Letters for November 4, 2010

Business shouldn’t suck!

Re “Conservation is key” by Jonathan Mendick (SN&R Eco-Hit, October 28) and “Sierra clubbed” by Auntie Ruth (SN&R An Inconvenient Ruth, October 14):

Ah, if it isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. Or the Sierra Club sending out plasticky backpacks. Or the fox guarding the hen house. Or something like that. Did you say the city of Sacramento is holding a workshop on conserving water?!

That’s a good one, considering the city, with K.J. leading the way, are the ones who approved Nestlé to come on in, suck out our water for pennies and put it into more plasticky bottles and sell it back to us at 1,000 times the cost—during the third year of a drought, no less! And they approved this big water drain with no research, no public review, no environmental-impact report or no real thinking on anyone’s part (except Councilman Kevin McCarty and the real, local water conservationists at Save Our Water. Hey, maybe they should teach the workshop).

Yeah, it would be funny if it wasn’t such a doublespeak, green washing, talking out of both sides of their mouth, help out-of-town corporations, screw the little people who live here, business as usual under the reign of the weak, light-green Mayor Kevin Johnson and his minions. Hello, Sacramento: Plastic water bottles are the exact opposite of being green.

And approving a plastic water-bottle company to come in and suck us dry, for what was it? A handful of jobs? That’s pretty much the definition of anti-green. And, well, anti-future jobs, too, because less water in our city messes up a lot of livelihoods and does not add up to more jobs.

Team K.J., seriously now, do you really want to put Sacramento on the green city map and make your “Green Initiative” mean something? I get glimpses that you really do. So why not give your water conservation workshop to the people who can really make a big difference if they learn to conserve. Start with the top 10 water users in the city (we’re talking companies here, not individuals). Nestlé, of course, would be one of them, since they expect to draw off 82 million gallons of American River water annually, with some reports showing up to 116 million gallons.

And take some time to skim www.stopnestlewaters.org. If we want to be a world-class city, why don’t we share our community with world-class companies who do good in the world? Or at least don’t try to suck (it dry).

Sharie Lesniak

Be proactive about protecting the Bible

Re “For the Bible tells me so” by Kel Munger (SN&R Beats, October 28):

Kel Munger states, “Evidently, Christians everywhere are being arrested for speaking out against these things,” of the initiative that Allan Esses has started to protect Bible-based speech.

No, they aren’t—yet. This initiative is being proactive. Some have already called the Bible a hate-speech document, said it contains hate speech, etc. The way some laws are written, Biblical teaching on these things may already be illegal in some places. It only takes as aggressive lawyer or legislator to start trouble.

The issue is not will Christians be free to harass and throw rocks, but will we be free to teach our children or converts what is appropriate if one is not to be a hypocrite.

Hate speech is a term that sounds like something dramatically aggressive, but when defined in law it gets far more extensive. Screaming “f***!” and saying sex with persons of your own sex is wrong, are equated.

Christine Erikson

Shame on the Yolo DA

Re “Can your blog do this?” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Frontlines, October 21):

The Yolo District Attorney’s office describes Greenwald’s journalism as “malicious conduct” and “libelous” with “reckless disregard” for truth, and then cutely says the office isn’t planning action against the blog “at this time.”

Seems like the DA must realize that this kind of threatening response to a story built from their own documents just isn’t appropriate in the U.S.! If the office really is concerned about Vanguard articles including false information, you’d think they’d appreciate offers to review conclusions before they’re in print. Trying to scare the journalist by sending “threat signals” via local newspapers is an outrageous tactic. Shame.

Hank Wyman

Outsourcing is good?

Re “Meg-speak” (SN&R Letters, October 21):

Mr. [Ed] Hass seems unaware of recent studies.

Regarding outsourcing: Many companies, such as Boeing and Microsoft, claim that outsourcing some of their work to other countries brings them, in return, more business and more domestic, higher-paying jobs. It is also about trade. In a sense, we outsource so much of what we buy because the goods we get are cheaper and/or better. This raises our standard of living and gives us funds we can save, invest or spend to create higher-paying jobs here. And American global businesses prosper, hire more here and your IRA/pension plan goes up! A recent study found that in the long-run, outsourcing is a positive.

Just now the price of green jobs is high (and highly subsidized)—several times the cost of regular energy jobs, and the “green” energy produced is not competitive. Studies from Spain give us data: $774,000 to create each green job, including subsidies more than $1.3 million per wind-energy job. Creating those “green” jobs destroyed 113,000 jobs elsewhere, or about 2.2-plus per green job. This sort of creative destruction is common in technological advances, but usually there is a net positive in better, cheaper goods and/or services. This is not the case now; [Assembly Bill] 32 will destroy jobs in California as it taxes energy, makes it and everything else more expensive, costs each family $3,000 to $5,000 a year, slows the state economic growth and grows the state carbon-police bureaucracy!

California state jobs are expensive—see www.bls.gov—costing 59 percent more than comparable private-sector jobs, and are less productive, so eliminating 40,000 would fund 70,000 private jobs. For example, much of Caltrans is idle [state Legislative Analyst Office report] since few highway funds for contractors remain after compensations are paid; it should be privatized: design and build has worked well here in emergency situations, as it does in many Canadian provinces.

F. Paul Brady

Here’s what a Lt. Governor does

Re “Vote with us!” (SN&R Opinion, October 21):

You may forgive Gavin Newsom, because he did not know what the lieutenant governor does and is just using the office for the next move on the political chessboard, as [Jerry] Brown pushed him out of the way.

But then you ask, “Does anybody know what a lieutenant governor actually does?” Well, yes. The lieutenant governor sits on several important boards and commissions.

Maybe I know because I am the Peace and Freedom Party nominee for lieutenant governor. If elected, as the chair of the Commission for Economic Development, I would offer a new approach to the unemployment crisis. Capitalism has failed to create jobs for society. The other candidates want to offer tax breaks and other incentives to big corporations. We need jobs, and if the private sector cannot provide them, then it is the responsibility of the public sector to do so. We need massive public-works programs to rebuild California.

California is a rich state, but over the years the superrich and their corporations have shifted the tax burden from themselves to working people. We need to shift it back to those who get wealthy off the system. As a member of the State Lands Commission, I would fight to keep offshore oil drilling away from California. Did you know that California is the only oil-producing state that does not tax the oil that is extracted from the ground? If Alaska, Texas and the other states can tax the oil extraction, so can California.

As a member of CSU Board of Trustees and the UC Board of Regents, I would do all I could to slash student fees. I would not have been able to afford what students are paying today and may not have been able to receive my undergraduate and masters degrees.

That is some of what the lieutenant governor does. I don’t think the lieutenant governor has time to sit around and look through the obituaries to see if the governor’s name is there.

C.T. Weber
Peace and Freedom Party candidate for Lt. Governor

Dance confidently

Re “Strong and sexy” by Jamie Santiago (SN&R 15 Minutes, October 21):

Awesome article about pole dancing! As a dancer/performer myself, I’ve always seen pole dancing as an art and, obviously, its sexiness; it’s no wonder why it can help women with their self-confidence. This article has done a terrific job of pointing out its great qualities and positive affects. Thank you so much for sharing!

Christine Matutis