Letters for October 8, 2009

Letter of the week
Dangerous dogs

Re “Pit bull makeover” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Frontlines, September 24):

My son was attacked by two pit bulls while going to get our car. Hearing him yell, his uncle, stepfather and I ran up the hill. To escape continued attacks, we all got on the roof of a small white car with blood dripping all over it. A neighbor hit one of the dogs as hard as he could three times in the head with a crowbar—it didn’t faze the dog. Another neighbor came out, was knocked over by the dog, which then ripped open his leg also (he needed skin grafts). The dog was going toward the man’s throat when a cop intervened; the dog then started toward the cop, who shot it with a 9mm gun through its chest. It did slow down, but it kept attacking. Four big, strong men went to the emergency room.

My son was 20 years old, lifted weights and ran a marathon. He was in great shape, and he still couldn’t get away from the dogs. Perhaps the dogs’ jaws don’t “lock,” but they bite deeply and don’t let go while tearing the flesh away.

The pit bulls are not getting a bad rap. Pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers are the dogs with the highest attack and killing statistics. Some dogs are born retrievers, some herders; pit bulls are instinctively born fighters—and they fight to win and they fight to kill. I’m sure there are some kind ones, but like a wild cougar or tiger or lion, they have an innate attack gene.

I think pit bulls are dangerous animals, yet should have a good place to live—perhaps in the country, in fenced areas that are safe—but not in the city, not around people, especially children. At the very least—register it as a vicious animal, put a microchip in it so it can be located and use a choke collar—any other collar is like a fashion scarf.

S. Petersen Young

Streetalker for sheriff?

Re “What’s wrong with kids these days?” (SN&R Streetalk, October 1) and “I’m not the sheriff” by Anthony Pignataro (SN&R Frontlines, October 1):

I nominate Carla Grayson for Sacramento County sheriff. Judging from her remarks in the Streetalk feature, she has a firm grasps of the ailments that afflict our streets. I believe she will put the well-being of our future above her own political career. And I think she will be tough on crime, especially the drug dealers who rule our neighborhoods.

C.J. Torres
via e-mail

Great title, R.V.

Re “Dead man talking” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, October 1):

Great article. And your last line showed me what I should have titled the book: Osama bin Laden: Dead Man Talking.

David Griffin
via e-mail

Editor’s note: David Griffin is the author of Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?

Get a clue, Tim

Re “Get a clue, Michael” by Tim McGarry (SN&R Essay, October 1):

While Mr. McGarry is correct in saying that the demise of newspapers is due to the Internet; i.e., technology or the medium of journalistic delivery, that really wasn’t Michael Moore’s core point at his Toronto press conference at all.

What Moore said, to roughly paraphrase, was that newspaper editorials, driven by corporate advertisers, typically endorse the political party (Republican) whose platform is to cut public education, which thereby constrains newspaper circulation (readership) from reading and understanding what’s in the newspaper—an interesting and quite plausible argument. Moore’s dismissive “good riddance” regarding newspapers is simply the hyperbole that folks like Moore resort to in order to be heard, much like the Limbaughs, Coulters, Becks, Olbermanns, Maddows and Matthews who have such a national following.

My take: To quote Mr. McGarry, “The biggest problem with Moore’s [delete ‘Moore’s’ and insert ‘McGarry’s’ here] arguments is that they are simply beside the point.” In other words, “Get a clue, Tim!”

Democracy cannot survive without (good, free and honest) journalism, but may have to learn to survive without daily hard-copy newspapers—a point exemplified by media like the excellent, informative and interactive www.newsreview.com/snog, where, by the way, you may view the Moore press conference and vet my interpretation, and which explains why SN&R, but not The Sacramento Bee, is likely to survive.

Chuck McIntyre

Christians need to start talking

Re “Losing his religion” by Becca Costello (SN&R Sacreligious! October 1):

I think this is where many Christians or seekers get lost in translation. Many times, as people try to seek out who God is, the church world focuses more on the regulations of Christianity than the freedom.

God did not orchestrate the Bible to be mean and create a list of rules we cannot measure up to. He knew that some actions will cause more long-term pain and emptiness, rather than joy and peace. Yet he has given us free will to make these decisions, like this man’s dad did, and like the Bible says, his actions caused pain not just himself but for others he influenced.

God allows us to have choices and with those choices come consequences. Thus, the freedom of God comes from obedience, and with that obedience we can experience freedom from guilt, freedom from addiction, freedom from worry. The freedom comes from knowing who God is personally to us, being able to trust in a God who cares for us, believing in him and knowing that he is forgiving. God knows all things, so he isn’t surprised by our actions. And yet he continually gives us the option to receive him as our Lord.

