Letters for April 23, 2009

Letter of the week

Top 20 letters of the last 20 years

Here are a few of the stranger—and scarier—letters to the editors we’ve received in the last 20 years:

• A bullet. That’s it, just a bullet in an envelope addressed to editor Melinda Welsh.
• Photos of decapitated heads being used for soccer balls (in response to a story that the letter writer felt was unfairly biased against Serbia).
• On two occasions: a vial and an aerosol container labeled “anthrax.” Both were hoaxes, and the sender is currently charged with postal crimes. Don’t do this. You’ll be arrested.
• A suicide note.
• Cookies (since there was no return address, we did not eat them).
• A ransom note (in response to R.V. Scheide’s story about the Maloof Brothers holding the Sacramento Kings for ransom until a new arena was built).
• A threat to castrate editor Tom Walsh.
• A suggestion that we should castrate Walsh ourselves.
• Multiple letters suggesting we be tried for treason.
• Even more letters suggesting that a treason trial would be unnecessary; we should just be hung.
• Rants that claim the only music we like is hip-hop.
• Rants that claim we hate hip-hop.
• Suggestions that our music critics are punks, our theater critics are snobs, our film critics have no taste and our restaurant critics are all three.
• Suggestions that the Sammies should be Jammied where the sun don’t shine.
• Accusations of anti-Semitism (especially following any piece that criticizes Israel).
• Name calling of “liberals” and “fascists,” often in the same sentence.
• Name calling of “woman haters” and “feminazis,” occasionally in the same sentence.
• Claims that we are shills for the Democratic Party.
• Claims that we spoil elections by giving voice to alternate-party candidates.
• Strongly worded suggestions that _____ (insert at least one: Josh Fernandez, Cosmo Garvin, Jenn Kistler, Nick Miller, Kel Munger or R.V. Scheide) are hacks and ought to be fired.

Kel Munger
SN&R editorial services coordinator

Can’t drive to freedom

Re “You drive me crazy” by Sena Christian (SN&R Feature, April 16):

This was an excellent look at a typical American mindset. I was gratified to read something so honest, since “going green” is so trendy now that everyone pretends to make eco-conscious decisions which are often meaningless and halfhearted.

[Sena] Christian writes: “The problem is that a hundred little Senas could abandon their cars tomorrow and it won’t matter, not as long as 70 percent of China’s energy comes from coal-fired power plants or as long as industry continues to produce massive amounts of toxic byproducts that pollute our air and waterways.”

What a pitiful excuse. We are the reason China is striving for luxury at the expense of the environment. Our own need for material possessions is the reason China’s factories exist at all, and our reluctance to join in world efforts like Kyoto the reason they get away with their polluting ways.

I hope Sena’s example can teach all of us to look at ourselves with a critical eye and realize that our selfish addiction to the freedom and luxury of driving must end. If developing nations were to follow in our footsteps, we would need 5.3 more Earths to support everyone in the American style, according to The Washington Post. Isn’t it time we reclaimed our place as leaders of the free world by setting a good example for others? Isn’t it time (to paraphrase Mr. [Thomas] Friedman) we stopped funding terrorism and dictatorship with our petrodollars?

Where’s our American spirit of determination, hard work and innovation? How can we get back to that America?

I’ll give you a hint: You can’t get there in a car.

Anna Elzeftawy

Try something different

Re “Earth Day double dare” by Sena Christian and Ted Cox (SN&R Feature, April 16) and “Will work for minimum” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature, February 19), et al:

I’ve an idea for an upcoming SN&R issue. Have R.V. Scheide walk around in blackface for a month; then he could tell us what it’s like to be African-American.

It would be very enlightening.

Corey Okada

Down the rabbit hole

Re “Truth is a prison” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, April 16):

You were sucked down the rabbit hole of 9/11 research and conspiracy theories and found reptile aliens? What?

