Letters for July 26, 2007

Offensive Mexican …

Re “The Mexican invades Sacramento” (SN&R Feature Story, July 19):

As much as I would like to commend SN&R for adding to the diversity of its columnist roster, I simply cannot applaud the addition of “The Mexican” (Gustavo Arellano).

From his offensive “logo” to his ignorant “writing,” it is obvious to me that Mr. Arellano is a self-hating Latino who justifies his actions under the guise of satire. Justifying such a column as an example of satire misses a crucial point: Satire must include both intelligence and wit. The absence of either element makes a column guilty of the very stereotyping that it claims to both expose and ridicule.

Further, I find it laughable that Mr. Arellano’s supporters claim that his column provides information about Mexican culture and that his fielding of racist questions is justified because “The Mexican gives it right back.” So, certain individuals feel racist questions are justified as long as they are met with a racist response?

I despise the actions of self-hating Latinos, such as Mr. Arellano, as much as I despise the actions of racists. If the goal of SN&R is to provoke such negative feelings, well, in the words of G.W. Bush, “Mission accomplished!”

Manuel Valencia

… with immaculate Chucks

Re “Ai yi yiiiiiiiii!” by Matt Coker (SN&R Feature Story, July 19):

My Chucks are not “well-worn.” They’re immaculate. I clean them with Q-tips, for chrissakes. And my wardrobe isn’t limited to tan slacks; I think I have a blue pair, as well!

Gustavo Arellano
“The Mexican”

Nichols isn’t the problem

Re “Wooden Nichols” by Nicholas Miller (SN&R News, July 19):

This article totally misses the real enemy in the fight against global warming. As Pogo pointed out, “He is us.” Why flog Nichols for supporting emissions trading when her bosses—both politicians and voters—just want to continue comfy business as usual?

If we really want to do something about greenhouse-gas emissions, we should just stop emitting them. Hyperventilating by vested interests such as corporations and commuters about how this will sink our precious economy is just lack of imagination and fear of change. Don’t be fooled by PR horror stories trying to con you that we need money—or our current conventional economy—to survive and thrive sustainably. Keep your eyes on the prize: clean air, clean water, healthy food, snug shelter and friendly families and communities.

If we can have all these things just by living like the Amish, what are we waiting for? Washington? Arnold? Please. (Plus, we wouldn’t have to keep acting like terrorists to protect our oil addiction.)

Muriel Strand

Bad teachers

Re “Karis’ outcome not unique” (SN&R Letters, July 19):

In response to the letter by Jeff Bird regarding “The making of a killer” (SN&R Feature Story, R.V. Scheide, July 5): While others may be inclined to see your viewpoint as credible since you claim to be a teacher in south Sacramento, I see your viewpoint as a way teachers (if you are one) often look at our children from south Sacramento.

The next step in your viewpoint is to dismiss our children and immediately send them on their way to the next step in your unalterable chain of events; label them as gang members, hopeless “fuck ups.” Next, they encounter authorities who have the same viewpoint as your own and send them further down your “assembly line” until they are sure that they are “fuck ups” and can never recover unless a loving parent (like me) rescues them.

I was not in prison. My ex-wife was not a drug abusing gang member. I had a job, tried to be a good parent, tried to help him excel in school. Yet my son did screw up in school. I grew up in a family that was dysfunctional, and I was an A student and graduated from high school. I would say that most of the damage that was done to my child was via his “education” at a Sacramento City Unified School District school that employs way too many incompetent teachers. Their tunnel vision, the kind that you display, does more harm than good.

Tim De Herrera

Bad leftists

Re “Salud!” (SN&R Guest Comment, July 12):

William J. Hughes applauded the actions of communist/red-leaning “heroes” of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. Now, for the rest of the story.

The bombing of Guernica was one of the major hoaxes of the past century. Every history book hails it as the wanton terror bombing of a peaceful Basque village that left thousands of dead civilians. Picasso’s rendition of the tragedy became the most famous canvas of the century.

