Letters for February 22, 2001

You’ve got the wrong bird

Re “Kloss Cartoon” (SN&R Opinion, Feb. 8):

I opened your Feb. 8 edition to see the “flip the bird” cartoon. I must admit it caught my eye, but when I realized it was designed as a clip for your readers to send in with their PG&E payments, I couldn’t believe this latest example of mentally challenged liberalism. You morons blame PG&E for the current energy mess, give me a break!

PG&E was mandated to sell their power plants and prohibited from entering into long-term power purchase contracts by the actions of the Legislature. Liberals such as Harvey Rosenfield were successful in convincing everyone that PG&E was an evil empire monopoly and couldn’t be trusted to sell us power at a reasonable price unless they were forced to bid out the power purchases in a competitive market. Well we got a competitive market didn’t we! Out-of-state companies like Duke Energy, Reliant and Enron are now gauging PG&E and its customers because PG&E is mandated by the state to buy on the “spot” market. Who wants to take credit for this stupidity? Certainly not Harvey and Steve Peace, both liberal democrats who advocated for it and are now in hiding.

Our “gray” governor says we ought to sell bonds so we can pay off the high energy bills of the last four months over 20 years with interest. Kind of like putting your own utility bills on your VISA card and paying them off over many years while you still keep using utilities in the meantime. He further says the solution is long-term contracts, duh! And Sen. John Burton, of the Republik of San Francisco, says we ought to have the state assume ownership of the transmission lines after PG&E goes bankrupt. Reminiscent of the old Soviet Union. Of course, I mustn’t forget that many of your readers probably look upon the old U.S.S.R. as an idealistic vision of what they’d like America to be. Instead of sending the “flip the birdie” cartoon to PG&E, I’m going to send mine to Harvey and Steve. PG&E isn’t the villain, they are!

Russell Birdlebough

Digit salute

Re “Kloss Cartoon” (SN&R Opinion, Feb. 8):

Thank you, thank you, thank you to cartoonist Kloss for drawing a satire cartoon of exactly how my husband and I feel about the so-called and bogus Energy Crisis.

As a product of the ’60s and ’70s, my husband and I love to protest when we feel we are being treated wrongly or abused. It is time for California’s population to stand up and be counted in a large voice of protest, saying to the electric companies, that “Hell no, we won’t pay.” My son, who lives in Concord recently received a $500 bill for one month of gas and electricity. This is absurd! How can young and old families afford to pay these kind of outrageous bills? We are being held up for ransom in this state, by politicians that don’t even have their faces covered by masks to hide their identity. They are so brave and fearless because we constantly let them rob us as we hide our collective heads in the sand.

I’m going to make copies of the Kloss drawing and make sure everyone I know sends one with their next PG&E bill.

Vera and Mike Farris
North Highlands

Hey Andrew, we’re listening

Re “Rush to Judgment” by Tom Walsh (SN&R Editor’s Note, Feb. 8):

Regarding listeners of conservative talk radio: “Their private reality with the show … unfortunately replaces reasoned discussion that should take place in the community at large.”

I am a conservative, and I enjoy your publication. I just wanted to point out that this statement (and much of R.V. Scheide’s article, for that matter) smacks of hypocrisy.

It is mildly infuriating that the Republican protest at the state Capitol received zero local media coverage. Your publication gives zero credence to the conservative ideology, yet you plea for “reasoned discussion.” Almost every political piece I have ever read in SN&R has been editorialized beyond belief, with objectivity thrown out the window. While this is entertaining, it certainly runs 180 degrees opposite of the ideal you espouse here. It is the local news media (sans talk radio) that has marginalized the reporting scene in Sacramento. Rush Limbaugh, Mark Williams, Michael Savage, Mike Gallagher etc. are merely byproducts of that marginalization.

In other words: If the mainstream media were fair and balanced, it would report 5,000 citizens demonstrating their views at the state Capitol. That is most certainly news. The fact that it was so conveniently overlooked is proof positive that conservative talk radio has its well-deserved place in the echelons of American media.

