Letters for August 29, 2002

Race drivers

Re “Are Sacramentans Really Bad on Freeways?” (SN&R Streetalk, August 22):

I can’t believe that you would encourage racism in a newspaper that serves such a diverse population. In Streetalk, Lord Payrit’s anti-Asian remarks are used. Was this really necessary? Appalling.

Kristine Fairfield via e-mail

Shame on us

Re “Gritty in Pink” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, August 15):

If you think it’s just macho men and gritty women who “participate” in the rodeo think again. Your cover story missed the wagon by leaving out an entire category of “contestants” who make up the rodeo. It is actually the animals of the rodeo who make up the “compelling story” you mentioned in your Editor’s Note.

Think about it. Contestants who are shoved into trailers and carted cross-country only to be forced to perform against their will, then beaten, poked and prodded if they don’t act dangerous and unruly. Flank straps yanked so tight, animals “buck” to get them off. Tails yanked and twisted or necks strained and snapped as willing participants grab unwilling, and of course frightened, bulls by the horn with one arm and shove their other hand into the animal’s mouth to force them to the ground. (If you don’t believe these allegations, look for the recent stories from the Folsom rodeo a few weeks ago where cowboys were caught on tape using an electric prod to shock and force animals out of the chute.)

Shame on us for following in the footsteps of the straight community and supporting the rodeo. How will this type of activity earn the gay community any more respect, let alone make this a better, more compassionate world for LGBTs or anyone for that matter?

Sharie Lesniak Sacramento

Animal torture

Re “Gritty in Pink” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, August 15):

A few weeks back you printed advertisements for the Gay Rodeo and then this large article on that rodeo. Many people were offended by the Gay Rodeo’s full-page advertisement that consisted of excuses and justifications on the care of their rodeo animals. It’s not a technical issue of what equipment used causes how much or little pain, but the whole moral or social issue of using animals for entertainment through domination, control, pain, and abuse. It’s quite obvious to most people not attending rodeos by looking at the faces of animals that they are not happy.

Examples of animal misery in these situations are endless and so are the rebuttals from rodeo participants explaining or defending how well they take care of their animals, but the bottom line is: animals are being mistreated.

Humans seem to have had a need to conquer and control their environment, but in 2002, we have developed into intelligent beings that no longer require thrills of animal torture, abuse, and control to amuse us, indeed, not even to eat. It is a lose-lose situation for the animals and it is not entertaining!

Cindy Hereth Carmichael

Gays and animals

Re “Gritty in Pink” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, August 15):

Animal abuse and torture are now OK because it’s “gay”? Indeed there are two things wrong here that cannot make a right.

You probably don’t know or care that there are Christians and other religious conservatives who oppose unnecessary animal suffering for sport as much as they oppose homosexuals openly promoting their lifestyle. It’s sickening that this “gay rodeo” business is now about practicing another sexual perversion: bestiality. If you didn’t know, horses and bulls are made to “buck” by squeezing their sexual organs! Animals, just like human children, also ought to have the right to not have their bodies raped or violated through a human sexual abuser.

Modern flamboyant homosexuals are also responsible for why there’s hardly such a thing anymore in our society that can be considered “family” entertainment.

Michelle Kunert via e-mail

A sadist by any other name

Re “Gritty in Pink” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, August 15):

So, those joy-filled mirthful hard-riding females like to torture animals while fulfilling their fantasies about being Buffalo Billie. It is noted that cowpoke Annie, she being happily excited and keenly alive and exuberant, is riding a horse that is bucking because it has a strap around its body just forward of the rear legs. That type of strap makes just about any horse buck. Ann isn’t breaking the bronc, she’s just torturing it.

In reality, many people don’t much care who or what homosexuals or heterosexuals get their rocks off on. Rodeos are just another sick gathering where humans delight in punishing animals. Whatever sexual preference the sadists have really doesn’t matter.

Philo W. Petrowski Loomis

Chrisanne Beckner responds: The Capital Crossroads Gay Rodeo Association hired a local veterinarian to oversee the treatment of the goats, the steers, the horses and the bulls during the rodeo. I questioned him over the weekend and felt that he, as a professional animal caretaker, was satisfied with the treatment the animals received. There was no genital squeezing, in spite of what one letter-writer claimed.

Dying to balance the budget

Re “Smoker’s Hell” (SN&R Editorial, August 15):

The California Legislature’s proposal to increase the tax on cigarettes by $2.13 a pack will cost the consumer $2.30 a pack ($2.13 plus .17 additional sales tax).

The “out the door” cost to the consumer will approximately be $70 a carton. The burden of paying this tax falls on 66.5 percent of smokers whose gross annual income is $30,000 or less. Forty percent are African American or Latino, and 9.2 percent are seniors.

Many smokers are addicted to cigarettes; they have to purchase them.

The legislature is trying to help balance the budget on those least able to afford the cost and the politically weak.

H. Chase Sacramento

No, thank you Brutha’ Martin

Re “No Parole For You” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Cover, August 8):

What a clever bit of (reverse) psychology!

I pondered as to why The Brutha’ Scheide would wordsmithie in such a sappy style (the article’s last paragraph is a scream), and then I got it—satire!

It is unfortunate that after four parole hearings, the last hearing Fred Nesbit was assisted by a professional and caring girlfriend (who obviously is looking for love in all the wrong places) and an attorney (open Yellow Pages to “Attorney,” shut eyes, point), Mr. Nesbit’s still not got it. Seventeen-plus years ago, Mr. Nesbit’s property was ripped off, so, instead of calling the police (that’s what they’re for, Fred), Mr. Nesbit got drunk and “became incensed.” And, with his .38, busted through the front door of a private residence, and murdered.

Thank you, Brutha’ Scheide, for letting us realize that some folks, for the sake of future public safety, are better off locked up. The parole board knew this, you knew this (I’ll wager), Mr. Nesbit’s last parole hearing attorney knew this, and, now, I know this.

Richard D. Martin via e-mail