Letters for August 21, 2003

Juiced, pulped and zested

Re “Candidates of the week” by Bill Forman (SN&R News, August 14):

Never mind the very peculiar nature of the upcoming election, or the flurry of candidates, both legitimate and those whose runs at the governor’s seat are obvious media stunts. Your attack on Larry Flynt’s candidacy is unworthy of SN&R.

Only someone who has lived under a complete media blackout for the last 30 years could not know that Flynt is a pornographer—his testimony against Bob Livingston is the only (relevant) thing we didn’t already know.

On the other hand, you might have mentioned that, unlike the out-and-out whores from both sides of our snafu’d bipartisan nightmare, in 30 years, he’s never waffled, he is not beholden to any of the usual suspects in the special-interest rogues’ gallery, and he’s been a tireless foe of the tobacco industry as well as a “feverish” advocate of the First Amendment. And why do you say that as if it’s a bad thing?

Flynt has shown that he is an excellent businessman, having built a successful publishing empire even in social and business climates that can generously be described as hostile. Perhaps most importantly, Flynt has shown that he has vision and that he understands the needs of the vast majority of us who do not dwell in the rarified atmosphere of the moneyed elite, and yet he understands exactly what must be done to attract jobs to the state and retain them.

It’s one thing to attack and belittle the likes of Mary Carey or Gary Coleman, but Flynt might be just what we need to turn us around after Wilson enlisted wolves as student teachers in the Energy Day Care Center and after Davis spent forever deciding whether to simply shout at them to stop eating the kids, or shout and wave a stick.

What I’m saying is that the whole reason we’re even having this stupid and costly election is that Wilson sold us out, and then Davis sat around and did nothing while California’s fruit got juiced, pulped and zested, leaving only bitter pith for its citizens.

Perhaps Flynt can help bring back some prosperity to California, or perhaps not. In either case, his record shows that he should not be so casually lumped in with a titty dancer whose platform consists of “taxing implants.”

Walt Livingston

Changing events nullify Mulholland’s arguments

Re “Recall Death Match” by Jeff Kearns (SN&R Cover, August 7):

A lot has transpired since SN&R interviewed Sal Russo and Bob Mulholland.

Darrell Issa dropping out of the race eliminates a hefty chunk of Mulholland’s argument. Cruz [Bustamante] entering the race eliminates another hefty chunk. All that seems to be left is support of the special interests, which seem to be the only beneficiaries of the Davis administration, and some jabs at issues outside of California, which Golden State voters don’t care about.

With less than 50 percent voter turnout last November and with Gray Davis unable to get a clear majority of those who did vote, how can Mulholland say that the people of California elected him? Less than 25 percent of registered voters cast their ballots for Davis. The majority said, “We don’t like the incumbent or the challenger.”

Mulholland has a great deal of responsibility for this situation, due to the extremely negative campaign that the Davis camp ran. Of course, he knew that low voter turnout would favor Davis.

As a child of the 1960s, I thought it interesting that Russo, the Republican, was the one who continually talked about the will of the people.

Kelvin Tsao

Instituting Patriot II piecemeal

Re “Repudiate the Patriot” (SN&R Editorial, August 7):

I echo your call for the Sacramento City Council to pass a resolution denouncing the Orwellian-named Patriot Act.

This 342-page behemoth was rubber-stamped with such haste by Congress after 9/11, it is doubtful that many members even bothered to read it.

You mention “Patriot Act II,” officially named “the Domestic Security Enhancement Act.” As bad as Patriot Act I is, its proposed sequel is yet more chilling: It further reduces judicial oversight of surveillance, authorizes secret arrests and even grants John Ashcroft the power to strip citizenship from Americans he deems to be members of “terrorist organizations.” Thank goodness someone from the Justice Department really is a patriot and leaked news of its existence.

Patriot Act II has been outed but not discarded. Concern exists that this latest abomination, to keep it under the radar, may now be instituted piecemeal by its proponents: a bill amendment here, an executive order there. It is imperative to take immediate action to dismantle the first Patriot Act, lest its ugly cousin gain more momentum.

Part of that action can be to contact your City Council representative and urge support for an anti-Patriot Act resolution. It is time for Sacramento to join 130 other American communities to inform Washington the Constitution is still the law of the land.

Mark Drolette

Terrorists take away civil rights

Re “Repudiate the Patriot” (SN&R Editorial, August 7):

On September 11, 2001, 3,000 people had their civil rights taken away from them by terrorists. Tens of thousands of others had their civil rights taken away from them by the terrorists, in the form of the death of a loved one. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives had the “pursuit of happiness” that is guaranteed by the Constitution stolen by these monsters.

You claim that the Bush administration is taking away our civil rights. There is only one documented case of this, and that is the detention of Mr. [Jose] Padilla. The illegal immigrants that were rounded up and deported were deported because they are here illegally. What part of the word “illegal” do you not understand?

Neil Spun

We should live with the consequences of elections

Re “Keep the bum in” by Tom Walsh (SN&R Editor’s Note, August 7):

Like Tom Walsh, I certainly do not believe that one man single-handedly brought this upon us and that one man will get us out. The economic crisis facing our state will not be easily fixed by either a Democratic or Republican governor, regardless of who takes over or stays in office. Unfortunately, we all want a quick fix and are ready to jump on the recall bandwagon, as though recalling Davis will solve anything.

Signature gatherers stood in front of convenience stores taking signatures and offering the recall as a remedy for our economic crisis. Republicans say recalling Davis will save us millions of dollars, and yet they all fail to mention the millions of dollars this election will cost us.

Our economic health comes in cycles, and we are no better off blaming Governor Davis for our crisis than we were for patting former President Clinton on the back for our country’s surplus years ago. In fact, the nation as a whole is facing economic problems. Perhaps our deficit is the largest in the country, but we are also probably its largest resource.

Is the real issue for the recall because we feel that he lied to us and that he will cost us millions of dollars in the future? Huh? If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve sworn one was talking about the president of the United States. He gave us a 16-word lie in the State of the Union address and is siphoning billions for the war in Iraq, and yet no one is screaming recall!

I wouldn’t sign a Bush recall [petition] if there was one. It’s a question of who we voted for and having to live with that choice. Unlike our president, the majority of us voted for this governor, whether we like him or not, and getting rid of Governor Davis will not help speed up our economic recovery or help our current financial situation. If anything, it may make matters worse.

Are we willing to elect someone who we know little about and who could be just as bad, if not worse? I, for one, am not willing to take that chance. I think it would be better if we stopped with this political fiasco and began to work together to get ourselves out of this mess. God knows we’re already becoming the biggest joke to the rest of the country.

George Avila

Full of … what?

Re “Is the glass half-full or half-empty?” (SN&R Streetalk, August 7):

As any physicist can tell you, the glass is full—of different substances.

Luke Reinhart