Letters for October 13, 2005

Free is where it’s at

Re “The geeks shall inherit the earth” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Cover, October 6):

The real difference between a daily paper (or anything in print) and an online source (such as Craigslist or a blog) is that when you send an e-mail to an online source, you get a response from someone nice like Craig. When you send an e-mail to something like a newspaper, you either don’t get a response, or some son-of-a-bitch responds who thinks you’re not good enough to wipe the dog crap off their shoes.

I wouldn’t be worried unless those black Craigslist shirts start getting handed out for free. Then you’ve got another “Is Wal-Mart Good for America” DVD to make, where all anyone cares about are everyday low prices.

Online is where it’s at. Free is where it’s at, not making people register. People have to care, which I think is a major problem. People in ivory towers are in friggin’ bubbles, and they think nobody will ever walk in and punch them in the face. I think that’s what wrong with a lot of businesses today: People think they can treat you like crap and remain millionaires.

Noah Kameyer
via e-mail

Best bookstores facing extinction

Re “Best of Sacramento” (SN&R Cover, September 29):

SN&R’s discontinuation of the “Best used bookstore” as a readers’-choice category last year was truly prescient. Now the only books category is “Best bookstore,” and the chains have pretty much got it sewn up.

We appreciate that the writers’-choice awards have tried to make up for it by recognizing the local poetry selection at The Book Collector and the Jack London mural at Beers Books, but it’s not quite the same.

As one of the smaller used bookstores in Sac, we rarely made it into the top three. But what matters to us is the idea that used bookstores are one of the most valuable resources in a vital city. Ten years ago, there were a dozen used bookstores in the central Sacramento area. Now there are five.

Traveling to 2020: “Sacramentans have realized that used bookstores are more than just a place to save money and that shopping online somehow isn’t as satisfying. Sadly, no used bookstores remain.”

Rachel Hansen
The Book Collector

‘Damnrat’ Democrats!

Re “Practice unity, reject neocons” (SN&R Letters, September 29):

Chuck McIntyre’s letter misses many points and is intellectually dishonest.

The mayor of New Orleans was “hiding” in the Hyatt for days, the governor of Louisiana was in seclusion in Baton Rouge, and McIntyre blames the “inaction” of President Bush and [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] for the problems in rescuing people.

It takes time to rescue people with choppers; even more time if you are being fired on, as was widely reported. New Orleans had school buses and other modes of transport that were pre-positioned and were not used. Have you seen the pictures of the flooded parked yellow buses? Yet, McIntyre proceeds to blame the wrong people in the usual “damnrat” [Democrat] way.

The way disaster response works is through the chain of leadership: city, state and then federal government. But the President Bush haters will stop at nothing—as does the totally irresponsible press—to tell false stories without pinning the blame where it belongs. It was the hurricane, a city that gambled as it has in the past, hoodlums and thieves, and the state of Louisiana that were principally to blame for the problems.

As for federal staffing, I, unlike McIntyre, want to see a hell of a lot less of it. Does McIntyre work for the government that takes our tax money and produces very little? The government is too self-serving and too secular. McIntyre just wants more “damnrats,” which is what most in the government are, feeding off the taxpayers who actually are at risk in business and paying taxes.

McIntyre is also wrong in claiming that this country was known for its unity and community prior to President Bush. Look at the early history of this country: the Civil War, the conflict over the ratification of the U.S. Constitution (first ratified by Delaware in 1787, but not until 1791 by Vermont, the last of the original 13 states) and all the other conflicts between at least two parties over the years. Where is the “nation formerly known for its unity and community”?

Nick Schrier

Initiative enchilada

Re “Cartoon” by Kloss (SN&R Opinion, September 29):

How refreshing to get a straightforward rendering of some of the measures in November’s “proposition pandemonium”! Kloss’ not-so-subtle message is clear, not at all like any of the inane and misleading TV sound bites.

As a taxpayer and voter, I find the whole initiative enchilada irritating and depressing. We recalled a governor who did nothing but raise money for campaigns and elected a governor who does nothing but raise money for campaigns and pass the “decision-making buck” to voters via propositions. Time, money and energy are invested in the ballot box with no return.

For busy folks who haven’t time to read SN&R’s excellent coverage to decipher the propositions, my humble suggestion is that they not read or watch any political advertising for the propositions. All of it (even for the good ones) is purposely misleading. Simply vote No on all of them. Why? Just a few of the major reasons:

These propositions represent a breakdown of representative government; the Legislature and governor won’t address or haven’t been able to come up with a solution to an issue, cannot reach compromise and generally aren’t earning the salaries we pay them. Government by initiative simply lets those elected—who should be making public policy—“off the hook.” Solution: Vote out incumbents who operate this way and elect new representatives who will legislate and secure solutions to our problems and perhaps improve or eliminate the initiative process. It’s not working.

Every proposition carries with it the agenda of a special-interest group, and, as a result, its content likely does not embody the interest of the public at large. Often the poorly written measures can’t withstand legal challenge in the courts. Consequently, the issues they are meant to resolve go unresolved for years.

Despite the best efforts of the state’s legislative analyst—she’s charged with determining the fiscal impact of propositions—the costs of these measures are generally uncertain or unknown. Proposition authors have no incentive to be concerned and every incentive to mask the costs, knowing that voters like me would turn down an otherwise-OK measure if it adds to the debt that Californians’ kids and grandkids will have to repay.

Chuck McIntyre

Don’t fear Harry— fear God!

Re “Who’s afraid of Harry Potter” (SN&R Guest comment, September 29):

The Rev. Brandon Austin criticizes fundamentalist Christians who “fear” the occultism in the Harry Potter books. The Methodist Church he belongs to makes the same mistake on occultism as it does in the promotion of other such behaviors, such as homosexuality.

It’s not “occult-phobia,” but a passionate cry for people to “fear” the word of the Heavenly Father who loves us and doesn’t want the world of sin to separate us from him and destroy us.

A “minister” (who, by the way, has no business holding a worldly title as “reverend” or “father” or whatever) has to ask why not be obsessed with Christ, rather than Harry Potter? Christ beats those Harry Potter occultists for all eternity because Christ defeated the power of evil and darkness and delivers people from Satan.

But, like many fancy-schmancy churches, the Methodist church is also no longer helping people to stop sinning and be saved from the destruction of degenerate worldly things. The street ministers are the only ones left anymore who dare teach “Ye headed for hell, lest ye repent.”

Michelle Kunert

Happy in Del Paso Nuevo

Re “There goes the neighborhood” by Mosi Reeves (SN&R News, September 22):

I am a resident of Del Paso Nuevo and am very happy with my home. It is well-built, and the neighborhood is well-designed.

There are always items that need to be addressed after purchasing a new home. This is true in Del Paso Nuevo and any other new housing development. The article in SN&R overstates the level of dissatisfaction among the residents of Del Paso Nuevo. There may be a few who are not satisfied, but the majority are happy with their homes.

Del Paso Nuevo homes feature neighborhood-friendly designs with porches in front and detached garages in back. The neighborhood is a great place to live, with two city parks nearby, a community center and close proximity to downtown.

For the record, I have no connection with the builder or the redevelopment agency. Del Paso Nuevo is a great neighborhood and will continue to be for years to come.

Gregg M. Wardrip