His Class Average Is Still Okay

Up to now, Don Bauder has been doing low-A and high-B work in his columns covering the ongoing financial disaster. But in his April 15 column, he flunks the class (“No Place for Sissies,” “City Lights”).

No amount of service cuts or tax increases will stop the financial free fall. The issue is corruption, plain and simple.

If graft, fraud, theft of public funds, “misappropriation,” and grift were severely restricted, you could increase services and cut taxes at the same time.

It’s all about the “three chronic illnesses” of government: misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance. This is why we have public employees making out while those who support their hefty paychecks and pensions slide into ruin. This is why there seems to be no end to the financial crisis. And this is why tax increases and service cuts only make the problem worse — it’s like giving booze to an alcoholic.

Name Withheld
via fax

Victimized, Underpaid

Re “Pedicabs in Peril” (“Stringers,” April 15). J. Howard is right. The real pedicab problem is the exploitation of J-1 exchange students by companies that call workers “contractors” instead of “employees.” Local pedicab businesses face unfair competition and loss of local jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating this practice of victimizing workers who don’t get the compensation they deserve. The City of San Diego is not focusing on the real problem: exploitation of J-1 students to illegally cut costs and an influx of numbers of J-1 students who can’t understand why they sit for hours and get no fares.

People enjoy pedicab rides. It is a valuable service.

U.S. Department of State undersecretary for public diplomacy Judith A. McHale wrote to me that the pedicab issue in San Diego is a concern and the Summer Work/Travel programs have been cautioned that exchange visitor participation in the pedicab field raises legal issues that need to be taken into careful consideration.

The City of San Diego needs to be working with the U.S. Department of State as well as Labor to resolve this issue, not hammering our local businesses who are complying with the law and struggling to stay in business. Nathaniel Uy’s article is keeping this issue in the public eye. City hall, help create jobs for San Diegans by fixing the real problem, not penalizing hardworking people trying to make a living.

Sally Smith
via email

Misnomer Stalker?

I’m very disturbed by the use of the word “stalker” in the title of a kind of a playful column — “Style Stalker” — because it minimizes a very serious and for the most part sexist activity and makes light of it — and it’s not light. In a sense, it wouldn’t be as strong as this, let’s say, but it would be like making a wordplay and joke using the N-word, and I know you wouldn’t do it. I suspect it was a man who came up with that title.

I, for one, find it very offensive. When I saw it, I put down the Reader and said I’m not going to read this paper anymore because it’s too clueless to use “stalker” in this way. It would be like using “rape”: Let’s Rape the Rags, “rags” being clothes. You wouldn’t do it. This is in the same category, as far as I’m concerned.

Lucy Silvay

Pull Those Weeds

I pick up the Reader each week for the genius contained within Scott Meyer’s comics, Barbarella’s stories, and most cover features. I like these things a lot. But the five full pages of ads perpetually dedicated to weed? Not so much.

Jake Glazier
via Facebook

Disappointed With Dribble

I was calling because I am super, super concerned about your little “Stringer” report here titled “Wave of Concern” by Carolyn Grace Matteo (April 8). That is not news. That is far from news. It is not even neighborhood news; it’s not even neighborhood information. This is just someone being incredibly nosy, putting her nose where it doesn’t belong.

As someone who has a child with special needs, people look at me all the time like the child is being abused. But sometimes you have to get physical with these children, just to control them so they don’t hurt themselves or hurt others. So what she considers grabbing a child and thrusting him into a chair, most people probably wouldn’t even consider that.

I’m just disappointed with the Reader in printing something like that. This is just useless drivel and has no newsworthiness whatsoever. You want to do a story about child safety versus privacy laws, do a story about that. Don’t let some knucklehead write in and leave some B.S. opinion piece like this.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Scared By Covers

I’ve been reading the Reader for a long time, ever since I came to San Diego. I really enjoy the Reader. I take it to people in the hospital, I pass it to my friends, and I enjoy the stories that are in it. You do an extremely good job. I’m begging you to please do something about the cover pictures. The cover picture is absolutely disgusting. Couldn’t you have an uplifting picture, just one once in a while? They’re getting more and more bizarre. I can’t understand why you would want to do that to the cover of a paper, what you did this last issue (“Do You Want to Be Sent Home in Pieces?” April 8).

