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Hog-dog fights aren’t entertaining but cruel

Re the March 20 article, “Bill aims to stop blood sport of ‘hog-dog’ fighting in Arizona”:

Kudos to state officials for moving to outlaw cruel hog-dog fights. Hog-dog fights are bloody spectacles in which dogs are unleashed upon a single pig with the intent to attack – often until the pig’s ears are ripped, his nose torn, testicles bitten, scrotum ruptured and he is covered with gaping wounds.

These poor animals have no chance of escape and, since their tusks are often removed to prevent injury to the dogs, have no way to defend themselves.

The most common – and exceedingly painful – method of removing the tusks is placing a steel pipe over them and snapping them off. The hogs are used in trial after trial, often to the point of exhaustion or death.

These horrendously cruel events have no place in a civilized society.

Jennifer O’Connor

Animals in Entertainment Campaign writer

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, Va.

Size, speed count in effective stimulus

James Surowiecki, in a Jan. 20 contribution to The New Yorker, echoed the comments of most financial writers when he said, “Skeptics . . . worry that most people will save the (stimulus) rebate rather than spend it.”

Pundits generally assume saved money disappears down a black hole, while spent money stimulates the economy. The irony is, these same pundits decry America’s low saving rate and say excess spending causes our problems. You simply can’t please some people.

Aside from burying money in your backyard, there are only three things you can do with it: invest it, spend it or save it.

To invest, you transfer money from your bank account to someone else’s bank account. Buy stock, bonds or real estate, and you’ll send money to the person or institution who previously owned the stock, bonds or real estate. Then, that person or institution will invest, spend or save the money.

To spend, you transfer money from your bank account to the bank account of the person or institution from which you make the purchase.

To save, you transfer money from your bank account to the savings institution, which may or may not be your bank. Then that institution will invest, usually by lending, or spend or save the money.

Everyone who receives money immediately transfers it from their bank account to someone else’s bank account. Even money held in your own bank savings account does not sit still. It is transferred without your permission. Your bank lends it to borrowers, who then invest, spend or save it.

In short, money never stands still. It continuously moves from one bank account to another. Whether a stimulus plan encourages investing, spending or saving, the result will be the same.

So, what distinguishes an effective from an ineffective stimulus package? Mostly size and speed. The more money pumped into the economy and the faster it’s pumped, the more effective the package.

Each hour lost in useless congressional debate, more people are injured and the economy starves. To cure financial starvation, we must feed the economy money now.

To debate spending vs. saving is like debating whether to eat soup from the left side of the bowl or from the right.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Wilmette, Ill.

Good end can’t stem from evil means

I am disappointed with President Obama’s decision to rescind the Bush administration’s strict limits on human embryonic stem cell research.

Obama confuses scientific integrity with Frankenstein science. Human welfare does not demand that scientists pursue every avenue available. On the contrary, it depends upon a shared responsibility that involves moral limits.

Science has confirmed with objective certainty that full human life begins at conception with the formation of a genetically complete, self-directing human entity – the embryo. Life does not result from an organism when it has been built up, but rather it is the vital principle of life that builds up the organism of its own body. This was established 120 years ago by Wilhelm His, the father of human embryology.

From this starting point, the human life history unfolds as a continuum: embryo-fetus-baby-child-adult-elderly person and ending in death. Each point on the continuum is fully human with the full human properties appropriate to its stage of development.

Embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of living human embryos. This amounts to the direct and intentional killing of human beings.

Human beings are not raw materials that can be exploited or commodities that can be bought and sold. We must help those who are suffering, but we may not use a good end to justify an evil means.

Paul Kokoski

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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