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Archive for Friday, January 16, 2009

Cruel choice

January 16, 2009

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To the editor:

Thank you for printing a recent letter outlining PETA’s plan to offer discarded fur coats and hot cocoa at Washington, D.C., homeless shelters during the inauguration celebration. Apparently the coats will be marked to discourage resale, and the cups will bear a PETA slogan.

The letter’s author strongly expressed his disapproval that PETA would “take advantage of other human beings” in this way to publicize their desire to end needless suffering.

I agree that it is not entirely magnanimous of PETA to offer individuals in need of a coat the cruel practical choice between no coat and one that a compassionate person would not wish to wear. At least in marking the furs, PETA is also offering each of them the opportunity to identify themselves as someone who can’t afford to choose, rather than as someone who could and did.

But in fact, PETA has unwanted coats, and there are people who need coats. In a more ideal world, they would give them quietly, without fanfare. In a truly ideal world, neither PETA nor fur coats would exist, because everyone’s heart would already be open, not only to “other human beings” but to life in all its forms.

Meanwhile, my hope is that as individuals, a community, and a nation we can all find inspiration in this inauguration and in the future to focus less on our differences and more on our similarities, and to give generously of what we have to those who may have need of it.

N. Dangerfield,
Lawrence

Comments

uhadmeatsmellthis 5 years, 3 months ago

And now the cruelty of geese being slaughtered by jets. Cruel!

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Joe Hyde 5 years, 3 months ago

Question about fur coats:Is a standard fur used in their construction? Or maybe I should ask, is there a particular type of animal pelt that is favored by the garment industry for making most of the fur coats? (Examples: mink, raccoon, chinchilla, fox, etc.)

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

LOLgnome: Easy to bury a fictitious hatchet. I was only holding a catfish."I gotta see a man about a fish ..."sorry, couldn't resist that one. you know, how do the PETA people feel about all the slain electrons involved in posting this thread? what about the agony they suffered? then, the slain electrons in internetting and reading them? oh, the humanity!

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

I prefer dove also. It tastes like chicken. Just don't tell the PETA people

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jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

only when you train it, however

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jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

gnome: Easy to bury a fictitious hatchet. I was only holding a catfish. informed: I prefer the dove. You can chuck it at people from greater range.

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

word is that PETA is organizing to oppose the training and work of dog guides for the blind! this, at least, in California. insanity!***well, Jonas and Informed have burried the hatchet. glad that could be settled peacefully.

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Mixolydian 5 years, 3 months ago

Obama can learn a thing or two from the last truly great democrat president. In 1944, due to the ongoing war and economic situation of the nation, FDR canceled any parades and had a small ceremony at the White House, giving the shortest inaugural speech in history. He later served cold chicken sald sandwiches and pound cake to the media. That was it.

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Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

Someone mentioned black exploitation movies from the seventies. The remark in The Swamp about pimps was in reference to that. We of different generations have different experiences. You would have to see one of the movies to understand. At the time they thought they looked so cool. But, then so did I in my wide, wide, bell bottoms that I was so proud of.

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denak 5 years, 3 months ago

PETA isn't doing anything that a hundred other companies and lobbies are going to be doing in the next week. There isn't one organization/company that isn't going to be giving out freebies and promotional items.At least, PETA is doing something that will directly benefit another human being. If I were homeless, I'd take a coat and a free cup of hot choclate over a baseball cap or a pen anyday.Dena

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jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

informed: Chill, man, please. Apparently my post sounded more curt than intended, and I wasn't particularly referencing you in that last cut against above posters, or I would have said so. My last post was intended to supply context in regards to the poster that you were criticizing, not necessarily to criticize your stance on spending. I'll, however, save the jabs at your reading comprehension, at least for the time being. I do, however, suggest you consider this post and perhaps read the previous one in the new context that I've hopefully provided for you.

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Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

kmat I just forgot to put the end quotes on. The pimp remark is from The Swamp, not me. I thought it was funny so I put it in with the other material.My bad!I will imagine you giving me a slap on the hand with a ruler.:-)

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

Yo, jonas, are you reading impaired?? I'll type this real slowly so you can understand: I never said Obama was spending a large chunk of my tax money on his flipping inauguration. I never said he was wrong (about the inauguration).And, apparently you completely missed the point on my repeated postings on voting 'no' on the two (really, three) recent tax issues. My point, as I mentioned on more than one occasion, is that we have a city commission who was unwilling AND unable to take a realistic look at our public transportation system and our budget at the same time. They were, and still are, unwilling to live within their means and make the appropriate cuts before looking at tax increases. It's basic economics, but, alas, you seem to also have been asleep when that was taught in high school.I may disagree with you on these things, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate your input on this site!Regards!

