Letters for January 10, 2008

Kate feeds the inferiority complex

Re “Where trends come to die” by Kate Washington (SN&R Arts&Culture, January 3):

Jeez, as if her food reviews don’t make us mere Sacto-diners feel bad enough, now Kate Washington says that we’re the last gasp of national trends. So much for my self-esteem in the new year. I guess Sac’s inferiority complex is earned.

Jan Kline


Re “Taking the Lord’s name (sorta) in vain” by Ted Cox (SN&R Essay, January 3):

Amen, amen, amen to this article. It is right on. Thank you for it.

Estell Lee
Dallas, Texas

Beat or be beaten?

Re “Eat or be eaten” (SN&R Feature Story, December 27):

Once again, the venerable Bites comes through, this time with a history of 2007 that is worthy of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States—that is to say, the unadulterated truth about what happened (with large doses of irony), from the perspective of most of us rather than the perspective of corporate, advertising shills, the basis for virtually all MSM these days. (Notice I rank SN&R right there with MSM. Or is it S&M? I get these acronyms confused occasionally.)

But, sadly, the fair- and positive-minded continue to get screwed; that is to say, what else is news or “bites”? I’m one of the many readers who take their precious, incredibly valuable time to comment on and typically applaud various Bites rants. So what happens? You publish all the “You really hate us” letters from assorted nut cases who are just beyond the extreme fringes of reality/sanity.

What about all the “You really love us” letters from us right-thinking readers? It feels like Charlie Brown must have felt when Lucy yanked that football away from his upcoming 40-yard game winner and he fell on his arse for the umpteenth time, or got a lump of coal from good ol’ Santa. Jeesch!

Where’s the justice, the love, the “bites” (or rather, the hickeys)?

Equally Irked Anonymous Reader

Ape sexism

Re “Urban living” by Nicholas Miller (SN&R Feature Story, December 27):

While this article was interesting and informative, you could have done without the childish and offensive remarks about “chasing skirt,” “knocking up the ladies” and “cougar bait.” These remarks only served to damage the integrity of your reporting.

Julia Sciotto
Richmond, Va.

Bush is most annoying

Re “The most annoying things of 2007” by Robert A. Berry (SN&R Arts&Culture, December 27):

Why did Robert A. Berry waste article space listing pop bimbo Britney Spears’ media coverage as “the No. 1 most annoying thing of 2007,” rather than President George W. Bush and his war on Iraq?

During his administration, President Bush has split up “religious” voters who were originally for him and who now are realizing that America can’t spend billions on war overseas at the cost of our own citizens’ needs. Bush incriminates people whom had nothing to do with 9/11. Bush’s administration also keeps pursuing Osama bin Laden, even though Pakistan’s president announced that Bin Laden likely has died of kidney failure. The execution of Saddam Hussein certainly didn’t bring around any justice, especially since President Bush’s daddy originally supported Saddam and gave him weapons to use in a war against Iran. But we’re not supposed to know or discuss that.

As for Sacramento’s 10 most annoying things: It should be our local officials, including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has turned out to be worse than the recalled Gray Davis.

Michelle Kunert

Idiots, still arguing

Re “Don’t call him a pacifist!” (SN&R Letters, December 20):

Someone once said, “Never argue with an idiot. First they bring you down to their level. Then they beat you with their expertise.”

In Ron Lowe’s mind-numbing rebuttal to my letter accusing him of anti-Christian bigotry, he engages in a kind of hypersensitive rhetoric that suggests he just might be a “latent” narcissist.

It is reassuring, however, that he eschews pacifism. As the late, great Vietnam vet B.T. Collins liked to say, “The purpose of war is to kill people and break things.” If Mr. Lowe really wants to go “gung-ho,” he can get the bumper sticker I saw recently: “Support the troops—Bitch-slap a pacifist.” Isn’t free speech great?

As for Mr. Lowe’s sanctimonious disdain for the so-called “pseudo-Christians”: There are just as many “pseudos” on the Christian and secular Left. Remember the Berrigan bozos? Holocaust in Cambodia? Remember the National Organization for Women and Bill Clinton? Remember John Kerry and his phony purple hearts?

Message to Ron Lowe: Washington did it, Lincoln did it, Roosevelt did it, Kennedy did it, Reagan did it, Clinton did it and Bush did it. They were all Christians and they all waged war. However, if Mr. Lowe can walk on water, let’s see a demo!

Dennis McMurray
Nevada City

Who’s here first?

Re “P.O.’d Paiutes” by Kel Munger (SN&R News, December 20):

OMG! Miwok? Paiute? I thought Kennewick man was there first. You all better be careful who you say was there. Someone’s gonna write to you and tell you it was him first.

Eddie Perez
Centralia, Wash.

Who’s here second?