The truth is that some people like to keep these papers and reread some of the articles and pick up some of the jokes and copy them and send them to friends, and a lot of good messages are coming because of this paper, and I know that, so it’s not a comment on the whole thing. It’s just, do something about the cover. I wouldn’t put my hand on this Reader issue. That is really disgusting. You’ve reached back into somebody’s nightmare to do that to the cover of the paper. Whoever’s smoking whatever needs to get off of it.

Name Withheld by Request
via voicemail

Discouraging Decent People

After seeing and enjoying The Last Song, as we did Nicholas Sparks’s The Notebook, it is very irritating and offensive to read Shepherd’s so-called review. He calls it an “insipid summer romance.” As far as I’m concerned, Shepherd’s “review” is what is insipid. Apparently never having the pen success of Nicholas Sparks, your wretched reviewer belittles Sparks by saying his pen is “sparkless.” We thought Miley did an excellent job of capturing the spirit, mentality, attitudes, and reactions of an intelligent and artistic teenager. He implies that the movie is “a piece of dreck,” whereas to me his reviews are pieces of dreck. I don’t know what this apparently wretched excuse of a movie reviewer looks like, but I’m sure that Miley looks better at three in the morning or after a hard workout than he does at his best in a tux. Why can’t you get a movie reviewer with heart, human emotions, and family values who knows and believes in real, kind, patient, unselfish, heroic, self-sacrificing, enduring, and committed love to review G and PG movies and let the so-called movie reviewer Duncan Shepherd review R- and X-rated movies. Real, kind, patient, unselfish, heroic, self-sacrificing, enduring, and committed love appears to be completely out of Shepherd’s understanding and experience. He should get a job at the morgue to write reviews of funerals.

A killjoy movie reviewer like this Duncan Shepherd discourages decent people from seeing decent movies. If I had been stupid enough to accept his misleading movie review, we would not have gone to see The Last Song. His attack on The Last Song is an attack on me and my tastes and preferences. When he describes as insipid, sparkless, and dreck the movies I like and prefer, he is implying that my tastes and preferences are insipid, sparkless, and dreck, when in reality it appears that this Duncan guy is the one who is insipid, sparkless, and dreck. He appears to do a far better job in discouraging people from seeing decent moves than promoting and encouraging them to see such.

I am both a gentleman and a retired professional, so even though I am sorely tempted to stoop to the street vocabulary level of four-letter words and anatomical names to tell you what I think of Duncan Shepherd and his consistently #$%& reviews of movies my wife and I have enjoyed, I will settle with asking why a decent paper like the Reader has such an apparently cynical, pretentious, emotionally callous, egotistical, arrogant, pompous, bigoted, and heartless movie reviewer? His consistently obnoxious and biased reviews of movies that we have enjoyed immensely are enough to discourage me from reading the movie reviews in the Reader and to read reviews online instead. It’s to the place that I don’t trust the Reader’s movie reviews. The guy apparently has the jaded personality and mentality of Scrooge, Killjoy, Simon Legree, Hugo’s Javert, and Dickens’ Fagin in order to write reviews as he does. The readers of the Reader deserve better.

Ron Tyler
via email

Bizarre Army

After reading the “Sly Smart-Meter Swap-Out” column (“City Lights,” April 8) this week, I realized there’s another seemingly insurmountable problem. That is, on one side we have an environmentalist and utility army, so to speak, that wants you to save energy, and at the same time the utility organizations run to the PUC and say, “Our revenue is down, we have to raise the rates per kilowatt” or whatever, whether it’s the water, gas, or electric. So you seem to have a rather bizarre army on one side saying, “Save energy, save water,” and on the other side, these same industries say, “Well, since our revenue’s down…” And they are, I think, under state law, apparently they have a guaranteed rate of return, somewhere, I think, between 6 and 8 percent, which of course is a mathematical anomaly. I wonder if there’s anyone in your shop who might be interested in looking at both sides. We customers are right smack in the middle.

