July 21, 2006 Response to Maentz, rodeo In his defense of Premier West Bank, a rodeo sponsor, Bill Maentz, who neglected to disclose his role in promoting the amphitheater at the fairgrounds, asserts (“At Length,” 7/13) that the Prof

Response to Maentz, rodeo

In his defense of Premier West Bank, a rodeo sponsor, Bill Maentz, who neglected to disclose his role in promoting the amphitheater at the fairgrounds, asserts (“At Length,” 7/13) that the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) applies 60 humane rules and has a Humane Advisory Committee to enforce them. Learn the truth about this (that the “rules” are unenforced, are more like suggestions, and a third of them aren’t even about humane issues) at <http:www.sharkonline.org/?P=0000000276>.

Here’s one quote from the site: “The PRCA in particular, and rodeo associations in general, deliberately hide the number of animals injured and killed, and there are many documented cases of PRCA rodeo producers lying about the fates of their victims.”

From elsewhere on the site, here’s what becomes of the animals: “The rodeo folks send their animals to the packing houses where ... I have seen cattle so extensively bruised that the only areas in which the skin was attached was the head, neck, legs and belly. I have seen animals with six to eight ribs broken from the spine and at times puncturing the lungs. I have seen as much as two and three gallons of free blood accumulated under the detached skin.”

Maentz says rodeos help support character-building 4-H programs. Does it build character to desensitize children to the suffering of animals by teaching them branding, dehorning, castrating and other mutilations without any anesthetic, and then, after the child develops an emotional attachment to the animal she has cared for, send him to slaughter?

Ron Elterman

Praise for

city council?

I’m pleased to see the Ashland City Council, and Councilor Hartzell in particular, wisely investing time on an issue as important and timely as the flouridation of our city water supply. Everyone knows that flouride is part of the International Communist Conspiracy, and I’d bet a dollar to a donut that it is a major factor in global warming!

Peter Brunner

Response to

Santa Barbara

As the former music director of the real Cirque du Soleil’s “O,” I felt it necessary to voice my objection to Mr. Santa Barbara feigning a connection with Cirque in order to promote and build his business upon Cirque’s reputation.

Speaking from my personal experience, Santa Barbara’s organization has no right to mislead the public into believing that “Le Cirque Center” is similar to Cirque du Soleil. In my experience, nothing could be further from the truth. People should know the reality.

As a musician and artist who has spent over 25 years of my life working to reach the level of ability to work with Cirque du Soleil, I am offended that Mr. Santa Barbara feels that he can simply attach his name to Cirque, and reap the benefits of the “association” with it. Would I be able to legally market and sell a computer I promote as “Apple-like,” or “ in the spirit of Apple,” simply because I admire and respect Apple Computer’s products? Of course not. Yet, this is what is being done by Lorenzo Santa Barbara and his “Le Cirque Center.” It is a simple rip-off of the Cirque du Soleil name and reputation, and an insult to me and the hard work it took to be hired by Cirque du Soleil.

I hope that Mr. Santa Barbara can re-think his marketing approach, and choose a more suitable description of his company. He is not providing Cirque du Soleil to the Rogue Valley, period. He is providing acrobatic and gymnastic experience, lightly cloaked in attempted theatre productions to try and give the illusion of a show. I think it is unfair what he is trying to “sell” to the public, and it is unfair to the real Cirque du Soleil.

I am proud of my accomplishments and experience with the real Cirque du Soleil, and I am tired of seeing it’s worth devalued by Mr. Santa Barbara “wannabe-ing” himself with it, just to make a buck, and to fool a lot of people with smoke and mirrors.

John Taylor

Response to Honoré

Chris Honoré wisely concludes that patience and diplomacy are the only viable options when dealing with Iran and other nations with whom America has differences (“Case in Point,” Tidings , July 17). Unfortunately, he perpetuates the demonization of Iran and its elected leader, relying upon Bernard Lewis, a notorious supporter of Israel, to imply that the Iranians are insane and are looking forward to a nuclear holocaust. It is disconcerting when Honore discerns “Iran’s fingerprints” on weapons used by Hezbollah while ignoring the bloody hands of America on weapons Israel uses indiscriminately and mainly against civilians.

Iran’s present government is a direct result of the American bloody overthrow in 1953 of Iran’s democratic government and the setting up of a brutal dictatorship in its place. American also supported Saddam Hussein — remember him? — in his war against Iran in the 1980s. As in the case of North Korea, it is rational for Iran to consider a nuclear option as a deterent against American and Israeli aggression. The only sane course in regard to nuclear weapons is to get rid of all of them. We need to stop denigrating and demonizing those who disagree with us and instead engage them diplomatically and honestly to avoid further bloodshed.

Gerald Cavanaugh

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