Letters for the week of December 6, 2012

With friends like these …

Re “Quitter” by Nick Miller (SN&R Editor’s Note, November 29):

I really love this opinion piece by Nick Miller about Facebook. My enthusiasm for this website died when they went public, and had been waning for some time before that, as I found out about the information gathering they seemed to be doing and where all that was leading as we forfeit our privacy in the name of being social.

I “friended” mostly people that I knew or had known years ago, who found me on Facebook, along with a few who I didn't know in “real life” but who were artists like me. I thought it was a good way to keep up with people I knew, but then I realized that if you don't log onto your page several times a day, you miss most of the postings. And when big businesses began to appear so you could become a fan, I lost my desire to even check my page. I do like the idea of small local businesses having fans, but when big businesses and corporations try to act as if they are my “friends,” I draw the line.

I've been told by a wise woman I know that to release that which no longer serves you is the way to freedom. There's still email and real-life conversations for being social, and is the rest really worth it if you give up your right to privacy to a corporation who thinks of you as a dollar sign and not as a real-life human being?

Ellen McMahill


Hey, Walters is a good writer

Re “War of the words” by Bill Bradley (SN&R Feature Story, November 29):

I read Dan Walters’ column regularly in [The Sacramento] Bee. I rarely see things from his perspective, but I do feel Bill Bradley should give credit where credit is due. Walters is a damned good writer.

Jim Carlson


More shelter for less money

Re “Gimme shelter” by Dave Kempa (SN&R Frontlines, November 29):

You may be one of 25,000 people to need housing assistance in Sacramento next year. If so, the odds are 160 to 1 against getting into the [7th & H Street Housing Community] development. And if you are not one of the lucky ones, it’s back to the tents.

Taxpayers are being gouged to provide expensive housing which serves only a few families. The 7th & H project cost $44.8 million, or $300,000 for a one-bedroom unit. This is the price of a nice three-bedroom house in the suburbs. Similarly, the Globe Mills project cost taxpayers $262,000 a unit, and the Hotel Berry cost $218,000 a unit.

Rent vouchers would spread funds more fairly than any of these projects, at a fraction of the cost. And Habitat for Humanity homes cost less than a quarter of this new housing community.

The Sacramento Housing Alliance admits that providing housing and in-house medical care could cost $42,000 a year per person. They claim this to be a bargain, compared to emergency-care and jail costs. But emergency care is already nearby and most will not serve jail time, so this argument is a red herring.

Why have we chosen the most expensive and unjust approach possible to low-cost housing?

Evan Jones


Add instructions, please

Re “Gimme shelter” by Dave Kempa (SN&R Frontlines, November 29):

A lot of articles talk about affordable housing. Few—if any—say how one can actually apply to get it.

Noah Kameyer


Editor’s Note: A link to the affordable-housing website, www.mercyhousing.org, was provided in a column note next to the story.

Less Facebook, more Monkey Knife Fight

Re “Quitter” by Nick Miller (SN&R Editor’s note, November 29):

I gave up Facebook and started exercising—my self-esteem shot up through the roof. By the way, I suggest the Monkey Knife Fight [Pale] Ale at the Rubicon Brewing Company.

Mark Condit

via email

Offense is liberating

Re “Boo for bias” (SN&R Letters, November 29):

In response to the letter “Boo for bias” by G. Feldmann: Enough with the “politically correct” admonishment to staff writer Raheem F. Hosseini. Old terms of speech are just that: old!

You are probably one of those concerned citizens who wants to rewrite the old classics, such as the censored version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which removed the type of language some people find offensive in today’s society. Phooey on your suggestion of sensitivity training; unless you are the one taking it.

The writer of today has to be apprehensive when old terms of our language are said to be offensive. The phrase “a redheaded stepchild”—it’s true meaning is somewhat vague, but it’s doubtful it is discrimination. But let’s take it to The Hague and allow that international court to decide so the SN&R writers may print without anyone taking offense.

Be offended. It is liberating.

Pete Hupp


Holiday thanks for … the tea party?

Re “Giving thanks, SN&R style” (SN&R Editorial, November 21):

As the holiday season approaches, we should give thanks to the tea party for the blessings it has bestowed on our nation:

Thank you for forcing Mitt Romney so far to the right during the Republican primary that his subsequent backflips and contortions made him appear lacking any core values. Thank you for giving us a collection of candidates who were manifestly unqualified to be in the Senate or House [of Representatives].

Thank you for imposing on the Republican Party unyielding opposition to immigration reform, thereby delivering to Democrats a large and growing voter block; for denigrating gay and lesbian rights; for ridiculing the value of science and public education and turning the Republican Party into a club of old white folks, assuring that most of the college-educated electorate and most under 30 voted blue; and for opposing a woman’s right to control her own body, giving President [Barack] Obama his victory margin.

Tea party, you are truly the gift that keeps on giving—and will provide a long-term Democratic majority in our country. Thank you.

Ron Lowe

Nevada City