Letters for January 14, 2010

Letter of the week
Alternative to Scheide

Re “The decade in reverse” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature; December 31, 2009):

After reading R.V. Scheide’s recap of the past decade, I’m wondering if SN&R should rename itself the NorCal DNC Report. Scheide, for all his literary brilliance, is so slanted to the left that he diminishes the good points he does make. I take issue with several points.

The deficit: Has Scheide noticed, by chance, the tripling of the deficit in one year’s time? Granted, President [George W.] Bush didn’t act like much of a conservative by pushing the deficit to $500 billion his last year in office, but this absolutely pales by comparison with projections of a nearly $2 trillion deficit for President [Barack] Obama’s first budget cycle. One day our children, and probably our children’s children, will be forced to dig deep for this current spending spree.

So please, R.V., spare me your comment regarding “Republican obstructionism” re the stimulus bill and your stated preference for a bill “three times the size.” Remember, someday, someone has to pay for all the excess and pork earmarks. I—and the Republican leadership—would prefer not to hand this legacy down to the next several generations.

Iraq: In hindsight, it’s easy to criticize our decision to take down Hussein’s oppressive regime. [Weapons of mass destruction] were absent (despite U.S. and British intelligence reports to the contrary). However, it’s quite a stretch for Scheide to state that Bush “lied,” and that there was absolutely no justification for our presence there. There was intelligence from several sources warning of the presence of WMDs; 76 Senators approved our war action there and proof was found of terrorist training camps on Iraqi soil. Further, I doubt that the Iraqis freed from Hussein’s torture camps were opposed to our action.

Health care: Scheide obviously believes in the liberal mantra that Republicans offer nothing to the debate on this issue. That’s simply wrong. Republicans offered a number of legitimate amendments to this monstrosity of a bill (note the creation of over 100 new money-sapping boards and commissions). Let’s cite two—among many—notable and much-needed changes proposed by GOP senators and defeated by party-line votes, both of which would result in health-care savings for the average citizen: tort reform (successful in Texas at reducing rapacious, out-of-this-world settlements, reducing medical costs by lowering liability insurance rates); second, the ability to buy health insurance across state lines, thus increasing competition and reducing rates.

To use Scheide’s own words against him, maybe it is time for him to “leave the country.” Perhaps he and Al Franken could depart to a deserted Pacific island, reducing their current carbon footprint, for a best-out-of-3,001 paintball contest vs. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. At least for several years, then, we’d have a bit more civility and common sense regarding current critical policy issues.

Dean Espenson

Help out a fellow transit rider

Re “Rant ’n’ rail” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, January 7):

The voters approved a measure to use a few pennies from the gasoline tax to support public transportation. Then the bureaucrats stole the loot! Now the general public is expected to pay more and more. Is that fair? No way!

So, R.V., here’s an idea for the next time you take the light rail to work. When you get off the train at Del Paso, share your pass, and remaining 90 minutes, with another future passenger. If nobody is around, leave the pass on the ticket machine. The recipient will have a pleasant surprise, and you will even feel better about riding public transit. Now that sounds like a fare revolt!

Steven Bourasa

Light rail and leaf blowers

Re “Rant ’n’ rail” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, January 7) and SN&R Editorial, January 7):

Like R.V. [Scheide], I also enjoy relaxing on my way in to work. Sure, there are days when there are wackos on the train, but for the most part, I enjoy the ride. The other reason I take RT is because I can’t afford to park downtown. Combine that with the cost of gas and it’s cheaper to ride the light rail, even with RT raising prices. I get some good exercise walking to and from the light-rail stations that I wouldn’t do otherwise. It’s a win-win situation for me.

But I can see that it wouldn’t be for everyone, especially those on a fixed income. I really feel for those who use Paratransit, as it costs $5 for a one-way trip.

It’s the horrible reality of the state of California. I sometimes wonder when we’ll fall into the ocean, not from an earthquake, but from the crumbling of the government’s financial foundation.

On the leaf-blower issue, I completely agree that they should be banned. This morning, I passed by the park on my way in to work. There were two guys with leaf blowers cleaning the sidewalks and gutters.

While I appreciate clean sidewalks and gutters, I had to hold my breath as I passed them. Even though they turned the blowers away from me, I have minor asthma problems and the last thing I needed was an episode. I also noticed that neither of the guys were wearing face masks. I can only hope they were wearing earplugs, as I know I was bothered by how loud the machines were.

Sacramento needs to ban leaf blowers. Put people back to work with a rake and broom. They’ll be healthier and so will the rest of us.

Sarah Reed
Rancho Cordova

Pruitt and vonKaenel cage-match!

Re “Pruitt most overpaid CEO, again” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Cut&Paste, January 7):

Who do you think would win in a cage fight, Gary Pruitt or Jeff vonKaenel?

Well, I’m not sure how much vonKaenel makes, but I think in these hard times, Pruitt is due for more of a “bully beatdown,” so my money would be on vonKaenel.

What do you think?

Noah Kameyer
via e-mail

Is Beck teaching or acting?

Re “Tilting at windbags” by Kevin Uhrich (SN&R Frontlines; December 31, 2009):

One challenge we are faced with today is that people want to be entertained rather than educated. Look at what our teachers get paid to educate our children and compare it to that of actors, professional athletes, etc.

What Glenn Beck does is both. If anyone was able to watch the show outlined in this article, you will see he did something others in the media aren’t willing to do: put things down in plain, simple English and in black and white, right there for your own eyes. You make the decision and use your own God-given brain to decide what is right and wrong. The facts don’t lie, my friends, and the truth can be very ugly to some people. Get educated and center yourselves!

Randall W. Robinson
Yuba City