Letters for September 11, 2003

Did she say oui?

Re “Arnold, uncut” (SN&R Cover, September 4):

I am very concerned that SN&R, like other news outlets, continues to refer to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s history of participating in “group sex” or “orgies.” As I understand those terms, they refer to groups of three or more consensual adults engaging in sexual activities. However one might feel about such activities, they seem to differ markedly from the things Arnold engaged in, based on his own words.

In the now-infamous Oui interview, which was published some years ago, Schwarzenegger was quoted as saying, “once, in Gold’s”—the gym in Venice, Calif., where all the top guys train—“there was a black girl who came out naked. Everybody jumped on her and took her upstairs, where we all got together.” He was then asked if he meant that he had participated in a “gang bang,” and he said, “Yes, but not everybody, just the guys who can fuck in front of other guys.”

Now, maybe it’s just me, but a group of guys jumping on a girl, taking her upstairs and gang-banging her does not sound like consensual activity between adults. From what I have read, when Arnold was first asked about this, he denied remembering the interview. Significantly, perhaps, he did not deny remembering the incident.

Later, he said he would not have made some of the statements he made in his youth had he known he was going to someday run for governor. This implies that he agrees that the implications of this earlier interview are quite negative, and his only defense is not that he shouldn’t have done the act in question but only that he probably shouldn’t have spoken of it.

Still later, he has claimed that he made things up for interviews in those days, hoping to gain publicity for his fledgling film career. Of course, this also implies that he thought that his purported participation in what sounds a lot like the crime of rape in concert had positive publicity value, which certainly would call his judgment into question.

So, although a person’s youthful indiscretions may not be a good reason to vote against him years later, Arnold’s statements in Oui raise questions as to whether or not youthful indiscretions are all that went on in that gym.

Paul Gerowitz

Taxpayers can’t afford Kings tix, let alone an arena

Re “They play, you pay” by Jeff Kearns (SN&R Cover, August 28):

More taxes? If the Maloofs want the arena, why are they willing to only contribute a measly $73 million out of their hundreds of millions of income from Las Vegas and the Kings? Why put it on our backs? Why is the public responsible?

Let the mayor, the season-ticket holders and the major heirs of the income, the Maloofs, carry the burden. Why should we, who can’t even afford to go to a game, shoulder any part of this Maloof monument?

We have enough monuments to the overpaid city and government workers. They can afford to attend the games after their workday in new, unnecessary office buildings. I can hardly keep my 13-year-old car on the road, let alone go to a Kings game.

Beverly Nelson

The taming of the spinmeister

Re “Dear Clueless in Sacramento” (SN&R Letters, August 28):

With apologies to Shakespeare, Governor Gray Davis’ spinmeister, Steven Maviglio, doth protest too much, methinks, in his letter responding to Jill Stewart’s Capitol Punishment column.

All us “commoners” know the truth about his boss. Let’s look at Davis’ dismal record:

In five short years, Davis took us from a $12 billion surplus to a nearly $40 billion deficit—more than the deficits of all other states combined.

He’s been perpetually running for office, instead of running the office. He’s built prisons for nonviolent offenders to employ more prison guards—prison guards who gave big bucks to Davis—while schools take big budget hits.

He’s backed tripling car fees. This will harm lower-income citizens. He now pleads ignorance.

He’s backed raising the state sales tax even though California has the second highest in the nation. He’s backed invoking a new state income tax on the wealthy. Their sin is creating jobs in the state. He’s failed to focus on soaring workers’ compensation costs or to solve skyrocketing energy costs. This is driving businesses and jobs out of state: 250,000 jobs have left California already; more are leaving daily.

Now, let’s see Maviglio put his spin on these facts.

Frank Stephens
Shingle Springs

We were with you until the fluoride

Re “They play, you pay” by Jeff Kearns (SN&R Cover, August 28):

Remember when Mayor Joe Serna wanted to tear down Memorial Auditorium for a convention-center annex? Ever notice how Sacramento’s “homeless” have a knack for accidentally burning down historic properties that get in the way of developers? Remember how Serna and his minions shoved fluoride into our water despite three votes by the people against it? And don’t you love how Sacramento’s developers, Tsakapoulos and Angelides, always manage to trash carefully drafted neighborhood plans for their latest cultural and historical strip-mining projects?

Given this track record, I’m confident that Tammany Hall—er, the Sacramento City Council, that is—will find a way to drop $600 million into the pockets of their political patrons. I love it. We don’t have money for replacing the sewers in downtown, no money for our parks, no money for police or firefighters, but we can always count on the Democrats to work hard at finding $600 million of ours to give to their pals.

If they can’t find it, you can bet they’ll make us pay higher taxes to foot the bill by threatening cuts in services unless we pay protection money to their pals.

I’m so stinking sick of the corruption in this town! Aren’t you?

Peter Finn

Car-registration math 101

Re “America’s next top super governor” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol Punishment, August 21):

More often than not, Jill Stewart is correct in her assessment of political matters, but I sure wish she’d get the automobile-registration-fee info right.

When the fee was dropped by two-thirds because the state had money, it was clearly stated that, if that state developed financial need, the car fee would return to its old level. That’s obviously triple what it had been dropped to. And that’s all that happened.

Davis has done plenty wrong—especially pandering to the prison guards—and so have the Senate and Assembly (including Republicans), but they didn’t cause Texas energy companies to steal $10 billion or so from Californians. Davis didn’t cause the national economy to falter, costing the state billions in income and business taxes. And Davis didn’t increase the car fee.

Randy McClure

Mulholland re-argues

Re “Changing events nullify Mulholland’s arguments” (SN&R Letters, August 21):

In response to a recent letter to the editor, I would like to make some points.

Yes, Darrell Issa has dropped out. Issa was the arsonist who funded this recall circus but who now has fled the fire scene.

Yes, Democratic Governor Gray Davis was re-elected with less than 50 percent of the vote, but how come the Republicans didn’t make that point when Republican Pete Wilson was elected governor in 1990 with less than 50 percent of the vote?

And how about Bush Jr.? Not only didn’t he get anywhere near 50 percent, but he came in second place in 2000 and was able to steal the election with a 5-4 Supreme Court fix.

California should vote no on this risky and costly Republican recall. Just say no to the Pete Wilson-Arnold Schwarzenegger-Proposition 187 team.

Bob Mulholland
California Democratic Party campaign adviser

Bush unfair and imbalanced

Re “We should live with the consequences of elections” (SN&R Letters, August 21):

Mr. Avila suggests in his letter that no one is calling for the recall of President Bush. Apparently, he has not been looking beyond the corporate mass media for his news.

Thousands of Americans have signed a petition asking for the impeachment of President Bush.

Ramsey Clark, U.S. attorney general during the Johnson administration, has drafted articles of impeachment setting forth high crimes and misdemeanors by President Bush and other civil officers of his administration.

President Bush is accused of crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity. No crimes are greater threats to the Constitution of the United States, the U.N. charter, the rule of law or the future of humanity.

To learn more, see www.votetoimpeach.org.

Imagine: If we had a fair and balanced media in this country, everyone would know about this.

B. Lambert

Juvenile reviewer available

Re “Burning love” by Lark Park (SN&R Dish, August 21):

Hey guys, I’ve got an 8-year-old boy who has a wealth of scatological humor and fart jokes. Can he write restaurant reviews for Lark Park when she’s on vacation? If so, I’ll fax his résumé right over.

Having just read Park’s latest review, my 8-year-old would be perfect for the job—if you can stand the sound effects.

John Gage