I’ve never seen that in my research in regards to 9/11. Even if you believe the official story, why has there not been an outcry into the obvious glaring incompetence and negligence that our government had on 9/11? Just because they “fixed” it afterwards does not change the fact that our Constitution has been trashed since 9/11, nor does it change the fact that those who were supposed to protect America on 9/11 or any other day were asleep at the wheel. If that happened to one of our family members by any one else, there would be a lawsuit begun immediately for negligence.

It is not OK that 343 firefighters died trying to rescue people from the towers because our air defense system was somewhere else. It is not OK that first responders, police officers and firefighters are dying from dust-related diseases from the fall of those towers. It is not OK that somehow terrorists with box cutters flew planes into the towers while our Air Force was somewhere else doing something else.

Those people who were in charge of our nation’s security at the time failed at their job. They neglected to take the proper actions at the proper time, and that is negligence.

Why someone chooses to believe our government’s official story regarding 9/11 after such horrible performance at their jobs during 9/11 is beyond me. Those people in charge of our government that day at the very least are guilty of the worst case of negligence in recent history.

As far as your journey down the “rabbit hole,” you can do what I did to research this: Just Google the melting/bending point of steel, then Google the temperature that jet fuel and office fires burn at. Go from there.

May you have a better experience the next time you research something.

Faith Sutherland
via e-mail

Should’ve been a ‘No on 8’ ad

Re “The gay tax” by Kel Munger (SN&R Essay, April 16):

This was a very cogent explanation of why so-called “separate but equal” arrangements for same-sex partners, like domestic partnerships and civil unions, are not the same as marriage. Every time I hear some straight person say, “They’ve got everything but the word ‘marriage,’” I wonder why the “No on 8” campaign didn’t do a better job of explaining the discrimination inherent in domestic partnerships and civil unions, even under [Assembly Bill] 205.

It’s not just about a word. If it was, the “Yes on 8” wouldn’t be fighting it so hard, and gay people wouldn’t still be paying a tax penalty for not being straight.

Jan Kline

May you never have to wear a pickle suit

Re “Pickle prejudice” by Josh Fernandez (SN&R Smorgasbord, April 16):

Pickle, banana … it’s called a job.

I’m happy that you don’t have to wear a food-related uniform, but some folks have those annoying bills like rent, food, utilities and, if they are able to own a car, gas. In these times that college graduates are applying at In-N-Out Burger and the Dollar Tree, I see little humor in your elitism.

Josh, I’m sorry you were hungry for a turkey sandwich, but at least you knew when you found a joint that you felt deserved your patronage, you could afford one. Get over yourself. Someday, sadly, you may be the man in a pickle suit.

Amanda Ridge
West Sacramento

Boredom, isolation and rockets

Re “Vouching for Bethlehem” by Patricia Daugherty (SN&R Frontlines, April 9):

In response to this article, I believe there is one very critical omission. That is, the citizens of Bethlehem—specifically the PLO/Hamas factions therein—who complain of being isolated by the Israeli-built Separation Wall must bear their fair share of the blame for its construction.

When they stand idly by (or in many cases encourage) family members and neighbors to strap high explosives to their bodies, travel to neighboring Jerusalem and blow innocent Israeli citizens into tiny bloody bits, how can they expect any less of a governmental response?

I suppose, judging by the peace-loving author’s all-too-obvious bias, that Israel should succumb to international pressure and allow free movement of Palestinians throughout the area. After all, a bit of collateral damage—say, 40-50 maimed or murdered Israelis per year—is well worth the price of relieving the boredom and isolation of Bethlehem’s teenagers (sarcasm intended).

Dean Ross

A hot-sauce soul mate

Re “Weirdest thing you like to eat?” (SN&R Streetalk, April 9):

This is for Alexis Johnson, the Streetalk respondent who says she puts sriracha sauce on absolutely everything, to the point where it’s so spicy that her nose runs: If I wasn’t too old and too fat and already married, I’d ask you to be my wife; I believe you may be my soul mate.

Rock Waterman