Letters for the week of November 15-21, 2006 

Readers comment on sex addiction, Budget Rock V, Berkeley Proposition H, and the pagan community.

"WAR CRIMES OR LOCAL CRIMES?" BOTTOM FEEDER, 9/6

DISTORTING HER MEMORY
It is indeed odd that the opponents of Proposition H in Berkeley chose to identify themselves as they did in the ballot arguments. It does seem to indicate they were looking for "pizzazz" to bring attention to themselves. But I would also say it was downright rude and unseemly to use Meleia Willis-Starbuck's name in this way. I would recommend that people try to consider common decency in identifying themselves in a public document. To discuss the concerns about local crime is one thing, but to personally adopt someone else's tragedy as a personal identifier goes beyond what is decent.

The twist here is that Mr. Tilleman is using (and I mean USING) Meleia's name to oppose a proposition she would have undoubtedly endorsed. How insensitive and cruel is that to her name and memory, and to those who love her. The further irony is that the argument that global issues should not be linked to local politics is made absurd by the fact that it is the culture of punitive aggression that lies at the heart of the violence we experience in our lives locally, here and now. It is all connected. On behalf of the Willis-Starbuck family, I would suggest that the City of Berkeley, the media, and other public entities not allow such a misuse of personal identification in the future.
Meg Starbuck, Alameda


"A SPELL ON YOU," WHO READS WHAT WHERE?, 10/25

A WELCOME EXCEPTION
Thank you. Most of the Halloween coverage of my religion is awful. Your article is a welcome exception. Happy Halloween! And a blessed Samhain, as well.
Tricia Lay, Birmingham, Alabama


WE'VE GOT HOLY BOOKS TOO
Chris Ulbrich hit the nail on the head with the article "A Spell on You." We in the Pagan community even laugh at ourselves with regard to this subject. The joke goes something like this: A Christian, a Muslim, and a Wiccan walk into a bookstore. The Christian looks around and says, "Ahah! Here is everything I need," and buys a Bible. The Muslim looks around, says, "Ahah! Here is everything I need," and buys a copy of the Koran. The Wiccan then looks around and says, "Ahah! HERE is everything I need," and buys the bookstore.

I sure wish I had 19 bookcases — then I could unpack some of my book collection that I've got boxed up out in the garage!
Tim Money, Oneida, Tennessee

THANKS FROM A PAGAN
As a Wiccan and a member of the Covenant of the Goddess, I really appreciate you taking the time to write an article on what witches are really like. Also I'm impressed that you took the time to speak with witches who can accurately explain what Samhain is about and why it's important to the Pagan community.
Asha Gray, Chicago, Illinois


"ADDICTED TO SEX," FEATURE, 10/25

WOMEN ARE ADDICTS TOO
I really liked the article on sex addiction, but I wish you had included a story of a female sex/love addict as well, because just mentioning the prevalence without examples doesn't do much to dispel the stereotype of the addiction as male, and thus impedes women from getting the help they need. I am a female "sex and love addict." The shame is excruciating and keeps many women from admitting their problem even to themselves. I have found that the Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings I have tried included mostly men and were too intimidating for me. However, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meetings, which include those addicted to unhealthy relationships, fantasy, etc., have more women and even female-only meetings. I am hopeful that articles like the one in the Express will not only be helpful to the addicts but will help partners, families, and friends. Thank you for writing and publishing it.
Leslie Lemon, Alameda


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