Letters for November 9, 2000

Hypocritical or unpredictable?

Re Gore endorsement and “Political Shift … and Shiftiness” by SN&R staff, Bill Bradley (SN&R, Oct. 26):

I find it hypocritical of your paper (whose claim to fame is alternative news) to endorse a candidate like Gore. His record speaks for itself.

Unfortunately, your contributing editor Bill Bradley lacks the basic skills in good investigative journalism. Or maybe he just picked up the Bee and regurgitated. If he had ventured beyond the limited sphere of corporate news and done a little homework, your readers may have come away just a little more enlightened.

I find it difficult to [understand] how any person with a conscience could vote for Gore (or Bush for that matter), who thinks it is OK to let 750,000 Iraqi children starve to death, all in the name of “national security.” To date, 1.5 million Iraqi people have died because of our 10-year United States/NATO-backed food and medicine embargo. [Would Bradley vote] for a candidate who espouses a woman’s right to choose, but as a senator voted to approve conservative anti-abortion justice Anthony Scalia to the Supreme Court? To have Bradley suggest Gore is a pro-environmental candidate, I say go back and do your homework. His record speaks for itself.

Rose Taylor Rocklin

Gore may be boring, but …

Re Streetalk (SN&R, Oct. 26):

While people are entitled to their opinions, it remains painfully clear how ignorant and gullible people are in this country.

You do not pick a president as you would pick a buddy. It’s not a popularity contest but simply a choice between the most qualified candidates. Gore may be boring, but he is more qualified. He tells you what he’s going to do and how he’s going to do it. Bush tells you something needs to be done about something and that he will do something.

Here is my message to anyone out there who may vote for Bush. If you are a minority, female, gay or anyone who makes less than 100K per year, the Republicans will do nothing for you. They tell you everything you want to hear but will never do it. Think Deukmejian or Wilson if you need an example.

Baron Latour Sacramento

Hey, there are other issues

Re “Political Shift … and Shiftiness” by Bill Bradley (SN&R, Oct. 26):

Your article about Proposition 34 left me spitting vinegar. Like Jim Knox of Common Cause, I am offended to the core by the actions of Burton, Johnson, Granlund and their co-conspirators.

Once again, the California Legislature has shown its utter contempt for the voting public. They must think we just fell off the back of the hay wagon.

Rigging an election by appointing a phony opposition and shutting out the real opposition is what we expect in some far-off banana republic … not here in these United States. Legislators once again forget they are not little princes and princesses.

They are public servants and should be replaced when they fail to do their job. They got busted for an overly generous retirement system, and now they’re trying to weasel into PERS. When they attempted a last-minute handout in September for their former legislative cronies, that was crass.

Now we have the Prop. 34 fiasco, which smells criminal. Legislators from either party who might come to Sacramento with lofty ideals and good intentions soon succumb to the temptations under the golden dome. Rather than rewarding bright ideas and individual conscience, the Legislature rewards sucking up to legislative leaders and sucking in campaign cash. Everything the Legislature does these days seems to be geared toward paying back their big donors, expanding their power, raising money and staying in office.

Obviously, Prop. 34 should be rejected. But that’s not enough. The Attorney General, the FPPC and the Secretary of State should investigate whether Granlund’s obvious conflict of interest violates his oath of office or the law. The rest of them should just resign. Frankly, I’d like to see all of them in jail; that’s the only new “term” these jokers deserve. Kudos to Steven T. Jones and the SN&R for a well-done exposé.

Bob Horowitz Sacramento

HMOs smeared

Re “Pap Test Smeared” by Amy Yannello (SN&R News, Oct. 19):

I was appalled [to learn from] your article, “Pap Test Smeared,” that Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) are not required to provide women with the best health care possible. Cervical cancer takes the lives of 5,000 women a year. The new ThinPrep test provides women with more accurate Pap smear results than a traditional test and prevents the long, drawn-out process of frustration and anxiety following inconclusive test results.

