Letters for September 8, 2005

We love Cindy

Re “Cindy’s question” (SN&R Editorial, August 25) and “Cindy’s been co-opted” (SN&R Letters, September 1):

We love you, Cindy, even if the Republican war harpies don’t.

Cindy Sheehan represents everything they despise. She has not been brainwashed by the Bush spin machine and turned into an authoritarian groupie, she thinks for herself and doesn’t walk in lockstep with those who wrap themselves in the flag, and she has a life.

Ms. Sheehan wants to know why her son Casey had to die for a Bush lie. I’m sure Mr. Bush can take time away from his shrub-clearing, mountain-biking and photo-oping to answer a question. Doesn’t George W. want to look into Cindy’s soul, as he did with Putin?

It’s time for the people who say they support the Bush war to sign up their own flesh and blood. Walk the walk, superpatriots; slapping a yellow ribbon on your car is too easy.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City

No, we don’t

Re “Cindy’s question” (SN&R Editorial, August 25):

If Cindy and her friends want to spit on her son’s grave, that is her right. She has no right to defile the graves of other soldiers.

Lou Meyer

Sheehan’s lost perspective

Re “Cindy’s question” (SN&R Editorial, August 25):

As the father of an Iraq-war vet with two tours of duty to his credit, I sympathize with Cindy Sheehan’s grievous loss. However, if our son had died in combat, his mother and I would never show such contempt for his sacrifice as does Sheehan.

The truth is that Sheehan did meet with President Bush, as her hometown paper, The Reporter of Vacaville, reported in June 2004. She’s now demanding another meeting with the president to ask, “Why did my son die? What was the noble cause that he died for?”

It’s not likely that President Bush or any thinking person would meet with Sheehan. Her mind is made up, and reason will not prevail.

Sheehan’s family sent out this e-mail: “The Sheehan family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. The rest of the Sheehan family supports the troops, our country and our president, silently, with prayer and respect.”

President Bush is my son’s commander in chief. My son completely believes in what he was doing. And, yes, our military was greeted as a liberation army by many Iraqis. My son told of families greeting him and his men as they passed through towns and villages. Later, the bodies of those who greeted them would be found hanging from telephone poles, because militant Muslims would kill them for welcoming the Americans.

Losing a child is absolutely the saddest thing that can happen to anyone. The vast majority of parents who suffer such a loss are able to maintain some perspective while coping with the experience. Cindy Sheehan has completely lost any perspective, and that makes her story all the sadder. But it does not validate the hateful views she, or SN&R, is espousing.

Maybe before you express views on a subject you have limited knowledge about, you should talk with some Iraqis that now feel safe thanks to America’s military. It might do you some good to also interview returning Marines and soldiers. Most are proud to have served.

Frank Stephens
Shingle Springs

Law shouldn’t assume bad parenting

Re “SN&R asks the wrong question …” and “ … and forgets ‘safety first’” (SN&R Letters, August 25):

I am not surprised your liberal readership expects an “inalienable” right for a minor to an abortion without parental consent.

As a parent, I’m required to grant permission to allow my minor child access to services such as optometry, orthodontics, driver training, tanning booths, tattoos, ear piercing, school bus trips, swim lessons, cheerleading, school sports, Little League, Scouting, summer camp, R-rated movies, CDs and video games, etc. Yet, I have zero rights as a parent if my child decides she wants to terminate a pregnancy by way of abortion because some parents might create a problem for their minor.

So, we are all guilty of bad parenting because some parents may not be able to come to grips with the situation?

I thought the liberal argument against the Patriot Act was that one could be presumed guilty by the government, and that would allow the authorities to trample a person’s rights. It is these same liberals who have turned against the government for applying presumed guilt under the Patriot Act and then find it reasonable and necessary to apply the same presumed guilt to allow abortions for minors without parental consent.

It has become increasingly apparent liberals have one reason and one reason alone to maintain their Democratic party: the “inalienable” right to abortion. This is the only time Democrats come together for anything. It is the one and only litmus test for every judge and every politician running for office. The conservatives are running all over you because they understand there are more things in life than death by abortion.

Matthew B. Graff
Yuba City

‘Poverty Palace’ pantyhose faux pas

Re “So long, Poverty Palace” by Esther Chapman (SN&R News, August 25):

The article about the old Cal West building was very enjoyable, but one sentence made me laugh, because it makes it clear the writer must be of a certain age—possibly under 40, certainly under 50.

I’m referring to the dress standards of the time. To quote from the article: “Hats and suits on the men were standard. Women were required to wear dresses and pantyhose.”

Whoa, Esther. Those of us over 50 know that pantyhose are a relatively new invention and did not exist in 1925.

I did some checking and, according to what I found online, back then women wore silk stockings. Nylon stockings came into being in 1939, and pantyhose finally showed up around 1959.

The article was so interesting and well-written that I’ll forgive this mistake I nitpickingly felt a need to point out. And thanks for the history lesson on a fine old building.

Don Rake
West Sacramento

The peril of ‘intelligent design’

Re “Intelligent design and evolution” (SN&R advertisement, August 18):

Stephen Jay Gould said, “To teach biology without evolution is like teaching English without grammar.”

I imagine Gould is turning in his grave a lot these days, and I would think especially so after the Rev. David Thompson’s prominent advertisement in SN&R. In it, Thompson advocates teaching what I like to call “intelligent design creationism” to school kids.

Rest easier, Mr. Gould. I offer up three criticisms of Thompson’s argument.

First, Thompson holds a Ph.D. in environmental ethics. Therefore, his opinion on what constitutes appropriate scientific teaching of evolution to kids carries no more weight than the average amateur science enthusiast.

Second, Thompson finds “compelling” a movie produced by a shell company of the fundamentalist Discovery Institute (see the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) article from July 1, 2003, at www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/6786_unlocking_the_mystery_of_illus_7_1_2003.asp

As the NCSE asks, “if it is a ‘myth that Intelligent Design is a movement driven by religious bias,’ why do its proponents have to work so hard to hide their fundamentalist roots?” Just a guess, but perhaps it’s because the Discovery Institute’s fundamentalist religious beliefs trump their scientific integrity?

Third, and finally, Thompson argues scientific research must be “taught, debated, modified, discarded or proven and built upon not only in … laboratories but in our schools.” Do we really expect students to do all that in the five days they spend learning about scientific evolution each year? And do we really expect kids to learn in a scientific environment corrupted by the politics and religion of the radical conservative religious right? That is the point Thompson and others on the left ignore at their own peril.

Kevin Schultz
Citrus Heights

Who’s minding the water?

Re “Drinking problem” by Josh Indar (SN&R Cover, August 18):

Think about this: We are paying close to $3 per gallon for foreign oil.

What in the world do you think we’ll be paying foreign companies for water, once they control it?

Wake up, folks! It’s not just the paltry sum of money the companies want to pay us. It’s the fact that we lose control of our most important, essential resource—water—something we cannot live without.

Aileen Bronzini


Re “The reluctant politician” by Jeffrey M. Barker (SN&R News, September 1):

Due to an editing error, Yolo County Supervisor Frank Sieferman at one point was mistakenly referred to as “campaign consultant Andrew Sieferman.” Also, campaign consultant Andrew Acosta was not properly identified. A corrected version of the story now appears on our Web site. We apologize for the error.