Letters for June 12, 2003

In pursuit of hope … and the White House

Re “Kucinich reloaded” by Melinda Welsh (SN&R Essay, June 5):

How refreshing to hear Dennis Kucinich share his vision for the future of America!

When I first read his “A Prayer for America” in February, I was astounded to discover someone willing to swim against the tide of blind support for George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism.” I am a convert, and I am not alone.

Knowing that his chances for a nomination are even less than remote, many in attendance at California State University, Sacramento, changed party affiliation in order to support him in the upcoming primary. Let us pursue the “imminent reality” of hope.

Kathlene Allen
via e-mail

Money buys mediocrity

Re “Kucinich reloaded” by Melinda Welsh (SN&R Essay, June 5):

Dennis Kucinich certainly has it right. His blasts against the Bush administration for its wrongful war, assault on the environment and shabby economics have to resonate with those voters who think critically about where our country is headed.

It is unfortunate that special-interest money, and lots of it, plays such an insidious role in the political process. The end result is that, rather than a Dennis Kucinich, we end up with such mediocrities as George W. Bush.

James G. Updegraff III

Replace Stewart with an intelligent liberal

Re “Truth-challenged bureaucrats” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol Punishment, May 29):

Jill Stewart’s whole philosophy is summarized by one phrase in this column: “I agree with the Republicans.”

But she dresses up her reactionary opinions in meretricious, juicy-sounding personal attacks and adolescent gasps of horror at impurity in government.

Why don’t you find some intelligent liberal with some real experience in government and an interest in looking for solutions to its problems?

Charlie Klein

The corrupt and corrupting

Re “Truth-challenged bureaucrats” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol Punishment, May 29):

Governor Davis did not invent lying. I wonder if he is any more in control of California than the Pope is of the Vatican.

How many people work for the state? Too many. How many are liars? Most. It is not fair to honest people to focus in this way on the corrupt and corrupting.

It is not easy to be honest. It is not real profitable. Sometimes, it is suicidal.

Lying was standard practice long before the present government took office. What do you want Governor Davis to do? Fire 95 percent of the state and make the honest 5 percent do all the work? Do you want to see what happens when the state is run by a perfect, utopian government, when a whole lot of private citizens are still liars? Punishment never stops actions when those actions are also positively reinforced.

D. Smith

To a future absent-minded professor

Re “Autism’s little brother” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R Cover, May 22):

Thank you for the article on Asperger’s Syndrome. I found it well-written. I wanted to share our family’s experience.

Two years ago, we discovered my 15-year-old son struggles with a problem similar to Asperger’s, called Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD). His problem stems from a traumatic brain injury as a toddler. For years, many adults commented on his precocious speech pattern, also noting he demanded a lot of adult interaction. In middle school, his grades spiraled downward, and he was on the edge of a nervous breakdown due to bullying.

I came across an article on NLD, written by Sue Thompson on the Internet, quite by accident. After reading the article, I knew I had to take action. It took some work, but we found out he could get the testing suggested in the article at California State University, Sacramento.

My son’s verbal IQ was 127, and his physical IQ was 107, a 20-point spread. This large variance affects a person’s ability to balance the input and output of information.

The best part was that the testing confirmed that he was smart. His scores didn’t qualify him as learning-disabled, which gave him confidence. Things improved both academically and socially because his weak areas had been defined, and he could work on improving them.

My biggest worry continues to be the bullies. Bullies like to steal things from him, which is easy because of his difficulty in visually taking in a lot of what is going on around him.

I am proud of my son finding strength and understanding in himself. He is doing so much better. As in the Asperger’s article, someday, I can see my son as the absent-minded professor.

Jo Lynne Tadlock

Wake up and smell the bombs

Re “America the free … from bombs!” (SN&R Letters, May 22):

I believe that [letter writer] Travis Johnson needs to turn off his 20th Century Fox news (and other corporate/state-backed rah rah propaganda news outlets) and begin to sincerely educate himself about reality.

I heard someone say recently that Americans aren’t bad people; they are just functioning under bad information. Johnson went on and on about how America has been good to [Iraqi immigrants] Asef and Geed and how lucky they are to be here. I would like to clear up some gaping holes that are missing from his reality.

First, let us clear up how good America has been for the Iraqi people. It is a documented fact that the CIA directly helped give rise to Saddam and his conservative wing of the Ba’ath Party. In fact, it helped finger those pesky little democracy-loving left-wing Iraqi progressives, who were then later tortured and slaughtered in the thousands by Saddam’s henchmen (source: Centre for Research on Globalization, www.globalresearch.ca).

Second, the United States, along with others, sold Saddam the chemicals he used on the 5,000 innocent Iraqi Kurds while the United States looked the other way. Saddam was our “friendly little dictator” at the time.

Third, when the Iraqi people were asked by President George H.W. Bush, in the first Gulf War, to rise up against Saddam, what did our “freedom-loving” president do for the Iraqi people? He ordered the American soldiers to back off, while another generation of “freedom-loving” Iraqis were brutally betrayed by the United States and then slaughtered by Saddam.

I could go on about how America’s bombs have dumped hundreds of tons of depleted uranium across Iraq during these last two Gulf Wars, which has sickened and killed hundreds of thousands of people, including our own troops, but there is simply not enough space here (see American Gulf War Veterans Association, www.gulfwarvets.com).

If Americans were allowed to know the deeper truths of our foreign-policy agendas, they would rise up and throw out these lying war profiteers who are making a killing off of keeping the world in chaos and keeping most of us dazed and confused. We are being used as pawns in their global game for resource control and war profits.

Rose Taylor


The photo caption in the June 5 Music article, on page 92, incorrectly identified Genetic James of Life Is Bonkers as being on the left in the photo. In fact, Michael Jay Mayhem was on the left; Genetic James was on the right. This correction has been made on the Web site.

The musical-theater production Mamma Mia! was misspelled in a June 5 Summer Survival Guide article on page 67. Also, Ellen Harvey is playing the role of Tanya in the production running in Sacramento, not Mary Ellen Mahoney, as pictured.

The title given for Tom Dwelle of Nella Oil Co. was misstated in the May 8 Cover Story, “Agasination.” He is general partner.