Friends, Romans, Barbarians: Lend me your ears ("Fight," Dec. 1).

So this is what we've come to in these "modern" times: legalized assault in a cage (they call it "MMA cage fighting"), one of the participants still a child at age 16, sanctioned by the California Gaming Commission -- all to satisfy the blood lust of so-called civilized humanity and bloat the profits of the Indian casinos.

I call it barbarianism, legalized brutality and child endangerment for the pleasure of paying customers. I call Blue Lake Casino even greedier than I thought possible; and I call the Blue Lake Rancheria's Tribal Gaming Commission shameful for agreeing to let a 16-year-old fight, knowing the child's very life would be at risk. Isn't anyone from Child Protection Services investigating this obvious case of child endangerment?

I am appalled and sickened by both casinos' lack of principles and by the crowds of "average Joes" who pay to see these events.

I really may puke. Are there people out there who get their kicks from seeing people vomit? Maybe I can make a fortune off this.

Linda Rowe, Eureka


Regarding cage fighting in Humboldt County, it's great that the Journal finally opened this can of worms, but Ryan Burns forgot to ask a few obvious questions. Like, where the hell was Child Welfare Services? Are there emergency medical technicians and/or doctors available at ringside and, if so, what do they make of this? And when (not if) the loser ends up in the emergency room, who pays the bill?
In an attempt to give this "sport" legitimacy, Ryan quotes Canadian psychologist Janel Gauthier as saying research has shown no connection between violence and aggression and combat sports, and "It has been suggested that the practice of combat sports can help reduce stress, calm and clear the mind ... overcome fear and anxiety [and] enhance self esteem."

Uh huh. And brushing twice daily with meth reduces cavities.

Here's what else Gauthier actually wrote in his article "Ethical and Social Issues in Combat Sports: Should Combat Sports be Banned?"

"In my view, combat sport such as Total Fighting is not only barbaric, but also outright immoral. It does not matter if they are mutually consenting adults or if paramedics and medical doctors are always at the ringside. Nothing should ever override the most basic and universal moral principle that involves respecting and caring for others as human beings. I truly understand that there are individuals who may wish to test their skills under more realistic conditions (something more analogous to real self-defense or battle situations), but this does not make it morally acceptable in a civilized world. There are many other ways to be physically challenged, to test one's own physical abilities or to demonstrate one's physical superiority to others."

There are less harmful ways of training, and there are far better ways to spend $90 than watching 16-year-old girls injure one another.

Walt Frazer, Kneeland



I read the article on local Mixed Martial Arts tournaments and I was appalled. Then I read the review of the recent Zombie Throw Down at the Arcata Playhouse, and I was appalled-er!

I used to joke with friends about the wisdom of combative world leaders being forced to square off in the ring instead of sending armies to their doom. Now I think I'd be satisfied with MMA bad guy/gal wannabes eating fake brains for our entertainment instead of dashing out each others', though that's probably no more likely to happen.

No matter how bad you get to be, there's always somebody badder, and eventually they'll find you. So why not try to be good?

Patrick Carr, Arcata


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