Letters to the Editor for Jun 21, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I want to thank the Weekly for its coverage of the Global Majority conference in Amman, Jordan. I write from Amman as we enter this weekend’s International Conference with representatives from throughout the region.
It is important to clarify a point in the article regarding an exchange that took place between a Jordanian journalist and some of the Palestinian students present. The Weekly recorded my report that the students challenged the journalist’s denunciation of Hamas as a legitimate government, pointing to the election of Hamas in democratic elections. It was not my perception at the time that the students “did not let him get away with it.” My point, taken in full context, was that they engaged the journalist with their opinions.
I am a strong advocate for the right of Israel to exist as a recognized and respected state. I do not condone Hamas-supported violence or its refusal to recognize Israel as a legitimate and sovereign state.
It is my strong belief that only through the promotion of dialogue between state and non-state actors, including civil society representatives, built upon mutual recognition and respect that a peaceful solution can be forged. Weekly writer Traci Hukill captured some of the very positive dynamic that has unfolded at this conference. It is indeed a cause for optimism and hope to see Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, Iranian, Iraqi, Egyptian, and US civil society representatives engaged in respectful and principled dialogue, including the building of relationships that may indeed create a foundation for future progress and the elimination of violence. —Bill Monning | Carmel
The letter-writer is president of Global Majority.
KEEP ‘LOCAL SPIN’ LOCAL
Laura Ellen Hopper, who put Americana music on the map by founding local radio stations KFAT and KPIG, (the latter becoming the first radio station on the Internet) died this past Memorial Day of lung cancer, at age 57. As of this writing, not one word about Laura Ellen’s passing has appeared in the Weekly. Apparently the series finale of “The Sopranos” is supposed to be more culturally significant. Shame on you! —Penny Ellsworth | Salinas
KEEP PLASTIC OUT OF THE WATER, AND VICE-VERSA
Thank you for your cover story on plastic in our oceans [“Planet or Plastic,” June 14-20]. This is a huge problem with complex solutions. However, there is one simple thing we can do now —stop drinking bottled water.
Bottled water was a small market even a decade ago. If we could manage without it such a short time ago we can certainly do it now.
Fill a reusable metal container with water rather than purchasing a plastic one that will be used once and then discarded. It is estimated that in the US alone 2.5 million plastic bottles are discarded every hour and many of them end up in the ocean (only one out of 10 is recycled).
Your article spoke about how plastic leaches chemicals. Bottled water containers leach those chemicals into the water you are about to drink.
Paying more for a gallon of water than a gallon of gasoline does not make sense. Water is a necessity for life and access to safe drinking water is a basic human right. By purchasing bottled water we are making it a commodity that is sold for corporate profit to the detriment of our wallets, our health and the environment. —Susan Hubbard | Salinas
REPUBLICANS: IGNORANT OR STUPID?
According to a recent Gallup poll, a majority of Republicans voters do not believe the theory of evolution is true and do not believe that humans evolved over millions of years. This suggests that when three Republican presidential candidates at a May debate stated they did not believe in evolution, they didn’t risk losing any votes.
It is important to note that, within the scientific community, the theory of evolution is about as controversial as the theory that the earth orbits the sun. Evolution may be “just a theory,” but it is supported by over 99.99 percent of the available evidence.
The Gallup poll confirms what many have suspected: there is a strong correlation between voting Republican and being a complete idiot. Not surprisingly, the poll also found a strong correlation between regular church attendance and rejection of established science. The Gallup organization did not address the frightening problem of how the US is supposed to function as successful democracy when such a startlingly large percentage of the population is so appalling ignorant. —Phillip Crawford | Monterey