With so many inconclusive tests each year, it is ridiculous that HMOs do not cover a more accurate test while public agencies such as Medi-Cal, Medicare and even Planned Parenthood do. The ThinPrep not only provides better results for detecting pre-cancerous cells, it also tests for the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease known to cause cervical cancer. More conclusive tests prevent months of waiting for accurate results and unnecessary invasive procedures, such as biopsies and colposcopies. Women should not be subjected to a problem that can be quickly eradicated by new, better technologies.

The ThinPrep test is a superior alternative to traditional Pap smear tests, and women need to be aware of its availability and be secure knowing that their HMO covers the test.

Sarah Hyde Rancho Cordova

Balanchine musically inclined

Re: “How to Kill a Princess,” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Arts & Culture, Oct. 19):

I was happy to see your article promoting the Sacramento Ballet and the start of its season. I have seen the major ballet companies from all over the world, and, in my opinion, Sacramento is extremely lucky to have such a world-class caliber of artistic directors and dancers. Mr. Scheide’s article was informative.

However, I was floored when he said that Balanchine’s dance style focused on movement first and musicality second. He could not be more wrong! I consider George Balanchine (ballet) and Mark Morris (modern dance) two of the greatest choreographers of all time primarily because it is music that is at the core of their creative genius. In Balanchine’s ballets, it is the movement, inspired by the music, that evokes a story. He derived his choreographic ideas from music, unlike others whose direction was against music or detached from it.

Susana Halfon via e-mail

So this is not defensive?

Re “Ignorant Anti-Hero” (SN&R Letters, Oct. 19):

Thank you, Jared, for reading the article on economic globalization. Your response proves how misdirected and out-of-context our society is by your judgment of activists who protest at economic demonstrations such as the one in Praha.

What is this issue about, Jared? Is it about me and the fragments of misinterpreted information printed in the article? Don’t always believe everything you read, kids! I almost decided to respond to your letter with defense and clarification of what the hacked-up quotes in the story really mean, but it is not worth justifying myself to you, so I will not explain.

I do not know you, Jared, so I will not judge you, but you should consider those whom you speak so poorly of in your letter. The activist [that] you’re ashamed to be. They are not the enemy that your little mind has gotten so worked up about. They are not ignorant as you say just because some of them can’t afford to be so-called “intellectuals.” Serious intellectuals will do nothing for debt relief to third-world nations if they don’t do a thing about it after they read the truth. These people you degrade, as well as myself, were tear-gassed and beat for what we believe in, and all you can do is shit-talk about us. You say I knew nothing from what you read. Well, growing up poor encouraged me to learn who oppressed us, so don’t tell me I knew nothing before I read the propaganda that you know nothing about. But then I didn’t expect you to know that, because it doesn’t matter, as again, the problem has been overlooked due to attack politics and the nature of misinformed, radio America.

Jared, all the time you spent thinking and writing about how unfortunate our rebellions are, you could have [written] an article informing people of what was left out, for that matter. Or even initiated a protest on the destruction of the Headwaters and other old-growth forests. Until you decide to become a positive ambassador of our movement, please don’t help; you are only part of the problem when you belittle your brothers and sisters of the world. Do not place yourself on a higher pedestal than others; you are not any better than the next person because of what you call intellect. When you begin to understand that you don’t understand, you can then search for the truth. Until then, I will see you at the next protest, brother.

Garrett Adams Sacramento

Yeah, but he’s a good-looking schmo

Re “In the Mix” by Daniel Barnes (SN&R, Oct. 19):

That was a mighty piss-poor review of John Hiatt’s new album Crossing Muddy Waters.

Whether the reviewer liked or disliked the album is beside the point, as he was too busy being “clever” to really address the issue. Part of the reason Hiatt has never received the acclaim due him is that he doesn’t make records for teenagers.

But another part of it is that when a publication such as yours does give him an inch or two of attention, you assign some schmo like Daniel Barnes to do the deed, and all he can talk about is Hiatt being ugly. (Yes, Daniel, it’s obvious that Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello achieved stardom because of their good looks.) Surely the SN&R can do better than this kind of sub-Tiger Beat bullshit. Maybe even discuss the music next time. And, by the way, Hiatt isn’t ugly … he’s just normal-looking, like most of us.

Jon Hartley Fox Sacramento