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Hooked on books
While it’s true that the Internet and digital media have greatly increased our access to information and hard-to-find literature, our access was possible because a hardcopy survives somewhere.     
As a book lover, I’ve been told that the love of my life will one day be extinct, something which fills me with dread and defensive stubbornness. E-books, they tell me. The last thing I want to do after spending eight hours on the computer at work is to go home and spend more time on the computer to read a book, or some other electronic device that requires charging and is too dear to allow me to throw it at somebody when I’m mad at them.
I certainly cannot knock the ease and convenience of modern technology and what modern inventions have enabled us to do. But technology moves quickly and leaves nothing for posterity (anyone remember the ZIP drive?).

 Who benefits?
Re: The University of Texas case decided by the United States Supreme Court concerning the issue of Affirmative Action.  
The court’s ruling governs how or whether universities may consider an applicant’s race and is likely to affect how the government treats race in other areas. 
 The purpose of affirmative action in the United States was to create government programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. There is no question that past societal discrimination occurred in the United States and perhaps the only appropriate remedy {at the time} was affirmative action.
However, I believe this policy has outlived its purpose.  Anywhere you look in the United States, minorities are well represented.  Besides, there is a limit to punishing people for the sins of their forefathers.  It is unfair to award preference based on race when all other qualifications are equal.
This not only undermines the means to determining the best candidates but also serves to de-legitimize the accomplishments of someone who was given preference based on race. Those opposed to affirmative action look to section one of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States:
Amendment XIV: “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
I believe the minorities of this country have been given enough time to allow for the “cream to rise to the top” and now must take their equal position along side of the majority. The time is long overdue to stop rewarding underachieving individuals because of their race and start rewarding overachieving individuals because of their accomplishments. To do otherwise, would mean denying the very principles set forth in the Fourteenth Amendment.  

Weighty question
I really don’t know who to ask about this, but I’ve noticed that when I go into one of these self-service yogurt shops with my partner, they never let us weigh both our cups at the same time at the checkout.  
So today, when we were at Cherry on Top, I asked the checkout gal to weigh both our cups together and it was about 40 cents cheaper than if she had weighed them individually!
I asked why, but she didn’t know. But she said she’d ask the owners when they were in. She kindly gave us the cheaper rate.
What gives?

Re: “Filling the void,” June 20
The primary impediments to elected representation used to be external (racism and at large elections). Remember that this is a city where the covenants on real property (except the Northwest’s “servant quarters”) prevented sale to all except “gentile Caucasians” and where the public pool excluded people of color on every day except “International Day,” at the end of which it was cleaned for the next week. The intentional segregation in Pasadena, including segregated schools, and lack of access to resources, are the foundation on which the old system was built. And yes, things are not what they were. Now the primary impediments to elected representation are internal (absence of a consensus candidate, for example). Not every Latino in a position of influence has to be a “change agent,” and the “community” has not come to grips with the notion of leadership and what that should be or mean. It is all evolving.


Re: “Nuclear power: RIP?” July 4
John, you are kidding yourself. There will certainly be a “nuclear renaissance” in Asia and the Third World. Countries like China and Argentina are determined to develop modern infrastructure and raise living standards, and they know that high-density, centralized energy sources are required to do that. They also lack the technophobia that came in the Western counterculture (Hermann Hesse’s “war on the machines” in “Steppenwolf”) so they are not blinded to the fact that more people died from one windmill collapsing in Brazil than from all nuclear accidents combined. Meanwhile, in the US and Europe, the ruling elites have embraced austerity (mainly for the purpose of bailing out banks), and they are prepared to let living standards collapse, so they don’t mind having people struggle to keep their Facebook connections going with a backyard solar array. But there is a certain amount of blatant hypocrisy in the anti-nuclear crusade in countries like Germany, which banned nuclear plants but is voraciously buying up the electricity generated by the nuclear plants in neighboring countries.


Have something on your mind that you’d like to share with the rest of the community? You’re in the right place: Our Letters to the Editor page, one of the most widely read sections of the paper.  Send your letters to kevinu@pasadenaweekly.com. Just remember, it usually takes two to three weeks for a letter to appear in print. n



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