Letters to the Editor
I Am a Teacher
I try not to reply or get outraged at what is, essentially, agendized commentary rather than actual news or reasoned debate, but--when Peter Byrne compares President Bush to a baby killer far more horrific than the likes of Richard Allen Davis ("Kid Not," Sept. 13), it's too outrageous of a knee-jerk, irrational, anti-Republican, liberal, idiotic tirade to let slide. Claiming Bush (and/or American business interests) are responsible for thousands of children's deaths ignores the native culture or the political entities truly responsible for the direct murder of children. Yes, we shouldn't do business with bad regimes, but that doesn't make us responsible for the behavior of those regimes. You could make equal claims against Roosevelt or Churchill as being indirectly responsible for the deaths of innocent children as a consequence of the Allied counterattacks during WW II.
Let's be clear, I am not a Bush fan (and I don't consider him a Churchill or Roosevelt). I think his nonsustainable education policies (I am a teacher) are stupidity itself, since they judge based on standardized tests which have nothing to do with authentic achievement. I have no problem with liberal thought, just the knee-jerk, irrational liberalism espoused by Byrne. I have a feeling that a lot of liberals feel the need to join a club that is more anti-white Southern male than one based on any reasoned thought process.
Steve Salkovics, Sebastopol
As a long-time reader, I would like to give you a review of your new column, Ask Sidney. And that would be: Are you kidding? Are these letters made up? I mean, they all seem so ridiculously simple (-minded), trite, shallow, naive, etc. These can't be letters from real people. If they are, then their shallowness is really something to be depressed about. I feel this column cheapens your whole paper primarily because it is so shallow and your paper prides itself on the depth of its attachment concern and commitment to the nonmainstream community.
Michael L. Hoffman, Santa Rosa
The simple-minded, trite, shallow, naive truth is that lots of people are actually cheap enough to indeed, yes, write to Sydney. These are real letters. And given that Sydney is a brand-new columnist from our area--not some slick syndicator who doesn't know squat about the North Bay--it would be nice if we could all give her a bit of break, what eh? But thanks for that nice end bit. One of the things that we do best at the Bohemian is to nurture emerging writers. Like Sydney. Write to her early and often at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think Eugene Dey should check his facts ("My Mistress Methamphetamine," Sept. 6). He may know of "bikers" who have in fact used and manufactured speed/crank. But he is quick to condemn all bikers as users and cookers. The one glaring so-called fact that keeps rearing its ugly head is the assurance that "the Hells Angels consider P2P their economic niche."
That creates the assumption that the Hells Angels, as a club or organization, have been prosecuted and found guilty of manufacturing and or distributing speed and crank.
If Dey took the time to check his facts instead of falling for all the romantic notions that many authors before him have used to sell copy, he would discover it not to be true. At all. Not one bit. Ask the FBI. The DEA. To be found guilty of such an offense, as a club or organization, would constitute a RICO statue violation, and this in fact has never happened.
I hope Dey will use his remaining time in custody to brush up on his fact-finding, or sell the next article or book as a fantasy adventure.Fred Brown, San Jose
Erotic frontiersman speaks!
I'm a man, and I read your story on the rift between mothers and feminists ("Madonna/Whore," Sept. 13). Overall, I thought the story was really interesting, and I hope both sides work things out.
That being said, while I believe in equality between men and women, the authors characterized the sexbloggers as trying to "reclaim" sexuality on the Internet from a male-dominated sex market. From my male point of view, I don't see that as ever having been exactly "claimed" by men. Certainly, we've settled that country, just to extend the "claiming" metaphor ad nauseam, but "claiming" and "reclaiming" implies that we men won it and it must somehow be wrested away from us by women. I don't think we men do own erotica, at least not anymore. We welcome any woman who wants to settle that land with us.
Certainly, most men, being human, like sex and erotica. However, in the '90s, feminists seemed really anti-sex. I think we men, at least those of us who were young men in the '90s, got the mistaken impression that women didn't like sex or something.
The term "reclaiming" made me feel like I, as a man, was being blamed for women's lack of openness to the erotic, that I had somehow claimed a territory of humanity for men only, which I certainly haven't. I'd just like to say, as an erotic frontiersman, that "this land is your land, this land is my land."
Ivan Richmond, Mountain View
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