Letters to the Editor
Thank God, there are no Christian mullahs issuing fatwas in the United States. Having failed twice at City Hall to install censors on the San Jose public library computers, Larry Pegram is now taking the crusade into the streets ("Figment of an Obscene Imagination?," The Fly, Aug. 26).
The expensive software "solves" a nonexistent porn problem. The $40,000 the Values Advocacy Group pledged only pays for half of the start-up costs, and nothing for the $9,000 yearly upkeep fee or the city legal defense against First Amendment lawsuits. People will sue when the blacklist expands from banning porn to also include gambling, alcohol, tobacco, gays and lesbian, gamer or drug sites. Use the money to keep the libraries open and stocked with books.
Pegram's crusade for Internet censorship blurs the lines between church and state, politicizes the library and perverts the librarian's mission of "providing free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent lifelong learning." If we allow one religious group to use the state to impose their agenda in the name of values, then be prepared for all religious groups to do the same. Will Pegram be so sanguine when Buddhist aversion to violence vaporizes pictures of a bloody and beaten-up and black Christ? Will we honor a Muslim ban on women's liberation? Even if we ban things that Christians find offensive, Pegram should not be the loudest voice. He is not gay enough and is creepy thinking that parents, like me, want strange vigilantes peeping over my kid's shoulders looking for porn.
Keep Your Church Out of My State
As an infrequent patron, I'm offended by the "head-splitting music" comment (The White Russians Are Coming," The Fly, Aug. 26).
Downtown may need an injection but it doesn't need a blank slate. I was just a kid when the last great era or downtown was wiped clean by failed gentrification (which I've only read about), and I lament it happening again. Expand, don't contract. Diversify, don't homogenize. We live in a fairly civilized place in which many different venues can coexist, or at least I hope so.
San Jose should make the City Council positions part time, and cut the salaries and extravagant benefits the council and their respective staff receive. This should also be done at the state level, saving hundreds of millions of dollars each year. This is what most other cities and states do currently and they are all in better shape than California.
The city should really consider relocating/incorporating Zanotto's into the San Pedro Square area. The new Market by Safeway at the 88 looks awesome! But it may have the negative effect of draining business from Z's. Time will tell.