Letters to the Editor 

Week of June 22, 2001

Middle Muddle
TO THE EDITOR: "Middle of the road" seems to mean that you don't have real convictions of your own, you say what you think the people want to hear, and you do what corporations pay you to do.

So what's new about Ellen Tauscher ("Madam Middle," June 8)? She's playing the same old money game. Good luck if the Democratic Party thinks they have a "new winning formula."
Vivian Warkenton
BERKELEY

You Have the Right to Remain Soylent
TO THE EDITOR: Your glowing article on Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher by Kara Platoni ("Madam Middle," June 8) could not have been better written than by Ms. Tauscher's own PR staff. Please allow me to interject some much-needed reality from an environmental perspective.

Last year Nature Magazine listed California as one of the top 25 most endangered ecosystems in the world. Why? In large part due to our astounding population growth: California now has a growth rate almost 50 percent higher than Bangladesh, and 92 percent of that growth in the past decade was due to mass immigration (www.cis.org). The President's Council on Sustainable Development in 1996 stated: "This is a sensitive issue, but reducing immigration levels is a necessary part of population stabilization and the drive towards sustainability." With such incredible growth rates, California is as far from sustainability as we are from the moon.

Now let's examine Ms. Tauscher's hypocrisy: she consistently votes for ever-higher immigration rates while claiming she is pro-environment. To add insult to injury, she also claims to be pro child rights. Tell me, how many children will thank her someday when they sadly inherit this grossly overpopulated state that was once the envy of the nation? What right does she have to destroy their future just to appease greedy corporations eager for endless numbers of wage slaves?

The choice is ours: whether it is Ms. Tauscher or another politician, are we going to passively sit by and let them create a Soylent Green future for our children? That scenario may not be so implausible.
Sue Hokana
FREMONT

Don't Go Away Mad, Just Go Away
TO THE EDITOR: Your cover story on Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, ("Madame Middle," by Kara Platoni, June 8) revealed a highly personable politician, and one being touted for higher office. But absent was any critical analysis of her contradictions.

Tauscher's voting record has earned her an "F" according to www.betterimmigration.com, an organization monitoring Congress on its response to the floodtide of 1.2 million legal and illegal newcomers each year.

As a member of the Transportation Committee, Tauscher scuttles any real progress by her support for unsustainable population growth. She boasts an interest in education, but she undermines it by encouraging illegal immigration through new amnesties--thus adding millions to already seriously overcrowded classrooms. And she supports the H-1B program which is importing hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, diminishing opportunities for American kids and shortening careers for older Americans.

If Tauscher wants to be the centrist she claims, she should heed the desire of the majority of Americans who want an end to the current regime of mass immigration that the US Census Bureau projects will double the US population over the next fifty years.
Tim Aaronson
EL CERRITO

Die, Foreign Devils!
TO THE EDITOR: I would like to respond to the letter writer of "The Natives Are Restless" (June 1) on the subject of "natives" vs. "non-native" plants in restoration work.

Exotic, or "non-native" plants, such as French Broom, various ivies, and yellow star thistle, have outcompeted native flora and colonized vast tracts of California and the US. They have displaced a "multicultural" landscape of diverse flora (at creekside, you would have found numerous species, whereas now you often find ivy and more ivy) and form a hegemonic monoculture which provides little, if any, food and shelter for a variety of animals and insects. Could you live on only broccoli for the rest of your life? It's our natives who need an affirmative action policy in this case, not the non-natives. That's why we go in "armed to the teeth" with weeding equipment.

Let's do some real teaching here and not succumb to political correctness. Explain to your students what is meant by these words in the context they're being used.
Carla Koop
EL CERRITO

Home Shopping Network
TO THE EDITOR: I, who have never ordered online and probably won't unless I am incapacitated, have thoughts about your recent article on the downturn of Webvan and the demise of other dot-coms ("The Last Mile," May 25). My immediate reaction to commercials for the late Petfood.com and its unfunny and uncute spokespuppet was amazement at the premise that people don't like to go to stores. We are social beings and enjoy the company of others of our species. Otherwise, why would people drink beer in bars and coffee in pricey coffee shops when both beverages are much cheaper to consume at home?

There was a commercial in which imitation robots selected a "red sweater, medium" for a woman who presumably had no time for the surprise of specials and the feel and style of a real sweater to be found at stores. The people who had no time for shopping were the ones "working" twenty-hour days for dot-coms. Now they have time to shop.

You'll notice that "working" was in quotes. None of the dot-coms, to my knowledge, produced anything. Their services were all in streamlining consumerism. I have often wondered why the folks who do the real work essential to our lives--farm work, clothing manufacture, childcare, hospital work, cleaning, etc.--are the least paid, while frill jobs like athletics, acting, modeling, advertising, etc. overpay obscenely.

The dot-com millionaires were off the charts in compensation for nonwork. I don't wonder that the bubble burst. I'm amazed that anyone ever believed it would work.

Maybe the laid-off employees will now train for real jobs like cucumber picking, auto repair, health care, or teaching.

Nah.
Ruth Bird
VIA THE INTERNET

Peace, Freedom, and Nostalgia
TO THE EDITOR: If it is true, as Chris Thompson reports ("Cityside," May 18) that "no one who actually saddled the state with this crisis will be up for re-election," then how are we going to turn the rascals out?

Simple. Just remember that all the legislators who voted for deregulation were either members of the pro-business Republican Party or the pro-business Democratic Party.

But since you can only vote against someone by voting for someone else, we need to have a party on the ballot that is not responsible for the current energy mess.

The Greens won't do, since they see nothing wrong with corporate investors enriching themselves by jacking up prices on the rest of us. The Audie Bock experience shows us where their true interests really lie.

Voter registrars are reporting a big swing in registrations away from the two major parties and into the independent category. But the "Declines to State" classification will not be putting any candidate on the ballot.

So at this point, the most effective way to demonstrate our outrage is to switch our registrations and get the Peace and Freedom Party back on the ballot.
Marion Syrek
OAKLAND

Your Blessed Free Weekly
TO THE EDITOR: Thanks so much for your newspaper's excellent article in the May 11 issue entitled "Trail of Toxins." I am sending copies of it to some fellow Franciscans who are living/ministering with native peoples (as I have). God bless you.
John Kiesler
Franciscan Friar

BERKELEY

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