Mailbag: Pardon more than two turkeys

While President Obama is pardoning two turkeys for Thanksgiving, every one of us has that same presidential power by choosing a nonviolent Thanksgiving observance that spares a turkey's life.

And here are some good reasons:

•You are what you eat. Who wants to be a "butterball"?

•Your kids can tell their friends about their cool "Tofurky."

•You won't have to call the Meat and Poultry Hotline to keep your family alive.

•Fruits and vegetables don't have to carry government warning labels.

•Animal advocates, including some of your best friends, will cherish you.

•You won't sweat the environment- and food-resources-devastation guilt trip.

•You won't spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.

•Your body will appreciate a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones.

Seriously, this Thanksgiving, let's give thanks for our good fortune, health and happiness with a life-affirming, cruelty-free feast of vegetables, fruits and grains. Our own dinner will feature a "Tofurky," lentil roast, mashed potatoes, corn stuffing, stuffed squash, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

An Internet search on vegetarian Thanksgiving provides more recipes and other useful information than you can imagine!

Harold Undell

Huntington Beach


A different spin on jobs bill

Robert Smythe's column ("President Obama's jobs bill deserves a layoff," Community Commentary, Nov. 3) couldn't be more intentionally deceptive and dishonest if he tried. Basically, every point he tried to make was a false spin on what the law states.

Early, he states that an applicant can sue a prospective employer because he thinks he didn't get the job due to being unemployed. The truth is the law makes it illegal for an employer to say, "If you are unemployed, you will not be hired."

This is happening across the country. All this law does is make this practice illegal. Exactly how can someone who is unemployed get a job if an employer is allowed to discriminate against him?

As to giving up sovereignty if a state takes $1 from the bill: All it does is say, if you take federal funds for a project, you must follow federal law. This is very typical contract law. Once again, Smythe lies to the readers of the Independent.

The writer speaks about a permanent bureaucracy for infrastructure. Conservative estimates are that our nation is over $2.2 trillion behind in infrastructure repairs. Our nation spends 40% of what every other G8 industrialized nation does on the backbone of our economy.

When there is a terrible problem, the only way it will get fixed is if there are people whose only job is to fix that situation. Further, every other industrialized nation with whom we compete has such a commission.

Albert Einstein said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

If we follow Smythe's ideas on this, we will be the living embodiment of insanity.

He talks about tax hikes, credit cards and Slurpees. Does Smythe have no shame?

Right-wing Republicans, like Smythe, scream to high heaven about deficits. The tax hikes (which are only on income over $1,000,000/year) pay for the programs, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. This renders everything he said about taxes moot and false.

Finally, he talks about the multiplier effect. The problem is he is 180 degrees from what that is. It is indisputable fact from the right and the left that no government spending has a higher multiplier than funds spend on infrastructure.

Smythe has learned well from his masters like Roger Ailes. He knows there is a market for non-thinkers who will believe anything as long as the premise is "Democrats are bad and ignorant."

What's even more ironic than Smythe's parroting of right-wing talking points and being given unchecked credibility by this paper is that almost all that's in this law was originally supported by the GOP.

Rick Karlsruher

Huntington Beach

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