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THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIALS/LETTERS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2012
THE NEW YORK TIMES OP-ED TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2012
ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER, JR, Publisher Founded in 1851 ADOLPH S. OCHS Publisher 1896-1935 ARTHUR HAYS SULZBERGER Publisher 1935-1961 ORVIL E. DRYFOOS Publisher 1961-1963 ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER Publisher 1963-1992 The News Sections JILL ABRAMSON, Executive Editor
DEAN BAQUET, Managing Editor JOHN M. GEDDES, Managing Editor TOM BODKIN, Deputy Managing Editor WILLIAM E. SCHMIDT, Deputy Managing Editor Assistant Managing Editors RICHARD L. BERKE NALLY SUSAN CHIRA GLENN KRAMON MICHELLE McJIM ROBERTS
YASMIN NAMINI, Senior V.P Marketing and Circulation, ., General Manager, Reader Applications ALEXIS BURYK, Senior V.P Advertising ., ROLAND A. CAPUTO, Senior V.P Chief Financial Officer ., THOMAS K. CARLEY, Senior V.P Planning . TERRY L. HAYES, Senior V.P Operations and Labor .
The New York Times Company ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER JR., Chairman, Chief Executive Officer MICHAEL GOLDEN, Vice Chairman JAMES M. FOLLO, Chief Financial Officer R. ANTHONY BENTEN, Senior V.P . ROBERT H. CHRISTIE, Senior V.P . MARC FRONS, Senior V.P Chief Informational Officer ., KENNETH A. RICHIERI, Senior V.P General Counsel ., LAURENA L. EMHOFF, V.P Treasurer ., DIANE BRAYTON, Secretary
The Opinion Pages JOE KALICKI, Editorial Page Editor TRISH HALL, Deputy Editorial Page Editor TERRY TANG, Deputy Editorial Page Editor The Business Management SCOTT H. HEEKIN-CANEDY, President, General Manager DENISE F. WARREN, Senior V.P Chief Advertising Officer., ., General Manager, NYTimes.com
Ratings Over Rights
When I came out last year,
I was concerned about two things: what my parents would say and how society in general would react. These two qualms tend to be prominent among gay teens as they face the decision to come out. It is the societal context that tends to be the more worrisome, as we are forced to face the idea that discrimination and hatred are two very real threats. While there is definite evidence of progression in our country, at what point does this effort to promote inclusion cross the line between a genuine civil rights movement and a superficial act of benevolence to gain economic profit? Shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Glee, and Modern Family were all noted to have openly portrayed gay couples in their episodes. Earlier shows like Will and Grace and Ellen were pioneers in this movement and subsequently faced controversy and outrage from several conservative groups and the stations which they were broadcast on. As more shows become popular with teens and young adults which portray homosexual and transgender characters positively, one would logically think that this is evidence of a progression that has now become palpable to households across the country. Let me start off by saying that I am by no means a pessimist. I feel that if homosexuals are indeed “coming out” on television, the idea of it will obviously be considered less of a taboo and more widely accepted. However, my main question concerns the motive behind it. Will and Grace and Ellen were different in that they portrayed homosexuality before it was fashionable to do so. Ellen DeGeneres came out in one of the most public ways possible both inperson and in-character. The negative publicity and controversy surrounding this decision eventually caused her show’s ratings to drop leading to the show’s cancellation. On the contrary, Will and Grace ran for nine seasons and Will’s character became one of the most endeared gay television characters in history. Because the shows were so advanced and open-minded for the time—the AIDS epidemic had only been recognized as a threat a decade earlier— one could isolate them and other TV shows with simitoday is that a homosexual couple can be portrayed as what they are, stereotypes included, however anything sexual between them is considered “crossing the line.” It almost is reminiscent of the I Love Lucy days, where, due to the societal constructs of the time, Lucy and Desi were portrayed sleeping in separate beds and never sharing more than a peck on the lips. Ellen Degeneres herself faced this dilemma when a “Parental Discretion” warning was shown after the opening credits of Ellen due to the fact that mist. I know that television itself is in its basic form a business and making money is important to them. However, as a gay male who for the sake of this article is speaking out