Letters for September 22, 2005

Kettle, meet Pot

Re “Inside the Bee’s Ivory Tower” by Jeffrey M. Barker (SN&R Cover, September 15):

The article’s subhead claims to be “Pulling back the curtain on the capital city’s daily ink-and-newsprint opinion makers. Are they really mouthpieces for the Democrats? And is anybody paying attention to what they write?”

Pot, allow me to introduce Kettle.

What’s that, Pot?

Yes, thank you. We’re all aware Kettle is black.

Chad Vander Veen
via e-mail

At least the Army is an opportunity

Re “Jason, Josh and Heather” (SN&R Editorial, September 15):

After reading this editorial and already kind of knowing that soldiers were/will be drawn from kids with poor grades and limited opportunities, well, I wasn’t so sure about the poor grades. Don’t you have to pass a test to get into the Army?

I know all too well about limited opportunities. As a blogger, eBay seller and once-seasonal and part-time employee for a few places, I may know about Photoshop and HTML, but, armed with only a high-school diploma, I am unable to even get an interview at In-N-Out Burger or Bakers Square let alone everywhere else I apply on a nonstop basis, such as SN&R, to name one of the better places. So, even though I may never volunteer for the volunteer Army, it sometimes does appear to me to be an opportunity in my very, very limited opportunity world.

Noah Kameyer
via e-mail

Keepin’ on with the poets

Re “The grief wrangler” by Kel Munger (SN&R Arts&culture, September 15):

Thank you so much for such an insightful and beautiful review. I’ve found both of Joshua McKinney’s books wonderful, for very different reasons.

“Keep on keepin’ on” with these wonderful stories on the poets of Sacramento.

Patricia D’Alessandro
Sky Valley

Commie mimes for free

Re “Mime is money” by Jonathan Kiefer (SN&R Night&day, September 15):

This past Sunday, I attended the “free” performance in downtown Sacramento by a National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored group called the San Francisco Mime Troupe, who must be Communist sympathizers left in their own imaginary world.

For example, a song-and-dance number in their performance, “Doing Good,” which portrayed an Ecuadorian peasant woman in the 1960s demonstrating against her country being “victimized” by handouts and corporate investments from wealthy capitalist America and the Western world, was just unbelievable, and I’m highly doubtful that it ever happened.

Although highly unusual and extraordinary for Third World countries to ever refuse any American aid, this play blames America for starting to place nations under debt in the 1960s but never criticizes the actions of the Soviet Union and Red China.

However, a piece that appeared to fail in provoking any sympathetic pity from even a presumably liberal-minded audience was a portrayal of an Iranian Muslim revolutionary in the 1970s who kidnaps an American businessman as a hostage and tortures him while spouting anti-American tirades, using his religion to justify violent terrorism.

How ironic that these “artists” get taxpayer support and then bash America with nothing positive. They put on “free” performances because the majority of people outside of cities like San Francisco just likely wouldn’t pay admission to see them.

Michelle Kunert

No turtles and logs, just yohms and chughs

Re “The Intelligent Designer returns to the drawing board” by Jaime O’Neill (SN&R Essay, September 8):

Jaime O’Neill believes creation of the universe by an Intelligent Designer is “far-fetched” because some humans have chosen to use their intelligence in destructive ways. His premise reminds me of one Bible writer’s observation that “men speak abusively of the things of which they are ignorant” (2 Peter 2:12).

O’Neill’s ridicule “that the world was created in six days” isn’t based on what Genesis says but on the teachings of Christendom and his ignorance of Hebrew word meanings.

According to Genesis, the Earth, sun, moon and stars were already in existence before the first day began (1:1-3). Moses used the Hebrew word yohm (day) to describe each of the six time periods God spent in the process of preparing Earth for life. Yohm defines the time between the beginning and ending of a certain task: four hours, a day, a thousand years.

Genesis 2:4 sums up the six creative days as one all-inclusive yohm: “This is a history of the heavens and the earth in the time of their being created, in the day” of their creation. Each creative day could have been thousands, millions or billions of years long.

