Constitution offers us equal protection

Although the author of the July 25 letter, "Court got it right in Hobby Lobby case," is correct that the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, her interpretation of both the First Amendment and the Hobby Lobby ruling are flawed.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion to people, not for-profit corporations. What the ruling does is say the religious views of Hobby Lobby trump the views and health needs of its employees.

To suggest that employees can simply pay for their own birth control, which I never got for $10 a month with insurance, or go someplace else to work, misses the bigger picture and the slippery slope the ruling establishes for other for-profit corporations.

The Hobby Lobby ruling is even more troubling when viewed in context with the ruling handed down later in the week when the Supreme Court ignored the precedent it set in the Hobby Lobby ruling. Both rulings suggest that the assault on a woman's right to make health care decisions with her doctor, instead of her boss, will continue, unchecked by the Supreme Court.

Last time I checked, the Constitution also had an amendment that guarantees equal protection under the law to all people.

Erika Soublet

Taipei, Taiwan

Should stop import of invasive species

Aug. 2-10 is "California Invasive Species Action Week." Someone should alert our Department of Fish & Wildlife.


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California annually imports 2 million non-native American bullfrogs for human consumption, commonly sold in markets in Chinatowns. These invasives can be bought and released into local waters, where they prey upon and displace our native species.

Worse, most of the market frogs carry the dreaded chytrid fungus, which in recent years has caused the extinction of more than 200 species of frogs and other amphibians. Back in 2010, our State Fish & Game Commission unanimously instructed the Department of Fish & Wildlife to stop the import of all live frogs and turtles for food. They were ignored, and the frogs and the fungus continue to spread. The department's response? "The director acts at the pleasure of the governor." So much for the democratic process and resource protection.

Easy fix: The Department of Fish & Wildlife need only enforce its own California Code of Regulations, CCR 236, which stipulates that any shipment of diseased animals be either destroyed or returned to point of origin. Numerous necropsies have shown that all the market frogs and turtles are diseased and/or parasitized. Cultural politics and big money continue to trump environmental protection. Not acceptable.

Let the Department hear from you, before we lose all our native frogs. Write to Chuck Bonham, director, Department of Fish & Wildlife, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, Calif., 95814; or email director@wildlife.ca.gov.

Eric Mills

Coordinator Action For Animals Oakland

Climate change has existed from start

A July 11 letter confuses global warming with climate change. The writer wrote "climate change is real and almost certainly caused by human activity."

Note: Climate change has been around since the world appeared. Two scientists have taken core samples and traced back 2 million years, finding climate change. This is way before any humans were on the planet.

The real issue is global warming. Global warming is a politically manufactured term to show effects of climate change. Most scientists don't relate to global warming, as something warm indicates a standard that has to be described. The world seems to point to CO2 as the main cause of global warming.

Another issue that I have with this author is the "conclusions from reputable science departments." There has never been any experiment conducted that proves that CO2 has anything to do with global warming. But, what do you expect?

If a scientist conducted an experiment to prove CO2 as the culprit, and the experiment proved the opposite, would you think that the scientist would publish it? Of course not, because if it turned out that CO2 doesn't cause global warming, everyone in the field would lose their job. Also, a lot of universities that promote global warming would lose a lot of federal support. Because of this void in proof of cause, I don't trust these people.

Don Crook

Fremont