Re “P.O.’d Paiutes” by Kel Munger (SN&R News, December 20):

Scott Gediman says that Chief Tenaya and his tribe were already identified by the academic community. If that is the case, why is the park saying that Tenaya and his band were Miwoks?

I suggest that Yosemite National Park personnel read Dr. Lafayette H. Bunnell’s book, The Discovery of the Yosemite and the Indian War of 1851 Which Led to That Event. Bunnell was the only man to meet and write about Chief Tenaya. He recorded everything he knew about Tenaya and his band. Bunnell wrote that Chief Tenaya was the founder of the Paiute colony of Ahwahnee, that Tenaya spoke a Paiute jargon, and that the majority of his band were Paiutes and Monos. Bunnell also wrote that the Mono Paiutes considered Tenaya one of their number.

Not once in Bunnell’s book did he write that Chief Tenaya and his band were Miwoks. He did, however, write that Miwoks were the scouts and workers for the whites.

In another contemporary account, C.F. Hoffman, who was the first person to sketch Hetch Hetchy, interviewed the first whites to enter the Hetch Hetchy Valley. They told him that Miwoks and Paiutes had a battle over the valley; the Paiutes won and retained ownership of Hetch Hetchy until the whites pushed them out.

If I could find these original accounts in five minutes online, I would think that park service personnel could also find them. I am glad Kel Munger wrote this article and finally exposed the injustice that the Paiute people have faced for decades. Hopefully, they will not be written out of the history of Yosemite.

Robert Gonzalez

Don’t make up stuff ’bout Jane

Re “The Austen industry” by Jacqueline Jackson (SN&R Words, December 20):

Reading an Austen a year is excellent advice to which I heartily subscribe. Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries are very well written, but I found her use of Austen-esque language overbearing.

I am curious about her next book. Jackson mentions that it is about Queen Victoria’s troubled court. Miss Austen died in 1817, two years before the future Queen Victoria was born. She did not ascend to the throne until 1837. Has Miss Barron also resurrected Miss Austen from the grave?

Much of the Jane Austen para-literature has greatly expanded Jane Austen’s characters, plot lines and her own life, but this is a first! How far will all of this go? This is beyond homage, and into the macabre.

Laurel Ann Nattress
Seattle, Wash.

Kettle, say hello to Pot

Re “Moral Compass” by Nicholas Miller (SN&R Higher Ground, December 13):

So those of us who take the author at his word when he says the series is about “killing God” are considered “religious extremists” by you? Is it really that extreme to not support a movie when you disagree with the premise?

I wonder how many atheists went to see Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ? Would you call them extremists if they didn’t care to see the movie because of philosophical differences with the premise? Would you be upset because they didn’t flock to the movie theaters, kids in tow, just so they can open up a dialogue about Christianity with their family?

As a Christian, I am not a religious extremist because I refuse to support this author or his anti-Christian views. But you are a narrow-minded bigot for suggesting so.

David Beatty
San Antonio, Texas

South Park got it wrong

Re “Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away …” (SN&R Bites, December 6):

I am all for close inspection of religious beliefs and fair coverage of the pros and cons of any religion. However, your piece about the Mormon faith is completely ludicrous. As a member of that religion, I can fairly say that not one thing your piece mentions is true.

For example, “Mormon god Elohim, who rules the universe from a secret star base millions of light years away, teleported to Earth, where he impregnated Mary, Martha and Mary Magdalene” does not represent the beliefs of our religion.

“Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had discovered two golden tablets detailing the event buried on his farm in 1827” is also completely false (especially considering your quote above was false). What [Smith] found was a ream of thin plates that resembled gold and were probably a tumbaga alloy which was used in ancient America for engraving. The plates were the records of a people in America, not the science fiction you relate above. Rubbings of the plates and Joseph Smith’s translations were confirmed as authentic by an independent expert.

Given that the above is so false, need I even state that “after he shuffles off this mortal coil, instead of going to heaven, Mitt Romney will hook-up with Elohim, the Mormon Jesus and Joseph Smith back at the star base” is also not representative of our beliefs? Elohim is the same God that the Jews and Christians believe in (and the word itself is the word for “God” in the Old Testament).

I guess I shouldn’t expect an accurate depiction of our religion, given that Bites’ basis of knowledge is an anti-Mormon cartoon. It is like trying to learn about Jews by watching Hitler’s propaganda or Christians by watching radical Islam propaganda. A much better source is the church’s Web site: www.mormon.org.

You should let your readers know this before they start believing the lies. Otherwise, Bites is doing nothing but spreading anti-Mormon propaganda that bares little, if any, resemblance to the truth.

Heath Havey


In last week’s Theater section, the photo on page 45 should have been captioned: “Underneath the Lintel: David Silberman scientifically proves that he’s a great actor.” The photo should have been credited to Brian Kameoka of the B Street Theatre.