Andrew J. Heidrich
via e-mail

King Fargo

Re “Mayoral Spell” (SN&R Capital Bites, Feb. 8):

As a Kings fan and Sacramento resident, I read with interest Fargo’s born-again interest in the Kings and her adoption of Mayor Serna’s dream for a downtown arena.

I support a new arena, and having it downtown, but I am very leery of Fargo’s double talk. When the Kings needed help years back she wouldn’t vote to loan them money with interest—and now she would have us believe she supports spending public money? Of course, with her asking for a full-time salary immediately after being elected—maybe she will spend public funds.

Michael James

Shooting oneself in the foot

Rarely have I seen a larger load of collective crap on one single page of your publication!

First, we have Mr. Moss, “We Can Fire a Musket” (SN&R Letters, Feb. 15) criticizing the “liberal persuasion” for attaching a modern meaning to the constitutional phrase, “a well regulated militia.” Then he tries to convince us that the phrase has to do with the, “fifteen or so steps in the procedure to load, present, aim and fire the long arm (musket or rifle).”

Mr. Moss, you unceremoniously hoist yourself on your own petard with this logic! Your ilk and the NRA constantly argue that the Second Amendment is absolute and not negotiable. As though, constitutionally, one needs give equal weight to the weapons (muskets?) the Father’s of that document were writing about and the types of powerful, rapid fire weaponry and cheaply made, concealable handguns easily obtainable to the common citizen today.

And while you were doing your, “very little research” you should’ve consulted Webster’s Dictionary. Militia: originally, any military force; later, any army composed of citizens rather than professional soldiers called out in a time of emergency. Incidentally, militia is derived from the Latin word Militis, or soldier. Of course, you’ll find a way to twist Webster too.

In the second letter, Mr. Wykle, “Deadly Numerals” (SN&R Letters, Feb. 15) does some screwball ciphering about leading causes of death. He attempts to compare tobacco, automobiles and even physicians with contraptions designed to put fatal holes in people. He passes off 30,000 gunshot fatalities in the United States as a trifle. Like so many factory rejected Carter’s Liver Pills. Actually, the only statistic that matters is the undisputed fact that we are far and away alone among countries civilized or otherwise in gun related crime! Mr. Wykle chastises Mr. Fairman of failing to identify his sources, then, in the same breath, takes pride in citing the American Firearms Institute Web page as his! I doubt you could find a more one-sided opinion and as any decent researcher knows, believe very little pulled from the Web anyway. I don’t know if gun control is the answer; however, I do know that this country is absolutely gun crazy and, if I were going to do research as to why, I certainly wouldn’t trust these two guys for the answer.

Ron Waggoner

No facelift, plenty of guts

Re “All Right, All the Time” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Cover, Feb. 8):

I picked up your latest issue at the gym on the way in for a swim and a sauna. I must admit that I haven’t listened to local talk station KFBK since they fired me many years ago. There was just nothing interesting there I wanted to listen to. Therefore I can’t comment on the talents of their latest conservative talk show host. However, there is one thing I do know something about.

R.V. Scheide claims that liberal hosts have never got good ratings on Sacramento radio. I don’t know who told him that, but I do know that my predecessor Bernie Ward had great afternoon ratings at that station. While I was on in the afternoons (a much larger audience than the nighttime shift) I received thousands of dollars in bonus pay for notching double-digit numbers. And when Enid Goldstein was on another station (KSTE) she got the best numbers either before or after in her time slot.

I still do talk radio, but in a larger venue at KGO in San Francisco. Bernie Ward is on every night from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. (810 on the AM dial). If you want to catch my shows, just send your email address to craftalert@yahoo.com.

I have a small, part-time civil law practice here and caretake my 85-year-old father. I still manage to do my talk shows at KGO and television at KQED in San Francisco. That’s the station where they allow women over fifty on the air, even if they haven’t had facelifts.

I think one of the reasons why liberal talk hosts are so few and far between is that station management gets nervous out on the golf course when their advertiser buddies berate them for something an anti-corporate, on-air type might have said. Ratings numbers aren’t the only standard by which decisions are made. In general, having guts is not a prerequisite to being a radio station manager.

Christine Craft