The article on monoclonal antibody treatments provided useful information about their use, limitations and success (“Antibody treatment for COVID clearly shown to be effective,” Nov. 27). To my surprise, in the middle was a section that had no factual basis and undermined the premise of informing the reader about the treatment. Describing “other treatments” advocated by homeopaths did nothing to enhance the value of the information provided. No credentials were provided for the individual described as “a doctor,” no basis for their “reading” was provided and no scientific evidence was shown that supported advocacy of vitamin D and other “unconventional therapies.”

Unconventional therapies are just that — anecdotal and unsupported by scientific research and unrelated to the topic of the article. In an era where the reporting of facts is supposed to be the gold standard for journalism, this inclusion in the article wasted space that could have been devoted to further education of the public on the scientific basis for antibody treatments.

Jeri Sullivan Graham, Ph.D.

Los Alamos

A highlight

One of the highlights of the Sunday New Mexican is “Growing up Spanglish.” “El Duendito Juan” is one of the best. Especially interesting are the nuevo mexicanismos such as Polo Norte and chalupa for sled.

Michael Cannon

Santa Fe

Shop local

There’s a great new place for Santa Feans to shop locally, consciously support the environment and invest in skills for our neighbors. I visited the new ThriftWorks store, which is a part of YouthWorks, and found so many great treasures and gift ideas. There’s a great children’s area and such finds as a rolltop desk. It’s on Siler Road just to the river side of Agua Fría Street. Shop locally and support our city’s economy.

Patricia Rudy-Baese

Santa Fe

Support critical thinking

I fear Americans are growing more and more ignorant. A few examples — buying into Republican propaganda that blames President Joe Biden for economic problems and fails to mention the economy was recovering until the rise of vaccine refusers and the terrible surge of the delta variant; racists who protest critical race theory (an unfortunate descriptor) to describe simply exposing historical truths; conflating vaccine refusal with “freedom” (to kill self and others); conflating Second Amendment rights with the sanction of gun violence; climate collapse deniers; conflating progressives with communism; continued support (43 percent of Republicans) for Donald Trump’s election mythology; permission granted to Kyle Rittenhouse to kill on falsified self-defense grounds; and, finally, ignorance of how a democracy functions.

What is missing? Training in, and capacity for, critical thinking. I propose a public health campaign that promotes the value of critical thinking and describes the dangers of ignorance. I propose community centers that offer critical thinking literacy. The work of Paulo Freire provides a template. How would we recruit? Easy. Exploit American values. Pay people to attend just like we did to entice the unvaccinated. It could work.

Ellen J. Shabshai Fox, LISW

Santa Fe

Following the dollars

I was delighted to see that House Republican Leader Jim Townsend’s concern for the welfare (and wallets) of New Mexico’s “working families” is motivating his disdain for New Mexico’s commitment to a “carbon-free economy.” I was so impressed (“Carbon-free fairy tale doesn’t recognize reality,” My View, Nov. 14) that I did a little research on our state representative from Artesia. He retired from Holly Energy Partners in 2017 and owns several thousand shares of its stock, valued at approximately $16.91 per share.

According to followthemoney.org, the top sources of his contributions come from energy and natural resources sector, with health, general business and finance following. Well, heck, perhaps a deep and abiding concern for New Mexico’s common people is not what actually informs Rep. Townsend’s opinion about the carbon in our atmosphere.

Gary Beene

Santa Fe

Bring it

To whom it may concern: I would like to see Zaxby’s chicken restaurant in Santa Fe.

Jean Riggle

Santa Fe

(8) comments

Thomas Franks

Excellent thoughts from all. As one who taught logic and critical thinking for years up north I’m so saddened that people are so gullible and willing to ignore the basic methods of what counts as scientific verification as opposed to anecdotal claims and conspiracy theories,etc. I’m also disappointed when our local newspaper prints such flim flam in their articles and gives such unscientific claims the same weight as thoroughly investigated information by established scientific research

Khal Spencer

For an excellent example of why we have a crying need to teach critical thinking, I recommend the letter from Ellen J. Shabshai Fox, LISW.

Charlotte Rowe

Jeri is correct - don't spread unproven homeopathic claims as if they rank up there with proven, peer-reviewed and clinically tested science. It opens a door for every dork around to start running around dosing with ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. If you're a horse or are in a malaria zone these might be useful but not of any use for COVID.

MacKenzie Allen

Ms. Shabshai Fox: You are, of course, completely correct. I have been railing for 50 years against the lack of emphasis on education in this country. I've said over and over it will come home to roost in a bad way. Do we need further evidence than our current situation? Alas, I do not believe this can be fixed. The ignorance is too great and is perpetuated by people interested only in gaining/maintaining power. The shallow nature of our collective mentality (gimmee the next bright, shiny object!) is a perfect medium for controlling the masses. Couple this with religious extremism and where do we go? This country is lost. The only long shot possibility is if the next two or three generations of young people prove interested and capable enough to rectify it.

Khal Spencer

I wholeheartedly agree, Mac, that the downhill spiral of critical thought is at the heart of our Republic's problem. The reason I lampooned Ms. Fox is that she adds her own (apologies if the pronouns are wrong) litany of weird thinking and misinformation to the mix.

Its not just White racists who criticize CRT or "CRT-Lite". Prof. John McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics at Columbia University, writes on it in the NY Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/09/opinion/critical-race-theory.html ). The acquittal of Rittenhouse was not based on "falsified self defense claims" as any actual court would tell us. I don't know of any 2A supporters who would agree that protecting an enumerated right is tantamount to supporting gun violence. And finally, I know some people who think vaccination should not be mandatory and who have resigned good jobs on principle. I may disagree with them, but I don't doubt their sincerity. I won't even get into the climate crisis crazies.

So, as my wife, who taught language, writing, and rhetoric for 20 years before reinventing herself as a technical editor would say, we do need more critical thinking rather than dismissing people out of our own prejudices. That goes for those on the Left as well as the Right.

MacKenzie Allen

Hey, Khal...I'm not doubting the "sincerity" of the anti-vax, anti-mask people. But their sincerity is not the point when their behavior endangers others (much as they may not believe it; "belief/faith" doesn't trump science, even if that science is evolving as rapidly as possible and is not yet perfect). If the grifter-in-chief said when he was infesting our White House, "We are at war" (with the virus). He loved the sound of being a "war time president". Well, if we're at war where are the sacrifices? People in this country have no idea what it means to be bombed nightly, on food/gas rationing, endure nightly blackouts, etc. We're a spoiled society; a not-very-bright society and a childish society. Not a good combo. mac

Khal Spencer

Agree. If folks want to not get the shots, they should be prepared to deal with the consequences, such as not being allowed in certain areas, mask restrictions, etc. The old saying goes that your right to swing a fist stops near my nose. Someone's "freedom" to not get vaxxed stops when they blow aerosols in my general direction in a public place.

A colleague who I think the world of voluntarily quit the laboratory over shots. I thought that was a terrible decision but it was his, not mine, to make. Incredibly bright and hard working scientist. Threw it all away over a lousy shot. Sigh.

Kelly Finnerty

Ellen- great idea! I wonder if the League of Women Voters could help organize this effort? Thank you!

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