Letters for August 12, 2010

Letter of the week
Boxing with a ghost

Re “Super green!” by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Feature, July 29):

With apologies to Haruki Murakami, challenging [Mayor] Kevin Johnson’s vision is like boxing with a ghost; there is nothing there to argue with. We are left swinging at air.

Other than their obvious befuddlement with the process and their roles in it, the only thing his green team leaders share is an understanding of the need to get everybody “under one tent.” And what sort of jobs will all this result in? All we know from this article is that someone is going to have to sort the good trash from the bad trash.

Many years ago the city council and the chamber of commerce co-sponsored an initiative to promote Sacramento as the “Heart of California,” with the hoped-for payoff of Sacramento joining the ranks of “major” metropolitan areas. Johnson’s “Emerald Valley” vision appears predestined to suffer the same fate as that vacuous sloganeering. But its notoriety risks making us believe that something significant is happening, a dangerous distraction that will keep ordinary people from taking the initiative.

Van Jones said that once the election was settled, [Barack] Obama supporters microwaved popcorn and settled in front of their televisions. Overnight, “Yes We Can” became “I Hope He Can.”

Yes, Sacramento could be a model community for energy efficiency and sustainability. “Super green!” makes a strong case that we are far better off taking matters into our own hands at the grassroots.

Michael Meloy

Something bigger than God

Re “The Bright side” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Feature, August 5):

While I’m in general agreement with the views expressed here, I find movements such as these counterproductive.

Why do “freethinkers” need support groups? What with quantum entanglement, dark energy, dark matter, fractal geometry and galaxies now discovered to be numbering in billions, does anyone need to be defensive because they think “outside of the box”?

A relative of mine once asked in astonishment, “You mean, you don’t believe in God?”

“No,” I answered, “I believe in something far bigger.”

The Constitution protects my right not to be a part of any organized religion. The only thing I fear is religious people behaving badly, and that also applies to atheists as well.

Hugh T. Jones

God and religion are not the same

Re “The Bright side” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Feature, August 5):

The fact and true meaning of “separation of church and state” is the government must not impose religion on Americans nor create any law requiring it.

Talking God, saying a prayer, or the Pledge of Allegiance is not “imposing.” Saying the words “one nation under God” is not imposing religion, thanking God in prayer is not imposing. It is referring to a name and concept.

It would different if the words said “one nation under the Roman Catholic Church” or “one nation under the Baptist Church.” The word God does mean or refer to a church. The word church refers to the types of religion.

Robert Smith

Kill the black market

Re “Legalize it?” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, August 5):

To legalize [marijuana] will kill the black market; if not, it will deal a crippling blow to it. People who smoke illegally often have to search for someone who has what they need; often times it can be a huge pain.

Now, being able to grow your own would be awesome in a perfect world, but that’s the thing: Not everyone will grow their own because of all sorts of reasons (kids, living situation, time, etc.). If one could go the local shop and get what they need without worrying about Johnny Law, they would. I mean, the dope man doesn’t have a huge selection, but shops do, and that would be the thing that deals the killing blow to the black market: variety.

Sheldon Alvarez

Prohibition makes outlaws

Re “Legalize it?” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, August 5):

The time to legalize marijuana is coming, whether some people like or not. Those who oppose it will bring out every boogeyman that you can think of. There will never be a proposed law they like.

We need to pass Proposition 19. If there are problems, we can fix it. That is no different than most things in life. Trial and error is the way we learn.

The present system of prohibition makes outlaws out of our children and friends. Prohibition fuels a significant portion of drug violence, especially in Mexico. The current laws add to our prison population.

We need to change it now. If we wait for the perfect law, it will never happen. All the dire consequences that are proposed are with us now, with prohibition. Pass Prop. 19 this year!

Charles Donaldson

Regulation is fascism?

Re “Don’t panic” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, July 22):

It’s about time the consumers, taxpayers, voters and individuals started taking their country back, away from the co-called “green industry,” the oil industry, the financial industry, the government, the socialists, etc. After all, to us, you’re all looking one in the same, now widely known as the crisis structure.

If you’re not concerned about confiscation of other people’s hard-earned wealth and your eternal resting place, here’s the easiest way to make a million bucks in crisis-happy America: First, create the perception of crisis (climate change, health care, mortgage failure, etc.). Second, proffer your own predetermined, convenient solution. Third, lobby your solution into law. Fourth, profit by force at the expense of the masses. Then repeat.

Let freedom ring!

David Walker
via e-mail

DADT is working, he sez

Re “Still asking” (SN&R Editorial, July 22):

There are plenty of gay people in the military, and [they] are quite successful. Their success is a result of their incredible professionalism and work ethic, in addition to the fact that they are not gay first.

The disservice that the gay movement [does to] itself is to further isolate its members from having the normal social interactions in everyday work and living arrangements by presenting themselves so radically. I would say that most heterosexuals really don’t give a damn what the gay population does in their bedroom. I do not base my life and daily interactions on what I do in my bedroom. Neither do the fine gay soldiers in today’s Army.

The Army and the other military services are good at what they do for a reason; they have rules and seldom detour from them, which is ultimately what this argument is all about. If you want to have your military to be as dysfunctional as your local government or school board, keep it up.

John Rapp


In “The Bright side” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Feature Story, August 5), the first use of the term super to describe a person who believes in supernatural powers or events was incorrectly attributed. The term was coined by philosopher Daniel Dennett.