for many, all I ask is for there to a true concerted effort by the media. There is still so much more about the gay community that is unrecognized and what better way to show that then to portray it on society’s most popular media outlet? Television is indeed a business, and many other businesses such as food and retail have also stepped out “in support” of equality. Kraft, Target, and Starbucks were all companies who came out in support of homosexual equality in the wake of the Chick-Fil-A controversy. While they all faced boycotts and protests from anti-gay groups, ultimately their image remained untarnished, and they all generally reported positive sales. Chick-FilA, whose comments about homosexuality caused a backlash, eventually conceded and adopted an anti-discrimination policy speaking in favor of equality. It would seem that once a possible decline of profits was viewed on the horizon, the company suddenly had an epiphany and realized the error in their ways. What I question here is the reality of their decision, and how fake their actions seem if a timeline of events leading up to the final decision is observed. When I came out, I didn’t do so in order to benefit businesses or ratings. I did it for myself, and more importantly, to inspire those around me to adopt the same mentality and be proud of who they are. I only hope that society will see the true value in this time of change and progression, and that it will be channeled positively through the aspects of our culture that influence us the most.
The Consumer Wants to Know
If you want my money, I have the right to know exactly what I am buying first. This is what consumers are requesting. This is what they are demanding. They want food labels to tell us everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly. If bio-tech and food companies promote their products as being healthy and great for the environment, why would they have an issue with providing a proper label on their products? If they are just as healthy as non-processed food, wouldn’t they want their labels proudly displaying everything? Well, companies like DuPont and Monsanto, which produce genetically modified (GM) or genetically engineered (GE) products to be consumed, think otherwise. They don’t want to let their consumers know what has been manipulated through a transgenic approach. Adequate labeling is what food consumers in California are pursuing with Proposition 37. They don’t necessarily want genetically modified or engineered foods to come off the shelf; they just want to make an informed decision to what kinds of foods they are buying. Food consumers should have the right to know where their food is coming from, how it’s made, and what kind of concoctions of chemical chili it contains. They should be able to make an informed choice on what they purchase and ingest. Whether that food is drowned in sweeteners, pesticides, hormones, or GMOs, they should be able to say “yes” or “no”, whilst being fully aware of what they’re forking in. I am a conscious shopper, and I am big believer that the foods we consume dictate our overall health. If we take care of our bodies, our bodies will take care of themselves. Most Americans do not care to think about the foods they are eating. They care about taste and primarily cost. It is not a surprise that organic foods are much cheaper than genetically modified foods. Organic is harder to grow and they don’t rely on chemicals like herbicides or pesticides to keep their crops standing. Food labels provide us with some useful information, for example, where the food has been produced, the manufacturer’s name and address, list of ingredients, and nutritional facts. Why aren’t foods labeled to tell us whether or not they’ve been genetically modified or conventionally grown? We are provided with different kinds of labeling like “natural,” organic,” or “minimally processed,” which seems to all be marketing. But why isn’t the food industry labeling food as “conventional” or as “genetically modified?” Is this because a label which is known to be “negative” can cause food sales to decline? We need to eat, and a lot of people cannot afford a diet completely made up of organic foods. Many people would still purchase the GM option, especially if it’s lower in price in comparison to conventional or organic food. Some of these labels wouldn’t necessary hinder sales, but would provide the option for the consumer to make a clear, educated choice. So, what exactly are GMOs? Genetically modified organisms are when a gene is either altered, or removed by humans, rather than nature, in a laboratory, which is also known as transgenic or the “transfer of genes.” For