Marvin Gargenbaum
Bay Park

A Minutemen Minute

Wow, Maribel, talk about extremists (Letters, April 8). I think you would qualify. I’ve never heard anything the Minutemen have said that would be deemed racist. I think they definitely see a difference between legal and illegal, although pro-open-borders people don’t. You claim the Minutemen are racist and despise immigrants (where is the fact check the Reader demands of letters?), but you offer no proof. The borders are broken because the government doesn’t want to do anything to fix it. Politicians want to get the Latino vote.

As for stating the (white) Minuteman at the border wasn’t checked by the border patrol because he was white is somehow racist is bordering on delusional. What planet are you living on? Let’s see, the border is next to Mexico. Do you think they might be checking for Latinos?

When I stayed in Thailand and traveled the country by bus, the cops stopped and checked the people on the bus. Who do you think they asked for their visa? Did that make them racist? Or do you think the fact that I was the only white guy on the bus might have alerted them that I might be a foreigner that needed to be checked?

I do agree with you on the ridiculousness of the Cuban policy favoring Cubans (that’s just the government can’t get over Castro); the same immigration policy should apply to all. Stating that the Founding Fathers left Europe to get away from nationalism, I think you need to study history. They left to get away from religious persecution; unfortunately, they reverted to that same thing once they were here. Also stating that Native Americans didn’t deem the settlers illegal, maybe not in that term but they were very territorial even amongst tribes.

We need to control the borders for various reasons. We need to know who is coming in so criminals or terrorists are not let in to prey on people. We also have 300 million people now; we need population control. We need to leave open space for wildlife to coexist also. More people means more traffic, waste disposal, air pollution, sewage in the oceans, and more and more homes for people to live in. I like limited immigration from all over the world, not just south of the border. You can only let in so many people; some will have to be turned away.

At least you didn’t call them vigilantes, as some who are too ignorant to know what the term really means. While calling people who don’t believe in illegal immigration nationalist, racist who hate all immigrants, then saying let’s stop the hate rhetoric — you should start with yourself!

Todd Gilbert
North Park


Re the Sycamore Canyon/ Puente Hills article by Jerry Schad (“Roam-O-Rama,” January 28). I am glad to hear Jerry enjoyed the hike. The City of Whittier, which owns portions of the habitat, is starting the process in efforts to begin drilling for oil on the preserve. I thought it was quite ironic that Jerry mentioned the oil derrick on the trail and said that is one of the few still running in the L.A. Basin.

Name Withheld by Request
via email

Good-Fun Garage

Re Cardiac Kidz (“Blurt,” April 8).

I’m glad to see you’re back together, Jim and Bill. Terry died last month. He would have been happy to hear that you’re together again (or perhaps he knows!). Many fun times in the past, at Bill’s folks’ garage, at our house, and at SDSU’s Backdoor. Good luck.

Dale Thompson

Vomit Added

Matthew, thanks for the nice article (“Sheep and Goats,” April 8).

We are truly a happy family around the world.

It is so sad to see that people without meaningful lives, who are filled with jealousy and hate because of Jehovah’s Witnesses being so happy in serving Jehovah and following Jesus’ example of loving everyone, including them, added their vomit as “comments” about the article at the end of the page.

Wishing you the best,

via email


The article on Jehovah’s Witnesses left out their practice of shunning people who don’t follow the rules (“Sheep and Goats,” April 8). This leads to even family members refusing to talk to their “disfellowshipped” brother, sister, child, parent, etc. They cannot even share a meal or say hello on the street. In some cases children become practical orphans for perhaps smoking, celebrating a holiday, or being gay.

