Less hostility in general, please!
Re ("Madonna/Whore," Sept. 13): More Susie Bright! Less hostility from the repressed breeders who are bored!
Melie Water, Santa Rosa
From the constant reader
Michael Schreiber's incisive review of Stauber and Rampton's The Best War Ever: Lies, Damned Lies and the Mess in Iraq (Critic's Choice, Sept. 20) made an important point somewhat indirectly: progressive dismay with Bush & Gang is rising and getting ever more shrill because it isn't moving American public opinion in any decisive way. In fact, Bush's recent approval ratings have gone up.
Why? The public, I believe, has grudgingly come to accept that the Bush administration is arrogant, venal, mendacious and costly. However, to rally behind such ideas as the Center for Constitutional Rights' Bush impeachment proposal as suggested by would mean getting serious about confronting the direction in which the country is heading. That is, we would have to turn away from the self-indulgent habits our corporate rulers have spent many decades and countless billions encouraging in us and bend to the hard, years-long, grinding work of combining to bring those rulers to heel.
Shades of the '60s! We might even be forced to realize that our primary values ought to be caring for each other and about the environment in which we live! I think we would rather do almost any mad thing than that.
Don MacQueen, Santa Rosa
On Sydney's side
I would like to respond to in his "Flaming Sydney" letter (Sept. 20). I am one of those simple, trite, shallow and naÔve question-askers who has written to Sydney for advice. I think Michael is missing the point of the importance of a column such as Sydney's. The enormity of things to be stressed out about in this world can be downright devastating. Maybe we need to be able to take comfort in the fact that there's a venue to ask Sydney about simple, self-absorbed issues that create a much-needed, momentary diversion from things like terrorism, genocide and global warming. Can you let people off the hook once a week to get excited about what Sydney might have come up with in response to a question they were too embarrassed or shy to ask anyone else? Has the "nonmainstream" community become so intolerant?Don't read Sydney's column if it bothers you that much. Better yet, take action and send Sydney questions that contain the substance and depth you are craving. [Pssst: firstname.lastname@example.org]
Staying anonymous so that I can keep asking Sydney shallow questions, Sebastopol
Elephants in the closet?
The best-kept secret in Petaluma is that Mike Harris and John Mills ran for and won elected office prior to running for city council! The archives of the nonpartisan SmartVoter.org website clearly show that both were elected to the Republican Party Central Committee of Sonoma County in March of 2002. But you will search in vain for any mention of this Republican Party leadership role in the candidates' current campaign materials and websites.
Obviously, Republicans are entitled to run for office, even in a town with a two-to-one Democratic voter registration majority, and at a time of historic outrage at Republican policies nationally. But no one has a right to hide significant and highly pertinent job history. And really, what could be more pertinent than previously running for, winning and serving in elected office?
In the private sector, deliberately omitting a relevant previous job from a job application is considered dishonest and a firing offense. As self-proclaimed business leaders, Mr. Harris and Mr. Mills should know that better than anyone.
I encourage Petaluma voters to reject candidates who deceive voters about their background.
Larry Modell, Petaluma
Dept. of Corrections
("The Pleasure of Problems," Aug. 30) erroneously stated that tours of the Oliver Ranch are open to the public. In fact, the tours are private. Furthermore, admission monies are donated to nonprofit cultural and visual arts organizations. We apologize for the errors.
The ed., No hardhat hard enough