Letters for March 8, 2007

Less people, less problem

Re “Don’t blame, prepare” (SN&R Editorial, February 22):

Your editorial made many good points but missed the key one: Stop population growth!

Even if we cut consumption by half but in the meantime allow the population to double, little progress will be achieved. If the U.S. population continues to grow at the rate of last decade, even without another amnesty or other increases in immigration, by 2070—within the lifetimes of today’s children—we will have more than half of India’s current population! Most future U.S. population will result from immigrants and their U.S.-born children.

President Bush and Congress should immediately reform our legal immigration by using Mexico’s policy as a model and enforce immigration laws as strictly as our southern neighbor. Nationwide, nearly half of our adult cash-welfare recipients are between 20 and 29. All able-bodied welfare recipients should be put to work in jobs held by illegal migrants. This would be good for the environment and teach Americans individual responsibility.

Yeh Ling-Ling
executive director, Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America, Oakland

Baby Bites?

Re “Channel this” (SN&R Bites, February 22):

That was a rather snotty little shot Bites took at the demise of Air America’s presence on KCTC, in general, and Enid Goldstein’s gig in particular, and anyone who thinks that fulminating gasbag Mike Malloy is an exemplar of progressive talk radio deserves membership in the Rush Limbaugh Rehab Fan Club.

I am miffed that the Entercom suits dropped KCTC’s affiliation with Air America in favor of ESPN. Just what we need, another sports station. I’d feel the same way if SN&R was bought by the Christian Coalition and made into a bliss ninny screed for born-again blockheads because the sex-industry ads and kinky personals weren’t generating enough revenue.

To me, Air America’s voice here was a needed answer to corporate broadcasting’s rampant gutlessness and right-wing blather, aided and abetted by the Bush appointees on the FCC (or Favors Corporation Commission), just as SN&R is needed as a printed antidote to that ad-heavy, bumbling Bee.

Thanks, Entercom. I suppose the six stations you own in Sacramento alone didn’t contribute all that much to the $118 million increase in revenue you posted in the last quarter of ’06, as cited on your Web site (www.entercom.com).

Broadcasting needs one good, old-fashioned trust-busting.

And Bites? Grow up.

Mike Browne

Health care as energy allocation

Re “This cure’s faulty” by Seth Sandronsky (SN&R Essay, February 22):

I don’t understand how shifting control of health care to the people will prevent market forces from playing a central role in health-care decisions. Even if “people in unity” succeed in getting single-payer health care, I don’t think there will be unity about what actual medical services should be provided by a government-managed health-care system.

We can’t get rid of market forces. They are a manifestation of human nature, cultural perceptions and physical reality. Market forces affect how allocations are made. Getting the government to manage the health-care market won’t automatically create unity about what kind of health care we should have a right to.

Part of the problem is that “health care” is an abstract idea rather than a complex and varied set of modalities and therapies, varying from setting a child’s broken bone to expensive ICU care for a terminally ill senior.

People can already control a lot more of their own health care than they often want to. We have the choice to acquire or ignore sensible health information and skills (eating healthy, nutritious food; getting plenty of exercise and sleep; dealing with common ordinary afflictions such as colds, flu, shallow cuts and scrapes, minor sprains and strains, etc.).

If there is a market failure, it is the typical “either-or” choice between no health insurance at all and kitchen-sink health insurance that covers everything. Where is the health insurance that covers acute, immediate, serious (and relatively inexpensive) problems like broken bones and pneumonia, but neither minor problems nor chronic, eventual (and very expensive) problems like cancer and heart disease? Where is the health insurance that covers prescription medicines for manageable conditions such as asthma, which affects many, but not experimental remedies for unusual afflictions?

After all, the death rate is always the same: one per person.

What’s the cost-benefit trade-off for allocating resources to improving the quality of our lives versus the quantity of time we may get to spend on the planet? (Hint: the reality of peak oil means we should be analyzing this on an energy basis, not a monetary basis.)

