Letters for March 29, 2001

Who’s the punk?

Re “Blame You” by C.T. Perez (SN&R Letters, March 22):

R.V. Scheide’s “Death Trip” was a dispassionate and comprehensive analysis of the transformation a human being undergoes when his ethical constitution is terminally weakened by an inability to compromise the hunger for unmitigated freedom with social and financial obligations.

There are still those in this world who’ve never been exposed to the true benefits of cultural indoctrination (i.e. expansion, empathy, community). There are still those in this world who, when blessed with the intellect to decode the virtual meaninglessness of those goals toward which we’re taught to strive, and yet categorically limited in their ability to perceive or embrace the wonder that remains once this illusion is dispelled, are left with literally no other biological alternative but complete emotional and psychological isolation. Meaning, they become fucking time bombs.

Mr. Scheide’s article is rare because, despite its contemporaries, it actually manages to address the most relevant question in such an occurrence: Why? And it’s important because it treats Mr. Daniels like a human being.

It’s become glowingly apparent in recent months that the more grievous and epidemic these acts of violence become, the more marginalized the segment of the population becomes that aims to choose comprehension over condemnation, dissection over misdirection. This ratio speaks for itself. Do you, Mr. Perez, honestly mean to state that some people are good and some are just plain bad, “deserving what they get?” That, because you’ve recovered from your overtly destructive habits, you’re one of the “good ones” and, because David Scott Daniels did not, he’s one of the “bad ones?” Who do you think you are?

Wake up. You can’t condemn a man and in the same breath embrace the pathology that perpetuates him. Next time you find yourself looking for some “punk” to scapegoat, take a look in the mirror.

David Trisko

Subversive, maybe. Pro-criminal, no.

Re “Death Trip” By R.V. Scheide (SN&R Cover, March 15):

This article was a veiled attempt by your subversive-liberal, pro-criminal “newspaper” to criticize the three strikes law. You seem to believe that the reason for the desperation and violence of Mr. Daniels’ crime spree was motivated by his fear of a 25-year-to-life sentence. The reason Mr. Daniels is on death row is because he is a loser, an idiot and very immoral. A person who has five felony convictions has demonstrated a proclivity for committing crimes and will continue to commit crimes until he’s locked up for good.

Mr. Daniels says that he has no regrets about shooting a police officer who is part of the system. Yet, it was the system that spent a considerable amount of money to keep him alive after being shot 14 times. In many countries, very little medical attention would have been given to a five-time convicted felon.

In this article, you indicate that it was a sacrifice and a humiliation for Mr. Daniels to use a bicycle for transportation. Well gee whiz, you spend half of your life in jail; can’t hold down a job; snort cocaine and screw whores at the drop of a hat; and you expect to drive a Camaro? Get real!

Anyone with common sense can read the article and come to three conclusions:

1. The death penalty is justified for criminals like Mr. Daniels. Two murders, one wounded police officer, two carjackings and 10 bank robberies.

2. The three strikes law is necessary, especially in Mr. Daniels’ case. To quote your article, “He’s had a dozen second chances to straighten up his life, and he’s blown every one of them.”

3. Hard core narcotics users, such as Mr. Daniels, should be locked up instead of being sent to a treatment center. According to your article he tried treatment twice, however he could not “get real.”

F. Caesar
North Highlands

Lock ’em all up

Re “Death Trip” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Cover, March 15) and “Life Prisoners Face Judicial Anarchy” by Carl D. McQuillion (SN&R Guest Comment, March 15):

So, aside from this “personable” homicidal maniac Mr. Daniels—what about Ms. Lavette Jackson requesting this wounded, messed up man drive her and her two children from Sacramento to Fresno! What about Jennifer O’Neal happily taking her 10-year-old daughter along on a drug pick up? What is wrong with everybody?

Oh yeah, and by the way—why is it so unfair to deny lifers parole? Excuse me, but it really should mean that you stay in prison for life when you are sentenced to life. No parole. How does life imprisonment mean possibility of parole?

L. Berlin

Smoke the roach!

Re “No More Wackos!” by Ron Waggoner (SN&R Letters, March 15):

Once, when I was a lad, I turned on the light at midnight and, I too, witnessed cockroaches scurrying about the floor. What did I do? Got out the “RAID” and did something about it. You see, I don’t share my house with bugs.

What have roaches got to do with conservatives? Nothing as far as I can tell. Yet, Ron Waggoner from Sacramento dares to call us cockroaches. I can only guess why he makes such a comparison. Does he have a mandate to “spray” us away? Does he consider us filth? Would he cleanse the earth of conservatives in the same spirit of an infamous politician from the ’30s and ’40s?

Ron will never see his mandate fulfilled in this country, because we’re not going to let the liberals take away freedom. We teach our children nonrevisionist history and we pass along our conservative values. Liberals like Ron do their educated-best to manipulate with lies and propaganda. With excerpts from bad “B” movies, Ron tried to convey to the world that conservatives are wacko militants who can’t think past tonight’s beer. What a guy!

Hey, Ron, we’re your neighbors. If you don’t believe it, get out of your shell and meet us. We promise not to spray you away.

Jonathan Davis
Manteca, CA

Don’t bring the spotlight

I’d like to thank SN&R writer Amy Paris on her well-thought-out and relevant article “Bring the Noise,” (SN&R Cover, March 8).

As one of those musicians bumped out of apartment and practice space in SF who chose to relocate back to Sacramento, I sympathize with those who’ve had to do the same. When I left Sac a couple of years ago, I knew I was leaving a vast reservoir of talent. And although I’d been puzzled before at the general music and art community’s lack of support for this underground stream, as well at its own reluctance to promote itself save to those who already knew about it, I now am thankful for the barrier these two attitudes had created between each other. In effect, becoming a barrier between the real music scene and everyone else.

Which is why I also want to say be careful what you wish for. Though it may come from the best intentions, it’s my opinion that creating a “buzz” for something one thinks is special and wants to convey to a wider audience often only leads to a dilution of the special thing. I opt to keep supporting the good clubs and the right-on brothers and sisters at their gigs and by word of mouth to those who would get it. If the stars align and all of a sudden many record companies move into town and begin signing local groups, great. Nothing is as awesome as when something happens naturally.

Mike Diaz
via e-mail

Free speech absolutist

Re “Shameless Self-promotion” (SN&R Capital Bites, March 15):

I, too, agree with your view on the censorship of the UC Davis and Berkeley newspapers. I couldn’t believe that places that put so much value on free speech could let these heavy-handed tactics prevail.

I don’t always agree with David Horowitz’s ideas, but he had the right to have his views published. After reading your piece I went on the net and read some of his ad. Even though I am a liberal Latino person, I found that some of his arguments have merit. I didn’t agree with most.

But I think that the worst part of this was not his piece but the reaction of the school papers, administration and pressure groups. I read that Berkeley recently had a book burning of an author who questioned the innocence of Mumia Abu-Jamal. A book burning! What ever happened to writing a letter to the editor or peaceful protest? I also read that when Horowitz’s ad came out in the school paper, pressure groups stormed the school paper’s office and some went around taking newspapers out of their stands so no one could read them. We liberal minded people have to denounce this abuse of free speech and freedom of the press.

If we are looking to keep our freedom of speech and freedom of the press, we have to learn that there are other voices out there, some we may not agree with, but we must be vigilant or the next time it might be this paper, or others like it.

Sergio Perez