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Work to do
Thank you, Pasadena Weekly, for providing such a professional, polished forum for the diverse voices of our community. As Randy Jurado Ertll says, our city has a beautiful legacy, and we've come a long way. But as he also points out, we still have much more work to do to create a genuine COMMUNITY in every sense of the word that is freer of class divisions than it now is.

That will mean, of course, taking meaningful (not token) steps to enhance the education of all our children, to tackle long-festering issues and shortcomings in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and to bring greater diversity to the table.

Excluding or minimizing any groups from participation and conversation is not the American Way. Thanks to Randy for reminding us of this. We all have much work to do.


No big deal
The charge that The Associated Press brouhaha is a threat to democracy overstates the case. As I understand it, the only info obtained were records of which phone numbers were called from a given set of phones; no communications were monitored or recorded. And the target is not The AP or its reporters; it’s whoever in government violated the law and disclosed sensitive information.  

As the editorial states, democracy needs whistle-blowers, but The AP reporting was not about misdeeds, and information was disclosed that likely had serious consequences. It would be one thing if a thwarted plot and some other details were reported, but revealing the existence of a double agent was over the line. That revelation likely compromised an important operation, put the life of the agent at risk and possibly put at risk the lives of the agent’s family, friends, associates and others.

The press is key to democracy, but too often the goal of the press is profit and all else be damned. Much of what passes for news and information today is not responsible journalism and is a disservice to democracy. Media is awash in a plethora of lies, misinformation, distortions, sensationalism and bias. And many of those who are crying foul over The AP brouhaha are mainly interested in protecting their jobs and lucrative paychecks and protecting media empires. Their primary concern is not democracy; they are worried more about being deprived of grist for the infotainment-industrial complex.   
Fun with sharks
According to news reports, a shark recently bit a kayak in waters just south of San Francisco. Thankfully, the man inside the kayak escaped unharmed, but this story serves as a good reminder: While there are a handful of well-publicized shark attacks around the world each year, humans pose the much bigger threat. We kill about 100 million sharks every year.   

Here are a few facts you may not know about sharks:

Sharks may seem to be all business, but they also have a playful side. Porbeagle sharks have been observed playing with objects floating in the water and chasing after other sharks who trailed pieces of kelp behind them.

Some sharks follow a pecking order when eating, with the biggest shark eating first, and work together to obtain food. Biologist Peter Best once saw several great whites working together to move the carcass of a partially beached whale to deeper waters so that they could eat it.

While whale sharks can give birth to 300 babies at a time, most sharks grow and mature slowly, have long gestation periods, and produce few young — making these animals particularly vulnerable to overfishing. To find out how you can help protect sharks and other marine animals, please visit PETA.org.  
Re: “Freedom begins at home,” June 13
Good idea.

Re: Employer’s market,” June 20
“At the FBI table things were looking less rosy. Handwritten signs read: Currently in a hiring freeze; Interns for summer 2013 have already been selected.” Why was the FBI at the fair? “To give people background information,” Special Agent Judith Gelman said. “Hopefully we’ll come out of the hiring freeze soon.” Oh, give me a fkn break. If the FBI (CIA/NSA/FEMA/[put your favorite alphabet-soup institution here]) really needs to hire somebody for ANY kind of function, it simply uses its bottomless bank account, black/gray-ops funding. What the FBI is really doing at a mostly “minority”-attended jobs function is trying to find some Tom-types, who’re willing to functionally entrap their own “folks” for a steady paycheck, as the FBI has successfully done in recent memory with the members of America’s somewhat less-than-Caucasian Islamic community. The Federal government’s more in-house spooks are just trolling for a fresh batch of low-rent snitches.   


Re: “Filling the void,” June 20
Part of the problem is that some current Latino leaders in this city are either ineffective, abrasive or they’ve become “token” Latinos. Token Latinos have very limited power and they are not change agents. They’re gatekeepers of the status quo because they don’t dare to speak out about social justice. They exist solely to allow the majority rule to pretend they’re diverse and inclusive. They actually work against Latinos.    


Latinos need to get out and vote.    


Hold on a second: Discrimination is the reason that more Latinos have not been elected to the City Council or the Board of Education? That’s a crock. The fact is that Latino voters historically have a poor track record for going to the polls. Even when the first redistricting several years ago created the largely Latino District 5 for the City Council, voters in that district elected the white candidate over the Latino candidate. Go figure. But don’t call it discrimination.     


I find the analysis made publicly by the city’s mayor about your performance to be a breach of civility between City Hall and a nonprofit agency. During this length of time the mayor should have taken you aside and spoken to you about his concerns. Maybe City Hall is suffering a counter-dependency disorder.     


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