example, according to National Geographic, “they can put a rat gene into lettuce to make a plant that produces vitamin C or splice genes from the cecrophia moth into apple plants, offering protection from fire blight, a bacterial disease that damages apples and pears.” In a more simplistic definition, we can transfer genes from one organism into another organism to achieve a particular result. Californians have been fighting to pass Proposition 37, which will require the bio-tech giant, Monsanto, and other companies that are involved with creating GMOs to label their products. Other articles are telling consumers that labeling products wouldn’t be the answer. That labeling products would cost more for these bio-tech giants, and in turn, would drive up the cost of food. Why would the prices go up? And if they did, wouldn’t our tax money levitate some of those costs? And if they didn’t, shouldn’t these multibillion dollar companies take some responsibility with the cost raises? If it means that labeling our foods would cost more, it’s much cheaper than a hospital bill, or having your family prepare a funeral because you were uninformed with what you eating. Ever since Proposition 37, Monsanto has been under a lot more of heat than usual. Monsanto, the “sustainable agricultural company,” is anything but sustainable. Monsanto promotes their company as being great for the environment, while promoting yield and crop productivity. There has been research and recent discoveries that have been exposed which contradicts Monsanto’s promise as a “sustainable agricultural company.” Monsanto is creating a ripple effect of disaster on our ecosystem, environment, and personal health. There have been recent studies that show that GM foods are linked to tumor growths, kidney and liver damage, and infertility. And although Proposition 37 wouldn’t stop the production of genetically modified foods, it can, however, give people a choice. Those who are fighting for Proposition 37 realize that this label won’t exactly erase all the issues associated with GM foods, but it’s a step into the right direction. We just want to know.
To Care About Your Own
Republican women are ignoring the advancement of their own gender
It’s common thought that we change political stances as we age to suit our changing needs and desires. Growing up we are told we will eschew our youth motivated idealisms and shift towards a more individualistic future where we are born again into “conservatism”. I’ve readily dismissed this concept, particularly because of my personal shift from conservatism in my youth to a markedly more liberal ideology. Furthermore, my ability to empathize with others is the primary motivation for the expansion of my thoughts on broad matters like welfare and healthcare. I fear that one group of people are being particularly ignorant to the struggles that they themselves had likely faced in their youths. That group is Republican women, who consistently decry birth control and abortion rights as being anti-family. This is a fairly obvious traditionalist tactic, trying to paint a picture of religious and conservative America as being the only ones who aspire to have families and keep kids off the street. The number one issue that prevents a woman from being socially mobile is getting pregnant and having children, particularly out of wedlock. Even when married, social pressures and work inflexibility force women to stay home and hinder their ability to pursue a career. If Republican women are bold enough to claim that this is not the woman’s place in the home, that is, to be a breadwinner, then they are going to have a bloody civil war on their hand’s within their gender. It’s quite hypocritical to belong to a political party that claims they want people to be able to make the most out of themselves in an entrepreneurial fashion and simultaneously deny yourself and half the population of the country protection from events that could halt their livelihood or lead to their dependence on welfare. They will claim that one must simply wait until marriage to have sex, as that will surely solve these issues. However, assuming people will ever do this is a pipe dream that not even the strongest Chinese opium could make reality and the statistics prove it. States who promote proper (non-abstinence) sex education do in fact see decreases in teen pregnancy. If these women choose to care about anything besides their own exerted morality they will see who their chosen leadership actually cares about--it’s certainly not women or their rights. Modern women must take charge at this group, who pose a huge threat by negatively representing the demographic which they belong to.
