Letters for June 29, 2006

Way too much pot, etc.

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

After reading the article concerning the 9/11 attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, which the Sacramento 9/11 Truth movement truly believes were conspiracies by our government, I could only sit motionless in total awe of the utter stupidity and naiveté of some members of our society.

After reading their “empirical data” regarding the alleged conspiracies and seeing their images on 16th Street at J Street, all I can conclude is that these poor, irrational souls are caught in a ’60s time warp and are suffering from delusions brought on by way too much pot, magic mushrooms and Prozac.

F. Thomas Cain

Truth or paranoia?

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

Mr. Kimball has as closed a mind as I’ve ever seen. I am fascinated that Kimball doesn’t even believe Osama bin Laden, who claims he engineered the 9/11 attacks.

Of course, there is also the inane, inaccurate assertion that special prosecutor Ken Starr spent $40 million on investigating Bill Clinton’s tryst with an intern! That is the total cost of his investigations into many aspects of possible wrongdoing. The question was: Did Clinton commit crimes? Any lawyer can tell you he most certainly committed felonies!

Then there is the obligatory left-wing reference to the McCarthy era: “During the McCarthy era, the Truman administration claimed they [communist infiltrators] had all been caught. Still, there was this idea that everyone had not been caught.”

They hadn’t been caught! The fact, as the Venona papers and former Soviet records prove, is that communist agents were still operating in high positions in the U.S. government. If one would like to say that McCarthyism is the unwarranted accusation of criminality or wrongdoing, then I submit that Kimball and [Christine] Craft are engaging in McCarthyesque accusations.

Those who propagate the theory that Bush is some part of some conspiracy that brought down the World Trade Center must believe that someone in the government coordinated the planting of thermite bombs throughout all the buildings and coordinated the flight of several aircraft into the towers.

Furthermore, Mr. Cahill’s assertion of criminality has no basis in the law, but I would assert that the sampling he made would have traces of thermite were Kimball and his fellow paranoiacs, who are not the so-called “truth-seeking group” they would have us believe, right.

I will not apologize for my use of the term “paranoiac!” I have spoken with Mr. Kimball on several occasions and have been called a “murderer” and worse.

H. Michael Sarkisian

That’s why people hate gays …

Re “'I would do it again’” by Rachel Gregg (SN&R News, June 22):

Now, let me get this right. Jack Tocco decides he doesn’t like the message on a mobile double billboard, and even though he says he knew it was this guy’s First Amendment right to display his signs, Tocco felt compelled to vandalism anyway.

He would scream like a woman if anyone dared to run all over his precious First Amendment rights. Again, solid proof that gay people, by their actions, create homophobia. If you can’t respect other people’s rights, why the hell should anyone be receptive to gay people’s continual, in-your-face, “accept us or else” mentality?

Young guys are being violently killed everyday in Iraq, and all Tocco has to worry about is his sexuality? How shallow can a human being be?

Scott R. Hadley
via e-mail

… but she’d like to help!

Re “'I would do it again’” by Rachel Gregg (SN&R News, June 22):

I just want to say thank you for doing the article on Jack Tocco and his run-in with the anti-gay truck that I myself have seen more times then I would ever wish to.

If I had been walking by while this was occurring, I would have joined him in a heartbeat.

Thank you for telling his story.

Kristine Paoli

It’s a man’s world

Re “A bad law that will hurt good fathers” (SN&R Guest Comment, June 15):

Today, fathers’ rights trump much else. In an effort to compensate for the many children who grew up without fathers during the 1970s and early 1980s, family law has swung in the opposite direction. Family-law specialists have told me, “Even Jeffrey Dahmer would get visitation.”

This is a travesty: a truly misaligned system that places fathers’ rights ahead of a child’s right to safety, stability and an intact childhood.

