Letters for the Week of March 28, 2012. 

Readers sound off on Dan Richards, Le Cheval, and livestreamers.

Page 3 of 4

I do not understand how you liberals even think! On one hand, you exclaim that Californians voted to not allow mountain lion hunting, as if California voters are absolutely correct. But have those same California voters vote that marriage is to be between one man and one woman, and you guys say that California voters don't count. You cannot have it both ways!

Mike McKinzie, Garden Grove, California

"Shedding Plastic," Eco Watch, 3/7

The Plastic Problem

Plastics are a petroleum product. We have many brilliant scientists in this area. Maybe they could make two problems into one solution by reverse-engineering plastic waste into fuel. It's probably not easy, but such an accomplishment would deserve Nobel Prizes in physics and peace.

Ruth Bird, Berkeley

Syntax, Sigh

Unless Beth Terry is a zombie or a vampire (a fact not mentioned in Nate Seltenrich's article), shouldn't your headline be, "Beth Terry is living almost plastic-free" [rather than "...almost living plastic-free"]?

Joanna Graham, Berkeley

Plastic-Free in the Kitchen

Beth's blog was what convinced me to go plastic-free. I even started my own blog about it, ThePlasticFreeChef.com. I found that eliminating plastic waste from the kitchen was the most difficult part. I had to give up a lot of foods and modify my favorite recipes to be plastic-free. If you want to give up plastic but are worried that you won't be able to eat anything, check out my blog for some good ideas. And even if you don't give up all plastic, you're still making a difference.

Mary Katherine Glen, Mountain View

"In Darkness," Movies, 2/29

Insensitive and Inappropriate

Kelly Vance's flippancy in labeling In Darkness an "umpteenth Holocaust film" is both insensitive and inappropriate. While it's understandable that folks get frustrated by the number of such movies and I respect a critic's right to be bored with them, I wonder whether other groups' historic tragedies would be handled so sarcastically. I am no "diehard Holocaust fan," as the reviewer so crassly phrases it, but I do expect a minimum level of care and cultural competence. While many may be tired of the Holocaust as an artistic topic, it's become equally trite to bash a film in this way. I do agree with Vance's conclusion that "enough is too much," but frankly, not around critic fatigue over a well-worn movie plot — more so, a disturbing trend to treat such a heavy issue in such a lighthearted and offensive manner.

Jon Gilgoff, Oakland

"Emergency Call," Feature, 2/29

Desperately Needed

I have advocated for services for family members for many years. Laura's Law is desperately needed. I work with many families on a daily basis that want to help their loved ones and are not allowed to participate in treatment because of our current laws. Families become discouraged, betrayed, and alone when they seek help from systems and professionals and are still not able to access services to keep their families safe.

Thank you for your article. This information will provide education and help to reduce stigma.

Brandi McNary-Draper, Concord

Living with Blinders On

I was living in the Sacramento area when the tragic situation documented in the article occurred. Regrettably, Contra Costa County is living with blinders on regarding mental illness and the needs of those who need help. I have a family member who has experienced the flawed and broken system of the mental health system in the county. We live with hope for the future but recognize the realities of the present.

Peter Bagarozzo, Antioch

"Change Is Messy," Raising the Bar, 2/15

Oaklanders Against Occupy

After witnessing firsthand the unsanitary conditions of the Occupy camps in Oakland, in addition to random acts of violence and vandalism, and reading updates on the Occupy Oakland website that warn people who support non-violent means of protest not to join certain marches, I cannot agree with the movement, or this article. As a staunch liberal, an inner-city high school English Language Arts teacher, and a musician, I fully support young people gaining the necessary education and correspondingly earned employment opportunities. I understand the tragic consequences of the achievement gap among ethnically diverse youth and young adults, the socioeconomic inequities that remain pervasive for so many individuals in our supposedly egalitarian society, and the gross abuse of power by the wealthiest, which has persisted since the dawn of our nation. I, too endured the perils of a poor economy until I was finally hired this last August as a full-time, contracted educator. I empathize with the frustration of feeling slighted, undervalued, and outright ignored.

However, I cannot, in good conscience, support a reactionary, conceptually fractured movement that breaks multiple laws, traumatizes small businesses, schools, and the local environment, and jeopardizes the well-being of others. Protesters have displayed signs yielding contradictory messages such as "All my friends are cop killas" alongside anti-war slogans while disseminating advocacy pamphlets for anarchy as the best form of government. These messages express antithetical ideals and worldviews, and do not speak to the focused message of reining in corporate avarice. I disagree with the author's suggested ultimatum that we "passive liberals" have to either invent an alternative solution to the problem of capitalist imbalances and executive abuses, or placidly accept the forced representation of a disjointed movement that fails to offer sound and plausible solutions itself. I, like many Oakland professionals, have neither heard nor understood one logical solution from the movement. Overtaking abandoned buildings by force, throwing rocks through supermarket windows, unlawfully camping in parks and trees (of all places), and tagging on every building within range of a spray-paint can, are not viable solutions to any problem of socioeconomic injustice.


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