Letters for May 13, 2010

Really real

Re “Not real” (Letters to the editor, May 6):

The person who commented on my Letter to the Editor “Jesus is all right with us” put words in my mouth that were not correct. I did not see a disembodied face; Jesus just let me see his face. I think the reason is that Jesus knows I do not like to see any representation of his suffering. The original disciples made it clear that the stigmata were visible after his “death.”

In addition, it does not fit the criteria of a delusion. (“The belief is not ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture.”) Many religious people of my subculture do believe in the disciples’ visions.

To give a clearer description, this is what happened. The Sunnyvale Presbyterian minister said something like, “Let us bow our heads in prayer and reflect on our spiritual gifts and how God may be calling us to use them.”

I closed my eyes and started running through my mind the spiritual gifts I might have. I was awake, and it wasn’t a visual hallucination that some people have on falling asleep. When I thought, “I could write,” that is when Jesus appeared, and I gazed into his eyes, barely noticing much else about his face. His hair was dark and went down close to his shoulders.

I sensed that it took a tremendous amount of energy to break the laws of nature in this way. My beliefs are that Jesus has rejoined God, and they can assume any form they want. I could have thought the man from my vision was Elijah, but since it happened in a Presbyterian church, I knew it was Jesus.

Psychology is in its infancy as a science. The mind is one of the last great frontiers, and new discoveries are being made all the time. Recently, there has been a lot of research on the power of prayer in speeding healing.

Lizbeth Trotti

You are what you consume

Re “Food for thought” (Filet of Soul, May 6):

I think your sentiments in “Food for thought” are felt by many, many people. The certainty of any person, agency, or corporation that any concoction, or abstinence from a substance, will improve or harm our lives must always be questioned, including those made by the government, the pharmaceutical industry, public health, private health, nutrition stores, your personal trainer, and your mom.

What I learned from my time as a certified fitness nutrition coach is that the body is complex, more complex than we fathom. Add to that the complexity of food systems—how does a tomato actually work in our bodies? We know some of it, but not all. Plus, that tomato does not work in a biochemical vacuum. It must deal with the other foods in our bodies in various states of assimilation as well as the various toxic loads we place on our bodies by smoking, breathing, taking medications, supplements, drinking from plastic water bottles, using shampoo, cologne, make-up, ingesting other people’s toxins farther upstream, the toxins in fish, beef, and veggies, etc. One more factor: historical toxicity.

Have we created a species that can’t live without pharmacological interference? Now, before we are born we are exposed to a host of unnatural chemicals. We then proceed to feed chemical formula (now in chocolate!) to infants, “juice” boxes to toddlers, manufactured Girl Scout cookies to kids, fast food to teens, Top Ramen in college, and so on until much of our daily intake of nutrients includes anything that can be fractionated, pulverized, powdered and capsule-ized or peptized in a lab. Our modern diseases are created or triggered by our chemicals and combated by them as well. Are we better off as a species (at least the Western world) because of our chemical advances? I don’t know. What I do know is by “solving” problems of the past we’ve created many more that will continue to tax our Earth, our economy and our health system whether we have privatized medicine or socialized medicine.

Chad Sweet

Your numbers are off

Re “Progress on menace of growth” (Editorial, April 22):

Regarding your editorial, I checked the National Vital Statistics Report that you referred to online at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvsr58_15.htm, and it looks to me that we Americans are still breeding like rats. In the 12 months ending in July 2009, the report states that there were 1,763,000 more births than deaths. This is a slightly smaller gain than the 12 months ending in July 2008, but it is still a huge gain in population.

I totally agree with your assessment that “there are very few of our long term problems that would not benefit from negative population growth,” and when I read your editorial, I was elated that our population was reported to be dropping, but that appears not to be the case.

I believe that the most important thing a person could do to help our planet is to not have children. There are way too many humans on this Earth already.

John Hunter

Corporations don’t

Re “You’d have to be crazy” (Editorial, May 6):

Your editorial essentially wonders “who speaks for me?” in the current political environment. You are correct that independents face near certain irrelevance, first because few independents vote when the chance arises, and secondly, successful campaigns require significant resources of organization, volunteers and money. The only real path to electoral success still runs through the established parties. That option is perceived to be much more onerous than it really is. To see this one has to sort perception from reality.

The hate language emanating from the right-wing talkers who control a disproportionate share of the public airwaves, along with the seditious “do anything to make the president fail” Republican strategy have distorted the truth of today’s political choices. The right-wing whackos have been unleashed, and the left wing has been demonized. Most moderates and reasonable people recoil at these perceived choices, as they should. But these choices are simply false, purposely destructive misconstructions of reality. A more rational and supportable view would be that the age-old battle between corporate interests and the interests of the average guy or gal continues. The Republicans have had their way with government for years, and the large corporations have thrived (check out their profit levels and stock prices) while far too many Americans jobs have been lost, incomes battered and security imperiled. President Obama’s election was a small step in restoring the interests of the people to our government’s agenda.

What we are experiencing is the Republican leadership fronting for corporate interests at a time when the evidence of corporate greed is all around and undeniable. That’s what just happened in healthcare insurance reform. That’s what’s at the heart of the Republican’s “drill baby drill” campaign. No surprises are likely in the Democratic and Republican positions on preserving and protecting the environment or addressing immigration reform. For those who understand the true political situation, the battle lines are drawn: the Democrats are the best hope for the average citizen; the Republicans are simply in resistance mode to continue the corporatocracy they have been aiding and abetting.

Chip Evans