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jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

Well, informed, then I think you might have missed the point. The poster, as near as I can tell, brought up Super Bowl advertising spending as a direct comparison precisely because of what you said, that it's their money to do with as they wish. If the Inauguration Ball is paid for with donations from private donors, who also had the choice to do with their money what they wish, and they gave it to Obama for his campaign or his inauguration, then it's a double-standard to claim that somehow he is in the wrong for spending the money he was voluntarily given. So, if you want to prove that he is spending a large amound of our tax dollars for this, then you'd have a point. To blindly say that he's in the wrong, as some here are wont to do, frequently, with no supporting thought or evidence, that's something else entirely, wouldn't you say?And yes, I'm afraid that your repeated posting of votenovoteearlyvoteoften on any subject related to taxes had already clued me in to your political leanings, so consider me, well, informed on the subject.

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kmat 5 years, 3 months ago

Cleopatra - if someone is homeless and has no coat, do you think their main concern is looking like a pimp? I am a huge animal rights person, but 99% of the time disagree with PETA. This is one thing they do I can support. The people that donated these coats weren't going to wear them. Homeless people need coats. I hate fur, but it is warm. So, someone that needs a coat is getting a warm coat and it is helping to spread the word that fur coats are bad.So, you're concern is that they now look like pimps???

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Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

Okay, people, you just totaly ignored my question about where PETA managed to come up with their coats. So I had to look it up myself. Are you happy now.Well, those who can afford to buy fur coats and who have had a conscious attack have donated their coats to PETA who has been collecting them for just such a moment as the inaguation.From The Swamp: Tribune'sWashington Bureau http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/PETA plans to give away fur coats to the homeless while offering hot soy milk cocoa in cups that read: "Thank You for Not Wearing Fur!" "We expect that the only fur on the streets on Jan. 20 will be on homeless people," said Bruce Friedrich, PETA vice president.So what do you think? Is this the best way for PETA to help the homeless?Of course a fur coat is plenty warm, but if you ask me, living on the street is bad enough without having to look like a pimp.

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

No, jonas, I don't know how much, if any, taxpayer money goes to the inauguration. But, I don't have a problem with a 'small' amount going to it. (BTW, for those who care, I am a very conservative republican and did NOT vote for our president-elect.)My comments have been pointed at those who seem to think that private individuals or businesses should not be able to spend THEIR money in seemingly lavish ways, if that is how they choose. Here is the bottom line: if it is their money, they are free to spend it how they wish, within the confines of the law. If they want to spend tons of cash on advertising during the Super Bowl because they are interested in increasing their product placement, then go ahead.

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kmat 5 years, 3 months ago

Ok you righties that are looking for anything to slam Obama on.The inauguration celebrations are paid in full by donors. Unlike his predecessors, Obama is not keeping them private. Anyone contributing over $200 to his inauguration will be in a report to be released. This is the first time ever that the donors are being released to the public. See, Obama said he would bring change and openess and oh my god he's doing it.So, why wouldn't Bush release who funded his parties???"In keeping with President-elect Obama’s commitment to changing the way business is done in Washington, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is taking unprecedented steps to insure transparency in the public reporting of donors to a Presidential Inaugural Committee. This chart will allow you to view, sort, and search virtually real-time information on all donors contributing over $200 to the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee.Unlike previous inaugural committees, the 2009 PIC does not accept contributions from corporations, political action committees, labor unions, current federally-registered lobbyists, non-U.S. citizens and registered foreign agents and does not accept individual contributions in excess of $50,000."http://www.pic2009.org/page/content/donors/

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Pywacket 5 years, 3 months ago

The hypocrites are out in full force today. I'm sure that the lavish inauguration celebrations of, say, Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II (and every other Republican) took place at times in history when no one was homeless, everyone received good healthcare and education, everyone had a wildly lucrative job, and there was no hunger, poverty, cruelty, or injustice anywhere on the planet. The money they spent was utterly justified, since it otherwise would have just been burned, since it was just a big pile of surplus cash.... Likewise, if McSame and the half-baked Alaskan were being sworn in, I know damn well we wouldn't hear a peep out of the right wingers about inaugural expenditures. As for the story that prompted this LTE, look up "hypocrite" in the dictionary and you'll see PETA's logo--right next to the faces of XD40, Marion, etc. Assclowns.. My criticism is not directed at people like Appleaday, whose questioning of lavish spending is nonpartisan, and thus fair, although I do think it is unrealistic to complain about inaugural festivities when there is a yawning chasm of government waste in just about every other direction you care to look. The trillions we'll end up spending in Iraq alone could've provided the bedrock for a comprehensive healthcare program for all Americans and an intensive housing and job-training program for the homeless. And if Jonas is correct that the parties are funded only by donations, it's a moot point anyway.

