Thursday, June 10, 2004
We’re not surprised Squid was surprised by the Central Labor Council’s endorsement of recently-turned-Republican Jerry Smith for the fourth Supervisory District in Monterey County [SquidFry, June 3-9]. Squid will be relieved to learn that we remain committed as ever to helping end the Bush presidency and to saving healthcare in the November
But you are mistaken in your belief that labor endorsements of Republicans are unique to Monterey County. Labor endorsements for Republicans do happen, even in counties light-years ahead of Monterey on the evolutionary scale.
Democratic officeholders on the Central Coast are among the best in the state. Still, and sadly, some Republican candidates have a stronger track record of leadership on labor-community concerns than do some Democrats. So this is our wake-up call to local Democratic candidates: we want to see deeds, not just words.
Finally, please note that this endorsement came not from some small committee but out of a democratic process within a federation representing sixty different unions. A roomful of delegates representing thousands of workers directly affected by this race took part in the vote. This is called “citizen participation.” It is essential to the fabric of our threadbare democracy. It only works if those who participate agree to focus on what they have in common rather than on what divides them, and agree to accept the results of deliberation even when their views do not prevail. That is what we do, and defend, at the Central Labor Council.
Monterey Bay Central Labor Council
Let Kids Live Life
Thank you for the article on the medicating of our children [“Boys on Drugs,” June 3-9]. This is an issue we do not hear enough about. Over eight million children in this country are on Ritalin and it is being prescribed for children as young as two or three! Too many adults consider normal childhood behavior to be a mental disorder.
We take children as young as five, put them at a desk, tell them not to talk and to listen to the teacher for an hour or two. We don’t give them PE because the school district can’t afford a PE teacher; the recesses are reduced because our kids have to pass standardized tests; and the result is our kids are forced to be in a classroom much longer than we ever were. No wonder they don’t always behave well.
We are raising a generation of children that look at taking pills as a solution. Have a headache? Take Tylonol or Advil; don’t take a nap, get a banana or drink more water. Have allergies? Take Benedryl or Allevert; don’t avoid what substance you are allergic to. Most drugs do not cure illness—they merely cover up symptoms. And some drugs don’t even do that well.
Suicide and suicidal thoughts are elevated in many people who take antipsychotic medications, not reduced. Almost every school shooting has been done by a person on, or withdrawing from, one of the drugs like Paxil, Wellbutrin or Prozac.
Our children need to learn to live in the world. They need the tools to adapt to this world and, more importantly, the ability to adapt the world to them. Pills do not accomplish this. Medication is a crutch. Parents should be very cautious about giving medication to children.
Jane M. Mitchel | Monterey