Letters for September 7, 2006

Let this other Brown take Doolittle for a ride

Re “Insert foot here” (SN&R Bites, August 31):

Why is it no surprise that Representative John Doolittle was “speechless” and quietly anxious when traveling to the “Green Zone” of safety in Iraq? He is typical of the chicken-hawk Republican leaders who never served in the military yet blindly rubber-stamp Bush policies. They send lower- and middle-class kids off to war while cutting taxes for the super wealthy whose kids would not dream of joining the service. In the meantime, the rising bill for the Iraq misadventure is more than $300 billion and threatens the fiscal future of all Americans.

Placer County likes to celebrate its Bay Area-like levels of higher education and income. Its voters now have the opportunity in [retired] Lt. Col. Charlie Brown to elect a thoughtful moderate to Congress. If they again re-elect their ethically challenged far-right-wing incumbent, Roseville and Rocklin will more accurately be compared politically and intellectually to backwoods Mississippi than portrayed as Silicon Valley east.

Tony Branch

Just doom and gloom

Re “The end of time approaches” (SN&R News, August 31):

The Rev. Jerry Falwell has proclaimed the beginning of the end of the world. “The online Rapture Index—a kind of Dow Jones Industrial Average of end-time activity … is hovering within 20 points of its all-time high.” It’s Rapture time, folks. Grab your Bible and hang on for the ride.

Many of the gay-bashers, evangelical extremists and anti-abortionists who are counting on making the cut and being part of the “chosen” contingent will be “left behind.” Unconditional love is not a strong suit for a lot of New Age fundamentalists and evangelicals.

Falwell’s ominous prophecy is based on current conflicts in the Middle East—the Bush pre-emptive war in Iraq and the latest Israeli skirmish. Evangelicals believe these conflicts will trigger the second coming of Christ. Did they talk to Christ about this? I doubt he wants to come back to an Armageddon-ravaged planet.

This is just more doom-and-gloom hysteria from a TV evangelist trying to keep the indoctrinated and wavering faithful in line.

Ron Lowe
Grass Valley

Was it ever livable?

Re “Hot futures” by Ralph Brave (SN&R Feature Story, August 24):

Regarding the question asked in this piece, “Will Sacramento become unlivable?”:

John Sutter, the Sacramento Union without Mark Twain, Ronald Reagan, George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, 110-degree summers, Dorothea Puente, the loony-bomber, the sprawling downtown polychlorinated-biphenyl railroad graveyard, Kloss, gridlock, the thrill killer, Rush Limbaugh, floods, Christine Craft, Del Paso Heights, Rancho Cordova, 103.5 FM (available anywhere on the dial), Arco Arena, Lt. Governor Cosmo Spacely.

Ah, yes: Sackoftomato, the gateway to scenic Galt. This may be the only metropolis in which municipal police employees have been proven to have lower stress levels than the general populace, due to their ability to legally park somewhere. Folks call it a cow town, and lately we’re hearing about “mad cows.” Perhaps this is why the cows are mad.

It comes down to this: Your premise is untenable. Nobody ever suggested that Sacramento is close to becoming livable in the first place.

Flombaye Krishnabob Ellison

Picking the hell-bound

Re “$10,712” (SN&R Editorial, August 24):

Gee, after reading your editorial, I feel comfort in knowing that a weekly newspaper—our own SN&R—is making decisions about who is going to hell or not!

I always thought that was the job of the “big guy in the sky.” Thank you for clarifying that.

As for Senator Bill Frist, I must remind you that Ted Bundy, long ago, raised the bar on who is making the trip below. Once Bundy confessed his evil deeds, my recollection was that he wasn’t going to hell anymore. If Bundy isn’t there, I don’t think we’ll find Frist there, either.

Thanks for trying, though.

Rosemary Garro Tanfani
Fair Oaks

Americans, know thy nation!

Re “What makes an American?” (SN&R Unfiltered, August 24):

As a past governor, Region VII, of the American Institute of Parliamentarians and a U.S. citizen, I must commend you for the piece on requirements for citizens as priceless use of print news.

I knew more about the history and the government of the United States of America upon my arrival in 1955 than my fellow graduate students, born in the United States, which brought the comment, “How do you know all that much about the U.S.? You must be a spy.” Keep in mind it was the height of the Joseph McCarthy period.

