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Tuesday's Letters to the Editor

Illogical plan

EDITOR: I'm hopeful you've received a deluge of outraged mail in response to the Dec. 1 article about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's plan to poison mice on the Farallones.

Where is the logic in killing one creature to save another? The dangers to ashy storm-petrels seem more the result of man-made threats such as global warming and pollution than natural predation.

How does the loss of 100 birds to owls out of a colony of 10,000 result in population decrease? It's not just whether the problem requires management; it's the obscenity of the scorched-earth method being suggested. This is an incomparably important ecosystem. To resort to aerial poisoning before other options are even attempted is ludicrous.

Also, there seems to be a lot of conjecture in the hoped-for outcome. What if the owls decide the baby petrels will do just fine once the mice are gone?

And why the concern at all from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when it won't grant endangered-species status to the petrel?

Killing is counter to the concept of environmental action. It is our duty to manage in a responsible way, which the current proposal is not.

THOM PETTY

San Jose

Enough mud-slinging

EDITOR: What never ceases to amaze me about letters regarding Israel/Palestine is the lack of sensitivity to others and the repeated use of inaccurate propagandistic buzz words best suited to the state-sponsored news media of a Third World dictatorship.

It is foolish to deny that Israel has continued to build in a manner internationally recognized as illegal, while also detaining minors and treating Palestinians poorly. It is foolish to deny that violent terrorist acts have been and continue to be perpetrated by Palestinians and their sympathizers.

The recent passing of Nelson Mandela, a man who initially used violent resistance before transitioning to more peaceful means, should be a reminder of the possibility of solving seemingly intractable quandaries. The success of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee show that the path to reconciliation is not through forced capitulation but dialogue.

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