No big surprise
Ellen Snortland cops many a wimpy out in her May 30 column “The ‘F’ Word.” Her “woe is women” stance belies the huge advances and contributions made by women in industry, media, science, commerce, the arts, technology, etc. They can even be lawyers!
Citing the antiquarian mushwit Pat Robertson’s anti-feminism is just a waste of ink. And when military women finally are called into combat, will the shibboleth “violence against women” be defunct?
Snortland’s reverse ageism and looks-ism (“usually younger, good looking”) indicate she hasn’t seen Pat Harvey, Christiane Amanpour, Rachel Maddow and many other “persons of gender” at work in news. She ascribes bitchiness only to demanding women, letting men off the hook for whatever the analogous behavior might be called (perhaps involving a certain male appendage). Surprise! Men and women are different.
Success has its costs for anyone. And I know some men who do enjoy putting themselves in women’s shoes.
~ T. BRADLEY, ALTADENA
Under no circumstances
With all the debate recently for amending the United States Constitution in favor of certain issues and those constituencies, perhaps a more appropriate amendment should guarantee each citizen of the United States the right to food, clothing, shelter and medical care.
Poverty is defined as the condition of being poor or lacking the necessary means of support to live or meet needs. Today we read of enormous corporate tax breaks, outsourcing of jobs overseas and outrageous salaries “earned” by athletes and entertainers. More recently there have been revelations about the billions of dollars spent by the US on two wars. In the meantime, the number of those in poverty continues to increase.
The Old Testament often makes references to The Promised Land flowing with milk and honey. All one has to do in this country is take a trip to the grocery store or department store and bear witness to the fact that if anywhere was close to exhibiting the characteristics of The Promised Land, this country is it. Yet, somehow we are still unable to meet the four basic needs of every citizen. Some would argue that this proposal is an extension of socialism/communism. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Socialism/communism is a political or economic theory in which community members own all property, resources and the means of production, and control the distribution of goods. No one is suggesting the replacement of capitalism, an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and prices are chiefly determined by open competition in a free market. What is being suggested is that in this land of surplus milk and honey, there is absolutely no reason why the four basic needs of every US citizen cannot be met.
Some would argue that food stamps, thrift stores, public housing and Medicaid already meet these needs. But in the words of President John F. Kennedy, “this country is divided between those who have never had it so good and those who know we can do better.” I think we can do better.
Resolved, it shall be the right of every United States citizen (in order to further guarantee the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) to receive food, clothing, shelter and medical care that is adequate to meet their basic needs.
As for the Farm Bill currently being considered by Congress, it is a multibillion-dollar farm subsidy bill renewed every five years. The bill first became law in 1933 as a means of preventing farmers from taking a loss on their annual production of crops — corn, wheat, cotton, rice and soybeans. The government paid farmers the difference between what they sold and what it cost to produce. At the time, it was a brilliant means of “priming the pump” so that farmers could be temporarily shielded from the effects of the Great Depression.
Today’s Farm Bill is a clear example of a government program being continued way beyond its original intention. Essentially, the government now pays farmers to under-produce crops in order to charge higher prices. Adding to the controversy is that it gives two-thirds of the subsidy to the top 10 percent of farmers. As with most government programs, bureaucratic self-perpetuation has allowed for this subsidy to become corrupted.
Not surprisingly, the government has it backwards. Why not let the farmers produce as much crops as possible, sell what they can on the world market and give their surplus to the poor? Whatever they don’t sell, the government should pay them for and distribute it among those in poverty. In a world facing a food crisis never before seen in the history of humankind, we should never halt the production of food under any circumstances.
~ JOE BIALEK, CLEVELAND
I find it interesting that most conservatives think that the answer to improving our economy is continued tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations, while they want to cut services to poor individual Americans.
The 1950s — which most conservatives agree were America’s “glory years” — saw a quite different situation from today. In 1950, according to the Congressional Office of Management and Budget, corporations paid $3 in taxes for every $1 paid by American workers. In 2012, corporations only paid 22 cents for every $1 paid by workers.
Wouldn’t common sense dictate that this tax disparity is one of the problems at the base of our economic woes? When it is provable that lower corporate tax rates do not improve the economy, why do conservatives insist on extending those lower rates?
In a sane world, the actions of modern American conservatives would be called what it is: Treason.
~ TOM BECHAM, VENTURA
FROM THE WEB:
Re: “The only way,” May 30
Kudos to Randy (Jurado Ertll) for holistically addressing the needs and concerns of the population that El Centro serves. Providing educational and recreational opportunities is only a component in addressing greater policy issues in the community, such as homelessness, police misconduct and immigration. Feel-good solutions are not true solutions to chronic problems.