Letters to the Editor: June 19, 2013

Letters to the Editor: June 19, 2013

Tip Away!

I absolutely believe that tipping your wine host or hostess is appropriate (“Tipsy Turvy,” June 12). Having worked in the industry, I know that the hardworking folks with smiles, knowledge and a bottle in their hand are doing everything to get you as excited about the wines as they are—for $12 an hour. One would be foolish to not recognize that an average Denny’s employee is likely bringing in more income (not to denigrate Denny’s employees, by any means). If a wine steward gets you feeling the rush of history, fruit and the passion going into a wine that demands you have some for yourself, reciprocation is in order. No question.

Via online

Standing with Snowden

I stand with Edward Snowden. And I stand with Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, Daniel Ellsberg, John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake, Chris Pyle and all those whose moral conscience will not rest until they expose the illegalities and immoralities they have witnessed. Thank you, Bohemian, for so promptly publishing Norman Solomon and Tom Tomorrow’s important commentaries on this latest outrage.

Wake up, America! Everyone’s calls and letters are of utmost importance now. Protest loudly and encourage each other to reject this latest revelation of the U.S. government’s atrocious scandal. If we do not stand with Edward Snowden now (and the others), then we are agreeing to the new rules of the game, where We the People freely give away our (constitutional) rights for the sake of . . . what? Security from terror? Lucrative profits for the weapons/surveillance/prison complex?

Recent Gallup, CBS and FOX polls show 40 percent of Americans are comfortable with this revelation of extensive surveillance on law-abiding citizens. When their friends and acquaintances are arrested, indicted and imprisoned for assumed terrorist ideas based on accumulated data from their lives, maybe they will wake up.

Remember that prescient saying attributed to German pastor and theologian Martin Niemöller (1892–1984): “When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.”

Santa Rosa

Eartags Anonymous

I was excited—and oh so hopeful—as I read the caption to the “Cows-A-Blanca” photo (Table of Contents, May 15) and actually thought it was heading toward something like this: “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life: we’ll never have cows wearing eartags that reduce them to a number, replacing their sentience, to numb our awareness of murdering living, breathing beings for a plate of food . . .” but—oops—I misread. Silly me.

Santa Rosa

No Apologies

As celebrities like Tom Cruise and Hugh Jackman celebrated Walmart at its annual meeting, workers and activists converged to demand sweeping changes at the company’s U.S. stores and global factories. Around a hundred striking workers with the group OUR Walmart arrived in a caravan from across the country to protest what they allege to be retaliation against those seeking to change company practices on wages, safety and unions.

Walmart is one of only a few major retailers that has refused to sign on to the new safety standards after the latest Dhaka tragedy. The Tazreen Fashion fire in 2012 killed 117 workers and left hundreds injured, and the recent building collapse in Rana Plaza killed 1,127 and left more than 600 or 700 injured. And at that shareholder meeting, no one gave any condolence to those families.

Palo Alto

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