Letters for November 19, 2009

Letter of the week
Celebrating failure

Re “Obviously an Ayn Rand reader” and “Reader appears callous despite trying hard not to” (SN&R Letters, November 12):

You letter writers David Fisher and Terry Wallace, who took time out from your busy lives seeking gainful employment in a flat economy to write rotten little letters venting your hatred by trashing state workers are barking up the wrong the tree.

You claim the private sector is superior and you staked your livelihoods on it. But when the private sector failed you and threw you out of work and looted your 401(k)s, you chose to beat up on state workers, who had nothing to do with your plight. You people are saying: “The private sector sucks, so the public sector should also suck.” That line of thinking is contradictory and stupid for at least three reasons. First, you’re being selfish and mean-spirited toward people who earn a living comparable to your own instead of focusing your wrath on the rich bastards from Wall Street that brought on your current hardship. Second, you’re arguing that, since the private sector failed society, the public sector should also fail society (which is stupid). Third, you’re ignoring the fact that whenever state workers spend the little money they have left in their pockets after the furloughs, etc., it helps strapped local businesses stay afloat.

Joseph A. Palermo

Size limits on players

Re “Head knocker” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, November 12) and “Is football too violent?” (SN&R Streetalk, November 12):

It’s not necessarily that football is too violent, but it’s obvious that players continue to get heavier and heavier, leading to more potential injuries as the force of collisions increases (remember Newton’s second law of motion: Force = mass x acceleration. For a given acceleration, as mass or weight rises, so does force).

For the benefit of the game and the players’ longer-term health, football should institute a maximum weight limit at various levels; for example, 200 pounds in high school, 250 in college, 299 in professional leagues. Modern nutrition enables players to bulk up to 350 pounds or more, which harms not only the individual players who feel the pressure to become so obese, but also the beauty and flow of the game itself.

Don Anderson

Football is a class act

Re “Head knocker” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Feature, November 12):

R.V. Scheide, whatever his other faults may be (just read Race to the Bottom), has a real gift for finding and telling the stories of people we’d never hear from otherwise. Not only this football player, who had his short-term memory taken from him by a so-called “game,” but I’m also remembering the story he wrote about a mother whose son was being sent to prison while she was trying to stop the violence in her neighborhood.

Anyway, I’m amazed that we are willing to even consider whether football is worth the injuries. It just goes to show how class is at the root of everything.

How many working- and underclass youths get into football to find a way “out” of their crime-filled neighborhoods? Is it just OK for them to risk their brains playing this game for the entertainment of other people? Especially when only a few ever get rich at it?

I suspect that if wealthy kids suddenly started getting concussions while playing golf, there would be a quick move to make it safer.

Jan Kline

Lovin’ the Beaujolais

Re “Dear France, sorry about that whole wine-boycott thing. We still love your grapes. Yours, Sacramento” by Nick Miller (SN&R Arts&Culture, November 12):

You can imagine our delight when we at the Alliance Française opened up the latest edition of SN&R and read the Arts&Culture section. We so greatly enjoyed Nick Miller’s personal experiences of living in France. His lively writing expressed his enthusiasm with all aspects of French culture, from food and fromage to living in Grenoble and sampling the local wines. He really captured the fun and frivolity of the annual November party that celebrates Beaujolais Nouveau.

It was wonderful that he gathered so many quotes, including those of our own Marie-Clémence Mayssionner! This year, our Fête du Beaujolais Nouveau will be a grand success, grâce à vous!

We hope to see everyone on November 20. And we can guarantee that Bill O’Reilly is neither invited nor likely to crash the party!

Lisa Dane
board member

Alliance Française de Sacramento

Uh, what’s your point?

Re “What Would Dr. Huxtable Do?” by Ted Cox (SN&R Scene&Heard, November 12):

So I’m just wondering how the event was exploiting? Did you check to see if money actually went to the named charity? And if so, what do you care? Who was really exploited here?

Joyce Bennett

Sac’s palate gets more sophisticated

Re “Dear France, Sorry about that whole wine-boycott thing. We still love your grapes. Yours, Sacramento” by Nick Miller (SN&R Arts&Culture, November 12):

Just wanted to say how impressed I was with your article about how the French celebrate the release of the new Beaujolais wines.

Since moving here in 1986, I’ve found Sacramento growing increasingly sophisticated in terms of culture, wine and food, and the article reflects this broadening interest. When I first came, the Sizzler was rated in a local survey as the best restaurant in town!

Thanks for letting your readers know about the Alliance Française in our city, and about the upcoming event they’re sponsoring to celebrate the Beaujolais Nouveau on November 20 at Sierra 2.

Thanks for pointing out not only the change in attitude from the anti-French period, but the local opportunities to learn French and celebrate French culture, food and fine wine!

Jane Thomson

She [hearts] comics, too

Re “I [heart] comics” by Nick Miller (SN&R Feature, November 5):

Thanks so much for this wonderful article. As not only a fan of comics but also a comic-book artist myself, I really enjoyed the wonderful history and insight into Sacramento’s comic-book pioneers and current comic-book artists. I know several (most) of the individuals mentioned in the article (the world of comics is really quite a small one), and it was great reading about their efforts and getting a deeper insight into this business that I love.

I would be thrilled to see more articles like this one! I couldn’t put it down until I consumed every word. Nick Miller has done a wonderful job!

Stacy Raven

No gay saint

Re “Support Harvey Milk Day” by Kel Munger (SN&R Cut&Paste, November 5):

So Kel [Munger] thinks that the state lawmakers should declare yet another state holiday for a San Francisco supervisor from the last century who was only in office for less than a year and who often clashed with others in the gay community?

Harvey Milk wasn’t the gay saint that some gay activists have tried to portray him as. I think that state lawmakers should declare state holidays for all creepy gay trolls—just as long as I get a paid day off from work!

Daniel Ortega
via e-mail

Violence is always a hate crime

Re “Act against hate” (SN&R Editorial, November 5):

I strongly disagree with hate-crime laws that only apply to certain groups of people. In fact, I think that hate-crime laws function to keep members of other groups who are not covered by special hate-crime laws “in their place.” Violence towards any human being should be considered a hate crime.

OK, I’m a Caucasian male. I’m also a gay man living with HIV/AIDS. I grew up in a multiracial south Sacramento neighborhood, where I was attacked and beaten at the public schools I attended for no other reason other than I was simply a white male. I’ve attended sociology classes at Sacramento State where certain professors have singled out white males in the class as being evil oppressors. I now work for a federal government agency that has preferential affirmative action and outreach programs for every racial and ethnic group except for white males. I can honestly say that I’ve experienced more prejudice, hatred and violence directed towards me because I’m a white male than I’ve ever experienced as a gay man living with HIV/AIDS.

Let me state again that violence towards any human being should be considered a hate crime. Hate-crime legislation that preferentially only applies to certain groups is just another form of prejudice and discrimination.

Jonathon Winchell

At least somebody wins

Re “Army of scabs” by Jaime O’Neill (SN&R Essay, November 5):

Sounds like you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t because of the stupid system. At least the students are getting a good education from you, so you can rest on that laurel.

Gwen Nordgren

No love for Fernandez

Re “Michael Jackson on unemployment” by Josh Fernandez (SN&R Scene&Heard, November 5):

I feel like I need to put a finger in my throat and puke out this “article.” Go away, [Josh] Fernandez, and don’t come back until you grow up and get with what matters in life!

Kat Nip
via e-mail


In last week’s cover story, “Head Knocker” by R.V. Scheide, we incorrectly stated that Mike Webster committed suicide. The Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame center died of heart failure at age 50. We regret the error.