Letters for June 1, 2006

Don’t believe Daniels’ pandering

Re “Battling the Blanas machine” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, May 25):

Bret Daniels as sheriff would be a disaster for the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department, as well as for the citizens of the county.

Daniels’ pandering talk of increased accountability does not make him a viable alternative to John McGinness, but simply a former deputy with a burning desire to become head of the department that fired him. Apparently, his idea of a citizen’s review board would be to turn the department and jail over to groups whose philosophy is that every criminal is a victim of society and that the police always overreact.

People such as the Rev. Odeye, whose Jail Reform Coalition broke away from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People because that group was not radical enough, are unwilling or unable to see the hypocrisy of their own thinking. They see race in every situation and racism in everyone not of a color to their liking. These are the people whom Daniels counts as his supporters. This kind of committee would kowtow to special interests, which would endanger our citizens and deputies.

Finding citizens without an agenda, not blind to the fact that abuses of authority do happen but not intimidated by so-called minority groups who label as racist anyone who does not agree with them, would be an arduous task. This is the difficulty inherent in any kind of oversight committee.

Hopefully, McGinness will take on this challenge, as Daniels has already shown his hand.

Robert Ingersoll
Fair Oaks

Even Christianity is a step up

Re “Romans’ hate trumps Matthew’s love” (SN&R Letters, May 25):

It does not actually matter in the slightest what is alleged in Romans, or in any other desperate petition for affirmation. Invariably, the demons that one chooses to worship are formed in one’s own image.

If the best you can do to fill the imaginary need for a political parameter is a religion that allows for the formation of an underclass, indeed necessitates that somebody somewhere needs their civil rights diminished, then only two things about your shallow political modality are certain:

(1) You’ve not learned either the perspectives of Jesus’ orthodox reform or the ethical imperatives presented in “Matthew.”

(2) It’s time for you to invest in another box of Cracker Jack or a trip to Denio’s, or just flip a coin and get yourself a much, much better religion. Even Christianity would be a step up.

Flombaye K. Ellison

Better red than crime-ridden

Re “Better red than yuppie-fied” by Rachel Gregg (SN&R News, May 18):

I have been a resident of Oak Park for nearly 11 years, and I would like to see Councilwoman Lauren Hammond (District 5) defeated in the June 6 primary election.

I think she has served too long a tenure and has become too complacent, particularly in the Oak Park community. There is still way too much crime being committed on a daily basis, and there’s still a problem with prostitutes frequenting Broadway and Stockton Boulevard. I would like to see a police center in Oak Park that can efficiently assist the citizens when they have problems or complaints. Also needed are social programs for the low-income and individuals on parole or probation that will assist them in finding employment and educational opportunities.

I don’t know if L.R. Roberts would be a good candidate because I really don’t know what she stands for. We need a candidate that will take a proactive stance on these problems and serve the people in this unique community.

Anthony D. Jordan

If we could only get e-gasoline

Re “Some things never change” (SN&R Unfiltered, May 18):

The premise of the Unfiltered compared gas, stamps and housing prices over the years, taking 1960, 1976 and 1987 as a picture window into the past and comparing the values then and today. The only item with a cost that actually had declined, or was more stable than the others, was stamps.

I say let’s take this scenario and expand our thinking. What happened that allowed stamp prices to avoid the rise in price demonstrated in other items? My guess is e-mail. The U.S. post office had to mind its “p’s and q’s” to be more creative and less greedy with its annual stamp-price raises because the public could just as easily send that note to grandma electronically.

So, what, dare I ask, can we do to make the oil barons worry that they could go down the path of the stamp? I say we need more choices, not mergers, so that the people and Earth benefit too!

We have lots of brilliant minds out there. I am sure we can think of or develop several viable choices. Bike riding cannot be the only choice. Elderly people and bad weather are two reasons against that. Let’s get the politicians on our side!

Diana Wick

Practice what you preach

Re “Love thy neighbor” (SN&R Editorial, May 11):

In your recent editorial, you accused opponents of Senate Bill 1437 of “gay bashing” and being “corrosive” to our country. Specifically, you accuse Karen England of the Capitol Research Institute of being “rabidly homophobic” and “the chief inquisitor.” Hypocritically, all this follows your appeal to England and other conservative Christians to follow Matthew 22:36-40’s commandment to “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

By your supposed liberal standard, does that mean people who disagree with you are no longer your “neighbors,” undeserving of the ideals of respect and tolerance you so vocally enjoin upon them?

Your ad-hominem response reveals a superficial, caricatured understanding of Christianity itself. While Jesus Christ did indeed state, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” his first commandment was “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Both are direct quotations, from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 in the Old Testament Pentateuch, with the latter book containing the now-infamous reference to homosexual behavior in the following chapter (Leviticus 20:13): “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act.”

Emerging and speaking from the conservative Jewish culture of the ancient world, Jesus accepted as givens the moral teachings of the Old Testament, as his remarks in Matthew 5:17-20 show: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill … unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

While there is no shortage of “liberal” theologians and groups willing to reinterpret the Bible for their own purposes, the orthodox, historic Christian position on sexual relations is clear: The only appropriate place is within the confines of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage between one man and one woman. All other sexual relationships, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are immoral and inappropriate.

Accordingly, I’m arguing that Christianity is what it is. Millions of Americans believe it as truth, finding meaning and affirmation. You may disagree with it, but stereotyping its faithful, attempting to twist it into a modern, caricatured shell of itself, is both intellectually dishonest and dehumanizing. One then wonders: Who then is the real inquisitor, the true phobic?

Harley C. Jamieson

Partisan rally isn’t a groundswell

Re “Impeachment begins at home” by Nancy Brands Ward (SN&R News, May 11):

The discussion about congressional Rule 603 [state legislatures can initiate impeachment of a U.S. president] is interesting, but the observation that “the press is trying hard to ignore” a supposed impeachment movement in America is questionable. UFO enthusiasts would similarly tell us that the press is exerting itself to ignore the obvious (to them) reality of flying saucers.

Ward tells us that a member of the California Assembly, Paul Koretz, has proposed a resolution calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney and that a half-dozen fellow legislators “have expressed interest”; that the California Democratic Convention voice-voted for impeachment; that a thousand people [Democrats] rallying at the Crest Theatre, on the same day as the convention vote, whoopingly demanded impeachment; that some state legislators in a few other states have asked for impeachment resolutions; and that six towns in Vermont may want impeachment (“have brought impeachment resolutions forward,” per the author).

This is all well and good, but where is the groundswell that would command the press’s attention? Six or seven (out of 80) in the predominantly Democratic California Assembly? The California Democratic Convention and a related rally at the Crest? Democratic legislators in a few other states?

This sounds more like a Sacramento Kings rally calling for an NBA championship and a vocal Kings fan castigating the press for not covering the event.

The author identifies the reason for the lack of media attention: the press’s fear of being branded as left-wing kooks or conspiracy nuts. She also reports that Koretz’s staff told him he was crazy [to propose impeachment]. In other words, hard-core demands for impeachment are very far from the mainstream, at least for now, and a lack of interest on the part of the press is to be expected.

The author reminds us that November is coming. The majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate could change hands. If that happens, it could properly be viewed as a mandate for change—but not necessarily a mandate for impeachment.

Richard Lavelle