The Public Voice
Letters To The Editor 11.10.11
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Poor Get Poorer
“Let them eat cake” doesn’t quite measure up these days, does it? As the division of wealth between the have-nots and the have-everythings seems to be as wide as the Grand Canyon – and eroding ever wider – the U.S. wrestles with the continued threat of impending recession. And deeper and deeper cuts continue to inflict the greatest wounds on most Americans, who just so happen to live on the low-rent side of this divide.
In August, $16.4 million was spent for a vintage Ferrari during our own Car Week, which was the highest price EVER paid for a car. And a businessman just bought a bottle of whiskey for a neat $200,000. It doesn’t sound like there is much suffering happening on the high-rent side.
Too many politicians continue to protect the interests of the small minority at the expense of the rest of America. The U.S. has strayed so far from a government for the people by the people. Our Founding Fathers did not fight to establish a government for the rich by the rich where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Remember, our Founding Fathers left England because of that. The wealthy need to start paying their fair share and stop hiding behind corporation loopholes and corporation privilege, which is well beyond what average Americans are afforded. Record profits, enormous executive bonuses, avoiding paying tax, shipping jobs overseas while most citizens suffer more and more – this is not the American Way. A change in the way corporations are allowed to do business is far overdue.
It is well past the time to do a much better job of catering to the majority of Americans, not just those with fancy cakes, cars and drinks. - Dan Linehan | Monterey
Great editorial about the few brave Californian congresspeople who are fighting against a federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries by Obama’s administration (“Local Spin,” Nov. 3-9). I have worked with one of the oldest marijuana dispensaries in the nation – the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana. Lynnette Shaw (the founder and owner) has paid local taxes for 14 years, but received a cease-and-desist order to close down within 45 days. Further, the IRS is now demanding $1 million from Ms. Shaw for the 2009 tax year, which is about what she grossed.
Landlords of pot clinics have been told that the government will confiscate their property under forfeiture laws if they don’t evict medical marijuana clinics. This is war and appears to be getting worse, despite Obama’s promises to leave the medical pot clinics alone.
However, there is hope. Petitions for a new measure to legalize marijuana are now out. Called Regulate Marijuana Like Wine, the petition can be downloaded at www.regulatemarijuanalikewine.com. - Lawrence Samuels | Carmel
(Note: Mr. Samuels is president of the Foundation to End Drug Unfairness Policies.)
The local Monterey area community got their wish and ran the nasty, loud Army out of the area; now they see dollar signs in their eyes and want the military back, now that times are tough for revenue sources. (“A major military branch checks out the Peninsula as a potential new home,” Nov. 3-9). How sweet it is! - Truck | via Web
Plasco Energy Group has tried on several occasions to compromise/jeopardize community members’ employment and/or volunteering activities by reporting to their employer/volunteer organization that the community member is using them to further the opposition of the Plasco Plasma arc facility in Gonzales (“Plasco gets green light for permanent trash-zapping plant in Ottawa, posted Oct. 28). Although in most incidences, the employers were not able to confirm the origin of the complaint, in one incident, a Plasco representative was confirmed to have contacted the employer. Thankfully, the community member has been able to clear the accusations.
Plasco also tried to compromise the grant that Asamblea de Gonzales receives from The Community Foundation for Monterey County. This grant is of tremendous benefit to the city and its residents. The Asamblea works “for the health and well-being of the community.” It has a very close relationship with the city of Gonzales, obtaining grants for: new benches and barbecue pits for Central Park, lighting at Little League/Centennial Park, exercise stations for Centennial Park, etc. Asamblea has partnerships with other community groups who all work together to achieve their purpose for a better and healthier community.
The issue of support or opposition for this project in Gonzales is almost irrelevant at this point. Is this the kind of company we want in Salinas Valley? - Roberta Ruiz-Camacho | Gonzales
Mad for Methyl
I am angry (“First strawberry field methyl iodide application goes without a hitch,” posted Nov. 3). This is a dangerous fossil-fuel derivative that could seriously pollute our waterways and wildlife, harm children’s development, cause cancer, make farmworkers sick, contaminate our dwindling water supplies… and for what reason exactly? Presumably to protect the non-organic strawberry industry, controlled by a few large corporations, in order to export this luxury item around the U.S.
Producers do not need methyl iodide to grow strawberries, as evidenced by the incredible volume of organically grown strawberries on the market today. This chemical simply keeps the cost of production a bit lower for these companies. No one seems certain about the safety of this chemical – why not wait to see if there’s solid evidence? I’m angry that the powers that be in California and Monterey County have addressed the desires of an industry before finding ways to keep their wildlife, citizens and resident farmworkers safe. - Katie Pofahl | via Facebook
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has long been controlled and run by large chemical companies that use CDFA to promote and facilitate massive and routine chemical pesticide applications in the State of California. Currently, 200 million pounds of pesticides are used each and every year in this state. That is six pounds for every fetus, infant, child, teen, adult and senior. People don’t even eat six pounds of salt in a year, but that is their share of pesticides. If you work in the child healthcare industry, then you are aware of the massive increases in childhood respiratory and nervous system diseases, exactly what would be predicted by exposure to pesticide toxins. And you don’t have to live across the street from a farm to get your share – these toxins travel quite well through the air, soil and water.
Karen Ross, secretary of the CDFA, is a pimp for these large chemical corporations that own and control the CDFA. - Robert Williams | via Web