Letters for July 13, 2006

Older, wiser history

Re “Secret history of Sacramento music” by Jackson Griffith (SN&R Feature Story, July 6):

Thank you for a trip down memory lane. Not only was my ex a brief part of the Twinkeyz, but my brother played in Race Train Schizo (which in a very long way turned into Magnolia Thunderfinger). I wonder where Frank French (Mumbles) and Donnie Marquez/Keith McKee (Twinkeyz) are now. Older and wiser, like all of us, I suppose.

Jacqueline Mathers
via e-mail

Where’s the cartoon?

Re “Below the belt” by Jaime O’Neill (SN&R Essay, July 6):

After no charges were filed against Rush Limbaugh regarding his legal possession of Viagra and stomach-relaxant pills, would you please include a cartoon of SN&R contributor Jaime O’Neill kissing Limbaugh’s ass (or, better still, smoking his cigar)?

I’m looking forward to O’Neill’s mea culpa regarding how many incorrect statements were included in his essay. There were 29 pills accounted for out of a December 2005 prescription of 30. Holy cats! Laugh out loud!

Keep on hatin’.

Harkin Banks
via e-mail

No one-size-fits-all diet solution

Re “Cows and cars heat it up” (SN&R Letters, June 29):

Cutter Hart makes a valid point regarding the greenhouse gases in his letter. Anyone who has driven by a feedlot, seen the cows and smelled the stench knows that such agriculture cannot be good for the cattle or us.

However, vegetarianism is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some of us simply choose not to live on that diet, so it strikes me that more humane farming practices are the better solution for those of us who do eat animal products—and do not force others to do so.

John Bell

Think before you ink

Re “The human canvas” by Tara B. Goddard (SN&R Arts&Culture, June 29):

Tara B. Goddard acknowledges that the King James version (1611) of Leviticus 19:28 says not to “print any marks upon you.” (The New King James (1982) more explicitly reads not to “tattoo any marks on you.”) She counters that by asking whether people obey the law on cutting the corners of their beard in verse 27.

Such laws protected the Israelites from bringing into God’s pure worship the pagan ways of the nations around them. His people were to be religiously distinct (Deuteronomy 14:2).

Many of the nations surrounding Israel showed their devotion to their manmade gods by tattooing their names on their foreheads, arms or breasts. It was also their practice to cut the beard in a certain fashion in worship of their gods.

Tattoo-bearing Egyptian and Libyan mummies have been found that date back hundreds of years before Christ. Many of the tattoos were directly related to the worship of pagan gods. According to Tattoo History: A Source Book, by Steve Gilbert: “The earliest known tattoo that is a picture of something, rather than an abstract pattern, represents the god Bes. In Egyptian mythology, Bes is the lascivious god of revelry.”

Though the death of Christ canceled the law of Leviticus (Romans 10:4; Colossians 2:13-14; Galatians 3:23-25; and Hebrews 9:15), it still shows God’s viewpoint, and those wanting to please him pay attention. Think before you ink.

Diane Church

Time to retire the Youth

Re “Discovering Sonic Youth” by Joel Hartse (SN&R Music, June 29):

So, I went to the Sonic Youth show. I was truly depressed by what I saw. Sure, they are ancient. Sure, they are legends, and yep, they are one of the biggest influences in rock history.

So, why did the show suck so bad? They played “hits” from their new album just like they sound on the album. What happened to the fire? There was only an occasional freak-out on stage, when Thurston Moore hung his guitar from a ceiling vent. Wow, man!

The rest of the set was the antithesis of what made them famous and awesome to begin with. When they started, they sounded like no one. They had explosive, noise-scape interpretations of their songs. Now, after years and years of influencing bands all over the place, they have come to the point where they sound like every other cheap, stupid indie band that would easily be on a bill at Ironsides or any other local-licks-type venue.

Sonic Youth needs to retire and stop teasing its audience and tricking them into believing that they will see the band that made it OK to play out of tune as long as it rocked.

