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Worker conditions bring
some context to shooting
The shootings by Chunli Zhou in Half Moon Bay made no sense to me. They did not fit the “profile.” Too old, wrong ethnicity. And then we learned of the $100 equipment bill to this minimum wage employee — after years of abuse. Now I can understand.
Chunli Zhou may spend the rest of his life in prison. He won’t see much of his wife. But he will have a better place to live, it will not cost him $300 a month and there will be no equipment bills.
The abuse? That may continue.
We must improve
The recent shooting in the Half Moon Bay farmworker community shocked the world. This tragedy placed a national spotlight on the working and living conditions of a shadow community that helps to feed our nation yet is many times vilified because of their legal status. Many were aghast to discover their deplorable living conditions with no running water or electricity.
In California between Hollywood and high tech, there are thousands of miles of agriculture. This $52 billion industry produces 50% of fruits, nuts and vegetables in the country. As many flee California for more affordable living, these workers have no choice but to remain.
Those of us who work with the farmworkers were shocked by the violence, but not surprised to see the horrific living conditions. As a nation that benefits from the fruits of their arduous labor, we must demand change and improved conditions for our most essential workers.
Gun control requests
Re. “Keep gun deaths in perspective,” Page A6, Jan. 27:
Calling for universal background checks and for limiting the sale of large capacity magazines is not calling for the prohibition of gun ownership, any more than advocating for seatbelts calls for a prohibition on automobile ownership.
US gun deaths far
outstrip other nations
Anthony Stegman parrots the gun lobby’s strategy of distraction and obfuscation. There will always be car fatalities, but cars are not designed to kill, unlike guns.
He mentions a worldwide pandemic, so from that perspective, I’ll bet gun deaths in the United States far outnumber any other developed countries not currently at war.
Supreme Court error
is proving too costly
Anthony Stegman wants us to keep gun deaths in perspective.
While the road accident death rate in the United States is higher than many of our fellow, rule-of-law democratic allies in Europe, it’s not a vast difference. And the high rate of U.S. COVID deaths is explainable by the grossly incompetent handling of the pandemic by the Trump administration.
But why do our sophisticated European allies average fewer than one gun death per 100,000 population per year, while we average more than four? It might have something to do with our politically-motivated Supreme Court refusing to understand the Founders’ concept of “well-regulated”.
have built US debt
Re. “Debt ceiling battle isn’t what Congress imagined,” Page A7, Jan. 27:
Republican outcry about the debt ceiling is the equivalent of the Fox guarding the henhouse.
Every Republican president since Ronald Reagan ended their terms in office with a higher budget deficit than they started with. By contrast, every Democratic president since Reagan ended their terms in office with a lower budget deficit than they started with. Tax cuts never pay for themselves. They always explode the deficit higher.
President Biden is following in the footsteps of President Clinton and President Obama, overseeing policies that dramatically cut prior Republican presidents’ deficits.
no reason to cheer
Once again The Mercury News is cheering a seriously flawed technological development (“Rewriting the future of learning?” Page A1, Jan. 28).
Newspapers are already on the verge of extinction. Now that AI can write an essay in 45 seconds, what do they think will happen to the field of journalism?
Tech continues to create technology that is questionable at best, ignoring the “Frankenstein factor” and the ethical question that just because something can be created, should it. One wonders of what use AI intelligence that can generate an essay in seconds is. How does that propel mankind upward on the humanity ladder? Useful artificial intelligence would be something that can find a cure for cancer or end autoimmune disorders, or Alzheimer’s.
No one should be applauding this mistake and it is time for tech to stop their childish sandbox antics of creating things without a thought for consequences. Maybe it’s time they read Mary Shelley’s novel.