May 16-23, 2007

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Letters to the Editor

Don't Malign Network Marketing

I AM writing in response to Matt Stroud's recent article, "Pill Power" (Cover Story, May 2). His article contains several factual inaccuracies about the network marketing industry and what is often referred to as "pyramid schemes."

It appears Matt Stroud should have done more research before publishing this article. In particular, he should have read "The 45 Second Presentation That Will Change Your Life" by Don Failla or, better yet, interviewed Don personally. In addition, if he had spent more time researching the industry, he would have known that Warren Buffet purchased a network marketing company (Pampered Chef) and that other Fortune 500 companies are leveraging a "network marketing"/referral marketing model to generate more business.

Second, using Dr. Jeff Kallis' quote to suggest he is an expert on this industry is irresponsible. Most marketing professors are not practitioners or even students of network marketing. I know because this form of marketing certainly was not taught or discussed at length at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.

There are many reasons why people do not succeed in this business. However, most people do not succeed in this business because they have not been taught a "system" that enables them to succeed. In addition, most do not evaluate the network marketing opportunity like a businessperson would (i.e., product, industry, company, cause, compensation model and sponsor). It's no wonder so many fail to succeed, as is the case with any other kind of business outside network marketing.

While it is too late to dispel some of the misperception that Matt Stroud is perpetuating about network marketing, I hope I have planted a seed that stimulates further investigation and encourages a fair and responsible journalistic practice at Metro Santa Cruz.

Brion Lau, Founder and President, Financial Fitness, San Jose

The Secret of 300's Success

DEAR Mr. von Busack, there have been criticisms of your reviews in the Letters column and I've been one of those critics in the past, but I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your review of 300.

However I think you may well have missed the essential middle-aged female perspective on this one (hardly your fault--you can't be all things to all people).

300 was a movie I loved for all the wrong reasons! I considered 300 to be a delight bordering on sinful. How often in movies do we get to see quite so many scantily clad men as opposed to the usual scantily clad women? This was one for the girls ... well, the old ladies like me, anyway. I'm all for a bit of gratuitous nudity if it works both ways. I definitely got my 8 bucks' worth with this one. (I'm not quite old enough to get the cut-price ticket rate yet, or I'd probably have gone more than once.)

Although judging by the rate people are adding drooling reviews, it won't be at that web address for long. This is already a cult classic.

Isabelle Herbert, Santa Cruz

Final Judgment

I SAW the movie Judgment at Nuremberg the other night on TV, and it hit me like a V2 rocket how much the American people mirror the German people of World War II when it comes to protesting "But, we didn't realize what was going on."

Remembering the nightly news of the Vietnam War: the daily body counts, and the amount of collateral damage (much of which was due to "friendly fire") that wiped out entire villages of innocent victims. I finally realized how culpable the American people were.

It doesn't take much to obscure the vision of those who choose to follow blindly (much less turn a deaf ear to the screams of the victims of politics).

Therefore, we must all plead guilty to the senseless atrocities in Afghanistan and Iraq.

How can we smug Americans point a finger at the German--swithout flipping ourselves off?

Jeff Coykendall, Los Gatos

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