Just selling milk and sugar
Sara Bir's (Aug. 16) is strong evidence of the growing cancer that continues to plague our planet--the homogenization of earth by the multinational corporations. Even those of us who consider ourselves to be aware will quietly capitulate in favor of our own convenience or savings; ultimately, we feed the disease no matter what we believe we believe. The original hipness of Starbucks evaporated the second they opened an outlet in Stepford. The younger demographic has already been programmed by the marketing brainwash of all corporate campaigns. Are we only a generation away from becoming compulsive consumers feeding the machine like in a Philip Dick sci-fi yarn?
I enjoyed Sara openly expressing her cognizance of the dilemma. We need to support the real thing whenever possible, before it becomes extinct.
Malcolm Clark, Occidental
Nine songs of a million
I was extremely moved by Gabe Meline's (Aug. 9). I found it straightforward yet poetic, unsentimental yet emotional. For me, it was a model of how to handle grief and to allow the public in on something very intimate. I could only wish that if I were to be taken from this earth at midlife, as Leslie Meline was, that my daughter would find a way to express herself and her love for me in a similar way. My heartfelt sympathy to Gabe, and thank you.
Jennie Orvino, Rohnert Park
Thank you for publishing (Aug. 16). David Templeton's final quotes from Larry Kirwan--the ones about the missed opportunity to seize upon the moment of grief from 9-11 and turn it into the constructive self-sacrifice that could have helped free the world from mainlining petroleum every day--reduced this grown man to crying like a child.
I weep for this nation and for what we do to the world. May we free ourselves from petroleum, the wars and the putrefaction that it spawns, and from the rule of venal, cretinous imbeciles like those who lead us now.
May we lead ourselves in defiance of the visionless.
May we reach back into the infantile rage still within us about what our national policies have brought down upon our children.
May we pour into the streets by the millions when the next election is stolen from us and stay there until we have taken back what is ours.
May we find a way to do what Black 47 did: write and play our own songs amid the ruins.
G. Girabaldi, San Pablo
The many joys of sticky rice
When my husband and I discovered Thai Hut Valley (, May 24), we were so happy to find a new Thai place in Sonoma County that not only served up fresh and yummy Thai food but also is the only place in all of Sonoma County that serves sticky rice! I love sticky rice so much that the owner now knows us as "Sticky Rice." I urged her to begin delivery lunch service, which is a service that Sonoma County desperately needs, as the Cotati location is a bit off the local lunch scene. I think it is important to note that the owner started this restaurant on her own and is running the whole thing with family and just a few employees. She is an entrepreneurial small businesswoman, stirring up some good organic eats. It is important to not only know where our food comes from but also who it is coming from and the story behind the locale. Everyone I have taken there likes it a lot--especially the sticky rice!
Sarah Seitchik, Petaluma
At any cost?
I do not doubt the recent revelation of the latest terror plot in Britain, but I do doubt Mr. Bush's sincerity or commitment to American security. Comments are often made in the Press Democrat and New York Times that our security is no greater now than before 9-11. Just this past week, the 9-11 commissioners commented that Iraq is keeping this country from focusing on security at home. Worse than that, terror is once again becoming a main theme of the Republicans as we approach midterm elections, and will ratchet up as we come closer to the presidential election. Karl Rove particularly has a bag full of tricks he will use to keep Republicans in power--at any cost.
Gwendolyn Dhesi, Santa Rosa