In agreement with Media Maven's "Apple a Day" article ("Media Maven," March 31):
How stupid do the "truth spinners" think we are? The lies keep coming from TV, radio and print. Here are my favorites:
1. Waging three wars is not causing the deficit to rise. The military budget is untouchable, because we are guarding the freedom of people in the Middle East. It is not about oil.
2. Give the rich tax breaks and they will share with the rest of us by giving out jobs that pay good living wages.
3. The real cause of the deficit is spending on "entitlement" programs, especially pension funds. Watch out for your local senior citizens. They may look innocent enough, but they are sucking us dry with their wild spending.
4. We can balance the budget by cutting Medicare and Medicaid. Private corporations will save us money and care for people's health. They care for people not profit. (Besides, it is too expensive to keep the old and sick alive.)
5. No need for environmental controls. If we cut funding for the EPA, corporations will police themselves. They wouldn't poison us. Global warming is a myth.
6. And here is my favorite: Don't worry about radiation from Japan. It won't hurt us. Eat fish and food from Japan. We should build more nuclear plants in the U.S. No worries about old nuclear plants on earthquake faults and in tsunami zones. It could never happen here.
How stupid do those who control our media think we are? Pretty stupid!
Carol Binder, Eureka
Ms. Burstiner is, of course, correct in her observation that raising fears in news stories without solutions is pointless. I hope I can help alleviate some of the fears expressed in her column.
Ms. Burstiner writes about her desire to see a daily radiation tally by a believable organization. Luckily, the Environmental Protection Agency does exactly that. The EPA website (epa.gov) provides daily documentation of all radiation-monitoring data pertaining to the Japanese nuclear emergency, as well as near-real-time air monitoring data from a RadNet monitor right here in Eureka. The EPA currently states, "Radiation monitors confirm that no radiation levels of concern have reached the United States."
Another source of useful information regarding the health risks of this disaster is the World Health Organization. As the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system, WHO is a valuable resource for those desiring information about health risks from the disaster in Japan. The WHO website (who.int) states, "there are no health risks to people living in other countries from radioactive material released into the atmosphere from the Japanese nuclear power plants." This statement is based on reports from the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) which monitors radiation levels around the world.
There is data available that we can believe, and it is provided by experts we can believe in. The nuclear emergency in Japan is a catastrophic event that does present certain dangers. However, authoritative organizations have confirmed that the danger posed to Humboldt County by this tragedy is minimal. I'd advise everyone living in this beautiful lost coast to help Japan in whatever manner they can, stay informed, and remember the words printed on the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Don't Panic.
Anders Larson, Arcata