Deep thoughts from deep readers

Stop Blaming Men

Is Maggie Young (“Peter Pan in San Diego”) vying for the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind reward of the post-sexual revolution when she passes herself off as an eternal virgin yet perpetual whore?

Since men, God bless ’em, think and act differently than women, does she expect them not to respond to sexual stimuli? Have her “Southern roots” not provided her with any concept of self-control — physical, emotional, intellectual, and/or sexual?

A brief scan of the book of Proverbs (she’s from the Bible Belt, after all), especially the first few chapters, should be a mind-opener.

Enough already, with blaming men for your own behavior! Take some responsibility, lady from the South!

  • Name Withheld
  • East Village

Minimum Wage for the Minimally Skilled

Dave Rice’s article, “Food Service Workers Rally for Higher Minimum Wage,” is an interesting piece of journalism. He quotes a fast food worker, the director of a socialist action group, and a labor leader, but includes no counterargument from a recognized economist, or a fast-food industry spokesperson.

The report also contains some large holes. For example, to what size dwelling does the average rent of $1300, cited by Ms. Crawford, apply? A studio? One bedroom, one bath? Two bedroom single family home? And from what orifice did Mr. Barrera pull that figure of 40,000 jobs that would be created by paying such workers a living wage?

Fast food jobs are minimum wage for the minimally skilled or untrained, with which no reasonable person should expect to be able to support a family. High school students in need of gas and movie money have, until recently, been the majority holders of such jobs.

An increase in wages to $15-$20/hour will initially result in $7 Big Macs and $3 rolled tacos, followed by mass closures of fast food outlets, and even more hardship for these workers. Raising the minimum wage does nothing but raise the prices of everything else, and makes politicians look like noble humanitarians for a few weeks.

Contrary to Mr. Barrera’s belief, living-wage jobs are created when banks lend money to brilliant, hard-working folks (Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Bill Gates leap to mind) who have great ideas and the energy to start and grow businesses that employ thousands; not by folks who print tons of money and raise taxes.

  • Salvatore Scafidi
  • Mission Hills

More Ink for Bush

Excellent article by Robert Bush on Anthony Davis, one of the most undersung masters of American music (Blurt: “Our Pulitzer Pianist”). It’s great to see regular blog postings by Bush, notable for the insight and passion about what is going on in jazz improvisation. How about giving him more print exposure?

It is no secret that he has championed my music, which I’m grateful for, yet this isn’t the point. His contributions have boosted a vibrant and artistically diverse spectrum of the jazz scene here in San Diego, not as a museum but as a living art form. The print readership needs to profit from his point of view as well.

  • Mark Dresser
  • via email

Hip-Hop Is for Grown-Ups

Re Art Subject/Object: “Carly Newman Tries Art, Succeeds!

Carly. Sweetheart. Leave the hip-hop lyrics to the grown-ups. The n-word is just a little too much for you to handle right now.

Oh, one more thing. I think you messed up on the keyboard when choosing your college major. It should have been “ethics” not “ethnic studies.” I guess your parents forgot to mention that just because someone pays you for something doesn’t mean you’ve done the right thing.

  • Beverly Griffin
  • via email

Page Rundown

The August 29 edition of the Reader offered several fresh insights into the alternate reality you seem to be creating — and I’m not speaking of SD on the QT.

On page 40, in the second paragraph of “You shot me!” you have “the bullet did not touch the 16-month-old male fetus.” Bit long in the gums for a fetus, isn’t it?

Then, in Blurt comes the fascinating story of Anthony Davis. On page 66 he implies he stayed in school to avoid the draft. Well, I was 18 in 1971 as well, and also had a very low lottery number. The fact is that student deferments were no longer in effect at the time. He’s being very disingenuous here, which makes me wonder about the reality of all the other alleged facts in the piece.

Onto the movie scene, on page 84. In the last paragraph of Scott Marks’s Midnight Cowboy memoir, he perpetuates the near-legendary falsehood that in the film Goldfinger, Oddjob has a razor-thin hat. Metal? Yes. Razor? Never. Did Marks ever even see Goldfinger?

I was beginning to become nauseous when I bounced to the conclusion of Barbarella’s latest episode of narcissism, where she once-again called her husband “beh-beh.” I had encountered the perfect instant purgative.

  • Jeorges Alvina
  • North Park

Blowin’ in the Wind

I was really disappointed to read your recent article “They’re Everywhere Out Here.” It repeats a lot of false claims with regards to wind energy and public health.

There are many peer-reviewed scientific reports from government agencies across the globe that dispel the myth that wind turbines are responsible for negative health impacts. Surprisingly, none of these of these scientific facts made it into your story. The facts about wind power are much simpler than your sensational journalism. Wind power is a safe energy source that benefits public health by reducing air pollution from fossil fuels.