In the article [by Jeffery M. Leving and Glenn Sacks], they stated that William Hetherington was convicted. It is difficult to believe that a 1980s family court would convict a man for rape under questionable evidence. They mention that, despite “evidence that some believe casts doubt on the conviction,” the accused remains in jail. If his guilt were truly questionable, the man (in what is still a man’s world) could secure a new trial.

Further, it is inappropriate and irresponsible to allude to this convicted rapist as a “good father.” I find their commentary quite unsurprising, considering they both are men, living in this man’s world, with only male experiences as foundation to their beliefs.

Maya Beneli

S.B. 1402 is a good change

Re “A bad law that will hurt good fathers” (SN&R Guest Comment, June 15):

The recent Guest Comment arguing against the marital-rape bill pending in Sacramento dragged out ancient myths about spousal rape and stated that the bill “won’t help victimized women—it will only harm decent fathers.” There are unfair constraints on the victims of spousal rape. Unlike other rape victims, they must report the rape within a year or come up with other corroboration, a burden many victims cannot meet.

Marital rape is often brutal. Spousal-rape victims are often victims of years of beatings and brainwashing. They often try to hide the abuse.

Rather than use it to obtain leverage in family court, in my 27 years of working with battered women, I’ve found almost none who wanted any money from their abusers. They just wanted to get away.

Nancy K.D. Lemon
board member, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

Both sides are broken

Re “'Cherry-picking’ Bible verses” (SN&R Letters, June 15):

A thread has played out for weeks in these pages, with Bible verses hurled back and forth about homosexuality. The truth is we often grasp for out-of-the-literary-context proof-texts for leverage. The classic (not U.S. evangelical) view of Christian scripture is to see it as a story of a creator’s project to reclaim and renew a broken world. From Abram on, this is the story, and in Jesus the blame-for-breaking finally is dealt with.

Both the people setting up booths at Southside Park and the parents giving anti-sodomy signs to their 7-year-olds are following a good, God-given urge—to repair the brokenness. That said, it’s hard to argue that the hate-inducing, sign-holding-type efforts are coming anywhere close to repairing anything.

The biblical story is also about repairing—bringing justice to an unjust world. Christians believe that the creator became one of us in Jesus, experiencing the brokenness and paving a new way through the world’s brokenness.

Christians and non-Christians alike make assumptions about which brokenness in our world needs to get fixed most urgently. I think the predominant Christian voices today are making the bigger errors in prioritizing their issues of brokenness. I am always suspicious when the Christian finger is pointed comfortably elsewhere.

Jesus was so controversial in his time because everyone wanted his take on the contemporary issues, but his answers didn’t fit into their “sides.” He just confronted everything with the same offer: the creator as the best solution for bringing justice to a broken creation—starting with ourselves.

Marc Holland

Cows and cars heat it up

Re “Al Gore’s inconvenient truth” by Ralph Brave (SN&R Feature Story, June 1):

Al Gore’s riveting documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, has focused public attention on the looming disaster of global warming and the associated flooding of coastal communities, extreme weather conditions and destruction of wildlife habitats. Most of us blame automotive and industrial emissions. But animal agriculture is a major culprit as well.

It emits carbon dioxide from the burning of forests to create animal pastures and from the combustion of fossil fuels to operate farm machinery, trucks, refrigeration equipment, factory farms and slaughterhouses. It emits methane from the digestive tracts of cattle and nitrous oxide from animal-waste cesspools.

According to a recent University of Chicago study, a meat-free diet reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by the equivalent of 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide per year—as much as switching from an SUV to a hybrid car.

Folks who care about the future of life on Earth would be well-advised to consider switching to a meat-free diet even before they switch to a hybrid car.

Cutter Hart


Re “Going, going, gone!” by Jaime O’Neill (SN&R Feature Story, June 15):

A statement in “Going, going, gone!” may have left the impression that the auctioneers’ fee, 12 percent of the sale price, is their only source of profit from the sale. There also may be a fee paid by the seller, much as a consignment seller pays a fee to the store owner for space in the shop.