Bovine Persuasion Comes Easier Than Expected
TO THE EDITOR: Re “A Cow’s View on Same Sex Marriage”: This piece put an interesting spin on the idea of equality with a voice from a dairy cow working for Chick fil’ A. I thought this article was very interestingly presented. As intended, it read like it was indeed a narrative from a dairy cow and the effect wasn’t for nothing. That sounds strange to say. She did indeed weave in some excellent points along with her narrative. The idea was great, and again some points were right on target but I did feel as if some of the meaning of her piece was lost in the novelty of it. For example, she speaks about cow sperm banks being similar to that of bulls mounting heifers, and I understood what she was getting at, like how a lesbian couple can go to a sperm bank if they decide to have children together, but I thought the comparison was a little iffy. The whole Op Ed seemed like it couldn’t decide whether or not it wanted to make serious points about human equality, or just take human practices and make cow equivalents. I thought that her points could be much clearer if she had chosen a different voice, or merely a voice more applicable to the situation. ERIC FLEMONS Tallahassee, Florida, September 20, 2012 TO THE EDITOR: I very much enjoyed the piece written on same-sex marriage from the point of view of a cow at Chick-Fil-A. In my opinion, the piece was very well written and got its point across very fluidly. It was also an all-together joy to read since it was from the point of view of an animal that most don’t think would have an opinion on such topics. I agreed one-hundred percent with the stance that Catherine took on her article. I believe that humans as a species are very complex in nature and everyone is different. I also agree that two people, regardless of gender, should have the right to be married. I think that she brought up very valid point throughout the article that touched on very real problems that two married people face and that homosexuals face as a whole. Overall, I think that the paper was very well written and that the writer had a strong connection to the piece at hand. The way the topic and argument was conveyed to me as the reader is what I think made it so much fun to read and kept me from losing my interest. ROXANNE GHEZZI Tallahassee, Florida, September 23, 2012
Religious Right’s Refusal to Be Self-Aware
An identity crisis in brewing in the Republican Party
We live in a time not when science and religion are embattled, but in a time when there is a distinct rift within the religious themselves. We see the religious authority (i.e. the Pope) acknowledging the validity of previously “heathen” ideas like evolution. America as a whole has consistently become more and more socially liberal over it’s existence as the puritanical grip has loosened in concordance with the popularity growth of promotion of true free speech along with more and more available media professing wildly iconoclastic and dissenting opinions. We are not a nation afraid to change our mind, that is. And over time, we have grown to prefer flexibility and the majority actively disregards the idea that it is necessary to force belief or adherence to debatable situations of morality. So why are things like women’s rights and gay marriage such contentious issues? These are a few of the last threads that the religious right are holding on to which allow them to exert their religious ideals within the law. If they let go of these issues and concede that modern America, notably younger generations disagree (conservative or liberal), they lose almost all credibility as the “religious” right and would then become simply conservative. This is likely to be the demise of the modern Republican party as the older generation so desperately clings to this ideology (there are of course younger devotees to this mindset like vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan). Traditionalists fear becoming part of the past, and as we are mightily aware, this can be dangerous to the remainder of America. Those who are conservative, yet do not possess the archaic qualities of the old Republican party are growing in number, many of whom glom onto the Libertarian party as they feel unrepresented by either party. It’s time for these individuals to stop delaying the impending societal changes as they are damaging their own party in their own stubborness. Writers have often stated that this tactic is what has kept the Republicans in the elections for the last decade or so, however, new generations are no longer young adults and are becoming more and more present in regards to voting and can no longer be ignored. This is all also ignoring the simple fact that what these legislators often desire is a direct violation of the seperation of church and state, or at least, the conclusions they come to are based solely in religion or vaguities like the “dictionary” definition of a word like marriage. You don’t have to possess an advanced degree in English to know that word usage is not nearly consistent enough to base legal definitions off of them. This election we are all enduring will be a very important factor in deciding the next evolution of the Republican part, and particularly whether or not the religious right will become a symbol of an older time in politics. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but for the sake of the American people and the sake of intelligent, constructive discource that we need to solve our real problems. It’s 2012 and the United States isn’t going to wait around for our nation to regress to the Victorian era.
