Letters for the week of November 29-December 5, 2006 

Readers comment on Craig Bueno, air traffic controllers, and sexual addiction.


"Playing Hardball," Bottom Feeder, 11/8

Heckling a heckler
I'm a heckler. My name at AT&T Park is Tigger, and I'm usually in LF. I'm a good heckler, one of the best. I go for laughs, not personal abuse, and never attack noncombatants (like wives, mothers, etc., since they aren't allowed to play). Craig Bueno is a trash-mouthed, woman-hating freak, and I would be the first person to demand his removal if he ever talked smack like that in my park — but the staff there would have kicked him out first.

There are limits to free speech, and hate speech. "Fighting words" and the like are not covered. Disrespecting someone's mother is hate speech, sexist hate speech at that. Attacking the female relatives of a player is the same sort of misogyny that leads to rape in war; that is, raping "their" women to get at the men. I daresay that Bueno wouldn't say stuff like that in a Latino 'hood to a Latino, and that makes him a pussy. He's a double pussy since, as a big, brave firefighter, he DUCKED the chair and thus helped get his wife smacked in the face. A real man, and a real firefighter, would have caught the chair, or blocked for his wife. It's pretty obvious he has no respect for any women, nor does his wife for herself.

Women who allow men to attack other women are far too common, and that's why violence against women is so prevalent. Women "play down" the violence of the men who "protect" them, since they've bought into the Male Protection Racket, which amounts to letting one man abuse you so the others won't.

I hope the Rangers tear him a new anal orifice, I hope his essential pussiness is exposed, and I hope someone sane in the FD fires his ass, since any "man" like that is a danger to all women, and any "man" who won't even protect his own wife is a brother of Ted Bundy. And I hope that pathetic doormat of a wife gets a good lawyer and takes everything he has when she dumps his pathetic ass.

Having a pussy is better than being one, and if that pottymouthed scumlicker ever shows up in my town, I'll take the time to enlighten him on respecting women. With extreme prejudice.

And I hope all the Rangers get the porn loops of his mother put on the big screen, since any "man" who hates women that badly has a mother who should have been spayed. Just because his mother doesn't deserve respect doesn't mean that all women are like that. The fact that the women in his life have allowed him to live this long is why he's such an unmitigated asshole, or, should I say, A'shole?
Elizabeth Frantes, San Francisco


"Trouble in the Air," Feature, 10/18

A "scab's" perspective
Your article on the FAA and safety of the American skies was biased to the extreme. From your perspective on the subject, I would think that you were one of those militant, disgruntled, ego-driven, power hungry, ex-PATCO air traffic controllers who went out on the illegal controller strike in August of 1981 and weren't eligible to get rehired like your jerk friends Tilley and Moberg.

For what it's worth, I was one of those "newly trained rookies in 1981" who, after being honorably discharged from the US Air Force in 1976 after five years as an air traffic controller, had to wait five years to get a job with the FAA because Jimmy Carter was president and a federal hiring freeze was in effect. Like most of the other active duty and former Navy, Army, and Air Force controllers who replaced 11,000 of the 12,500 that were in the FAA, I was trained by the ones who stayed/came back before the firing deadline. I was also, as most new hires, subjected to the daily gauntlet of spitting, vulgarity, treats, and insults from the former PATCO members that so graciously left their posts so I could get a good-paying job after the military and five years of doing college, making pizzas, flipping burgers, fronting rock bands, and generally just waiting for the FAA to call.

Controllers are afforded, by law, at least eight hours between shifts. If the controller in Lexington was working on only two hours' sleep, it was his/her own damned fault. And guess what, one of the top priorities for controllers is to look out the flippin' window and insure, i.e., know the position of an aircraft prior to any clearance to taxi and/or takeoff.

I'm not going to take the time to contend with your article line for line, but I will say that the ex-PATCO rehires have been more of a hindrance than a help. Most are working at the lower-level facilities so they can put in enough time to be eligible to retire. Most of us "scabs" who are still in the FAA don't want to be working side by side with spitting, name-calling, ego-driven "I'm better thanyou'll ever be" attitudes of the rehires. The only unsafe thing we have to deal with now is working with those malcontents and the crappy traditions of contention they have passed down to NATCA.
A Bay Area air traffic controller (name withheld by request)


"Addicted to Sex," Feature (Letters to the Editor), 10/25 (11/15)

The healing begins
My name is "Nicole"; I am the one who the story is about. First let me start off by saying what a fantastic journalist I believe Ms. Gard to be. She is the kind of journalist that we as Americans are blessed to have. Thank you for taking my story and retelling it in a very respectful and heartwarming way. It was indeed the most horrific experience of my and my young child's life. Yet through your eyes and your words it has helped me heal somewhat.

I would like to express to Ms. Leslie Lemon of Alameda that I applaud your courage and your strength to come forward and admit that you have suffered from this addiction. Your honesty will hopefully make it possible for other women to come forward and get the help they so readily deserve. I know that Ms. Gard was trying her best to find female addicts just as she was men to come forward. They are out there, but no one came forward on her numerous attempts.

