ANIMALS DIE, BUT THE FLU LIVES ON
I would like to commend you for publishing Philip Dawdy's expos頯f Dr. Stephen Kelley, UW's chief veterinarian for its primate research center ["The Stephen Kelley Affair," June 20]. Dawdy provided a balanced view of the local campaign to have Kelley fired and highlighted several of the reasons (neglect, mismanagement, etc.) why he was forced to resign from the Oregon primate research center. [Eds. note: Although Kelley resigned amid controversy, there is no evidence that he was forced to do so.]
As an organizer for the Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN), a group mentioned in the article, I imagine Dawdy would consider me among the ranks of activists resorting to "fist-in-the-air emotionalism" when it comes to animal testing. While I admit to being emotionally affected by experiments that involve, for instance, addicting rats to heroin or nail-gunning chimpanzees to two-by-fours, the scientific validity of animal testing warrants more discussion than what was provided in the article.
Every year, 20 million to 70 million animals die in U.S. laboratories (the estimated range is so wide because—as Dawdy pointed out—rats, mice, and birds are not included in laboratory animal oversight under the Animal Welfare Act, so accurate numbers are not kept). Despite all of this use of animals for science, my grandfather still succumbed to brain cancer several years ago; 3 million people still died of AIDS in 2001; and for some reason I still seem to get the flu every year.
The point is that tens of millions of animals are tortured and killed in U.S. labs every year for what amounts to no practical gain for humans. Even a casual look at the facts will show that nonhuman animals are NOT scientifically valid analogs for human physiology, and any results from testing on animals are laden with enough caveats to render them useless. In addition to focusing on getting Kelley fired, NARN's role is to ask these difficult questions about the validity and morality of animal experimentation at UW.
Co-Coordinator, Northwest Animal Rights Network
LET FREEDOM RING . . . AN ALARM
Geov Parrish is on the money with his assessment of the apparent suspension of American citizens' civil rights ["Comrade John," June 20]. As a former member of the military, I find it especially alarming that our armed forces are being used not to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America," as all members of the military swear to do by oath, but to inhibit the right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure that all Americans (regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religion) are guaranteed by that self-same Constitution. It's a slippery slope we're on now, and the thing that frightens me most is that we, as Americans, are just letting it happen. As the old saw goes, people who are willing to give up freedom for the sake of security deserve neither.
SPORTS EQUITY STRIKES OUT
In the June 20 News Clips ["Separate, Not Equal"], Matt Villano calls for "equal salaries, equal marketing, equal treatment—female athletes should stop at nothing less, because they deserve it all." Earlier he points out that the average yearly salary in the NBA is 100 times that in the WNBA. But he doesn't explore why this is the case, merely comparing it to modern-day racial segregation.
The players are paid what they are paid based on the revenue they generate. Multiply the WNBA salaries by 100 and the league will lose money, if it isn't doing so already. Or is the increase in women's salaries supposed to come from a pay cut for NBA players?
WNBA players will make as much as their NBA counterparts when they generate the same level of profit for their teams, i.e., when women's professional basketball equals men's professional basketball in popularity. Equal popularity is not something anybody deserves as an entitlement—it must be worked for, and if the people don't like something, they don't like something. "Equal marketing" won't produce equal results; and even if it did, where would the money come from?
This is not to say that there is no sexism in the world of sports, but calling for salary equality is ridiculous. Unfortunately people are paid what they are worth in the marketplace, not what they may be worth intrinsically. Hence no kindergarten teacher makes $100,000 a year, and hence no WNBA player makes $4.5 million a year. To change that, you'd have to change our entire economic system. Is that what Villano means by "equal salaries . . . equal treatment"?
A READER WITH A VIEW
How is it that this long-winded travelogue is able to pass itself off as a restaurant review ["Small-Town Hero," June 20]? Seven of the article's nine paragraphs are rambling, clich餠reflections on the "fabled little town" of Snoqualmie. I learn nothing from this, apart from the writer's (who is no "reviewer") pathetic need to impress with her hackneyed cinematic references ("Merchant-Ivory profusion of wildflowers and blossoming trees") and historical allusions ("rusting elephants of the Industrial Age"). This reads like a misty-eyed adolescent girl's voice-over in a Merchant-Ivory production of a Forster novel. Whoops. You get my point. Why not assign restaurant reviews to someone who knows about food? Or better yet, to someone who knows about food and is able to write about it?
I CAN'T TAKE THE BUS ON 405
I just wanted to let you know that taking the bus is NOT a viable alternative to driving I-405 [Road Hog(wash),"I Can't Drive 405," June 13]. I wish it were, because I would much prefer to catch up on my reading, compose e-mail on my Palm, or finish my cross-stitch to driving an hour each morning and evening.
I live in Bothell and now work in Factoria, since my company moved here from downtown about six months ago. Unlike the truly superior bus service provided by Community Transit between Canyon Park Park & Ride and downtown, King County Transit provides no good way to get from Bothell to Factoria. I'd have to take two buses to get there (as opposed to one bus to get downtown); I would have only one a.m and one p.m. departure time (as opposed to the almost every-30-minutes service to downtown and back); and the ride would be longer than the drive, because the "highway" buses King County Transit runs down 405 stop so frequently (as opposed to the pleasant trip down the express lanes to downtown).
Community Transit's offerings met my typical 10- to 12-hour workday needs. King County Transit doesn't, and with such a schedule it is difficult to carpool. With large companies such as VoiceStream, Expedia, Verizon, and Earthlink here in the Factoria area, it surprises me that the bus service isn't better. As soon as it is, I'll be on the bus!
NO PIPE, BUT WE FOUND OTHER COOL STUFF
Thanks to Geov Parrish's impeccable logic in "More Pavement" [Road Hog(wash), June 13], I think I finally get it: The idling cars that are a direct consequence of sprawl cause more global warming emissions than sprawl, and therefore we should build more roads and more sprawl.Or maybe someone should be checking Parrish's desk for a crack pipe.
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