The most important question is No. 2, “What group has the power to declare war?” This is a point that the news media have completely ignored: Congress engaging in unlawful legislation by appropriating funds for undeclared “war” in the name of democracy and liberty.

Brahama D. Sharma

Welcome to the master race

Re “Top ten reasons SN&R staff might actually be Nazis” by Jonathan Kiefer (SN&R Scene&Heard, August 24):

I am so glad that you have admitted your true allegiance to the fatherland. Your weekly is a masterpiece for the master race. Ever since the “Soup Nazi” in New York changed the name of his store to the “Soup Man,” I have been feeling very lonely. Now I know that I have someone who will dance the “Guten Tag Hop Hop” with me.

Now that you are going to (Nazi) party like it’s 1940, do you have any plans for your paper? Replace the reviews of heavy metal with metal artillery? Change your dining review to “The Battle of the Bulge”? Have a special Spicy Personals column for those SS admirers who are into leather, whips and chains? Wait—you already do!

Franz Liebkind (real name withheld upon requesxxt)

What about the bad productions?

Re “Not playing around” by Becca Costello (SN&R Theater, August 24):

In all the coverage of Jackie Schultz and the “influence” of The Sacramento Bee’s theater critic on the box office of local theater, none (including SN&R) has addressed what alternative a critic has when faced with commenting on a bad production.

The review of a respected theater critic, regardless of where published, is a community resource, and theater patrons rely on objective reporting of the quality of all shows when choosing what shows to attend.

Robert J. Losik

Hurt one theater group, hurt them all

Re “Not playing around” by Becca Costello (SN&R Theater, August 24):

I was delighted to read your recent coverage of the protest by Jackie Schultz and other live theater groups of The Sacramento Bee’s unfair review of their current production at The Studio Theatre. I don’t think the Bee and their old-school thinking realize what a diverse customer today’s theater patron is! To the Bee, “live entertainment” is an out-of-date Music Circus production—how many times must we sit through South Pacific and Peter Pan and pretend it was a night well-spent, for God’s sake?

I personally went to see Pump Boys and Dinettes last week and found it to be a fantastic, fun-filled production, well-cast, with good music that moved right along. The loud applause and laughter by the audience confirmed it.

The Bee doesn’t seem to realize that if it damages one small live-theater group in the area, it damages all of them. I feel the Bee needs to understand the need for diversity among Sacramento’s theater-going audience.

Jeannie Odom

Insensitive decision

Re “Different strokes” by Donna Lee (SN&R 15 Minutes, August 10):

As a student of Han Moy’s Chinese brush-painting class, I was happy that Donna Lee was interviewing him for SN&R. After all, in the summer of 2005, Donna had attended a couple of sessions and knew about the class.

Much to my dismay, Mr. Moy was quoted verbatim, his English usage becoming more of the story than what he was trying to say. What was SN&R’s purpose in allowing the story to be like this? Yes, Mr. Moy immigrated from China. He is an educated man, worked for years as an engineer and in his retirement decided to share his artistic and tai-chi skills with seniors at the Asian Community Center. He does this without pay and travels Interstate 80 all the way from Sun City in Lincoln to ACC on Greenhaven Drive in the Pocket area.

If you read the article carefully, you could tell that Mr. Moy has a good sense of humor and enjoys what he is doing. However, if you read it quickly, I’m afraid that a reader would dismiss this talented man and his story because of the way it was written.

Yes, it should include some verbatim sentences, but surely it could have been paraphrased or edited in other parts. A couple of classmates were very offended by the way it was written. I was taken aback when I read it. I think SN&R needs to be more sensitive before publishing articles.

Wanda L. Au
via e-mail

Editor’s response: The decision not to change Mr. Moy’s grammar was a thoughtful one. We felt that his considerable charm and intelligence came through even with his less-than-perfect English, and in the end we felt it was more respectful to allow readers to hear the way Mr. Moy actually speaks. As for the suggestion to paraphrase Mr. Moy’s comments, that would have literally put our words in his mouth—something we never do in 15 Minutes, which lets subjects tell their own stories through answers to questions.