Health Care Reform; Special Elections; Michael Jackson; West Berkeley Planning; More on The Nation

by on July 8, 2009

To the Editor:

A great majority of Americans support health care reform with a public option. Americans are for a practical solution to our broken US immigration, a reform which includes enhanced border protection, easy access to much needed foreign workers and legalization to undocumented immigrants already in the US. Above reforms to be legislated by December will be a cherished Christmas gift this year for the American people.

Jun Bolayog

To the Editor:

The Green Party elected a State Assemblymember from Oakland in 1999, in a special election. Audie Bock, the Green, faced off against the Democrat who had polled the most votes in the first round. Because that Democrat had garnered bad publicity for paying for chicken dinners for voters who had a stub proving they had voted, he lost the run-off with Bock. Bock became the first member of a minor party to win a seat in the California legislature since 1916. There had been independent state legislators elected in the 1980’s and 1990’s and 1940’s, but no minor party had won since World War I days.

Richard Winger

To the Editor:

I confess that I was not a Michael Jackson fan. Yes, he was a cute member of the Jackson Five, but I never quite understood his later popularity. It’s probably a generational thing. To me, he was just a tragic, pill popping, white wannabe with an unnatural interest in children. Watching his life unfold was like pausing at an auto accident — both fascinating and repellent. May he rest in peace.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Zelda Bronstein’s piece is an excellent summary of the issues. Specifically, the West Berkeley fight to preserve industrial lands finds the local community – lite-industrial manufacturers, the re-use businesses, distribution and others, along with the artisans and the residents, together united to protect a threatened enclave from enclosure by greedy developers.

Nothing demonstrates the thinness of politicians’ green credentials as struggles over land use. Likewise, the current “concern” for sustainable urbanism appears equally thin. How can we devise a stable, life-affirming and limited resource-use environment if we isolate that desire from the “business-as-usual” retrograde practices that created this mess in the first place?

Bernard Marszalek
Teasurer, WEBAIC

To the Editor:

Recyclers need industrial land to develop tomorrow’s sustainable industries domestically. If we keep exporting our resources to China, then let them take our jobs to make our consumer goods, then borrow from them to import, that’s a recipe for turning ourselves into a Third World economy.

Instead we could be using recovered resources at home in recycling-based production. The recycling industry is already more than twice the financial size of the garbage industry, we’re growing, and we’re not even halfway to Zero Waste.

Recyclers and garbage professionals know that nearly all the resources we now waste in landfills could be recycled if they were handled correctly. Landfilling not only causes us to extract more from our already-staggering virgin sources, but the process also generates a lot of its total methane while the dump is being built, before gas collection systems can begin to work. Methane is up to 100 times worse for global warming than carbon dioxide, in the short term. Methane clouds hover over both poles.

These are a couple of the reasons many cities, especially in the Bay Area, have adopted Zero Waste goals. Zero Waste means recovering all discarded resources for productive use. Thousands of tons of resources will be available every single day to put back into the economy. The back end of the GNP is now being developed.

We develop green-collar jobs in a sustainable industry that prevents global warming while generating domestic products. What’s not to like? Just give us the industrial land we need, and don’t lock it all up in high-tech R&D.

Mary Lou Van Deventer
President, Northern California Recycling Association

To the Editor:

Why even write an article about advertising that you don’t approve of? The Nation repeatedly has stated that it does not reject advertisements for content. To do so, they argue, would be a form of censorship. The fact that there is an advertisement, the substance of which you disagree with, does not mean that the magazine is in accord with the ad. That is why The Nation runs advertisements by F.L.A.M.E. and other rightist or Zionist organizations, the substance of which, The Nations‘ editorial staff disagrees.

Magdelyn Jimenez

To the Editor:

I, too, would appreciate some accountability — from supporters of NUHW. Please explain why it is very bad for SEIU to raid UNITE HERE, but it just fine and dandy for NUHW to raid SEIU. Also, please explain why this fairly glaring inconsistency is consistently ignored.

Sherry Minson

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