Dan Quillan
via e-mail

Ask those questions …

Re “To tell the truth” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature Story, June 22):

Great story on 9/11. I hope it wakes people up to how dangerous the current administration is. Bush and company have no qualms about killing the Iraqi people, U.S. soldiers or U.S. civilians.

We all need to be asking about Building 7, the invisible plane that hit the Pentagon, the testimonies about explosions going off in the twin towers before they came down, and who benefited from all of this.

G. Roberts

… because there’s a reason to ask!

Re “To tell the truth” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature Story, June 22):

It has become clear to even the most skeptical that the Bush administration has not even a nodding acquaintance with the truth. The administration’s lies have been documented multiple times over the past six years, and the list is quite extensive. Iraq went to Niger for yellowcake uranium? Didn’t happen. Ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden? Didn’t exist. Iraq’s vast network of bio-weapons laboratories? Didn’t exist, either. Iraq had aluminum tubes for uranium enrichment? Nope, just old artillery casings. The United States doesn’t engage in torture? Well, actually, we do, and there are photos to prove it. The National Security Agency doesn’t spy on innocent Americans? Turns out they do, under Bush’s authority and outside the law. On and on it goes.

Despite all this, the public is still asked to swallow the administration’s line on 9/11 as if it’s the whole, unvarnished truth. Anyone who questions the official story is derided as a paranoid psychotic, a conspiracy theorist, a radical leftist nutjob. Nevertheless, many questions still arise.

If the official story is the truth, why did the administration fight tooth and nail against the formation of an independent investigation? Why did they destroy hundreds of hours of 911 emergency phone records before anyone could review the tapes? Why do they still refuse to turn over documents pertaining to 9/11 to Congress? I could go on, but R.V. Scheide did a thorough job.

I don’t say the “9/11 Truth” movement has all its facts straight. I also don’t deny that some of them are radical leftist nutjobs. But they and other 9/11 truth groups around the country ask the public to consider two important facts: First, many occurrences on and around 9/11 don’t fit the official story. Second, the Bush administration has a documented history of lying to the public. Therefore, it is entirely likely that the official story is a fabrication, either in part or in whole.

Something’s rotten in Denmark, and you have to be wearing nose plugs not to smell it.

In truth, I don’t think anyone will ever find out what truly happened on 9/11, but it’s clear we have a duty as Americans to question the official story. I’d like to thank SN&R for doing so and also for having the guts it takes to cover such a controversial topic.

Ethan Ireland

Yep, we need it

Re “Well, you need it” by Jonathan Kiefer (SN&R Music, June 22):

Thank you for the fine article on Monk and Coltrane. I hope to see articles by Jonathan Kiefer in the future about other jazz musicians.

Sharon Goodnight
via e-mail

English isn’t a native language for deaf people

Re “Can you hear me now?” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Feature Story, June 8):

I’d like to commend your paper for running Chrisanne Beckner’s article on deaf mental-health issues. She has clearly worked hard to convey the situation with understanding and concern.

A useful addition to the article would be mention of the National Deaf Academy (NDA). It is a mental-health care facility in Mount Dora, Fla., near Orlando, specifically created for deaf children, adolescents and adults. It has been in operation for five years and currently treats about 80 residential patients. NDA’s expertise in this field is second to none. I know; I work there.

Second, I’d like to comment on one quote in the article that states the average deaf person reads and writes at a fourth-grade level. True—in English. In ASL [American Sign Language], deaf people “read” and “write” at a far higher level, effectively at the same level as your average intelligent English speaker.

I’m concerned that readers will come away with the impression that most deaf people function at a fourth-grade level, which would be absolutely untrue. English is not the native language of a deaf person; ASL is.

By analogy, imagine the average English-speaking person being expected to learn Japanese behind a glass wall. The student is never exposed to the spoken language yet must learn to read and write it. What grade level would the student achieve in understanding Japanese grammar?

I do not mean to criticize Chrisanne’s effort. We’re both working toward the same goal, to clarify and inform. Thanks for giving us a forum to do so.

Kevin McLeod
Mount Dora, Fla.