iPhone 5 Will Draw Sales But Lacks Orginality
TO THE EDITOR: I completely agreed with the idea that the iPhone 5 is lacking in originality and particularly the idea that it would be a waste of money to upgrade to it when in reality it is not that much better than the iPhone 4 or iPhone 4s. She argued that the cameras may be somewhat better but only by a small fraction and the advertisement that it is 4G when in reality all cities have not upgraded to 4G and still run on 3G networks. The screen may be bigger and it may be somewhat lighter but that is just an easier way for them to break, like they weren’t easy enough to break in the first place. I believe Apple was under a lot of pressure to come up with some thing new, and better than the iPhone 4s when it didn’t seem like they had enough time to do it. The release date kept getting pushed back and pushed back and the product that was finally presented to the public was not very impressive. Cortnie was spot on when calling apple out on the fact that their new product is not anything better than the phone that most people have now which is the iPhone 4, or iPhone 4s, and I believe a lot of people will agree with her. ASHLEY CHRABOT Tallahassee, Florida, September 23, 2012 TO THE EDITOR: I was a fan Courtnie Schultz’s OP-ED discussing the release of the iPhone 5 although unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the aesthetic or performance elements of the various models of the iPhone because I have yet to own one. I thought she made a good argument about why the iPhone 5 was not necessarily worth it and did not live up to all the hype it generated. By reading this piece, I understand that it was expected to far surpass the iPhone4S and did not impress her because it lacked any noticeable change aside from being a tiny bit lighter. I agree with and understand her reasoning, she came off as very knowledgeable on the topic and made some very good points such as the port has changed, there is no increase in the megapixels of the camera, etc.. I also liked her use of rhetorical questions throughout the piece. BROOKE FARRIOR Tallahassee, Florida, September 25, 2012
lar goals from that of what society has today: a trend. While the shows we have today might make an effort to portray homosexuals in a good light, this effort is minimal. As a Glee fan, it was Kurt’s journey through coming out that assisted in giving me courage to do so myself. However, as much as I appreciated his character, I was slightly dissatisfied when I saw all of the couples on the show share a kiss at graduation except for Kurt and his boyfriend. It seems the American audience is not yet ready to face the idea that gay couples do indeed share and desire affection as much as straight couples do. What seems to be the trend with primetime television
she was seen kissing a female friend in the episode. What I question here are the actions of the networks. What is it that they are afraid of? Sure, there would definitely be an uproar if Kurt and Blaine were shirtless and portraying the early stages of foreplay onscreen, but without dissent, how can there be progression? One would think that if the true motive were to make a statement rather than receive praise and boost ratings, the networks would make more of an effort to show that homosexuals are indeed normal people with normal actions and desires. While I am not a pessimist, I am also not solely an opti-
Facebook, You’re Tearing Me Apart
TO THE EDITOR: Re: “Facebook is Dividing Us and We Aren’t Paying Attention” I really enjoyed the piece that was published regarding the effects of Facebook on society. The author made great points, and I agree with just about everything that was written. To expand upon the author’s point, I believe that children are the ones being harmed the most by our society’s addiction to Facebook. Instead of climbing trees, riding bikes, and as the author suggested, throwing around a football, our children are all huddled over their electronic devices waiting for the next status update. Children learn by example, and I believe we all would benefit by following this article’s example and stepping away from Facebook. When people talk about how bad Facebook has gotten, we tend to laugh it off, but as the article states, the problem is more serious than that. Thank you for allowing this author’s message to be heard. JOSEPH LASHO Tallahassee, Florida, September 25, 2012 TO THE EDITOR: I thoroughly enjoyed reading the OP-ED about Facebook and how it is slowly destroying our society and, especially, our social skills and the way we communicate with one another. This article touched on how it is convenient, and takes less effort to simply log into a website and see what your friends are up to rather than giving them a call or going over to their house. I agree with the author in the sense that Facebook is a bit too much insight into people’s lives and an invitation for negative habits such as analyzing and criticizing fellow “Facebook-ers”. I also think Facebook can be an outlet for jealousy. This article made me wonder where Facebook is taking us and how we can prevent it from consuming our lives and causing us to be inferior communicators. I liked the suggestions of how to better spend our time rather than going on Facebook for hours on end and actually pay attention to those around us. It makes me wonder if our society is capable of cutting back on social networking and if this phenomenon could possibly get much worse. BROOKE FARRIOR Tallahassee, Florida, September 25, 2012
Preserve the Instruments, Revive the Arts