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jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

informed: Then, out of curiosity, do you have any idea how much tax-money is going to the inauguration? I've heard that it's being funded entirely by donations, but I can't say that as absolute truth.

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

Yes, meggers, DONORS to the inaugural festivities are just fine. However, it should be important that we, as taxpayers, don't end up paying a disproportionate amount for any inauguration. I don't think it is unreasonable for the taxpayers to pick up some of the cost, but as we trend to bigger and better, gotta outdo and outspend the previous administration, for our celebration, then that is just wrong.

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Chris Ogle 5 years, 3 months ago

And they've scrambled to think up new ways to deal with the insatiable appetite of wealthy supporters not just to attend but to buy themselves VIP status.just think.... a little paint would change everything

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logicsound04 5 years, 3 months ago

PETA and Ingrid Newkirk are quacks.Here is a real (and reasonable) animal advocacy group--one that understands that keeping an animal as a pet is not "cruel":www.aspca.org

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meggers 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree, Informed. Just like donors to the inaugural festivities are free to spend their money as they wish. If XD40 wants to send his money to Africa or elsewhere instead of donating to the inauguration, that's his business, too.

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

But if a company chooses to spend their money, whether extravagantly or not, that is their business.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with the author on one account - In a truly ideal world, PETA would not exist.

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appleaday 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm saying that all extravagant spending could be thought of as wasteful when there are so many people who need basics. I'm not taking any sides.

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Luxor 5 years, 3 months ago

How much did Laura Bush spend on the White House china?

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Corporate welfare to corporate america = socialism extreme =not productive use of tax dollars.Fur coats = warmth in washington d.c. Perhaps the coats were marked to prevent selling in order that the homeless would keep on wearing them instead of selling them for alcoholic beverages or other drugs.

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Tom Miller 5 years, 3 months ago

PETA is a vastly hypocritical organization. The duality of their positions, and their presentations thereof, make me sorta crazy, sometimes.and btw, howdy all...been "elsewhere" for a while, livin' in a place called "Cognito", and as always, it's good to see, read, agree with, and enjoy Marions' and Blue73s' perspectives. In my absence, I KNOW ya'll have it under some bit of control!!!

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Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

How did Peta come by all those fur coats? According to the paper there are around 6,000 homeless in Washington D.C. Do the math. Let's see now, they don't wear fur, they don't know the kind of people who wear fur, yet they managed to get their hands on a truckload of fur coats. I want to know how they pulled that off when professional organizations that help the homeless can't provide them with wool coats.

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Norma Jeane Baker 5 years, 3 months ago

So, are you proposing how companies should spend THEIR money, appleaday? Perhaps communism or socialism are systems more to your liking.

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jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

appleaday: Careful, for the next 4 years at least, Super Bowl Adverstising will also be the fault of Barack Obama, just like everything else, except of course for anything that actually works out, which is because of Bush.

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appleaday 5 years, 3 months ago

I think it is shameful the amount of money spent on, say, Super Bowl advertising. Is that really necessary? There is a lot of money spent lavishly that is all wasted and excessive when you think of ways it could be better used.

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blue73harley 5 years, 3 months ago

Could I have a slab of ribs with my mink coat please?

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Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

I saw the headline & thought this was a story about Joe Biden. Never mind.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 3 months ago

XD40 (Anonymous) says… I think that it is disgraceful that Obama is spending in excess of $150 million on his inauguration. Think how much better that money could be spent on aiding the poor and homeless. Or, providing for the relief of malaria in Africa. What about providing his half brother with decent shelter? This is shameful, wasteful spending."Marion writes;What you said!

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XD40 5 years, 3 months ago

I think that it is disgraceful that Obama is spending in excess of $150 million on his inauguration. Think how much better that money could be spent on aiding the poor and homeless. Or, providing for the relief of malaria in Africa. What about providing his half brother with decent shelter? This is shameful, wasteful spending.

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