Letters for January 8, 2009

Letter of the week
Bombers mean checkpoints

Re “Checkpoint Bethlehem” by Patricia Daugherty (SN&R Frontlines, December 24):

I am glad that you described the writer of [this article] as an activist rather than pretend she is a journalist. Otherwise, readers might have gotten the false impression that her article was something other than propaganda.

Writing about checkpoints, Daugherty cries out, “Why do they allow this?” Hmm. I wonder if it has something to do with the suicide bombers. As long as the Palestinians continue to send (and eulogize) people who explicitly target schools, religious services, etc., in their suicidal bombing frenzy, these checkpoints will continue.

Your activist says the barrier “has come to be called the Apartheid Wall.” Well, by propagandists, anyway. Other people call it a security fence, just as most countries have on their own borders. Indeed, we are beefing up our own security fence with Mexico right now. Can you imagine how much more we would do if Mexico were sending rockets and suicide bombers into our schools?

Along with the slanted “reporting,” there is one absolute lie. The writer describes Jerusalem as “historically a Palestinian Jewish, Christian and Muslim city that has been open for centuries. Until now.”

On the contrary, it is well documented that it was quite the opposite. Before Israel won Jerusalem in the 1967 war, Jews were excluded from places under Muslim control, such as the Wailing Wall. The Muslims have far more freedom of movement now than the Jews had under Muslim control.

Since the article focused on Bethlehem, it might have been appropriate to point out that the birthplace of Christ was a Christian city until, thanks to intimidation and murder, virtually the entire Christian population was forced to flee. Jews aren’t the only ones that Daugherty’s heroes are bent on destroying.

When the Palestinians care more about building their own state than destroying the Israeli state, there will be peace. It’s as simple as that.

Fred Hayward

Landlords’ fault

Re “Left fuming” by Sena Christian (SN&R Frontlines, December 31):

This is an unfortunate event sequence that should never occur in modern times. We clearly still have episodes where a tyrant of a landlord who, rather than watching out for their tenants (including sensitive groups such as children and the elderly), is really just watching out for themselves. We have a concerned citizen who has seen nothing but stone walls and threats of retaliation along with their concern for their own welfare and the welfare of their neighbors.

This community is no different than any other where we have folks just trying to carve out a living and come home to a healthy place every day. Should not we be able to count on these landlords to help protect these domiciles? What can be said about this one?

Hopefully this line of thought converts into action, and this family prevails against this tyrant’s incomprehensible lack of flexibility and unwarranted retaliations.

Chris Davis

Shame on the tar roofers

Re “Left fuming” by Sena Christian (SN&R Frontlines, December 31):

Somebody should be thanking this courageous woman!

As the human race gets more informed of what can harm us, we need to adapt and embrace new healthy alternatives. It’s widely thought that the Roman Empire was destroyed because of lead poisoning. The many reported health problems associated with the asphalt tarring in this neighborhood is too high to be a coincidence. If a safer, cost-effective and greener alternative is available, why would the landlord opt to continue using potentially unsafe methods?

Shame on those who care nothing for the well-being of those they have a responsibility to protect!

Wayne Norton

Most natural for family planning

Re “Sex tips for greens” by Sarah Smith (SN&R Green Days, December 31):

Your article completely ignores the “greenest” method of contraception there is: natural family planning. This isn’t your mama’s “rhythm method,” but is instead a way for a woman, using her body’s signs and symptoms, to pinpoint the times when she is fertile or not.

This method, when used correctly, is just as effective as hormonal birth control but is 100 percent drug-free, safe, healthy and empowering. The book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement and Reproductive Health [by Toni Wechsler], is the best place to start and should be required reading for all women, regardless of their birth-control choices.

April G.

Editor’s note: While natural family planning is a green option for preventing unplanned pregnancy, it does not reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting an STD.

