I thought SF was still the left-leaning, animal loving, hippy city it was when I lived there, but today' editorial in the SF Chronicle leads me to believe that psychologically they are in the same boat mentally as Cleveland or Oklahoma City.
Get this, they are for declaring war on the animal rights terrorists who are disrupting scientific research that helps everyone, and further stomp on our First Amendment and Fourth (I think) rights to free speech and privacy.
For all the national chatter that persists about international terrorists striking the United States, this weekend's firebombings in Santa Cruz offered us a frightening reminder that our greatest dangers may be right here at home.
The perennial nature of these attacks on scientists who conduct animal experiments, and the increasing sophistication of the devices being used to attack them, speak to catastrophes in the making. But where is the outrage, and where are the wars to protect scientists like Feldheim?
We're not talking about real, actual wars - we've got enough of those already. But Feldheim was right to say that the citizens of Santa Cruz and the city's elected officials need to "step up" and condemn this sort of violence. We would expand the scope to say that all citizens and elected officials need to be emphatic in saying that this is unacceptable and step up their willingness to defend scientists struggling to do their research.
For example, why didn't the Santa Cruz coffee shop remove the threatening animal-rights pamphlet that listed the names and addresses of 13 researchers - and call the police? Why can't Internet service providers threaten those who post threats, bomb recipes, and information about animal researchers with cessation of their services - and then follow through with that threat? And where are the moderate voices in the animal-rights community, when they're needed to straighten out someone like Dr. Jerry Vlasak of the Animal Liberation Front, who didn't claim responsibility for the attacks but called them "necessary?"
If these seem like drastic maneuvers, think again: This country has taken far more invasive steps in its "war on terror," with less productive ends and far less justifiable means. Here what's at stake is the ability of scientists to do their jobs - and the ability of the rest of us to benefit from their work.
Quietly, for many years now scientists have been abandoning their research in response to threats and bombs. These kinds of attacks place public health at risk in every way imaginable. The sooner we take steps to protect our scientists, the sooner we'll realize we're also protecting ourselves.
Notice how the editor claims a Molotov Cocktail is an "increasingly sophisticated device." A Molotov Cocktail is a glass bottle filled with gasoline wrapped in a burning rag. Hmmm. Maybe that is sophisticated for someone in Cleveland.
It is also very interesting to note--and I don't know how true it is--that "scientists" have been abandoning research in response to threats and bombings. Notice the editorial makes no mention of what kind of scientists these are they want to protect, or what their research entails.