J.B. Reynolds
via email

Lots Of Us

Matthew Lickona wrote an excellent and accurate report of Jehovah’s Witnesses Memorial celebration at the Lamar Kingdom Hall (“Sheep and Goats,” April 8). I wish to commend him for not being sarcastic, as many journalists are. One correction, however, with the name (in the title on the website). It is Jehovah’s Witnesses (plural). They are an international brotherhood and are readily identified by their love for one another (John 13:34, 35). I have never known a more wonderful group of people.

Name Withheld by Request
via email

Love Bomb You

Re “Sheep and Goats” article on the Jehovah’s Witnesses (April 8). I am a lifelong Jehovah’s Witnesses dissident.

(A) They are at your door to recruit you for their Watchtower society corporation. They will say that “we are just here to share a message from the Bible.” This is deception right off.

(B) Their “message” creed is a false gospel that Jesus had His second coming in 1914. The problem with this is it’s not just a cute fairy tale — Jesus warned of the false prophets who would claim, “Look, He is here in the wilderness” or “See, here He is at the temple.”

(C) Their anti–blood transfusion ban against whole blood has killed thousands.

(D) Once they recruit you, they will “love bomb” you in cult fashion to also recruit your family and friends or cut them off.

Danny Haszard
via email

Disgruntled By Standards

Thank you for printing such a lovely and accurate article concerning our memorial (“Sheep and Goats,” April 8). It’s so nice when someone looks at us objectively and sees what’s really there: people who are Christians, who love God and follow Christ, and try so hard to be examples in conduct, morals, and obedience to God.

Those who find something to complain about are those who lack knowledge of us; they get information thirdhand, or they are disgruntled because the standards of Jehovah’s Witnesses are so high that they either can’t or won’t live up to them. We all fall down at times, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t get up and continue on our way. Jehovah is merciful and forgiving when true repentance is displayed. That’s one of the benefits that we all receive from that sacrifice and covenant that Jesus made that special night of Nisan 14. Again, thank you.

Phyllis Benaburger
via email

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RE "Bizarre Army":

"[O]n one side we have an environmentalist and utility army, so to speak, that wants you to save energy, and at the same time the utility organizations run to the PUC and say, 'Our revenue is down, we have to raise the rates per kilowatt' or whatever, whether it’s the water, gas, or electric."

Holistically, we have a generally free market with public utility monopolies embedded in it. One free market response to increasing electricity rates (in the face of increasing regulation for grid-connected home solar electricity generation) is to generate and use more electricity at home while keeping it strictly for home use or sharing with next-door neighbors, without feeding any of it back into the power grid to avoid federal regulation of "Qualifying Facilities". My Encanto Gas Holder neighborhood blogs have several entries on this issue.

As for increasing water rates, some of us in Encantostan see no problem with watering the outdoor plants in the yard on any day of the week with buckets of rain water taken from whatever is left in the Lemon Grove end of Chollas Creek, since San Diego and the utility monopolies seem to have no jurisdiction over the taking of it, and the city attorney of Lemon Grove has no apparent authority to say anything about it either. When Encantostanis get real desperate, we have Richard Graves' BUSHCRAFT for recommendations on purifying stagnant or polluted water without equipment.

In extreme market conditions, chronic electricity and water shortages should be considered in an all-hazard emergency incident context. See http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp and be prepared.

The following SUMMARIES OF OVER 1400 JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES CRIMINAL and CIVIL COURT CASES will provide the BEST and MOST ACCURATE info about Jehovah's Witnesses, their beliefs, and how they ACTUALLY practice such day to day.

The following website summarizes 900 court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah's Witness Parents, including 400 cases where the JW Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions for their dying children, as well as nearly 400 CRIMINAL cases -- most involving MURDERS:



The following website summarizes over 500 lawsuits filed by Jehovah's Witnesses against their Employers, incidents involving problem JW Employees, and other secret JW "history" court cases:



This is why we have public employees making out while those who support their hefty paychecks and pensions slide into ruin. This is why there seems to be no end to the financial crisis. And this is why tax increases and service cuts only make the problem worse — it’s like giving booze to an alcoholic.

Name Withheld


Now that is my kind of letter.

I agree you you 100% brother. I only wish I knew your name so I could publicly thank you.

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