Letters for November 14, 2013

Prop. 14 doesn’t work

Re “From gridlock to governing” by Jeff VonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, November 7):

This article doesn't persuade me that Proposition 14 has made any difference at all. First, the article doesn't discuss the extensive research published by 14 political scientists during 2013 (five separate papers, all of which concluded primary systems don't change who gets elected or how they behave). Second, the example of the 2014 Senate race in Sacramento speculates that both Assembly members who are running against each other, who are both Democrats and who are likely to run against each other in November, will cater to Republicans. This theory is wrong, because the instant one of the Democrats hints he is really in agreement with Republicans on certain issues, the other Democrat will point out to the majority party in the district (Democrats) that his opponent is Dem-light, and the Democrat who is more loyal to his party's platform will win.

Richard Winger

via email

SN&R not progressive on mental health

Re “Psychology of incarceration” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R News, November 7):

When it comes to mental health, SN&R is about as progressive as Milo Fitch, the jailer.

Treatments that actually improve brain activity aren’t prioritized in hospitals, jails and community programs. Programs that don’t protect people from abuse often push harmful treatments, which cast the problem in the victim, not in the unhealthy social environment. It’s a disgusting injustice to surround people with social environments that don’t reinforce their mental strengths in the name of care.

I also think you should stop giving readers short shrift with your half-sized letters section.

Irene Cardenas


Republicans are haters

Re “SN&R reaps what it sows” (SN&R Letters, November 7):

Peter Finn’s letter imagines that people who politely express doubts about President Barack Obama and global warming are immediately and savagely set upon by liberal haters. Quantifying that sort of thing in public discourse is, of course, imprecise, but I am pretty sure that someone from another time who read a sample of what was said on the topics Finn describes would find the “conservative” or tea-party side to be way out in front in uncivil language and accusations of vile behavior.

Finn’s characterization of global warming as being largely a matter of what Al Gore says is sufficient to correctly label him an ignorant denier. Dozens of national science academies and major-league scientific societies—such as the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America, and the American Physical Society—say we have a global-warming problem. The Pentagon sees global-warming caused destabilization of other nations as a threat to our security, and the insurance industry says global warming hits their bottom line with wild weather where they get to pay for the damage. The usual response, by the way, when I point out all the responsible adults who see a problem, is ranting about them all being part of a vast conspiracy.

Frank Grober