Christians need to start having conversations with each other instead of simply condemning sin; we would experience more freedom within ourselves and be able to communicate better with others.

Nichole Ellstrom

Faith is complex and nuanced

Re “Losing his religion” by Becca Costello (SN&R Sacreligious! October 1):

I like this article. I think it—and John Ross—do justice to the nuance and complexity of finding and/or losing faith. Also, [it shows] the reality that there are some versions of the Christian faith that aren’t helpful for intelligent, thoughtful people today. Thanks, Becca!

Marc Holland

Shame on you, Jonathan

Re “So much Moore” by Jonathan Kiefer (SN&R Film, October 1):

[Michael] Moore is without doubt our modern-day version of the muckraker. He serves a great purpose—rubbing our noses in the truth we so often try to wish away—that we are responsible (through negligence if not directly) for unleashing on the world the most corrupt economic system ever devised. Capitalism mandates a form of slavery, forcing down wages and impoverishing the vast majority of humankind while enriching a relative few.

Jonathan Kiefer asks for Moore’s alternative. Any child could develop a better alternative to an economic system run on greed. Children know that to share is always best, and only after we become indoctrinated into the American religion of capitalism do we forget that simple truth and head off willy-nilly to subjugate and oppress masses of people in the name of personal gain.

Shame on us, and shame on you, Jonathan, for succumbing to the insidious pressure of your corporate masters’ will.

Jerry Tamburino

He’s tired of reading about his brain

Re “Are you tired of your stupid, good for nothing brain?” by Matt Perry (SN&R Feature, September 24):

No, I’m just tired of SN&R running stories about the brain. Is this becoming an every-other-month theme?

via e-mail

Pit bull time bomb

Re “Pit bull makeover” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Frontlines, September 24):

You all know that great weekend promenade in Venice Beach? I can’t go anymore because of the abundance of pit bulls on the end of their chain-link leashes, their owners as vile in the eyes as their demonic dogs.

If I see one here in town, I cross the street. Pit bulls are time bombs waiting to go off. Their owners are as unstable as their hellish dogs.

William J. Hughes

Jackass holding the leash

Re “Pit bull makeover” by Rachel Leibrock (SN&R Frontlines, September 24):

Thanks for a good and much-needed article.

My wife and I live in Auburn and have had a rescue pit bull mix for six years. He is a nondominant, goofy and very loving animal who adds immensely to our household, including a cat and a horse. He obeys voice commands beautifully and is a credit to his breed.

We just recently had an unfortunate pit bull attack here in town that has inflamed people against the breed yet again. It’s so sad to realize that the true nature of this problem lies not with the dogs themselves, but with the typical aggressive, jackass male behavior that creates most of the world’s problems. It would be far more useful to focus on that than trying to eliminate the breed.

Without pit bulls, the same idiots would just turn to Rottweilers, German shepherds or some other dog to serve their egos and aggressions. Don’t blame the dogs!

Randy Michaels

He liked the ending

Re “Tea bags for two” by R.V. Scheide (SN&R Race to the Bottom, September 24):

Good grief. I like the conclusion in the last paragraph, but the lead-up made me want to chuck up my lunch.

Donald Rae
via e-mail

Discriminate and lose the holy spirit

Re “Southern Baptist sisters” by Gina Finn (SN&R Sacreligious! September 24):

It is nice that the Southern Baptist Convention retains the old-fashioned views that men are supposed to be the protectors for women. That is rare in many areas in this day.

But an extremely pertinent fact within the Gospel of Jesus Christ is intentionally disregarded by the majority of people who claim to be followers of the way, the truth and the life. For one of the top messages from Jesus Christ, the news of his resurrection, he commissioned a woman, Mary Magdalene, to go and tell the disciples that he had risen. But did the men take the message that she was sent with seriously? Or did they discount her words? They dismissed her as simply crazy—that is until Jesus Christ himself reaffirmed the message he commissioned her to speak.

Discrimination has no place within the body of Christ, for each person is a vital part of the body, including women. It’s amusing to me that Jesus Christ sent one of his most vital messages to the disciples and the world, the message of his resurrection, through a woman. Yet to this day many men refuse to allow women to do what Jesus Christ himself exhorts them to do.

So how well do they really follow, when they block his Holy Spirit from flowing and cause the living water of God to become stagnant?

Kathryn Haseltine-McConkey
North Highlands


In “I’m not the sheriff” by Anthony Pignataro (SN&R Frontlines, October 1), the Elk Grove city attorney from May 2000 was misidentified. The city attorney at that time was Tony Manzanetti. We regret the error. This has been corrected online.