Show some heart
It appears that the Grinch is alive and well and living in Missoula, but he's changed his holiday from Christmas to the Fourth of July. Walt Briggs (Letters, July 11) obviously thinks it's a great idea for dogs to become terrified, lost, injured or even killed because of fireworks on the Fourth of July, simply because he is annoyed by neighborhood dogs the rest of the year. Yep, this is definitely a case of a heart several sizes too small.
It's also a case of poor logic. Dogs run loose and defecate in others' yards because their owners allow it. The irresponsible owners deserve punishment, not their dogs. Those who see and are concerned about such behavior have some responsibilities too. Mr. Grinch (oops! Briggs) could speak to dog owners who are with their dogs when the offenses happen. Or he could find out where the dogs (accompanied or not) live, call Animal Control, and let their officers deal with the owners. That, of course, would take some effort; apparently he would rather sit home and be offended, with visions of frightened and injured dogs dancing through his head.
Loose dogs in a neighborhood are a nuisance, but there are legal solutions. Call Animal Control to confront the owners of such dogs; Animal Control officers handle calls of this nature on a daily basis. They, along with the shelter staff, are also the ones who rescue and care for dogs frightened by fireworks; they will be the first to tell that these are two completely separate problems. Only someone with a heart too small would confuse them; only someone with no heart at all would think that the second is a reasonable punishment for the first.
13911 Turah Road, Clinton
Don't blame the animal
Walt Briggs clearly states it "does his heart good" to see animals suffer. Responsible citizens should all be concerned and suspicious of anyone who publicly advocates the suffering of any animal.
While not all pet owners are as responsible as they should be, it is even more irresponsible to advocate violence, as he does in his thinly veiled threat. Briggs indicates that he has watched dogs do their business in his yard. A more appropriate reaction is to talk to that pet owner at that time and ask that his yard be cleaned up.
2423 South Hills Drive, Missoula
Autos should be more fuel-efficient
We Americans are too irresponsible to curb the energy crisis by conserving at home. Weekly columnists, good citizens and lazy government officials, conserve your breath and stop suggesting that we do. The reality is that we aren't going to drive less or stop buying SUVs. Relying on higher gas prices and an economic slump to curb this type of consumption actually only hurts those who can't afford the mammoth vehicles in the first place.
A real solution is for vehicle manufacturing companies to make our cars more fuel efficient. I want to see columnists, citizens and government officials prod these manufacturers to deliver cleaner, more efficient products. That is where we can have an actual impact. Requesting reduced personal consumption is a weak attempt at "energy policy." It carries no penalty and cannot be policed.
200 Connell Ave., Missoula
People's best interest not served
Once again the Missoulian, in an editorial July 9, has heaped accolades on how wonderfully the forces of supply and demand work. Your observation that gasoline prices are coming down omitted the fact there is some evidence to show that the supply of gasoline was being manipulated. I doubt that you have any specific figures to show a drop in gasoline consumption. If so you would have included them in your editorial.
The last time you paid tribute to supply and demand was to justify low wages. It was just a couple of days later that you published a story about a shortage of nurses that stated salaries were not going up. Market manipulation and price fixing are common tools in the market place. These factors are supposed to be held in check through competition. However, when any product or service is dominated by a few huge corporations, it is in their best interest, not the consumers', to "cooperate" with each other. We are seeing this not only in the field of energy, but banking, health care, airlines, etc.
The theoretical model of supply and demand that the Missoulian extols is like the theoretical model of communism. It looks good on paper, but it doesn't pan out in reality.
It is true that supply and demand have a place - no one can argue that it doesn't. But left unregulated, the marketplace does not serve people's best interest.
R. G. Simmons,
9800 N. Highway 93, Missoula
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