Guernica was bombed by the Nationalists and some “collateral damage” resulted. The town had an arms factory, a railroad yard and was a major crossroads for the massing of Red troops. But most of the damage to civilian areas was by dynamite and arson on the ground by those troops before they evacuated to create a propaganda barrage.

Almost 86,000 “reactionaries” and “fascists” were shot, burned, buried alive, pushed off cliffs, thrown down mineshafts and otherwise murdered in Red Spain during the reign of the “Loyalist” or “democratic” government, and 8,000 of these were Catholic clerics. And if this sounds like baseless “atrocity-mongering,” read it yourself in Historia de la Persecucion Religiosa en España by Antonio Montero (or, in English, The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas—himself a pink, former Labour candidate).

These 86,000 were “plunged into darkness,” as noted by Mr. Hughes, but it was not by the Franco Nationalists. Thousands of clerics were murdered by left-wing gangsters and we get For Whom the Bell Tolls (Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman) glorifying the murderers.

Coming to assist the Loyalists, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was well-named after an individual who was the most overrated political figure in American history, responsible for the deaths of over half a million Americans and instigator of the greatest power grab by any government in modern times.

William D. Platt
Citrus Heights

Bad SN&R

Re “Get in my Buddha belly” by Becca Costello (SN&R Nothing Ever Happens, July 12) and “Turning darkness into purity” by Joey Garcia (SN&R Ask Joey, July 12):

I’m sick of the negative and backward articles in SN&R.

Becca Costello tells me that onions and garlic make you aggressive. People who eat meat have no compassion. This whole planet is alive, not just animals. Where is the wisdom in this talk?

Joey Garcia thinks wisdom comes out of New Age books. She never tells people to look into their hearts. Wisdom and love are born in the heart; not in books.

The problem is not onions or meat, but the positive or negative condition of your heart. And the answer is not in books.

Steve Bateman

Bad fat people

Re “Fat mailbag” (SN&R Letters, July 12):

The outpouring of hate mail to Jaime O’Neill for his “Fat bastards” essay of June 28 unfortunately just seems to prove his point. Instead of taking to heart the real realities of the obesity epidemic in this country and using their oversupply of unburnt calories to walk off the problem, many of the guilty were instead motivated to defend their unhealthy habits.

Why is it that Americans have become so accustomed to a lifestyle that promotes over-indulgence, waste and poor health that we’d rather pick up pen and paper and defend the indefensible than take a walk around the block? It’s as if we have come to regard being fat as an untouchable freedom, ours by default.

O’Neill points out several facts that are undisputable: There is an epidemic of fat in this country. Many of us who work to maintain a sense of responsibility to ourselves and society by not over-indulging in consumption are bombarded with the after-effects of lazy attitudes, from missed work to obesity-related health-care expenses to overstuffed airline and theater seats to gas consumption for those who drive rather than bike or walk. The negative effects on society are palpable. Obese people just don’t annoy the rest of us, they hurt us financially.

Obesity is a disease and its cause is laziness. It is not a civil-rights issue. While there are a few people who are obese because of health reasons, the vast majority have health problems because of obesity. It is time we just say “no” to this preventable disease. It is not OK to be fat and lazy, and we as a society should strive for a better standard. So people, please quit whining that your feelings were hurt, get off your fat behinds and start exercising. You owe it to your country and your neighbors.

Steve Thomas

Bad O’Neill

Re “Fat bastards” by Jaime O’Neill (SN&R Essay, June 28):

Wow, Jaime O’Neill really doesn’t get it. What a horrible piece of hate-on-paper posing as journalism. The problem of obesity is incredibly complex and his simplistic observation that we’re “too dumb or too lazy” to address the problem is evidence that he was either too dumb or too lazy to research the issue more completely in the course of writing this article. Employing fat people as a metaphor for all that’s wrong with America is not only a cheap shot, it’s grossly inaccurate. I expect better from SN&R.

Catherine O’Toole