Letters for April 28, 2011

Letter of the week

Staples and prisoners

Re “Sheriff vs. editor” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, April 14):

The given reason for banning the Prison Legal News at the Sacramento County Main Jail after 20 years of delivery is that the staples that bind the paper are contraband is a nonsensical and capricious action. If Pelican Bay and Corcoran, our maximum security prisons, do not ban the PLN, why Sacramento?

I took a look at some of the magazines to which I subscribe such as The New Yorker, American Archaeology, Smithsonian, Natural History, and National Wildlife, and they all use staples, as do most weekly news magazines. If delivery has not been refused for all other publications that use staples, then the rejection of PLN would certainly appear to be a retaliatory response to articles about the Sacramento jail.

There are a couple of issues I have with this action. First, as a former subscriber to the PLN, I will tell you that, surely as day follows night, when a jail or prison bans the PLN, the paper will sue and invariably it wins. As a taxpayer, I have a concern about past costly litigation involving the jail. Further, we have a new sheriff, and I would hope this silly action is not an indication of Sheriff [Scott] Jones’ views on penology.

James G. Updegraff

Bravo, Cosmo!

Re “Adaptation” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, April 21):

Cosmo Garvin’s article on climate-change adaptation is well-written, informed and useful. Thanks.

H.I. “Bud” Beebe
Fair Oaks

He doesn’t trust the IPCC

Re “Adaptation” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, April 21):

Thanks so much for Cosmo Garvin’s subjective article.

A few points: First, the Kyoto Protocol wasn’t ratified in 1997-1998 by then-President [Bill] Clinton with the advice and consent of the Senate because they realized it was a scam. Second, Garvin’s total reliance on the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] is disappointing. No credible scientist will associate with IPCC out of concern for their reputation.

Please encourage Garvin and your readers to continue reading Earth sciences (geology, volcanology, meteorology, climatology, biology, oceanography, etc.), while avoiding the IPCC. You do your readers a service when you encourage resource conservation, controlling emissions, recycling, etc. The IPCC is comprised of political activists, not scientists.

Finally, the IPCC’s dire predictions re global warming are based on computer models. They are forecasts based on assumptions, and they are entirely subjective.

Steve Healow

Earth will be fine, but we won’t

Re “Adaptation” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, April 21):

This was a great piece of work, and makes the point clearly: It’s too late to stop climate change, even if we could. What’s ahead of us is adapting to it.

I find it helpful to remember that the planet will be just fine. It’s the flora and fauna (including megafauna like humans) that are going to have a lot of problems.

Karen Holsapple

Some aren’t Taxed Enough Already

Re “Your tax dollars” by David Cay Johnston (SN&R Feature, April 14):

What a timely and fascinating story! I can’t help but think how funny (or sad) it is that the so called “Taxed Enough Already” partiers don’t understand the true nature of what’s happening with the U.S. tax system. Johnston has written extensively about the way our tax code has been gamed by corporations to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us, and this piece was a great addition to his work.

Until Americans understand that our tax dollars should work for all of us and that it is the very purpose of government to tax and spend, we’ll keep being used to grow wealth for the already wealthy. Idiocracy, here we come.

Jan Kline

‘Free’ money to low earners

Re “Your tax dollars” by David Cay Johnston (SN&R Feature, April 14):

For a Pulitzer Prize winner to ignore the [Earned Income Tax Credit], “free” money to low-earned-income taxpayers, is a gross omission. EITC means that if you don’t earn a lot, you can get “free” money from the government, and of course, who paid that money? Taxpayers.

Yes, many people, at last count, around 47 percent of the people, do not pay income taxes, but they do pay Social Security, gas taxes, etc. You buy gas, you drive on the highway, you should pay taxes. You eat food, you should pay taxes. And on and on. And he mentioned nothing about EBT, welfare and all the other programs paying people who do not have large incomes.

I was shocked, but it was not unexpected, that his “tax” story was so one-sided. This country does not have an income problem, it is a spending problem, as we have heard for some time.

Nick Schrier

Avoid vulgarity, please

Re “Drop the F-bombs” by Mark Drolette (SN&R Essay, April 14):

Thank you, Mark Drolette, for picking up the communications bar from the sludge and trying to show the harm caused by vulgarity.

I, too, am sickened by the profanity in the media and being around people who have no respect for themselves or others with the foul language they throw about. I know not what the answer is to this gross issue, but when people in the media, such as yourself, begin to address this affront to the sensibilities, perhaps we can all begin to shift back the grimy tide and end up on the clean sands of civility in communication. Kudos to you for making the effort, and I think you deserve to be “cranky” when you’re daily assaulted with the worst in our language.

Loyce Smallwood

Childless and out of the closet

Re “Stressful neighbors and sexy interns” by Joey Garcia (SN&R Ask Joey, April 14):

I think Joey hit the nail on the head with the child-free issue. We’ve been happily child free for 27 years, and rarely got hassled, maybe because my stock answer is “We chose to stick to four-legged kids,” said with a smile. Never fails to either shift the conversation to animals, or they change the subject.

I make it very clear that we’re happy, and that is rarely challenged. Some choose to lie to avoid controversy, claiming infertility, or that they’re not ready, but we all need to stand up for our very legitimate choice not to bring unwanted children into an overpopulated world. Come out of the closet!

Janet Thew