For Labor Day, Good News From The Lodi, CA. Vineyards— Plenty of Workers (and Machines) For This Year`s Grape Harvest

Journalism`s cardinal
rule is to write about what you know.

Follow
that simple logic, and readers will value your opinions. Ignore
it, and you will soon be

exposed as a fool
.

Take,
for example, two columnists who choose as their topic
California, its

agriculture industry
and whether additional guest workers
are

required to pick this year`s crop.

 

Not to
toot my own horn—but who, between Jacoby and me, is more
knowledgeable about

California and farm labor
?

Jacoby`s
latest Los Angeles Times column

California Without A Mexican
, dissected by Brenda Walker
in her blog

here
, is a great example of how ill-advised she is to opine
on subjects about which she knows nothing.

As
noted, Jacoby doesn`t live in California so her credibility is
immediately suspect. And the only

Mexicans she knows
are her fellow traitors at

La Raza
. Jacoby is certainly not having cocktails with field
workers.

But this
sentence from her LA Times column offers positive proof
that Jacoby is clueless:

“The crisis peaks every year in August and September, and the
photos start showing up in the newspapers: piles of

rotting pears
, strawberry plants choked by weeds, unpicked
cucumbers grown to monstrous sizes and

melons oozing in the fields
.”

Even though we are right now in the
“crisis” period of “August
and September,”
I haven`t seen any such photos. Living in the

San Joaquin Valley
where agriculture is key to our economy,
you can be sure I would have if they exist.

But what`s really fascinating is that the

strawberry season ends in May
and pears haven`t really
started yet. Being

asked to photograph “rotting pears
or “strawberry
plants
choked by weeds”
in early September would be quite a challenge.

Jacoby needs a fact checker. Maybe she should call
me.

Simply put, nothing is rotting save perhaps,

a tomato
in someone`s backyard vegetable patch.

Here, on the other hand, is what`s going on.

In Lodi, the grape harvest has begun. The Lodi
News-Sentinel
published a story about its first days. [
The
Harvest Begins
, By Chris Nichols, Lodi News-Sentinel,
August 24, 2007]

The story, with a slide show, details at length how
between now and November, the grapes will be picked. Featured
are the vineyards` two owners, Ben Kolber and Kris Gutierrez and
a crew of

Pakistani immigrants
(legally in the U.S., one assumes) who
will man the two tractors, the harvester and the gondola bins
that collect the grapes.

The work is hard, to be sure. But people

already in the U.S.
do it—no need for any guest worker
programs. One of the pickers, Asif Khan, has been in the U.S.
for ten years and spoke in English to the News-Sentinel
reporter.

The comments posted on the story`s Internet version
(scroll all the way down) are insightful, also.

Of most interest are these observations from “T
& C”:

“I`m from an old Dakota farm family and bucked many bales in my
younger days and always appreciated the

mechanization
of

farm machinery
to do the

back-breaking work
.

“Great job, men. Hard work reaps great benefits, not
like those growers who use

illegal (workers)
and paid under the table help year after
year to prune, weed and harvest their grapes and other crops.
Some `good` farmers even keep $2 an hour of their underpaid
field hands wages for themselves just for providing that job
opportunity to them to make their life `better`. There`s no
reason to

hand-pick
wine grapes anymore, except for the self profit of
the greedy ones.”

What do you think about
that
, Tamar Jacoby?

If Jacoby performed due
diligence in her

immigration pieces
, a practice that I suggest she institute,
she would discover that we`re doing just fine in California,
thank you very much, without any more guest workers.

Even allowing that Jacoby was
writing for the

Los Angeles Times,

her column breaks all the rules for credible journalism.

Jacoby`s language reflects
speculation. Hard facts that many publications, but not the
Times
, usually consider essential are found nowhere.

Check it out for yourself.

According to Jacoby, writing
about the

No Match” letters
soon to be

sent by the Social Security Administration
to employers
reminding them that names and
social numbers of their
workers must match:

  • “The
    government is demanding that unauthorized employees be fired
    and threatening legal action if they aren`t. This is
    expected
    to trigger widespread layoffs…”

 

  • Better enforcement “will wreak havoc…”

 


  • “If”

    crackdowns on
    illegal immigration continue,that could drive
    fruit and vegetable farming out of the United States,
    putting California`s $30-billion-a-year industry at risk.”

 


  • “Agriculture would be just the beginning…

    of California
    industries that would fail if immigration laws are enforced.

Jacoby
concludes with this knee-slapper:

Emphases
added.

Earth to Tamar Jacoby! Earth
to Tamar Jacoby! Come in please!

  • California already has crumbling

    roads
    because the state spends so much money on social
    services to aliens that it can`t afford infrastructure
    maintenance.

 

 

In a
column I wrote last year, I asked

if dishonest journalists are inherently dishonest
.

I`m not
sure if Jacoby is purposely deceitful in her immigration columns
or if she truly believes the pap she writes. If the latter, then
she is supremely naïve because a mountain of evidence exists
that destroys her position.

Jacoby
should use this guideline: when she can substitute “have,”
had,” and “did” for “if,”
would be,” and “imagine,” then I`ll
listen to what she has to say.

Maybe.

Until
then, Jacoby should go back to

journalism basics
and try to

establish credibility
among her limited audience.

Joe Guzzardi [e-mail
him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor.
In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has
been writing
a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive
to
VDARE.COM.