Letters to the Editor: Don't Call It "Killing"

Also: Elephants are people too, you know! (Though we're not so sure about mimes.)

RE: "Terminal Uncertainty" by Nina Shapiro (Jan. 14)Nina Shapiro's use of loaded language such as patients "killing themselves" (the terminal patient may elect to end his or her life, but it's a disease that's doing the killing—duh!) to describe "legal aid in dying" or "death with dignity" is only the first tip that she has an ideological axe to grind. While the data is quite clear that a huge majority of terminally ill people don't outlive their terminal prognoses, she focused nearly her entire story on a few who did. Note to Nina: Nobody has to use Washington's new "death with dignity" law. It's just one of many choices that a terminally ill person has, and many of us will be comforted by knowing we can use it if we need to. Nearly 60 percent of Washington's voters must have thought so on Nov. 4. —Rob MaximusRE: "New Zoo Review" by Damon AgnosKeeping the planet's largest land mammal in Woodland Park Zoo's tiny barn room up to 17 hours a day and in a section of a one-acre yard is blatantly inhumane. Whether looking for food or energized by food, elephants are born with bodies that need to walk great distances for their mental and physical health. Experts have presented decades of research that bears this out.Since 2000, half of the 63 elephants that have died in AZA-accredited zoos never reached the age of 40. The natural lifespan of elephants is 60–70 years. It is the zoo environment that is killing them prematurely, just as poachers and loss of habitat are doing in the wild—it is the same crime with the same result.The zoo claims displaying elephants makes people care about them, and then they will donate to conserve them. If this were true, Asian elephants wouldn't be as endangered today, since people have been seeing them in zoos for more than 200 years. As zoos have adopted their "conservation" ethic to justify incarcerating elephants, numbers have continued to decline.Conservation of elephants needs to take place in the wild—the ONLY place they should be—not in a "cage" with Olmsted landscaping, to which they have no access. —Alyne FortgangRE: "Hearst to P-I: Drop Half Dead?" by Rick AndersonI've been reading every heartbreaking story on the P-I that I come across. Every one of them brings tears to my eyes. ("Opportunity" be damned!) But none compare to this one, written from the heart and with the perspective of one who was there, smelling the whiskey, drenched in the ink and wood pulp. —Mary W.Wrong about the San Francisco Examiner. The print edition (free) still exists, but the Fangs no longer own it. —CSSW responds: Noted! Thanks for the correction.If you saw the Examiner today, it's understandable to think it is dead: a few ginned-up news pieces to wrap ads around. Sadly, folding the print P-I makes economic sense. I'd rather have it be a newspaper without paper, than without news.—T.J.The P-I is and was always the #2 paper—which made it more fun, and the reason I read it...—MMBNo matter how long it's been around, the Seattle Times will always be the "New Coke" to the Post-Intelligencer's "Coca Cola Classic." —SherryRE: "Mime's A-Wastin'" by Mike SeelyI'm not sure I'm ready to "blame" mime's demise on Shields and Yarnell (who?), or that there are too many untalented ones, or that it isn't taken as seriously here as it is in Europe. (Really? The Jerry Lewis defense has always rang bunk to me.) Instead I'd simply say it's not really that entertaining. —MimeWarpRE: "Don't Cheat Yourself" by DategirlMy hubby has permission to get a bit on the side should he wish, as long as he is discreet and doesn't bring any diseases home; this is of course with the understanding that I too may decide to find greener pastures. Philandering doesn't mean the destruction of the marriage; it depends on how insecure the couple is. Marrieds stay together for many reasons, and sex usually ain't one of them. Kids are a reason. Finances are a reason. Having someone to bring you a cup of tea in bed when you're sick is a reason.Don't tell me to try spicing it up; with two kids and 13 years of marriage under my belt, the thought of "love trysts" or fancy lingerie for the husband makes me laugh. You also do a disservice to women when you imply that we all demand platitudes for such idiocies as, "Am I pretty?", whether to husband or lover. For Pete's sake: Not all of us are insecure clingers. Some of us are actually attractive and confident; confident enough to give the old ball-and-chain a bit of freedom for himself. Marriage in the "old-fashioned" sense is more destructive to many people than is allowing for people's real needs...like some sex every now and again. —VanniiI have a cure for not enough sex. It's a method I use frequently, as I am in between men at the moment. I call it...masturbation! Quick, easy, emotional baggage–free. The perfect solution for a man or woman whose committed partner's sex drive does not match their own. Perhaps I should write a book and make millions. —ZeiglindaDategirl, do you even read the letters you get? The guy's point is not that "cheating is easier," but that a gentler response [from you] is more effective. So cut the cranky, will ya? —DuderIt may be more work sneaking around, hiding credit-card receipts, killing the history on your computer, or clearing the GPS device and resetting the odometer on your Lexus than signing up for a sex retreat for you and your wife, but who cares? That's the beauty of the affair. Pure adrenaline. Acting half your age. Rutting in the backseat of the Lexus like a fucking teenager. What's not to love? The need for drama may lie at the center of the motivation for the affair. Why wouldn't it? —Irv

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