Eons before the era of Hubble, Isaiah used the Hebrew word chugh, defined as “circle, round, sphere,” to describe Earth’s shape (Isaiah 40:22). Job said Earth hangs in space “on nothing” (Job 26:7). How did these men know the Earth is round and unsupported in space? Someone who knew taught them.

Diane Church

Not fair to eat animals

Re “Fairs are for kids” by Chrisanne Beckner (SN&R 15 minutes, September 8):

I looked at the photo of Jessica Reitz, graduate from 4-H to veterinary school, a few times over; nope, no rose-colored glasses. So, I reread the copy a few times looking for the truth of farm animals and couldn’t find that either. Then I saw why; her reasons for deciding to go to vet school have nothing to do with the animals!

As with many veterinarians, Reitz does not practice by the Hippocratic Oath, which states that they solemnly swear to use their scientific knowledge and skills to relieve animal suffering. If she did, she could not be part of a food system that tortures animals every step of the way.

Apparently, fairs are for kids, but the truth about factory farming is not, and I doubt Reitz will be telling everybody who visits her and the animals at the fair what really happens to those animals before they land on your plate.

Every year, billions of animals are raised and then killed early in their natural life span simply to satisfy the appetites of humans. Adding to the tragedy of this unnecessary killing, the majority of these animals are raised on factory-style farms, where they cease being pigs, chickens and cows and become animal production units. Treated like machines, they are crammed into tiny cages or crowded pens and undergo painful mutilations and surgical procedures performed without anesthetic, all so that farmers can maximize production (i.e., profit).

Since Reitz probably won’t listen to me, maybe she can get the plain truth from a cattle rancher who won’t eat meat and pick up a copy of Howard Lyman’s new book, No More Bull! The Mad Cowboy Targets America’s Worst Enemy: Our Diet. And for everyone out there who says they love animals, visit www.ChooseVeggie.com, get the truth about eating meat, and learn to truly love animals by not eating them.

Sharie Lesniak

Governor targets teachers

Re “Mr. Nice Guy” by Jill Stewart (SN&R Capitol punishment, September 1):

Propositions 74, 75 and 76 are a triple whammy aimed at public schools. Governor Schwarzenegger wrote Proposition 74 to punish teachers for opposing his raid on public-school funding. Under Proposition 74, new teachers would become at-will employees, subject to dismissal without cause for five years. Veteran teachers would lose the right to a hearing before dismissal. These punitive and regressive ideas would quickly send California’s teacher quality plummeting to match our school funding.

California currently has some of the best teachers in America. But they are struggling to overcome funding that by some measures is the worst in the nation.

Proposition 75 targets teachers who have challenged Schwarzenegger’s bad ideas, hitting them with new political restrictions so they can’t protect education funding. There is no similar provision to cut the flow of corporate dollars into politics.

Schwarzenegger’s billionaire backers want to gut school spending and close down public debate by allowing only one side to spend money on reaching voters. Proposition 76 would give Schwarzenegger unchecked power to slash the state budget without a vote of the Legislature or people. If 74, 75 and 76 pass, he would have the powers of a Caesar or a Napoleon. Evidence to date suggests he would not use those powers to improve the conditions of teaching and learning.

George Sheridan
Garden Valley

Try some headphones

Re “The trouble with Q Street” (SN&R Guest comment, September 1):

Is Stephani Boyd a “hip downtown mom” or irresponsible idiot? She states that the police have come 30 times in two months. There is a problem! Why does SN&R legitimize this complaint with print space?

Boyd says her neighbors dislike fatherless children and opinionated women. Maybe they don’t like noise!

So what if other people make noise, too? Would she claim a right to pollute the air because others do it? Today’s technology provides “silent practice” headphone systems that disturb no one. Her sons should use them.

Ms. Boyd, you’re what’s wrong with downtown. How could you imagine that living in town excuses you from respecting the needs of your neighbors? Do you even know how many people your children disturb? The complainers are probably the tip of the iceberg.

Julie Kelts