and pollution of coastal areas by waste from factory farms.
The global economic impact is staggering. The fishing industry generates $80 billion a year, 200 million people depend on it for income and a billion people rely on it for protein. Decline in fish population is also associated with loss of marine biodiversity, blooms of potentially harmful algae, beach closures and coastal flooding.
As the world's human population grows exponentially, the only viable long-term solution is to rely increasingly on grains, legumes and nuts as our sources of protein. Unlike fish and other marine organisms, these protein-rich foods do not mess up our fragile ecosystem, they're not laden with mercury, pesticides and nasty pathogens, they don't require refrigeration and they don't smell to high heaven.
Did I mention that this major global food policy decision starts with our next trip to the supermarket?
-- Ted Martindale, Clifton Heights