Cultural worth

Re: VC Reporter, 12/29/05, “They year in worthless pop culture”

The good news is that help is on the way in Ventura County for the addicted-to-pop/trash-culture Molly Freedenberg, who needs her shot of Brad/Angelina/Tom/(Nicole Kidman — no, forget Nicole K, and make that Nicole R) Jenn, Stuttgart  Hilton (sorry make that Paris)  and the bevy of fairly talentless rock pop, showbiz wannabe icons who display their belly buttons and who are looking for their 15 minutes of fame, before she (that’s Molly, in case you got confused following the  above list of names) is able to face her VC Reporter word-processor daily.

First of all, a reassurance to Ms. Freedenberg that I, too, at one time, once followed the inane adventures of the rich and the famous for the time being, who once were the staple diet of such publications as The Enquirer, US, Them, In Touch, Out of Touch, and the latest publication to feed off the non-stop flow of celebrity dribble.

I should warn the talented Ms. Freedenberg that prolonged exposure to gossip-mag trash has been proven to be harmful to your brain cells.

So, I suggest she follow this strict regime for the New Year.

In the months to come, try sampling such delights as the Third Annual Ventura County Jewish Film Festival April 27 – 30th.  The Ventura Music Festival, with its dazzling line up of world class talent, runs May 4-14; and don’t forget Art Walks, Strawberry Festivals and exhibits of the works of top-rated photographers in our multiplying galleries.

You will know it’s beginning to work when you wake up one day humming Beethoven’s 9th and start to believe that the latest scandal about Eminem refers to His Eminence, who currently lives in the Vatican.

Good luck and may the Branford Marsalis be with you.

Ivor Davis, Ventura

Who is George W.?

We are five years into the presidency of George W. Bush,

 
Who was appointed by the Supreme Court;

Who disregarded warnings about Al Qaeda from the previous administration;

Who used the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda as justification to invade Afghanistan;

Who then all but abandoned the Afghanistan campaign without capturing Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, as promised;

Who deliberately used faulty intelligence to convince the Congress and the American people to support a unilateral attack on a country 8,000 miles away because of the “imminent threat” that it posed to our safety;

 
Who claimed unlimited executive powers because he was “Commander-in-Chief,” not just of the military as granted in the Constitution, but of the entire United States;

 

Who disregarded the advice of his generals to use a larger force to invade Iraq;

 

Who declared “major combat over” in May, 2003, while over 2,000 Americans have died since then;

 

Who repeatedly states, “We are making progress” although the war that was supposed to be over in weeks has gone on for almost three years;

 

Who asked for no sacrifices from the civilian population as we entered the war but for the ultimate sacrifice from the members of the military;

 

Who has changed America from the most admired country in the world to the most disliked;

 

Who refuses to acknowledge the scientific evidence agreed upon by the overwhelming majority of responsible scientists that human-caused global warming is taking place and refuses to join in cutting carbon dioxide emissions with other nations as agreed to in the Kyoto treaty;

 

Who cut taxes for the richest among us while cutting benefits for the poorest;

Who signed into law, but did not fully fund, the No Child Left Behind Act, that, with its repeated testing and punitive measures, sets schools up for failure and diverts state and local resources from proven educational programs, and that has driven 47 of the 50 states into some stage of rebellion against the NCLB;

 

Who changed a $500 million federal government surplus into a $500 million deficit in five years;

 

Who signed an energy bill that does not provide for, or even urge conservation, but subsidizes hugely profitable oil and coal producers;

 

Who tried to “reform” the Social Security System, the most successful and efficiently run government program in history;

 

Who signed a Medicare bill that confused all recipients, that gave pharmaceutical companies carte blanche, yet prohibited Medicare from negotiating lower prices on drugs;

 

Who has run an administration whose incompetence and corruption is now coming to light in one area after another;

 

Who four years ago secretly authorized the National Security Agency to spy on American citizens using wiretaps, etc., and who now is launching a federal investigation into who leaked that information;

 

Who has been accurately quoted as saying in a staff meeting, “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”;

 

Whom historians are now comparing favorably with the “worst” presidents in the history of the United States.

 

That is where we are.
 

Where will we go?

Robert H. Byrnes, Camarillo

Correction

In our 12/29/05 news story, “Environment 2005: The good, the bad and the ugly,” we reported that an industrial water treatment plant in Ventura operated by Puretec Industrial Water had “at least one toxic spill”; however, we have since found that statement was in error. Puretec has never been cited for a toxic spill in the history of the company. Puretec has since moved to a larger facility in Oxnard.