Letters for April 10, 2003

Greens have some responsibility for the Bush regime

Re “Life during wartime: the Green mile” by Jeff Kearns (SN&R News, March 27):

The Green Party members’ insistence that people should vote their conscience and therefore were justified in voting for [Ralph] Nader in 2000 is chillingly similar to arguments made by conservative Republicans that prop up dolts like Bill Simon.

Acting upon idealism without thought of the unintended consequences is ironic. Those in the Green Party that voted for Nader cannot shrug off their role in taking electoral votes away from [Al] Gore to elect [George W.] Bush and his regime.

The U.S. Constitution requires that the president be elected by the Electoral College, not by popular vote. By default (perhaps by design) this favors a two-party system. The Green Party would do better to focus on local elections.

Voting for the lesser of two evils, especially at national elections, is the American way. So would be petitioning the states to amend the U.S. Constitution to eliminate the Electoral College system (hint).

Marty Berbach

The Greens didn’t steal the election, the Bushes did

Re “Life during wartime: the Green mile” by Jeff Kearns (SN&R News, March 27):

Obviously, some people (including, unfortunately, even some Green Party members) continue to function under a serious misconception that Nader spoiled the election for Gore. It is unbelievable how misinformed and disconnected so many on the left really are. Let me help set the record straight.

An investigative reporter named Greg Palast (www.gregpalast.com) wrote a book last year about the 2000 presidential election, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. In it, he provides overwhelming evidence that [George W. Bush’s] brother, Jeb Bush, and Florida Secretary of State Kathleen Harris rigged the [2000 presidential] election in Florida.

In his book, Palast documents myriad shenanigans Bush and company undertook in Florida to make sure that certain legitimate voters (57,000 of them), especially those of a certain color (53 percent were black), were purged from the voter rolls. He provides evidence, such as the fact that Florida’s secretary of state’s office used a computer program that, in some cases, denied legitimate voters who were said to have committed crimes in 2007. He also has a copy of an official letter from the office of Jeb Bush, which implicates the governor in illegally trying to deny ex-cons (who committed crimes in other states) the right to vote.

Palast’s investigative results were exposed on British television but were never allowed venue on American television or in American newspapers. To this date, neither Jeb Bush nor Kathleen Harris have filed a suit against Palast or the news organizations in which he reported his findings. My guess is they never will, either, because he has the goods on them. This book should be required reading for all Americans who think they are still living in a democracy.

Rose Taylor
via e-mail

Language holds a country together

Re “Politically incorrect” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol Punishment, April 3):

Congratulations to SN&R on publishing Stewart’s no-holds-barred story about the success of English immersion in our school system. While most of the Latino legislators are busy trying to re-create California as a new state of Mexico, often with the help of the rest of the legislators, the school systems have proved that English immersion is the best way to make good American citizens from new arrivals and their progeny.

The strongest glue that holds any country together is its language. I wonder if our Latino legislators would like to introduce legislation into the Mexican legislature that would make English the second official language in Mexico.

Allen Jamieson

Please, imagine Sacto bombed

Re “Shock and awe … in Sacramento” by Tom Walsh (SN&R Essay, March 27):

Walsh’s description of a smart bomb hitting the state Capitol was really a great wake-up call, and I hope your readers give it some thought the next time they drive past that storied edifice.

Please imagine a Chinese Flogger pickling a couple of Chi-Com bombs over the west steps and into the rotunda. Please imagine a North Korean ballistic missile warhead re-entering the atmosphere somewhere over Glenn County and then exploding over the Capitol with a blinding flash and a shockwave that blows out windows in Galt and Roseville. Please imagine the unimaginable and think of that glorious monument of our Republic a smoking ruin, with innocent state workers dead and dying right alongside Gray Davis, Sheila Kuehl and Cruz Bustamante (anyone who bombs California won’t want to discriminate).

Yes, please picture that happening and then ask yourself if it would be right to stop our enemies after they flatten Sacramento. Or, is it maybe better to stop them now? History teaches us that it would’ve been easier to stop Hitler in 1935 if only a country like France had had the nerve to stand up and stop him.

So, yes, please imagine our beautiful Capitol a ruin and ask yourself: When’s a good time to stop someone who hates you enough to kill you … all of you?

Peter Finn

More shocking than we realize

Re “Shock and awe … in Sacramento” by Tom Walsh (SN&R Essay, March 27):

I fear the reality of the Baghdad bombing campaign may be far worse than effects described in Mr. Walsh’s essay. The “bunker-buster” warheads we’ve witnessed raining down on Baghdad are, according to BBC accounts, probably jacketed with depleted uranium, an extremely dense, radioactive-waste product from nuclear reactors, with a half-life of 4 billion years. These weapons don’t produce nuclear explosions, but they burn extremely hot and can penetrate armor and reinforced concrete. Much of the mass is aerosolized into radioactive dust. Inhaling the radioactive dust can cause cancer.

We are dropping bombs with nuclear waste into the middle of a city. The targeting of the explosions may be precise, but the smoke and dust cover the metropolitan area. I am concerned that we may be delivering high enough concentrations to render an ancient city unfit for human habitation, by American public-health standards. The cancer deaths won’t start until after the war, but hundreds of years from now, thousands of Iraqis could be dying every year.

This could be a crime against humanity for which we will all pay dearly. We don’t know how much damage has already been done, but as [Donald] Rumsfeld has pointed out, we’re still closer to the beginning of the war than to its end. If something isn’t done now, the contamination will get far worse.

Bob Landry
Rancho Cordova

Can we get some real numbers, please?

Re “Megan’s Law fails all around” (SN&R Guest Comment, March 27):

I’m about to commit a sin. I’m going to suggest something for someone else to do.

Mr. Landon, it would be interesting and beneficial to a lot of people if someone took a genuinely random and statistically valid sample from “Megan’s List,” tracked down the 400 or so selected, found out what the real status of the individuals in the sample is, and just plain answered the question of how good the list is.

Just a suggestion from someone who believes in the old Chinese saying: “Don’t argue about how many eggs are in the bird’s nest; climb the tree and see.”

Rudy Iwasko

SN&R doing its own channeling?

Re “Channeling America” (SN&R Bites, March 27):

I have to take issue with the March 27 Bites column and with SN&R’s general editorial stance on the war in Iraq. Regardless of whether anybody shows up for a poorly planned rally in support of the war, all of the reputable public-opinion polls show that a solid majority of Americans support military action to rid the world of Iraq’s brutal dictator.

Check out the polling data; it’s not even close. The latest Gallup Poll shows that 71 percent of Americans favor the war, and 27 percent oppose it—virtually identical to the support measured over the first weekend of the war.

In the face of overwhelming support of the war, it is interesting that the SN&R editorial page and your columnists attempt to portray otherwise. The idea that attendance at a rally in Sacramento, for or against the war, is an accurate gauge of public sentiment is laughable. Far from the organizers of pro-war rallies misrepresenting public support of the war, it appears that the misrepresentation is coming from the pages of SN&R. Who’s channeling whom?

Gregg M. Wardrip