Letters for January 17, 2008

Miller’s snarky and arrogant

Re “Political hustle” by Nicholas Miller (SN&R Feature, January 10):

I get it. Nicholas Miller is opposed to war. He is opposed to our involvement in the Middle East. He thinks we should just stay home and mind our own business.

I think that maybe Miller is more than just a little bitter that his favorite candidates, while interesting, have less viability than Ross Perot. I think he should consider that our nation is just one nation connected with all nations in this place we call Earth. I think he might need to recognize that just because we’ve been lied to in the past, it doesn’t mean we should ignore the facts: terrorists do exist, we were attacked and the number of people victimized by terrorists grows every day. I think he should be more critical of those who base their votes on one basic ideal while ignoring the whole picture, even if it is a noble ideal. And as he sat in the midst of an inspired group of ordinary people with all the angst of an overgrown teenager, I think he should have just stayed home and minded his own business.

He did teach me one thing, however. It’s really easy to find quotes on the Internet and use them to characterize a man as you would like him to be.

Obama, March 2007: “We can and we should help Israelis and Palestinians both fulfill their national goals: two states living side by side in peace and security. … But in the end, we also know that we should never seek to dictate what is best for the Israelis and their security interests. … Diplomacy is measured by patience and effort. We cannot continue to have trips consisting of little more than photo ops …”

October 2002: “You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil through an energy policy that doesn’t simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.”

September 2007: “As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions.”

So, back to Miller’s question: “If Obama is change, then what’s the status quo?” Well, Mr. Miller, probably trying to pass off snarky and arrogant as smart and edgy. That does sound familiar. It’s called Bites. And it often does.

I think it’s time for something new. It’s time to hear from someone willing to address the real world rather than revel in his or her own narrow worldview.

Danielle Best

Cecelia, apologize!

Re “State of denial” by Cecelia Brady-O’Quinn (SN&R Arnold Watch, January 10):

I realize the Arnold Watch column is supposedly some form of satire, but calling the female reporter for the L.A. Times a “pig” in print is beyond obnoxious.

If the tone of the column is supposed to mimic a nasty and bitter political outsider, then the column failed in that respect as well. It came off as juvenile, weird, defamatory and false, and worth a libel lawsuit. The reporter did nothing to merit that comment except sit in her regularly assigned seat in the Assembly chamber and then do her job interviewing lawmakers.

As a former L.A. Times reporter, I can tell you that SN&R got it wrong on all counts in this bizarre and randomly inane item. Please offer an apology to Ms. Vogel.

Bob Salladay
via e-mail

Cecelia Brady-O’Quinn responds: [This letter was not addressed to nor does it mention me, so astute readers can sense how crushed I am. Please avert your eyes while I direct this next section to the letter writer.] Bobsie: After countless hours in couples counseling, you surely never would have expected me to take ownership of a mistake. I have done as commanded, darling, and sent a heartfelt apology to Ms. Vogel. I am not making excuses, but Maria being in the same chamber obviously set me off. That is no reason to label a colleague just doing her job a “pig,” however. That wasn’t even in my first draft. “Bitch” was, but I needed that word to introduce Maria. [Readers: you can stop averting your eyes now.]

Health care is a public service

Re “Come health or high prices” by Seth Sandronsky (SN&R News, January 10):

Bravo for the ongoing coverage of the attempt to deceive Californians into thinking our government has done something about health care for all. This problem will not be resolved until we treat access to health care as the equivalent of any other public service (water, police, fire) and get insurance companies, drug companies and other for-profit businesses out of the middle.

Larsen Lauder

Paul wants voluntary Social Security

Re “Party lines” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature Story, January 10):

I would like to bring to your attention a serious error in this article. It refers to Congressman Ron Paul, Republican candidate for U.S. President, thus: “Paul … advocates the elimination of popular programs such as Medicare, Social Security, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.”

Ron Paul does not advocate the elimination of these named programs. He does say that individuals should be given a choice as to whether or not they wish to participate in the Social Security programs. He is for the elimination of forced participation in these programs.

In other words, if you wish to engage in your own private retirement system, you may choose that as opposed to being required to participate in the public Social Security system, as it is now.

For more information about this issue and other issues, I would refer you to www.ronpaulaudio.com. There you can hear Ron Paul speaking in detail.

Dr. Susan Eissinger

Who runs the city?

Re “Tea and antipathy” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Upfront, January 10):

Lauren Hammond was condescending, yes. But, this is nothing new.

Rob Fong was another story. He believed in the failed staff procedures and dismissed the testimony of the people. Rob Fong trusts city staff, not the public.