To Mr. Charlie Glickman of Oakland, I give my respect to you as a sexuality educator. Maybe with a little help from educators, we can help this country battle this addiction together. However, I feel you missed the impact of the story. Yes, there were a lot of things that could have been discussed in more detail, if Ms. Gard was writing an article in five or six parts. The depths of this addiction are so deep that it should be an ongoing article. Your thoughts on sexual compulsion and a high sex drive are relevant but not here, not with this story. It was about the pain and hurt that is caused by the individuals who have no control of their sexual demons.

"What looks like too much to one person may be just right for someone else" is an absolutely absurd statement to be made regarding this story. It is not just right for someone else when people's lives are being destroyed, when children are being abandoned for a life of prostitution and lies. I mean no disrespect, but being a sexuality educator, maybe you can help make a difference instead of being critical of a well-thought-out and very intense story that Ms. Gard had the guts to write about.

Again, I want to thank you, Lauren, for your kindness and sensitivity while still retaining a very professional demeanor at the same time. I believe your journalism to be highly effective.
"Nicole," Brentwood


"RIP, Berkeley Rap Radio," Close 2 tha Edge, 11/1

Bitter and one-sided
I just read your article via a link on the KALX listserv. I'm an active volunteer and have been there about three years. I can't say I have any more information than you regarding the station's "policies," etc., but I do know The Sunday Morning Show was on "hiatus" for a long time because, as I understood it, no one was volunteering for it (it's an entirely volunteer deal, much like other specialty programs like Info Overload and Shortwave).

I do think there is a heady bias toward rock-based music at KALX, but as a DJ that has been the one major critique of most tapes I have turned in — that I was playing too much rock-based music and not diversifying enough. If my tape had punk, rock, hardcore, metal, and even electronica, I was cited as not meeting the genre requirement; so it goes both ways. Only when I started delving into, appreciating, and incorporating genres like funk and hip-hop was I commended for having any diversity in my playlist.

And if the climate at KALX is so purportedly antiblack (which seems to be the point of the article you wrote), then what about other genres like jazz, blues, funk, soul, etc., that are, like hip-hop, traditionally black musical forms? They do get quite a bit of play on KALX as well. What about 'Round Midnight?

Your article seemed pretty bitter and one-sided, and not very well informed. It read more like a he-said, she-said piece since it was primarily referring to things that happened in the past, and people who volunteered there in the past.

I hear you tried to reach Pone and Sandra for comment and understand they did not reply. I wish you would have talked to perhaps the music directors, or Shawn (acting station manager, along with Sandra, at the time of your article). What about current volunteers of any race? Or current programmers who do play hip-hop (like myself, Disco Shawn, Matthew Africa, Sergio — who won a local award this year)? As a DJ, I play a fair share of hip-hop, and as a music reviewer (interested in running for music director this spring) I am constantly seeking out new hip-hop for review, preferably local underground stuff.

Another issue your article failed to mention was that hip-hop, like punk rock, often has a plethora of profanity in it. As a primarily punk-rock DJ my first year at KALX, I had to totally switch my programming for my daytime slot because punk was too "dangerous" to tamper with as far as on-air obscenity slips were concerned.

I made concessions for hip-hop, though, because I don't think it is appreciated enough, especially the underground stuff that I prefer. When I review decent hip-hop, I note where all the obscenities are and/or e-mail or call the artists for edited versions. The problem, though, is that not all reviewers are as thorough or as good about marking up the copies, and playing hip-hop (especially stuff you aren't familiar with) becomes an on-air liability. I have had issues with unmarked edit CDs/12"s/LPs where I have trusted the artist has produced an actual edit, and trusted the reviewer, only to find out too late that neither has been credible.

Obscenity laws have escalated considerably in the past five years, but I didn't hear any mention of that in your article either. Do you know how dangerous it is for indie radio/media? One reported on-air obscenity could end KALX completely.

Your article read more like an editorial (or a letter, much as this one!) or opinion piece without much actual fact to back it up. I think there is a truth to your point, but your dramatic conspiracy-theory stance made it seem much less credible.

Plus, what about the things that KALX is good for? What about the things you gained as a result from volunteering at KALX? It is a free service, and folks are welcome to volunteer ... so why not ENCOURAGE more people of color, more fans of hip-hop, to participate on a larger scale, or to call in and support those who do play hip-hop and show there is an audience for it out there listening? Sandra is only one person, after all, and I don't think she cares enough to have a personal vendetta against hip-hop. Even if she did, it wouldn't stop anything if there were enough of a fervor or push for that type of programming.

Why bring down one of the few independent voices left in radio rather than slam the corporate BS they call radio (Clear Channel) today? Why not focus on ways to make it better? What happened to you as a volunteer that you aren't still there trying to make a difference rather than slamming everyone else who is there volunteering?
Alyce Kalmar, San Francisco

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