His happy nude year

Re “Happy nude year” by Joey Garcia (SN&R Ask Joey, December 31):

Perhaps I am just a hair dyslexic, or more likely it is because of Joey Garcia’s column that each week I tend to start at the back of SN&R, then read it from the front.

I find her column a weekly breath of fresh air in this foggy/smoggy town, and I find her advice and spirit to be positive and refreshing and at times really close to home.

I’ve thought of writing this many times in the past, but her New Year’s column is just so beautifully right on the money I just had to write and thank you for having her in the paper every week. I’m not sure if she is syndicated (she should be) or not, but I for one (and I know plenty of others) read her every week for her wisdom and spirit (without being preachy or religio-dogmatic) that is most of the time not that prevalent in this fair burg.

The lessons in “Happy nude year” should be read and practiced by anyone who would like 2009 to be a better year than 2008 (and isn’t that pretty much everybody?).

Thanks SN&R and Joey, and happy nude year to us all.

Jay Spooner
via e-mail

Save the Earth, off yourself

Re “Youth power” by Sena Christian (SN&R Green Town, December 24):

Sena Christian, like many in the aging Gen X generation, [is] under the delusion that [she] made any real difference to reduce their carbon footprint on planet Earth.

Gen Xers like Sena may demonstrate outside a Bank of America to protest the bank’s funding of coal companies, but Gen Xers also continue to purchase huge quantities of products that were manufactured with energy supplied by coal-powered plants in grossly polluted countries, like China and India. Gen Xers think that they’ve made a real difference in their carbon footprint by purchasing a Prius or by buying carbon offsets.

As an indigo child and a member of Gen Y, I look forward to my generation making the extreme sacrifice for Mother Earth, which is to commit suicide on a mass scale. Mother Earth will only be completely healed when human beings are totally eliminated from the planet.

Seth Thomas
via e-mail

Editor’s note: Sena Christian is firmly planted in Generation Y.

Forestry spin

Re “Urban Foresters make the call” (SN&R Letters, December 24):

It is public information officer [Linda] Tucker’s job to spin a simple but controversial issue into convoluted diatribe. It should not be confused with reality.

We are now seeing city staff, including arborists, follow orders regardless of “expertise.”

We who have advocated on behalf of city trees and other community livability issues know well the difference between the “opportunity” for “getting involved” or “being heard” in any city process and the remote possibility that staff will be directed to act upon anything the public says.

For us, it is déjà vu. The city has regressed back 20 years, resurrecting the old arrogant attitude toward the public, which pays employees’ wages: “You’ve had your say, thank you. Now sit down and shut up. We’ll do as we please.”

That mindset deterred the city from moving forward constructively then, and it will again. Our experience supports President-elect [Barack] Obama’s quote: “Change comes from the bottom up—not top down.”

Dale Kooyman


Re “I was a video-game addict” by Gabriel Francisco (SN&R Feature, December 18):

People with poor time-management skills are not news, or even interesting.

Yoshua Gilbert
Fort Stewart, Ga.

No anarchy, no problem

Re “I was a video-game addict” by Gabriel Francisco (SN&R Feature, December 18):

As approximately 70 percent of all American households contain video-game systems and America has not collapsed into a complete anarchy state, I find it irresponsible to write or publish an article that claims to have a degree of accountability by coming from a “gamer,” disavowing all responsibility for what was and is very, very clearly a personal problem.

Cale Plute
State College, Penn.

Cat-like procrastination

Re “The Cat Man goeth” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, November 6):

Mr. [Greg] Carr would appreciate my procrastination in commenting on his demise.

I roasted many a reefer around town with Greg, and he was fucking nuts! And I mean that only in the most complimentary way.

A component of the Midtown that I enjoyed for many years, Sac was blessed to have him pass through, pain in the ass he could be. Ignominious though his death may have been, the part of his life that I saw was as great performance art, rather reminiscent of Phil Ochs’ Che Guevara-Elvis Presley fusion period. Missed.

Jay Bergstrom
Forest Ranch