November 30, 2011
Letters to the Editor: Job searching, Buy Israel, David Mamet, Global Warming
Job Search Process Is Ineffective, Demeaning
Even though organizations like JVS have WorkSource centers on Wilshire Boulevard and in Marina del Rey, the jobs through JVS are all online (“Still Unemployed: Out of Luck but Not Out of Hope,” Nov. 25). The process of finding jobs online is not effective.
Back in the day, faxing resumes and answering ads in the paper were more effective. Today, ads say “no phone calls please,” which is limiting.
There are no responses from online applications (at least for me), and they make you go through more hoops of fire to get a low-paying job. For instance, Bloomingdale’s makes you answer 200 questions before you can even apply. Then you get an e-mail stating whether you are “invited” to meet with them or rejected.
The whole process, including phone interviews, is degrading.
Buy Israel, but Not From West Bank Settlements
We wholeheartedly agree with the Buy Israel Week concept. We warmly endorse products made in Israel and we do it enthusiastically, but we make a clear distinction between what is made in Israel and what is manufactured in West Bank settlements. Settlements are an obstacle to peace. They are intended to jeopardize the two-state solution. We do not buy products made in the settlements, and we hope others won’t either.
Unfortunately, the Buy Israel Week supplement (Nov. 18) ignores the important distinction between products made in Israel and ones made in the West Bank, where military occupation is hindering peace for Israel.
Buy Israel? By all means! But don’t buy into the misrepresentation of West Bank settlements as a part of Israel.
Arthur Stern and Sanford Weiner
David Mamet rails against excess chesed causing weakness (“Conflict, Choice and Surrender,” Nov. 18). But what about chesed deficiency?
Aside from its intrinsic value, compassion is a major source of strength; it usually engenders credibility and respect. Flexibility is an obvious strategic advantage in being able to form alliances. Even in cavemen days, the willingness to understand another point of view and ability to compromise was orders of magnitude more powerful than wielding a larger club. Don’t we all know at least someone who, despite superior talent and hard work, fails due to lack of flexibility? Regimes whose names are all too familiar may get some temporary gains from severe chesed deficiency but go down in ignominious defeat.
Mamet also tells us to look away from ulterior motives and focus on outcomes of political and economic proposals. The problem is that if we could agree on the outcomes, we wouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place. Trickle-down economics produces prosperity. Really? As such, biases and credibility do count a great deal. This brings us back to chesed. Chesed deficiency is also a malignant process, eventually expanding beyond the adversary and turning on one’s own. Maybe this explains Mamet’s characterization of Reform Judaism.
Hyman J. Milstein
Global Warming: It’s Science, Not Left vs. Right
Here goes Dennis Prager again (“Man-Made Global Warming: Why Many of Us Are Skeptical, Parts 1 and 2,” Oct. 28 and Nov. 11). He sees everything as left versus right, and the left is always wrong. Here he calls the serious scientific concerns over the human impact on global warming the latest “doomsday scenario” in a “long line of left-wing hysterias.”
What he ignores is that in a 2009 survey conducted by Peter Doran, University of Illinois at Chicago associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, of 3,146 earth scientists (selected from the nonpartisan American Geological Institute’s Directory of Geoscience Departments), 90 percent agreed that mean global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and 82 percent agreed that human activity has been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures.
Doran found that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing that humans play a role. Doran said that climatologists are “the ones who study and publish on climate science. So I guess the take-home message is, the more you know about the field of climate science, the more you’re likely to believe in global warming and humankind’s contribution to it.”
Doran concluded that “the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.”
If only Prager could understand “the nuances and scientific basis” of this important issue rather than force it into his obsession to demonize liberals.
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