Thursday, October 26, 2006
THE WEEKLY LOVES ARNOLD!?
I was shocked to see the Weekly endorsing Schwarzenegger’s re-election as governor. I was even more greatly shocked when I read your pathetic rationale for this endorsement. “Resistance is futile.” “Vote for Schwarzenegger because he is going to win anyway.”
This is the best you can do?! What happened to the high journalistic quality we expect from you? Will the Weekly become the paper of the defeatists?
What’s next, editorials stating that “you can’t beat city hall?” Statements critical of promoting peace because “war is inevitable”?
The fact that Schwarzenegger is not a right-wing extremist is no reason to vote for him. The fact that he signed a couple environmental laws does not make up for him vetoing basic human rights laws including universal healthcare and gay marriage. Have we already forgotten that he wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to promote his own personal agenda in a special election, that he’s backed by big corporations, that he’s guilty (by his own admission) of sexual harassment, that he bragged about kicking nurses’ butts, and that his campaigning in Ohio in ‘04 resulted in all of us being stuck with the Bush administration?
Why should we reward this kind of behavior with re-election? Yes, I accept that he is our governor and that Bush is our president but that is no reason to vote for them. —Celia A. Bosworth | Pacific Grove
THE WEEKLY CONDONES QUACKERY
I read your paper weekly for its insightful articles on politics, culture, and local interests. It’s a great resource for this community, and I think you’ve done a great job of bringing a smart, critical eye to the issues and events of our community. I wish you could bring that same critical eye to bear on the pseudoscience and health-care fraud that this community is afflicted with. Instead, it appears as if you are part of the problem.
In the Oct. 19-25 edition of your paper, for example, there are ads for biofeedback, numerology, palmistry, tarot, naturopathy, cranial-sacral massage and sound therapy. All of this is absolute nonsense.
Now, I don’t hold you entirely responsible for the ads in your paper, but you are certainly responsible for the articles you publish, and for the events you choose to sponsor. In recent weeks, your paper has featured an article glorifying the crackpot James Lovelock; Squid calling people “wingnuts” because they object to the unauthorized teaching of quackery (Qi Gong) to their children; an article linking vaccines to autism; the ubiquitous astrology section; and now I see you are actually a co-sponsor of the ROTA Psychic Fair!
Do you think this psychic fair is all harmless entertainment? By sponsoring this event, you are saying you are actively in support of the fleecing of the community by frauds, con artists, and delusional people who prey upon the ignorance or desperation of others.
So what actually goes on at this fair? Angel blessings, transformational aromatherapy, dowsing, communication with fairies and dolphins, and of course the usual psychics and fortune tellers. Is this really the message you want to send to your community? That you are so easily misled by this juvenile nonsense? Or, worse, that you don’t care about the damage you do by supporting fraud in the community? What confidence can we have in your political analysis if this is the extent of your journalistic acumen and integrity? —John Mount | Pacific Grove
AG CAN’T POLICE ITSELF
Inevitably we have to wonder how much the produce companies pay people to do the testing. I’ve been there, and done that, and they don’t pay much. When I worked at an ag company in Salinas, there were several people working in the lab who did not speak English. The company breaks down very technical work into tiny bundles and pays minimum wage to people with no science background. When there are problems, under-trained, underpaid lab workers are less likely recognize them and reluctant to report them.
It seemed an imposition on my supervisors to arrange to have an English speaker train me. I quit after only a week or two because they started me at $6 an hour (I made over $12/hour at my previous lab job), and because the equipment did not work.
If we want reliable testing we will have to pay living wages for it, or do it ourselves. Of course the produce industry cannot police itself. Who can? Accountability must always come from the outside, especially in matters of public safety.—Kelita Smith | Carmel Valley