The Tourism Trap
Regarding your recent cover story on the proposed casino for Springfield (“MGM: Vision or Mirage?”, July 11, 2013): I think that we are very late to this party. Many years ago I read a book by a nationally known urban planner, Jane Jacobs. She said that you do not revitalize a city by building things for tourists. You do it for your residents first.
Zimmerman Was the Perpetrator
The one who had a right to evoke Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law was Trayvon Martin, not George Zimmerman. Despite the fact that Zimmerman was ordered by police not to proceed, he stalked an unarmed black teenager with his car and then on foot. But the difference was that Zimmerman had a gun.
According to Jelani Cobb, director of the Institute of African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut, who had been covering the trial for TheNewYorker.com, Zimmerman had stalked 46 others in the past during his so-called Neighborhood Watch patrols. Each person he stalked was also black. Zimmerman’s concern for blacks walking in his neighborhood persisted despite the fact that 20 percent of residents in that gated community were black, so the sight of a black person in the neighborhood should not have been a cause for concern.
As Zimmerman stalked Trayvon that night, the teen was justified in feeling his life was threatened. It was Trayvon who had a right to defend himself, and he did so, man to man. It was George Zimmerman who created the confrontation with the confidence that he could shoot to kill, if need be. Zimmerman was not the poor victim defending himself, but the perpetrator.
The Abominable Snowden
Edward Snowden is not a human rights activist. He is a loathsome, abominable traitor and spy. He stated that his aim was to inform the world about the surveillance programs operated by the NSA. He expressed concern that the U.S. government could monitor the communications of the U.S. public, but he did not say it occurred.
If Snowden is an activist who just wanted to expose the possible monitoring of the U.S. public, why did he go to Hong Kong with his four laptops filled with NSA information and probably allow the Chinese to copy the NSA material? If Snowden was concerned with the U.S. government infringing on our freedoms, why did he go to Russia, a totalitarian country opposed to our democratic values, a country that most likely copied the NSA information on his laptops?
Snowden could be a disgruntled individual who decided to get even with the U.S. over personal problems, possibly work-related. His aim is to harm our national security. He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for breaking the trust we placed in him.
Happy Mutts’ Day
July 31 is Mutts’ Day. I encourage people who are ready to give an animal a lifetime of love to consider opening their hearts and homes to a one-of-a-kind mixed-breed dog or cat from their local shelter. Mutts don’t come with “papers,” but they are also less likely to come with many of the serious health problems that plague their purebred cousins, including crippling hip dysplasia, blindness, deafness, heart defects, skin problems, epilepsy, and more. Adopting a mutt from a shelter saves a life and avoids supporting the “pet” industry, which brings more puppies and kittens into the world while millions of equally deserving animals must be euthanized in shelters for lack of good homes.