By George Tapia INSTRUMENTS, such as one of the many guitars musician Jimi Hendrix played or an 18th century violin built by the Stradivarius family, are everyday being lost and in disrepair. They are often cast aside in a society where technology and innovation takes precedence over celebrating the past. There are numerous reasons as to why the proper preservation of musical instruments is a necessity, and furthermore, why they should be given to talented individuals to be played. Primary examination of this article by you, the reader, may lead one to think that this is completely biased toward musicians and/or those interested in antiquated objects. As part of the previous may be true, it can be said that valuable instruments can be a prime example to modern makers of what instruments today should sound and look like. It is said, by scientists and musicians alike, that the instruments crafted by Antonio Stradivari are the finestsounding examples of string instruments in existence today. Many attribute the tone to a rare type of wood used by Stradivari only available during the 18th century when the instruments were being built. According to a recent article, Swiss researchers have recently succeeded at utilizing a specific type of fungi to help recreate the wood used by the legendary luthier. The wood (only available from the years 1645 to 1715), is unique due to the temperatures staying cool year round. This results in a denser wood, but with more flexibility leading to increased resonance. In a sound test between a 1711 Stradivarius violin and a modern copy made with the simple fungi, the panel could not differentiate between the multi-million dollar Stradivari and its modern copy. It is common knowledge that wood, no matter how it is treated, eventually rots and disintegrates with age. The example of the 1711 violin copied by modern scientists just goes to show that by keeping an instrument of this age in playable and replicable condition, with technology now, we have the ability to recreate what was previously thought to be impossible. Generations after us now have the opportunity to hear what the very best of instruments from the 18th century sounded like, because of examples such as the Stradivari model used in testing. If this particular instrument had not been maintained from need to be tuned and played--not sitting, unused, in an institution. It keeps the wood pliable and resonating, resulting in a consistent and beautiful sound. Antique string instruments, especially when part of a collection, should be loaned to talented musicians who cannot afford to buy their own high-quality instruments. It allows the public to listen to these works of art and appreciate that a craftsman 300 years ago made an instrument at such a high standard and that it retained its original qualities. Furthermore, it could potentially make more money for the arts from an increase in concert attendance. I personally enjoy going to concerts a lot more than paying to walk around in a mustysmelling museum and I know numerous individuals, other than myself, do as well. Listening to an antique instrument would exponentially increase the appreciation of such objects, hopefully leading to better funding of the arts, music, and education--areas today that are being neglected by our government in lieu of increased budgets for what most politicians deem more important. I not only support the overall care and attention to antique instruments because I am a musician, or that I am a fan of antiques, but because I see the necessity in encouraging proper preservation, handling and loaning to deserving musicians. This necessity comes from the fact that art and music, along with education (and the research that comes with it), are being neglected by numerous individuals throughout our society and government. These areas hold high value and importance within modern society not just for aesthetic purposes, but because they have the potential to help us learn and thereby improve numerous aspects of the world as we know it. Examining and implementing the points I have brought up in this article would do many of us good no matter their musical background.
How Did They Get That Job?
By Lauren Painter In an economy with a climbing unemployment rate, jobs are difficult to find these days. Especially in a college town, Tallahassee’s job pool is limited and competition is everywhere. I hunted for jobs for weeks, sending out resumes to dozens of employers and companies with no such luck and became lethargic and unenthusiastic. After applying, interviewing, and wasting all this effort into finding a job and internship, it felt like people kept winning the positions over me. Why is this happening? Put yourself in this position: you are electronically handing out your resume with your experience, skills, and qualifications listed. You are probably thinking you will get that receptionist job at the salon you really want, or that position at Target—alas not one call-back or scheduled interview. Next week you end up at the business to which you applied. When you ask a random employee where an iPod charger would be located, the response you receive is a blank stare. You ask other workers and they all seem confused, almost baffled, by your inquiry. These clueless individuals got the job you wanted. With all your experience, skill set, and other qualities, these deer-in-theheadlights beat you to the job. Which begs the question: how did they get the job and not you? Many of my friends discussed this topic and could not understand how someone so incompetent got a position over them, regardless of their years