The rest of the story is about our Sacramento form of government that permits a “weak mayor” scenario. The city manager and staff run the city; the mayor and elected officials supposedly guide policy.

Since our elected officials do not run the city and seem clueless about business, I think the people should be able to vote for city manager. I honestly do not believe Heather Fargo can understand. Was her father a city manager?

Linda Boudier

Griffith’s good suggestion

Re “Who’s there?” by Jackson Griffith (SN&R Trust Your Ears, January 3):

Thanks for the story about Knock Knock. I went to The Beat and picked up their Girls on the Run CD. Very enjoyable; this from a 55-year-old who listens to everything from Brad Paisley to Nine Inch Nails to opera.

I especially enjoyed “I Was Born.” I hear overtones of Roger McQuinn and the Byrds. If they put a 12-string Rickenbacker guitar on a couple of the tracks it would flush out the sound to be very Byrds-like, but with a pop-punk sound. Where are they playing live next? Good luck to the band!

Bob Aldrich

They’re soooo over Coulter (snap!)

Re “Seeing things” (SN&R Feature, January 3):

Please advise Mr. Hansen that we stopped doing Ann Coulter two years ago.
Cha Cha Samoa, Anna May Wrong, Delta Goodhand, Rachel Tenshun & Gorilla Rose

This is the year to be queer—and an activist

Re “Queer in review” by Kel Munger (SN&R Feature, December 27):

Since Stonewall, we’ve been coming out of the closet and into mainstream society. In 2008, we need to lead a kinda revolution.

As a gay man, I see this year as ours to overcome our status as a minority. We will stand up and be counted. The religious right has made us a pariah in society. It is time for the gay, bisexual and transgender community to rise up. After all, we are everywhere: Hollywood, theater, politics.

But I see little progress in equal rights. 2008 is our year to rise up! After all, we are not contagious. You can’t catch it.

We want respect and love and understanding. We are going to prove our point this year. The straights are making our lives a living hell. But we can solve this problem quickly. The queer nation is rising up this year. We are somebody, and we’re not going away.

Tony Nsky

Eating mindfully in Sac

Re “Conscience cuisine” by Emily Page (SN&R Green Days, December 20):

I’ve been meaning to write and thank SN&R for the great article on Sacramento vegans last month. While vegans are certainly in the minority here, there definitely is a thriving veg community in the Sacramento area.

Robert Chiles

Scheide’s on top of things

Re “Muzzle off!” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R News, December 13) and “Graybeard of the slopes” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, December 13):

R.V. Scheide’s article on Alice Rothschild was the best introduction to American-Jewish Middle East politics I’ve ever read. Well done. I am another late bloomer on the ski slopes—but hanging it up.

Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom
Jerusalem and Berlin

A little light advice

Re “Let there be light (bulbs)” (SN&R Editorial, October 18):

You wrote, “CFLs can be found for as little as 99 cents, a bit higher for higher-wattage bulbs.” I have seen both 11- and 23-watters priced at two for 99 cents at the 99 Cents Only Stores (quantities usually limited per purchase and to those on hand). Before they put a limit on purchases, my sister bought 40 CFLs there and sprinkled them around two homes like Johnny Appleseed, placing the discarded packaging in the recycle bin, of course.

When using low-wattage devices, say 11-watt CFLs, infrared occupancy sensors, timers or photocells may not be economical, because they may consume almost as much power as the devices they control, not to mention tying up capital. Leaving CFLs on 24/7, while worrisome to the green-at-heart, may be the best option.

A small, always-on CFL in a dim area, such as a hallway, may be enough to allow safe transit through it and even side rooms without the cost (and bother) of turning on and off more powerful task-grade lighting. I bought two 7-watt globe-type fluorescents (CFL precursors) at a surplus store for $7 each 15 years ago, and I’m on the second one in my hallway now, about 63 cents a year bulb cost. (As the store went out of business last month, the two bulbs literally outlasted the store that sold them!)

The ultimate in always-on savings may lie in LEDs. One or two low-power LEDs poked through the drywall ceiling of each room could take the place of CFLs for getting around. Being low-voltage, only inexpensive bell wiring is needed (vs. expensive 120 VAC wiring) and the “lighting fixtures” consist of nothing more than holes. If a small rechargeable six-volt gel cell is added, you get a cheap backup lighting system, something that more than a few Sacramentans would have liked to have on hand during the recent storm outages. Someone ought to package a snap-together LED system for DIYers similar to the outdoor path and patio lighting that has been available for over a decade; the only technical skill required would be not putting one’s foot through the ceiling (too big a hole).

Lee Whitehead