What's Up With EJAG, Anyway?I am writing in response to the continued letters from the Environmental Justice Action Group attacking my employer, Brush Ceramic Products (Mailbag, April 28). Who does EJAG really represent? They have not talked to me or other fellow employees that I know of. There were as many supporters as detractors at the Sunnyside School District Governing Board meeting that I attended in March. Who are these guys, and who do they represent?
Why do they spread their attacks to those who investigate the facts and then disagree with them, like Linda Lopez? EJAG is a big fan of the Sunnyside Governing Board when they can be talked into spending $70,000 for testing that EJAG cannot convince any regulatory body to fund. But when a member of that same body attempts to verify EJAG's justifications (and finds them lacking), they attack with letters to the editor.
I think it's time for EJAG to produce some facts on itself and exactly who they represent.
What's Up With Brush's PR, Anyway?At the national level, the chronic lying of Bush and his gang has killed and/or maimed more than a million people on this planet in the last four years. At the local level, the chronic lying of Brush Ceramic Products management has killed or left chronically ill dozens of people in the last 25 years.
Brush management has--for at least a year now--further institutionalized its lying by paying for "public relations" services. Beryllium oxide is one of the most toxic man-made compounds on this planet; there is no known safe level of exposure.
The only reason Brush pays for PR now is that they see it as cost effective to chronically and systematically lie to ensure their high profits at the expense of our children's health. Plus, there is a plan to build at least 600 units of residential housing adjacent to the Brush plant! What kind of evil community leaders would allow this plan to get as far as it has gotten? And why, given all these facts, does Linda Lopez still insist that people can live with various levels of man-made beryllium oxide?
Disturbed by Mice-Victimizing ExperimentThis morning, I was sitting in the bathroom with nothing but an old Weekly at my feet, and I began skimming through the tattered pages. I fell upon the interview with 16-year-old Will Green, a junior at Rio Rico High School (TQ&A, May 5). For a boy at his age to have an interest in these political issues is quite rare, as most of his classmates are probably underage boozing or chasing chicks at the mall or something.
But what threw off my faith in American youth was the revelation that this young fellow, at the hands of a mentor with access to laboratory facilities, was previously injecting helpless mice with lethal cancer cells! I cringed at the mere thought of it.
Having an extreme distaste for any human who would purposely harm an animal, I would wish this young man would keep his fingers away from the mice. I think it's more important for Green to stay ahead of politics and educate his peers around him rather than using small furry animals to win applause by parents and science geeks. Kristin Schurk
Those Assaulted Do Not Have Addiction to Blame Regarding the link between substance abuse and sexual violence ("Pathway's Problematic Preachings," May 5): Most people who become addicted were sexually abused or assaulted before they ever picked up. In other words, people don't get raped because they got high; they get high because they were raped. People who have been traumatized may use drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. An important part of a recovery program is treatment to learn new ways of coping. Blaming the victim is useless; it doesn't help. Rapists and molesters aren't forces of nature or acts of God, they're human beings choosing to hurt other human beings.
The bottom line: You are responsible for the harm you do to others; you are not responsible for the harm they do to you.
Downing's Positions on Immigration Remind of Pro-Slavery PositionsLet me get this straight ("A Brief Know-Your-Border quiz," Downing, April 21): You support continued illegal immigration so that we can get immigrants to "pick melons for 12 hours a day" at low wages? You do realize that it is against labor practices to have someone work a 12-hour shift, don't you?
If we didn't allow big business access to millions of easily exploited and illegal workers, what would happen? Businesses would have to employ poor Americans and LEGAL immigrants, and would have to offer a decent wage. Wages would go up--basic economics. But because only about 10 percent of the cost of produce goes to wages, you wouldn't see much of a rise in prices at the store, and you would see less of a demand on social services, more room in classrooms, less traffic, etc.
Your arguments are similar to those made in support of slavery 150 years ago. It's funny that black Americans are suffering once again by your support for an increase in cheap labor. Millions of black Americans are losing jobs to foreign labor. You need to re-think your positions.
Militarize the Border, and Let the Free Market WorkSo the biggest problem we're facing from illegal immigration is that it's bad for the environment and dangerous for the law-breaking border crossers?
This seems rather silly when one considers the enormous drain illegal immigrants put on our nation's health care and education infrastructures, not to mention our vulnerability to terrorists waltzing in.
Illegal immigration could and should be halted over night--if only President Bush would have the guts to put the National Guard on the border, and round up/ship out all the illegals here already.
As for the low-earning jobs Ms. Downing fears no Americans will take: I heartily disagree. Americans will either take them at the same wages, or employers will be forced to up the ante until they do. It's the free market at its best.
Environment Prospects Looking DimThanks for the "Green Machine" piece by Tim Vanderpool (Currents, April 21). Tucson Electric Power's new coal plants will not only foul Arizona's air, but, primarily, will contribute millions of tons of carbon dioxide to the global atmosphere, leading to Global Climate Chaos (GCC). Yes, there has been some opposition to TEP's coal plants, but The League of Conservation Voters has supported Corporation Commission candidates that favored these coal plants.
The United States, China and India are on track to build 850 coal plants by 2012, which will emit more than five times the carbon dioxide than the 140 countries that have signed the Kyoto Protocol will cut by 2012.
Unlike other environmental problems, GCC is cumulative and non-reversible within 100-200 years.
Techies, hippies and rich people will not solve this by "going green" one person or institution at a time. As in Europe, which uses a third to a half, per capita, of the amount of energy the United States does, it will require green taxing and regulatory policies.
As the world peaks in oil extraction, some are forecasting a depopulating of Arizona, rather than a doubling by 2030. James Howard Kunstler in his recent The Long Emergency predicts that "Sunbelt states like Arizona and Nevada will become significantly depopulated, since the region will be short of water as well as gasoline and natural gas."