of experience, many skills from internships, or simply a better personality. This is a problem many people seem to face, but the answers are all laid out here. Everyone has certain qualities or skills that make them unique, or favorable to certain employers. But I can imagine that all of this mumbo-jumbo is severely ignored by employers. You know how people get jobs in an allcollege town, where they nearly start Fight Club sequences outside the store for? It is all about connections: “who you know.” A handful of people who are currently employed have admitted that they were guaranteed a job through their friends or family. They were referred to an employer, the mutual friend or acquaintance single-handedly getting them the job. Networking has grown into this huge ordeal nowadays, which social networking being a huge factor. It is important now more than ever to know people and meet people for this reason. You could be one of those overqualified people whom nobody wants to work with or be around. The employer could hire someone a little less skilled with better personality. Personality plays a large role in the hiring process. If you are not outgoing or you do not seem personable, you are not getting that position. Employers like people who seem enthusiastic about the job and are willing to put forth effort and make the company look good. Looks can matter when it comes to getting a job. Some companies—even though they cannot legally claim this—are searching for a specific look to represent them if it is a job that deals mostly with customers face-to-face. Hooters found a way around this legal issue a few years ago: you must have had previous modeling experience in order to be a server. That is the “look” they are trying to find through countless applicants and job-seekers. Do not be discouraged just yet. There are solutions to the issues I have highlighted. Instead of looking at a job posting online and applying for it, do some research on that particular company and position. Notice the name of whoever posted the position; is it a hiring manager or recruiter? Look at the news. What’s happening with the company? What about their history? What would this position require you to do? Putting yourself out there is very important. If you apply through some website and your application gets lost in the drowning pool of other applications, you can still find a way to get a hold of people from the company. Whether it’s Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, or even their blog, there are many ways to get in contact with anyone. Creating something convincing and presenting it to the employer through a resume or application is simple. It used to be during the interview that you had to somehow captivate them. With modern technology and social networking, you can make an online portfolio or resume in that will get their attention rapidly. Even with those tools, you are provided with options to improve yourself and your skill set. If you do not know how to use Photoshop, download a free trial and teach yourself. If you are oblivious to how PowerPoint works—time to start making fake presentations. We are provided with the internet and all these tools that we do not take advantage of to consistently make ourselves more hirable. The main solution behind this is to constantly improve yourself and do not be dispirited easily. Looking for a job can be similar to going to the gym and working out: if you do a different exercise every day, you get a lot stronger. But if you do the same thing every day without any changes or motivation to push yourself, you do not get any stronger. You just get pretty good at doing that one exercise.
Science is Not the Enemy, The Bottom Line Is
Ignorance stemming from GMO fears could hurt economy, the world
Clearly, we live in a nation of perceived polarities. One eternal struggle exists between those who are rampantly pro-capitalism and believe that a free market economy will govern itself; and then you have the opposition who feels that there is more complexity to the situation and that generally we can’t trust what large corporations are doing with our food or other consumer products. The latter group has begun to lump in projects like genetically modified foods into the corporate money making machine, only fearing the worst from something that sounds so grounded in science fiction. Study after study, as they would have you believe, are proving that they are a danger to our society and the health of ourselves and our children. I’m here to claim that both of these’s stances are wrong, or at least, looking at the wrong criteria. We certainly need regulation of companies and the Food and Drug Admnistration and the Department of Agriculture should ideally be divorced from the strong ties it has with the largest food producers in our nation. At this moment many members of the leadership are former executives from companies like Monsanto and Johnstonville. It’s not particularly controversial to claim that there is likely some vested interest in giving large coprorations leeway when they shouldn’t be allowed it or just general preferential treatment. However, this apparent corruption of the integrity of the mediating body shouldn’t be inherently relevant to the safety of general practices. GMOs aren’t anything new, per se. We’ve been altering plants and animals for thousands of years. Only recently have we possessed the ability to specific inject gene information into organisms and effect their growth and the resulting product. This has lead to heartier and more productive crops yields. In California, Proposition 