Muriel Strand

Serve before you criticize …

Re “No excuses” (SN&R Guest Comment, February 22):

With regards to Stephen Pearcy’s most recent article regarding “war crimes” in Iraq and troop complicity, I would like to see his record of risking death or imprisonment to change the course of the United States before he starts in on the troops.

If he has done nothing, which I fully expect to be the case, then he is nothing more then a blowhard with zero credibility.

Kevin J. Carey

… but he’s got a point!

Re “Who’s aiding and abetting?” (SN&R Letters, March 1):

The lambasting of Stephen Pearcy in the March 1 letters section was uncalled for and disgusting.

Mr. Pearcy eloquently related that the war (and our understanding of how it began and is perpetuated) has evolved to a point where each soldier must make up his or her own mind as to the nature of the war and their involvement or participation in war crimes currently taking place. He challenged members of the armed forces to consider the legal principal of aiding and abetting within the context of international war-crimes tribunals and related documents.

He did not personally condemn service members, as Ms. Daugherty did to Mr. Pearcy. He wrote only as a private citizen.

At least it’s good to hear from people who are both concerned with ending the war.

Frank Dixon Graham

One ringy-dingy

Re “What a gay wants” by Kel Munger (SN&R Scene&Heard, February 22):

I’ve had people telling me all my life, “You just don’t know what you want.” At last, Kel Munger has provided me with a handy list!

But even though I agree that words matter and should be chosen wisely, Munger, and your editors, should be aware that “dike” and “dyke” are not synonymous—they share neither spelling nor definition. Those words are homophones—words that sound alike but have different spelling and meaning—and are not to be confused with special, gaydar-equipped cell phones carried by gay people.

Jan Klein

Time to ‘get it’

Re “What a gay wants” by Kel Munger (SN&R Scene&Heard, February 22):

This column was fantastic—so eloquent and funny, too. I hope that it touches others who don’t get it yet.

Thanks for putting that out there, and keep those funny, poignant columns coming!

Kristen Hoard

L. Ron the humanitarian …

Re “Toxic detox” (SN&R Letters, March 1):

I noticed the letter by Aulton Ritch and, contrary to his take, I thought Luke Gianni did a great job with this “tell it like it is” article on the detoxification method by L. Ron Hubbard.

Hubbard is a widely recognized humanitarian and has had many honors bestowed upon him for his dedicated work in addressing drug abuse and toxic exposure. Rescue workers from the New York City Fire Department presented an honorary firefighter helmet to L. Ron Hubbard [in gratitude for] the hundreds of firefighters who have done the detox program after toxic exposure working at Ground Zero in New York.

The obvious benefits to individuals who have improved their lives as a result of the hard work of such wonderful organizations as Narconon and Dr. Root are inescapable. The Church [of Scientology] and Scientologists around the world are proud to offer their support to organizations like Narconon and applaud their efforts to handle drug abuse and toxic exposure.

Mr. Ritch is sadly misinformed, as there is a rather large body of research readily available done by many medical professionals, including Dr. Root, on this detox program. The claims on its effectiveness also are evidenced by the people who have participated in the program and the heartfelt appreciation they share is priceless.

Mike Klagenberg
director of special affairs,
Church of Scientology,

… and genius of toxicology

Re “Scientology does detox” by Luke Gianni (SN&R 15 Minutes, February 22):

You better believe Scientology does detox. They have the best detox program I’ve ever heard of.

I did the purification rundown 20 years ago and I got fantastic results. I had never been a heavy drug user, but I did use drugs on a weekly basis over several years. After I finished the program, I was amazed at how much more clearly I could think. I could think more clearly, colors were more clear and, most important for me, my memory improved tremendously. I have never lost that gain, even though it’s been 20 years.

We live in a drug and chemical-ridden environment, and if you ask me, L. Ron Hubbard is an absolute genius to have come up with this program in the first place.

Gail Gallegos