Tip Of The Scamberg
Thank you for printing the cover story “Would You Like Five Free Cell Phones?” featured in the July 28 issue. In this day and age, there is no shortage of scammers who want to separate people from their hard-earned cash. If this article stops them from being so gullible, it will be your good deed for the year. This is only one scam, though, and the warning about the many others is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Ronald E. Long
The Pulse Of The Public
Re “Who Watches the Watchdog?” (“City Lights,” July 28). Another problem with Michael Shames and UCAN seems to be their lukewarm interest in the needs and fears of SDG&E consumers in the matter of so-called smart meters, which emit radio frequency radiation in pulses all day and all night and have caused serious health problems in some people, as well as interference with electronic devices, not to mention fears of overcharging and future misuse of private electric usage data. The California Public Utilities Commission is about to decide whether California utilities must provide an opt-out alternative for customers who wish to return to analog meters. Where is UCAN in this fight for a reasonable option? And will Don Bauder please look into the matter?
I would like to respond to the “Stringers” story called “Killer on the Loose” on page 52 (July 28). I think that the person who discovered the crime scene should have reported it to the County Department of Animal Services so that an investigation could be made and the dog killer could be found.
via voice mail
I was upset but not too surprised by the screwing over Barbarella and David received regarding the selling of their home (“Joy Ride,” “Diary of a Diva,” July 28). The exact same thing happened to us 30 years ago when we were trying to sell our motel in Winslow, Arizona. We learned a very painful lesson, namely that there are many people who have absolutely no qualms or inhibitions about playing this sort of game. We also learned that “all’s fair in love, war, and real estate.” It can be an incredibly stressful endeavor, where ordinary people turn into cash-crazed monsters. Your buyers, Barbarella, made offers on lots of properties and thought absolutely nothing about reneging at the last minute. I’m so sorry you had to be put through this nightmare; 30 years later, I’m still pained by our own experience. A pox on these heartless predators!!
Wrinkles Vs. Melancholy
My few paragraphs are in response to the cover article of March 17 (“Shame”). It’s a shame it’s taken me so long to respond. When I first read the article, I had to quickly make a cigarette. I can’t smoke the premade cigarettes. I will smoke too many and then go into an asthma-like state. I have pulmonary sarcoidosis, so I must unfortunately keep track of how much I smoke. If I didn’t have a cat sleeping at my side nightly, I might be in better shape.
Now, I’m going to start with the “I’d rather”:
I’d rather be a smoker than a drinker. Smoking doesn’t cause violent behavior.
I’d rather smoke and drive than drink and drive. As a matter of fact, if someone is killed from a drinking and driving incident, I consider it a case of murder.
I’d rather smoke than own a gun.
I’d rather have a smoking president than a Republican president. Even nonsmokers suffer.
I’d rather my teenager smoke than drink, use drugs, or be responsible for the birth of a child.
And now some “did you know”:
Did you know that President Obama is well aware of the fact that if the tobacco companies were forced to use the natural way of drying tobacco leaves there would be less lung cancer? Has he done anything about it? Like everything else he “takes note of,” of course not.
Did you know that 50 percent less Europeans die of lung cancer? Maybe because they’re smarter and less greedy, their tobacco leaves are dried the old-fashioned, safer way. No chemicals are used to make the process faster.
Did you know that the common greed that runs this country kills more people than tobacco?
Did you know if you were to ask an older, supertalented actor or musician what has kept them at their best even as they’ve aged, their reply, “I gave up drinking years ago”?
Did you know that way too many will drink until they vomit publicly? Vomiting in public is no different than defecating in public. To deliberately drink to the point of vomiting or passing out, the person should be jailed for several months.
Wouldn’t you rather have a little accidental cig smoke come your way than somebody vomiting on or near you?
A university is allowing its students to carry guns. Wouldn’t you feel safer if they were carrying a pack of cigs?
Most teens who try smoking after a few years of peer pressure quit smoking. Those who start drinking can become permanent alcoholics.
I do not feel any shame in smoking at all. And if we pressed our government, it could make sure the tobacco companies are doing things properly, just like the big greedy companies that do not obey the rules for the proper ways of handling what we eat.
Smoking has been going on for a long time, but lung cancer became prevalent in the 20th Century. Maybe it’s the butane lighters, also. I don’t think butane in the lungs is a good idea. You have to beg a store for a pack of matches. Matches contain sulfur. Sulfur is a healing chemical. Also, one should consider that it is the smoke that is the deadliest toxin from cigarettes. Why? Find out. An educated human should always be polite in words and actions. I do not smoke around anyone. I wouldn’t want them overdrinking and vomiting on my shoes.
President Obama smokes and so does his wife. You can see the small, vertical winkles on her upper lip. I have those now, and perhaps I’m a bit vain, but they really are aging.
One last comment. I never smoked in my entire life until I started on an unusual and potent antidepressant. Since an old friend dropped by and said, “What happened to you? You used to be so pretty.” Now I try to go off this medication for refractory depression. I’d have to be hospitalized for two weeks to get off these meds now. I have next to nothing in insurance. So I have to decide would I rather smoke and be free of the chronic melancholy, or go off the meds to stop the wrinkling of my lips and risk going into a catatonic state. Oh, I’m not ashamed of smoking. I’m ashamed of all the family members and so-called friends who dumped me. As if an ailment of the mind was a whiff of smelly air.