Letters for December 22, 2011

Empathy for the hungry

Re “Where’s the food?” by Hugh Biggar (SN&R Feature, December 15):

I’ve always considered your progressive articles top-of-the-line. If I want to read the truth about anything, that truth will come from your articles. The most recent really tugged at my heart in so many profound ways. These wonderful people reminded me of my mother (may she rest in peace).

I grew up in this fashion and still feel the pangs of that time in Texas, where life was hard; survival harder. But I guess I made it through, with the help of volunteer agencies like Santa Pal and a group called Good Fellows—similar to some of the churches—Loaves & Fishes, food banks, etc.

Finally, I do enjoy reading most of your articles and support you 100 percent, with the exception of the marijuana advertisements. As a former military policeman (Air Force), my job was to “hook and book” those who violated the [then] drug laws found on all military installations, so I have a hard bias against that particular venue. Sorry! That’s just the way I’m wired.

Thank you for your time, and you’re doing a marvelous job!

Herman W. Hill Jr.

Stop having kids!

Re “Where’s the food?” by Hugh Biggar (SN&R Feature, December 15):

I just have to speak my mind about the Medina family. The article title should have read, “Where’s the birth control?”

Why do families or people continue to have more and more kids, when they know darn well they cannot feed themselves well, let alone five kids! But they want everyone else to take care of their problems, especially [when] only making minimum wage.

Americans cannot keep feeding people who are so selfish by continuing to have babies. I feel like I am going to scream if I see another article about a family begging for help to feed their families. People are taking totally advantage of the system and wanting everyone else to pay for their mistakes. Everyone is struggling with their own financial woes.

I feel sorry for the poor kids. Pizza, really? Is that healthy for a child to eat all the time? I think not! Here are a few suggestions for the next needy family who have a bunch of kids and are begging: Abstinence. Use birth control. Get a degree (so you can at least take care of your kids). And finally, just be smart!

Yvette Mitchell

Occupy strategy

Re “Occupy’s second act” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, December 15):

The Occupy Wall Street movement has successfully awakened middle Americans to the “real issues of wealth disparity and Wall Street greed.” It would be a shame if that message were undermined by a noisy minority, show-offs and those just mad at the world.

The images of crowds of people confronting legions of cops who are protecting the enclaves of the rich and the powerful can only help the movement. But OWS has worn out the patience of even the most liberal cities. The protesters have gotten their message of the 1 percent vs. 99 percent inequality across and into people’s minds. It might be time for the Occupy Wall Street movement to reimagine, reintegrate and rethink their goals.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City

Loves the Occupiers

Re “Don’t hate us” by Gary R. Harris (SN&R Essay, December 15):

Well said!

Kat Hoff
via email

Remember Kent State

Re “The accidental journalist” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, November 23) and “Protesters = higher ground” (SN&R Editorial, November 23):

I remember the protests at the colleges after I came back from Vietnam in the summer of ’68. The students that were willing to try to change and hopefully fix some of what was wrong at the time, such as the end the war movement, end the police-state condition in the country and so on.

But the most tragic and powerful single event happened at Kent State [University]. The song “Ohio,” with its refrain—“Four dead in Ohio”—describes how [President Richard] Nixon and his weekend warriors were the last straw. Now after seeing the pepper spraying on campus at UC Davis, I see the past in the things that are happening now. I hope we don’t sing the song again for others!

But sad to say that will not be the last time. It will happen again: some rent-a-cop or weekend reservist will shoot someone’s child, and that will be the start of the end for the condition that we—the 99 percent—find ourselves in. It will awaken the country and motivate it to change the money culture and the complete disconnect from the people that has come to be common in our government.

I dread the thought of the country losing our children on a college campus again, but it will happen, given those who need too keep them in line and quiet. We, the people, could avoid this by just voting for change to those we know are not bought, but I know it will not happen, and so it goes right back to the young to put their bodies on the line for the rest of us.

I am sorry for what will come and the cost to some, and I promise to do my part to support their cause as best as I can.

R.B. Chandler

Can’t have it both ways

Re “Sexual harassment and power” (SN&R Letters, December 8); “The shame sensibility” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Popsmart, November 17):

Peggy Bean takes issue with Rachel Leibrock, who described the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton sexual relationship as “consensual.” Bean embodies a feminist tendency to self-righteously condemn the infantilization of women at the same time as they hypocritically infantilize women.

She labels the Lewinsky-Clinton affair as sexual harassment, not because of a hostile environment or unwelcome advances or the demand of sexual favors, but simply because a rich, famous and powerful man had sex with someone who wasn’t rich, famous and powerful. She categorizes a 22-year-old woman as unable to make her own decisions, at the same time she would surely skewer any man who did so.

The fact is, Lewinsky entered into a consensual relationship with Clinton for the same reason that millions of women would have slept with him: Most women are attracted to the wealthy, the famous and the powerful. For good or bad, this dynamic is an eternal truth that helps drive male achievement—not to mention rock ’n’ roll.

What’s tragic is that the paradigm of Bean’s apparent mindset (Catherine MacKinnon has said, “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman”) was allowed to write legislation dealing with sexual harassment.

Fred Hayward
via email