Letters for June 23, 2005

Tempest in a teacup

Re “Unintended insult” (Editor’s note, June 9 ):

Poor writing is poor writing or lack of rewriting. Certainly Katie Power has learned some valuable lessons, and that is all that is important. That’s all she wrote, the fat lady sang, there ain’t no more. Let’s move on to more relevant things.

John D. Daniels

Honor older waitresses
Re “The veggie option” (Food finds, June 2):

I was pleased to see the Gold n’ Silver honored for having a “happy and older” waitress. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been waited on by a “cute young thing” who doesn’t know the difference between an omelet and a potato. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have the waitress’ picture in the paper alongside the review? I was surprised by the response to the review in your letters section. I am going to interpret this not to mean your readers believe there is something wrong with having an older staff.

Estelle Lafferty
Carson City

Champion of ideologues
Re “What is so rare as a medium steak?” (Right Hook, June 16):

I’m sure that Mr. Lafferty’s argument from “What is so rare as a medium steak?” helps him feel more secure in his entrenched right-wing ideology, but it doesn’t do much for the rest of us. To follow his logic, berating a waiter who was following restaurant policy (and apparently the restaurant laws in his state) by not serving rare hamburger meat makes him some sort of conservative hero, winning a small battle against government control over the day-to-day affairs of the common man. Sounds nice. In fact, I’ll bet it sounded like a great column idea for Lafferty right after it happened. It’s a shame that the small battle couldn’t have been bigger, like on something that genuinely mattered.

Mr. Lafferty has been, up to this point, a large supporter of government intervention on the common man. He didn’t address the original version of the Patriot Act (which allows government agencies to look at library records and financial statements without the “hassle” of probable cause) as well as the special law that allowed the Supreme Court to overstep its normal boundaries and examine the Terri Schiavo case despite the jurisdiction clearly lying solely in the Florida state courts.

But wait, I thought Mr. Lafferty was a champion for the private citizen, protecting us all from the terrors of big government! I guess not. Well, it seems Mr. lafferty has few options. He can throw off the shackles of neo-conservatism and declare himself a true libertarian, or he can quit with the hypocrisy. I have a feeling that he’ll choose to do neither. A shame, really. We all could use a champion of personal freedoms these days, especially on issues more impactful than how much blood comes with your meal at a restaurant in California.

Daniel Sharpe
via e-mail

Blood simple
Re “What is so rare as a medium steak?” (Right Hook, June 16):

You’re so funny, Mr. Lafferty. You are what you say you are, “I’m just a raving, right-wing extremist.” I realize that the column you barf up every week is only opinion, but I at least expect an educated opinion.

Your unfortunate experience while trying to order a burger at some establishment in California was of such grave concern that you needed to write about the gory details. Somehow, your experience was caused by “liberal” meddling into your life. Interesting. And did you investigate the law that caused you so much distress, or was that asking too much?

The law was enacted after a nationwide movement to increase the safety of our food supply. In California, it was started after two children’s deaths caused by E. coli bacteria after the ingestion of undercooked meat products. The Lauren Beth Rudolph Food Safety Act of 1997 (AB396) was introduced and was unanimously approved by all members of the California Senate and Assembly—and every one of them is a liberal, you know. It puts strict guidelines on preparation of certain foods, but does allow for food establishments to serve “rare” cooked meat by verbal request of the patron, but doesn’t oblige them to act on the request. You can probably guess why the obligation is not required—lawsuits. Oh yes, and there was specific language concerning the exemption of foods whose preparation implies that the foods are served uncooked.

Your opinion is probably still the same, but just maybe your readers have a little more information so that they can form an educated opinion about your ravings.

Ron Papson

English only
Re “Quién es tu héroe” (Streetalk, June 2):

I turned to the Streetalk section, a portion of which was in Spanish. I then walked to the dustbin and deposited my RN&R. Will you be pandering to Muslims or perhaps Hindus next week?

John Fisher