Letters for June 7, 2007

Please, no more!

Re “Reassembling the Assembly” by Cosmo Garvin ( SN&R News, May 31):

While visiting your fair burg, I was struck by the article about Michael Warnken’s idea to add potentially hundreds of new California state legislators.

While his heart is in the right place and I salute him for at least trying, the idea is naive at best. To pay a state legislator only $10,000 a year means you’ll have even more wealthy legislators, as the average “citizen legislator” won’t be able to afford to serve.

I save my harshest criticism, though, for the Santa Barbara Libertarian Party, which supposedly endorsed his idea. As a libertarian myself, I’m absolutely baffled at how this local LP could endorse an idea which would radically increase the Legislature’s infrastructure. More legislators, more paid staff, more bills, more security, more everything—obviously at taxpayers’ expense. Let’s hope they were just as naive as Mr. Warnken, and didn’t realize the true effects of this ill-advised idea.

Robert Hansen
Lake Oswego, Ore.

Thanks for honor

Re “Due honors” by Edward Dunn (SN&R Night&Day, May 31):

Thank you so much for publicizing the Honoring the Elders Day that was held at the California State Indian Museum, and also for using the photo of Paiute Chief Numaga. I had missed going to this important celebration last year because of my busy schedule. This year it was a great reminder to go and gather with all our native relations. I just want to thank you and your paper for putting this important native event of honoring our elders as a focal point of something to do this week.

David Andrews (Paiute)

The price of living with lies

Re “War trauma at home,” (SN&R Guest Comment, May 24):

So that’s what I should call it: PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

I thought it was total disgust at what my country is doing, not only to people of other nations, but also to our own citizens.

The careless military aggression toward others, justified by lies about WMDs, 9/11 involvement, terrorist connections, and the list goes on: lies, lies, lies, and more lies. We were warned about the military-industrial corporations that do not give one hoot about our young soldiers being fed to the corporate meat grinder, as long as the corporations are reaping profits. You can be sure that the CEOs of these same corporations, and the politicians that support this occupation, are not sending their kids into battle.

Make no mistake: War makes a lot of money for some, while the rest of us are left with loss of civil rights and maybe a folded flag. Will we ever be able to take back our country from this madness, and live in peace with others on this planet? I think our existence demands it.

Paulette Cuilla

Jerry + Jack = trouble

Re “The trouble with Jerry” by Kel Munger ( SN&R Essay, May 24):

I just finished reading the piece on ol‘ Jerry. Loved it. I’m a left-wing elderly Christian who does not consign those who do not share my lifestyle or beliefs to hell.

I also picked up on the reference to the Jack “Sick” Chick tracts. I was a prison chaplain for 32 years, and he would mail these darn things to prisoners in some quantity so they could pass them around. They did more to pollute peoples’ minds and create dissension than most anything else.

Keep up the good work.

James McGee
via e-mail

Kel, stay out of Russia …

Re “The trouble with Jerry” by Kel Munger ( SN&R Essay, May 24):

Well, at least you’re not in Russia! According to the Associated Press, the gay pride parade in Moscow resulted in gay activists being beaten, pelted with eggs and arrested.

G. D. Sachuman
via e-mail

… and stop eating that cake

Re “The trouble with Jerry” by Kel Munger ( SN&R Essay, May 24):

Kel Munger doesn’t get it. The essence of a free society is our ability to hurt one another with our words.

Open debate and discussion, by definition, includes conflict and a clash of ideas that one side or the other can view as hate. It is in this conflict that the best ideas bubble up. The minute we decide what is hate speech for the sake of someone’s feelings, we die as a nation.

Munger’s comment about language being translated into action is a completely separate issue. As rational beings, we must distinguish between speech and actions. Our founding fathers understood that and, when we were a more mature nation, we did, as well.

Simple: Allow the speech and punish the action.

The fact is, Munger wants her cake and wants to eat it, too. “Free” speech as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone—and yeah, your ideas are acceptable, such as your hate of Christians, but others’ ideas are the “hurtful” speech? Maybe we should just get us a Hitler or a Stalin to decide what we should all believe.

Finally, Munger doesn’t have to like Falwell, but a little dignity is in order. If we had dignity in our discourse maybe all these issues would not polarize us. Just a thought.

Strom Werth
via e-mail

Lovin’ his ‘lite’ car

Re “Car-lite” by Ellen Cochrane ( SN&R News, May 24):

Great article.

I purchased my Zebra (same color: pearl white) from BigKidToys in Napa back in February. This is before the Davis dealership even started selling them. The purchase was done online and they even delivered it to my door at no charge. I had been researching this vehicle ever since I saw it online and I took a drive to Santa Rosa’s Zap headquarters.

I live in the Florin Road and Franklin Boulevard area and commute nearly eight miles to where I work downtown. I get lots of stares, “thumbs up,” finger-pointing and laughs. But I laugh every time I pass a gas station.

Commuting this way saves me $85 or more just in parking and a gallon of gas a day. Multiply that by the number of work days in a month—usually 22 days—and my savings are about $155 in parking and gas just for the work-related commute. I use it for running other errands, as well.

In 2002, I bought a GEM and drove that for three years until I moved farther out and needed a higher-speed vehicle, due to the roads I now have to travel. It was illegal to drive the GEM on either Franklin Boulevard or 24th Street, so it had to go.

Ed Wright

Yep, the Union insults SN&R

Re “The Sacramento Union” (SN&R Advertisement, May 24):

Against all reason, the “ads” from the Sacramento Union continue. And, perhaps not satisfied with bashing gays and immigrants, they’re now going after us, the readers of SN&R.

In their main “story” in the May 24 advertisement, “Rising Gasoline Prices a Good Thing,” we find the following in the third paragraph: “It is his contention that Uncle Sam needs to step in and tell vehicle manufactures [sic] to build higher miles per gallon (MPG) vehicles to ‘conserve’ oil. The idea is not dissimilar to an alcoholic measuring the shots in his drinks to ‘control’ his consumption (for those of you reading this in the Sacramento News & Review, the better analogy is that your stash is as low as your funds and you compensate by scraping the resin out of your bowl).”

In case you didn’t see it, that part in parentheses is an insult, directed at us. And the SN&R is enabling them to deliver it.

I cannot for the life of me understand why SN&R is doing this. Never mind the racism, the intolerance, and the willful ignorance of the way the real world works. Why in the world would Jeff vonKaenel tolerate an advertiser who blatantly insults his readers?

This is drastically souring my relationship with SN&R. Every time I pick up SN&R now and see those two pages, I’m reminded of how you absolutely insist on helping people who hate me and my friends, and how you refuse to give any kind of justification that makes sense. Do you understand how utterly infuriating this is?

And, meanwhile, I’ll bet you anything that back at the Union, they’re laughing at you. If I worked at SN&R, I’d resign in protest.

Brian Stovall

Nope, the Union insults no one

Re “Sacramento Union” (SN&R Advertisement, May 24):

I’m a gay man living with AIDS, and I have been lucky to have lived on this Earth for over five decades.

I’ve read the Union’s ads each week in SN&R and I haven’t read anything that could be described as racist or homophobic, as some of your letter-writers have suggested. There is no doubt that the Union has a more conservative viewpoint, but it isn’t extreme. Perhaps the Union’s ads provide a balance to the editorial content in SN&R, which tend to be on the far left of most issues? Why is it that some of the most intolerant people can be liberals when it comes to diversity of opinion? Why is it that some liberals want to silence all opposition and label anything they don’t agree with as hateful?

Dwyane J.