37 is a movement to have proper labeling showing whether or not the food item or any of the ingedients are genetically modified. The implication, being that consumers should know because of some perceived negative attribute related to the term. One can empathize with the companies (only momentarily of course, they are by no means losing money) in their particular struggle with the fickle nature of humans and our unwillingess to accept new ideas and reject anything that is beyond our instantaneous understand as either witchcraft or worse, ill-intented science. It’s possible you’ve heard a conspiracy theory or two about the flouridation of city water, that it makes children stupid, or that egads--it’s a mind control proxy. The nonsense surrounding GMOs is about as valid. Recently, a study began to fly around the internet--GM corn was directly linked to the growth of huge tumors in rats. The study came with grotesque pictures of lumpy rats and fear was struck into the minds of the Facebook feed viewers of America and beyond. The ever present skeptics of the internet were slow the accept this as any sort of definitive proof and readily deconstructed the study, exposing it’s flawed sample size and methodology. There was also the minor faux pas of the researchers forcing the journalists who received the study to sign a non-disclosure agreement, agreeing to not show any scientists the study or ask for any sort of verification of the validity of the steps that they took.. It’s this sort of egregious politicizing that damages the integrity of the people trying to police the actions of corporations and why we need actual informed scientists and consumer advocates at the top of our governmental bodies instead of those who were raised in the corporate structure of focusing on profits. GMOs could solve the world’s hunger issues if we allow experimentation and research. Varietals of modern staples are being designed to require less water and lower nutrient soil. One can imagine the future backlash to the meat that is being synthesized in laboratories. Plants we can almost handle, but telling someone the steak they are about to eat was birthed in a petri dish will likely scare off skittish consumers. As long as we are making sure that corporations are not merely pursuing profits ahead of making sure their products are safe, we have nothing to worry about. The last thing we should do is be an overtly reactionary nation and lose our ability to think critically and assume that concepts that are foreign to us, the laymen, are inherently bad.
the time it was created by Stradivari, it most likely would not have survived until today. It’s even more remarkable that it is in playable condition. Antiques represent eras much different than our own--eras wherein craftsmanship, skill and beauty took precedence over mass production. This classic way of producing antique instruments, beyond decorative and aesthetic purposes, plays a functional role in today’s modern society aside from being played and heard. Instruments of the past can teach us about history and demonstrate the views, production methods, and knowledge of yesteryear. Due to the current budget cuts resulting from our weakened economy, the funding of education and museums containing valuable works and artifacts are taking a huge hit. Besides, what good is it doing us when an instrument is sitting in a case, being browsed by people that mostly are not interested? A critical factor in keeping a string instrument (especially old and valuables ones) in working condition, is that they
TO THE EDITOR: I really enjoyed your piece about the disapproval of homosexuality in the Catholic Church by Ashley Chrabot. I completely agree with the stance you took and the horrible things that people say about people who choose to be homosexual in the church system, but also do things themselves that are against the church, ultimately being hypocritical and ignorant. I enjoyed the point you made about members of the Catholic Church not being allowed to eat pork, and how they do it anyway, yet they can’t seem to open their minds to the fact that some people in this world enjoy different things than they do. I do think that since this article was specifically on the Catholic Church, I may not necessarily have stopped and read this if I was skimming the page of a newspaper. I think that if you made the issue a little broader that more people would be able to relate and you would receive more readers and ultimately better feedback from the diverse reading audience you would have. Overall, as said before I really enjoyed this article and the points that you’ve made here. I think many people can agree with your stance and would love to read this article. CORTNIE SCHULTZ Tallahassee, Florida, September 24, 2012
TO THE EDITOR: Re: “Social Circles in the Digital Age” This piece gave me some great information about the perils and benefits of creating online friendships, however, I do not actually agree with many aspects of what the author is saying; she mentions that 30% of the people she talks to every day are online friends that she hasn’t met in person. I dont think I have ever made an online friend that I haven’t known first in real life. I’m not really a gamer, and I know that many people who play games like WoW or other MMORPG’s create great friendships with people in their guilds or clans or whatever, but I’ve always been one for face to face interaction. Its much more real and I feel like I get a true feeling of a person based on their mannerisms, appearance, etc. ERIC FLEMONS Tallahassee, Florida, September 20, 2012