Letters for May 13, 2010

No heavy lifting for Meg

Re “The candidate wears Prada” by Heidi Kriz (SN&R Essay, May 6):

Meg Whitman is only the latest in a long line of Republican candidates who campaign by trying to convince voters that government can be run like a business. It’s hard to know whether they really believe that or are merely pandering to a right wing that increasingly views government as the enemy. At any rate, Whitman and those who came before her apparently choose to ignore the fact that governments—whether national, state or local—are not profit-making institutions.

As Heidi Kriz so ably points out, “California is not a business. It’s the most populous state in the country with a range of social problems and attendant costs.”

Whitman, again as Kriz points out, has enjoyed a privileged upbringing and has no idea of the problems and concerns of most Californians. As far as we know, she also has no idea what to do about them. She has yet to subject herself to intensive interviews, while spending millions on misleading and often scurrilous TV ads in the belief that the primary election can be bought without any heavy lifting on her part.

Sad to say, she may be right.

Bill Endicott

Keep the light on mental health

Re “Drastic measure” by Amy Yannello (SN&R Frontlines, April 29):

Thank you, Amy Yannello and SN&R, for not letting this very important issue just fade into the background.

What’s so sad is that these people try desperately to get into the [regional support teams] because not only do they receive the help they need, the programs also make it possible for them to fit into the very society that is now turning its back on them. They’ve done nothing wrong but have a disease! Why they would work so hard to belong in this society, I don’t know. That is why, every night, I ask God to help us all.

Linda Erickson

Don’t think about it

Re “Faith of an atheist” by Ron Vanderwell (SN&R Essay, April 29):

Mr. Vanderwell summed it up quite well in his closing sentence: “Whenever I look for a reason to have faith in atheism, all I find is … nothing.”

That’s exactly the point.

Why does he have to believe that we, as atheists, have to have faith in something bigger than just the reality of being? To phrase it as he does, he puts a religious tone upon atheism. It is not a religion, just the lack of one. The only faith I have is in myself and in my fellow man.

So, Mr. Vanderwell, please stop trying to be preachy to us. We really don’t care about being labeled at all. Carry on with your religious baggage and try not to give us a thought at all—just as I do you.

Todd Wonnacott

Give him a can of paint

Re “Faith of an atheist” by Ron Vanderwell (SN&R Essay, April 29):

Vanderwell’s essay reads like a verbose reprise of the Christian graffiti on the recent atheist billboards. It is regrettable that a man who speaks for so many would speak in such bad spirits. It would be better if the local Christian leaders were interested in growing bonds between their flock and the rest of society rather than further disgust and resentment.

Michael Krebsbach

Too subtle for SN&R

Re “Faith of an atheist” by Ron Vanderwell (SN&R Essay, April 29):

At first, I couldn’t figure out how this particularly condescending and sloppy piece of writing passed the gatekeepers at SN&R, where usually the most egregious bits of irrationality and delusion get caught in the filter. Then I got it.

You knew nothing would make a scientific thought process look more attractive than a glimpse into the workings of the opposite type of mind! It’s so subtle, I can’t believe you thought of it.

Jan Kline

Going brown?

Re “How does your garden blow?” by Ted Cox (SN&R Green Days, April 29):

Professor [G.O.] Graening objects to the variety of plants on sale at Home Depot. Then he praises Walmart for selling “organic” produce.

If he’s so smart, why is he shopping at big-box stores instead of making purchases at local businesses that are more environmentally aware? Maybe he’s too busy with his environmental consulting business.

Graening ignores successful area nurseries that promote not only regional plants but water-saving irrigation methods, when he brusquely categorizes homeowners as “all sheep.” His solution to “going green” is actually “going brown,” covering yards with bark and mulch. Yeah, the dogs and kids will love that. If he is so enamored of xeriscapes, I suggest he move to Arizona.

Oh, and “environmental consultant” Graening’s ultimate solution for “region-appropriate gardens”? Government-controlled water usage, and something he calls “corporate responsibility.” Now there’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

Candy Tutt

He’d have hung up, too

Re “Unorthodox diss” by Alia Cruz (SN&R Music, April 29):

Alia Cruz refers to Matisyahu as the “American Hasidic Jew musician,” and I found it offensive. For the record, I think the respectful use of “Jewish” rather then “Jew” might have been more appropriate.

The whole stupid article was bitter, insensitive (“gefilte fish or falafel … or whatever the hell you might imagine Matisyahu eating”) and somewhat pointless. If she came across during the interview like she does in this article, I can understand why he might have hung up on her.

I would like to imagine that Matisyahu eats snarky, insensitive Latinas like Alia Cruz.

D. Gray
via e-mail

Less cage fighting

Re “Faber’s way” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, April 22):

In my opinion, we need less, not more, of the cagefighting mentality—especially in those styles where head protection is not worn! Who is going to pay for all the years of the long-term care that Faber and his buddies are going to need when they can no longer talk or tie their shoes?

Maybe he’ll go away now that he’s lost. You could help that happen if you’d stop glamorizing him and his “[surfer] boy [good] looks.” He is certainly not the pride of any Sacramento I am part of!

W. Haywood