Thursday, May 20, 2004
Let’s Get Evil on Ag
I read with interest a Natividad doctor’s response to the systemic problem of uninsured workers in Monterey County. Pedro Moreno states “we offer them a job but we don’t offer them benefits” [“Sick System,” May 13-19]. Moreno understands that many of his patients are undocumented workers coming north to (illegally) feed Ag labor. The situation is indeed in crisis and has been for years. It is bankrupt. Our governor will also ensure this bad state of affairs during his tenure. And the Feds could care less.
Moreno’s “we,” however, is really a corrupt corporate system that the hospitals have a sick, symbiotic relationship with. The taxpayer essentially indirectly supports King Ag: The hospital continues to accept patients from the fields who are sick, broken, pregnant, etc.
Essentially, Ag hires these folks without benefits, and the hospital is paid by taxpayers to fix them to get them back to work. This is parasitic. As a side note, maybe Natividad actually does have enough money to handle thelegalpopulation of residents seeking care.
Natividad should continue to serve legal County residents. If the sick and injured have no form of payment and they reside illegally in the County, Natividad should have the right to refuse. Sounds evil, but the good doctors at Natividad are working for the legal residents of the County. And they need to send a message, the hard and painful way, to King Ag (the true wealth of the county).
If doctors like Moreno want benefits for this undocumented working population, move the burden—as he wants—to the private beneficiaries of the labor. Otherwise Ag and other industries breaking labor laws will continue to displace that burden onto the public as long as they can.
The buck never stops.
Jim Safranek | Aromas
Peace is Worth a Risk
Your interview of Mr. Ramzi Kysia brings up that most important issue of terrorism and innocence [“Witness to Horror,” May 13-19]. As Mr. Kysia so eloquently put it, it is indeed an abominable myth promulgated by the terrorist mentality—domestic and international—that there are no innocents. Whether it’s a Timothy McVeigh blowing up dozens of innocent children or some PLO murderer massacring people in a Jerusalem disco, the core is the same.
I once read an article written by a journalist in which she dissected the ongoing bloodbath in Northern Ireland. She observed that the conflict had ceased to be so much an issue of one crazed Christian faction at war with another crazed Christian faction, and had instead been co-opted by an opportunistic clique of homicidal sociopaths. This is exactly what is at the heart of all terrorism. There is simply no nobility in any of these causes. These are evil and hateful people.
Unilateral peace efforts must be tried, and that is not a naive vision.
Jeffrey Van Middlebrook | Pacific Grove
Where Was John?
I got up this morning to discover that the latest corporate welfare bill just passed the Senate, giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations, but an amendment to that bill that would have extended unemployment benefits to those people who have been unable to find work failed [to achieve its necessary two-thirds majority] by one vote, 59-40, because John Kerry missed the vote: He was off campaigning in Kentucky. Sadly, it says everything about the man’s priorities.
Clern Fimmel | Carmel