Letters for September 4, 2008

Letter of the week
Tap our human energy

We face an energy crisis, a declining job market, an obesity epidemic and soaring health-care costs. A simple, pragmatic resolution stands, or rather trundles, in front of us.

Attach treadmills, stationary bikes and similar devices to power generators and pay minimum wage to the machines’ operators. The job requires no qualifications or background check. Those unemployed due to felony convictions or lack of qualifications could hold jobs. Sedentary jobholders could operate machines after work for stress management, earning extra money. The senior population looking to remain healthy could exercise while supplementing a fixed income.

This green resolution offers: a cash incentive for people to get healthy, employment to able-bodied individuals who are currently unemployable, and it restores independence from foreign oil. It’s time we step back and recognize obvious solutions.

Matthew W. Urner

Like going shopping without, uh, shopping

Re “Buy Sacramento!,” by Niki Kangas (SN&R Sac 101, August 28):

Great article! I feel like I was visiting each place myself. I found several places to eat and too many places to shop. The author described each venue in the most individualistic manner, but a bit modest re the Javalounge.

Ronna Siegel
Van Nuys

Beyond race

Re “Shuffle the doggone deck” by James DenBoer (SN&R Essay, August 28):

While I will be voting for [Sen. Barack] Obama and change this year, I’ve got to say that voting for him because of his race is as much a problem as refusing to vote for him because of race would be. Haven’t we gotten to the place where it just doesn’t matter, and we can vote for the best candidate?

It’s time to move beyond race. The best reason to vote for Barack Obama is because we desperately need to do things differently in this country.

Mark McGraw
via e-mail

Obama’s his nightmare

Re “Dreams of Obama” by Tom Hayden (SN&R Feature, August 21):

I think Tom Hayden is losing it (he’ll be 70 next year—too senile to take seriously, right?). His piece on [Sen.] Barack Obama was a catalog of leftist clichés about Obama, [Sen. John] McCain, America and the world. In it, one of his more original points is that Georgia threatens Russia. Another is that collateral damage in Iraq is somehow different from collateral damage in Nazi Germany or fascist Japan—truly patronizing and racist drivel (FDR killed thousands of French civilians on D-Day, mostly women, children and the elderly).

Obama is not some mythic or transformational being. He is a hard-core left-winger from one of the nation’s most corrupt Democratic Party machines in Chicago. He is in bed with every special-interest group on the left. And he has picked a V.P. whose son is a paid Washington lobbyist. Unity, Mr. Obama, is fascism.

Speaking of fascism, nobody has gotten more people killed or oppressed on the planet than “anti-war and human rights activist” Tom Hayden. Evidently, when he was in North Vietnam during that war, he didn’t notice there was no freedom of speech, movement, religion or press. More people were killed in the postwar “peace” than were killed in the entire war. And here he is, still mindlessly holding up two fingers and mouthing the word “peace” as if it were an act of moral courage, or better yet, a foreign policy.

Dennis McMurray
Nevada City

He says race is the issue

Re “Dreams of Obama” by Tom Hayden (SN&R Feature, August 21):

Since [Sen. Barack] Obama never had the courage to sacrifice his life for this nation, his lack of inspiration to uphold our democracy and to protect our freedom could be viewed as “coward-at-large” by millions!

His bad judgment, lack of leadership with his play on words is saying nothing to convince the majority!

Forget the issues, this election will be decided on “race.” I guarantee it, it will be a major factor for the White House!

Charles Sano
West Sacramento

Keep those lunches green

Re “Back to school in eco-style” (SN&R An Inconvenient Ruth, August 21):

Thanks for Auntie Ruth’s reference to the huge waste stream created by hot-lunch programs at elementary schools (one school produces 18,760 pounds per year).

I am the “hot-lunch lady” at the Fred T. Korematsu Elementary School at Mace Ranch in Davis. Our school district has made it a goal this year to produce zero waste at both the central kitchen and at every school site. We will also serve as much locally grown and organic, fresh, seasonal produce as possible at our twice-weekly salad bar.

The hot-lunch offering will be served with a minimum of packaging and prepped on the site. It is the duty of everybody, especially Americans, to reduce the amount of waste we produce and to eat a more nutritious sustainable diet for the benefit of our health, our children’s future and to save our beloved mother Earth.

Stephanie Manning

Gotta ask about the dinosaurs

Re “Soul vision” by Keleigh Friedrich (SN&R Sacreligious!, August 21):

Yet again SN&R has decided to promote the Hindu/New Age/end-of-the-world cult that is Brahma Kumaris.

The author couldn’t help but be pulled in to BK’s special kind of superstition, going so far as to say of one of the “sisters,” “Her gaze was impersonal and penetrating, and at the same time infinitely loving.” Is SN&R a local news source or a cheap romance novel? With writing like this, I honestly can’t tell. Why else would the author choose to fellate BK in her article, turning a blind eye to BK’s many ridiculous beliefs about history (for example, beliefs that dinosaurs are from another dimension, that BK was the first religion, etc.) or its practice of demanding a dowry for teenage girls, who are then essentially trapped in the cult with no resources to leave?

Instead, she claims BK reminded her “that any mode of spirituality based on love, respect and connecting to ourselves [is essentially reiterating the same idea].” Spirituality is all well and good, but why is there this belief that in order to have spiritual experiences, we must accept some obviously contrived religions?

The bigger issue is this: Why does SN&R insist on having an entire column each week dedicated to the advancement of ignorance and superstition? Why not a column on science, technology, logic, reason or philosophy? I think even a column on synchronized swimming would be of better intellectual benefit to readers of SN&R.

James Ferguson
via e-mail