Readers comments 6-29-18
Creating a humane society
It was great to read in the COURIER council report that the city extended its contract with the Inland Valley Humane Society (IVHS) for another year.
It was not so good reading about whether Claremont should be designated a “no-kill” city and the subsequent shots taken at IVHS.
Full disclosure, I am a volunteer at IVHS in med services. I witness the heavy lifting their professional staff of veterinarians and techs do to heal the broken and discarded animals from, yes, even lovely towns such as ours. They are the ones doing the heavy lifting.
Low-cost spay, neuter and vaccination clinics are offered. There is behavioral assessment and training, not just for dogs but for the people interested in adopting. They insure the best matches are made for the best forever homes.
They educate. They pick up what we discard or turn a blind eye to because we just don’t want to bother anymore. Labeling a dog vicious does not come easily nor is it done so without remorse. They are always given a number of assessments prior to being labeled. It is a fantasy that holds the belief all can be saved. But they always try.
I hope that everyone reading this has fixed, tagged and micro-chipped their companion animals, even if they are an indoor pet. The Fourth of July is upon us and countless indoor pets will become frightened and find their way outside.
In closing, if the city likes the idea of calling themselves “no-kill,” may I add to the list “no-crime” and “no-homeless”?
Remember pets on the Fourth
Please remind the community in the next issue to take precautions for their pets on the Fourth of July.
Pets should be kept indoors, and it is not a good idea to take dogs with the family to go watch fireworks. The day after Fourth of July celebrations, there are dozens of “lost pet” signs that go up all over the city.
This could be avoided if we were all more conscious of the enormous stress the sound of fireworks causes dogs.
I’ve worked with animals for 40 years and have seen many injuries to dogs frantically trying to dig their way out of a backyard to try to escape the noise or jump fences or run into the street and get hit.
Let’s remind the Claremont community to think about their pets’ needs on the Fourth (and the days surrounding, since the sound of fireworks can be heard for several days before and after, unfortunately).
I think it is wrong to expect the Claremont Colleges to pay more for an improved police station simply because they may have the money.
Why not have all medical doctors, purportedly among the highest of earners, pay more than others?
How about whatever hedgefund administrators who appear to have among the highest of incomes?
Or perhaps any film or music professionals who sometimes earn millions of dollars per year?
Perhaps Claremont has residents who are active or retired professional athletes? Or car dealers, or newspaper publishers?
Also, why was I expected under the recently-defeated proposal, to pay considerably less than the young couple who recently bought the house across the street from mine?
Part of the problem lies in the requirement of approval from a super majority of voters. How did this exceedingly non-democratic trend come into being within our various levels of government?
When did the “rule of the majority” become extended to be “rule by much greater than a simple majority,” making approval almost impossible in a democracy??Or is it a democracy, when more than a simple majority is required?
Perhaps a good starting point might be a city-wide vote to change the approval process to the more traditional and more democratic method requiring only a simple majority, rather than a less democratic super majority.
It might come about that even this same faulty proposal, requiring less from we old-timers than from newer and often younger and less established families which may have less available income after purchasing a new home, could be expected to gain approval from the voting public, were this undemocratic requirement of a super majority removed.
The surprising thing about totalitarian regimes is not what they do while in power, it is how they achieve power.
It is how, during their rise to power, they convince average citizens that they will not ever suffer the same injustices and inequities as those inflicted on marginalized individuals. It is the obvious and systematic dismantling of cultural and institutional safeguards.
Due to our single-minded focus on what totalitarian governments do while in power, it is impolitic to draw straightforward comparisons to what the Nazis did to achieve power and what the current administration is doing right now. It is a mistake to refuse the lessons history offers.
So when President Donald Trump calls Mexicans “rapists,” I remember reading that Hitler blamed the Jews for prostitution and the alleged white slave traffic in Vienna.
When Mr. Trump says the press is the “enemy of the people” and “fake news,” I remember a passage in Mien Kampf that said the press was in a “positively fanatical and slanderous struggle [against] the nation.”
When Mr. Trump rages about undocumented immigrants “infesting” our country, I remember Nazi propaganda calling the Jews “parasitic vermin.”
When Mr. Trump asks for personal oaths of loyalty from law enforcement officials, I remember Mr. Hitler requiring such oaths from civil servant and foot soldier alike.
When Mr. Trump calls for denying due process to undocumented immigrants on US soil, I remember the Reichstag Fire Decree, which abolished most civil liberties and ceded a dangerous amount of power to the executive branch of the state.
When Mr. Trump asserts an absolute right to pardon himself, I remember Carl Schmitt, an important and ultimately disgraced Nazi legal theorist arguing, “[S]overeign is he who decides on the state of exception [to the law].”
And so as Mr. Trump hugs the flag while he attacks our institutions; as he pushes a false narrative of lawlessness while breaking the law himself; as he untruthfully argues that southern immigration leads to increased crime and terrorism, I don’t see a failing president trying to shore up his base in time for the midterm elections. Instead, I cannot help but remember that similar tactics served as the Nazis’ pretexts for ending Germany’s parliamentary republic.
Not surprisingly then, that when Mr. Trump says, “I want my people” to “sit up at attention,” I believe him.