A comprehensive study released in January 2012 by the Massachusetts Departments of Environmental Protection and Public Health refutes several of the myths about sound perpetuated by your article. There is no evidence that links any of the symptoms people are describing to wind turbines. In fact, hundreds of thousands of people around the globe live and near wind farms without reporting any ill effects.

However, there is evidence that the use of wind power offsets a lot of air pollution from fossil fuel that is harmful to human beings. In 2012, wind offset 87,000 metric tons of sulfur dioxide and 61,000 tons of nitrogen oxides (attributed to lung and other respiratory diseases). Wind power also doesn’t emit mercury or other heavy metals, which collect in the food chain and are extremely harmful to humans. Lastly, generating electricity from wind does not use water or create water pollution, require mining or drilling for fuel, or generate hazardous waste requiring permanent storage.

These are just a few of the public health benefits of wind energy. It is also affordable, homegrown, and helps us address the larger threat of climate change. When making a case based on factual evidence, powering our country with clean, affordable and homegrown wind power is the effective choice.

  • Jennifer Jenkins
  • Executive Director
  • Distributed Wind Energy Association

Who Will Paint Your House?

This is in response to the letter from Betty Burston, Ph.D., and L.J. Combs, M.A.T., M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D. Wow, so many credentials listed! Apparently humility is not taught in college. If the recent Reader article, “College? No Thanks,” “lacked a coherent and well-defined thesis”, (as stated in the your letter), then your letter lacks something more: compassion.

Tell us: If college is for everyone then who will you call to repair your car? Who will you call to do your needed plumbing? Who will build that backyard fence for you? Who will paint your house? Who will ring up your groceries? Who will cut your hair?

We resent the assertion that life just isn’t that great without a college degree. I wonder why the many different people who trim my hair all tell me they love their work. Maybe they’re all pathological liars? For many, college is a fantastic, enriching choice that leads to a better job. But not necessarily better wisdom, as you implied.

My grandma had bundles of wisdom in spite of her third-grade education. My niece, on the other hand, recently earned a degree in “religious studies” from a small, elite college. She then took a job cooking at Applebee’s and tried to deal with her $75,000 student loan debt.

Isn’t it about time we learned to get off the snob bandwagon and respect the various blue collar workers who serve us every day? What about the self-educated souls who access knowledge on their own?

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

All Wet

In the August 8 City Lights section, Eva Knott reported on the theft of a 7000-gallon water tank and endorsed the character of Clay Hunter (“7000-Gallon Water Tank Gone”). In my opinion, Ms. Knott very clearly assassinated the character of Shelley Thorpe, who is currently being held without bail in Las Colinas Detention Facility.

Because the Reader is unavailable to inmates, she is unavailable to respond effectively. Therefore, because Shelley Thorpe is my friend, and because I am a witness in the actions surrounding the water tank, I am respectfully requesting that you accept my rebuttal to Ms. Knott’s false reporting on behalf of Shelley Thorpe.

If Eva Knott is a journalist, shame on her. If she has a friend who knows Diane Vasquez, shame on them. If the article is a case of remote jury influencing, then all parties should be charged and arrested.

An individual who confessed to being in cahoots with Clay Hunter after being stopped with a truckload of property from Vasquez was identified in this case by a local recycler as being the scrapper. This case is very complex with many participants, several of whom are playing it as low-down and dirty as it can be played.

The case is in the court and Shelley is in jail on a no-bail probation violation — which was some 20 days short of expiring — on the grounds that she knew what was going on out there. Of course, she did! She reported the incidents of theft, reported the burglary of her home, the torching of her clothes and computers — of her friend being beaten for videotaping Clay and associates loading property and equipment into a truck — Clay in violation of a restraining order not even a week old at the time.

Many times Shelley pleaded with me to go to that property so she could catch Clay and associates from up the street on video loading from the containers that Diane first cut the locks off of. Shelley was terrified to be there alone at night. It’s pretty dark, with no electricity, and Clay and his crew used it to terrorize her.

For ten years, Shelley tried to be the hub of that family wheel. When Clay first took that job, Diane gave him everything on the property that was not tied to her family weekend party spot — just move it all to the Clay corner. All kinds of equipment, useless to most people, Clay was scrapping every day, getting paid every week, and getting drunk with Diane and the other owners every weekend.

After the restraining order, he was not a happy man. I have seen a full assault on Shelly — but in ten years, no one else. He would never confront a man in that manner. The best part of his life had suddenly ended.

Shelly was mad because Clay’s crew from up the road was not only taking Clay’s stuff that was technically half hers, but was causing her grief in the meantime. After ten years, she was entitled to half that property.

Suddenly, after Shelly and Diane appeared in court, Diane called the sheriff and reported all the property taken by Clay and his buddies as her property and that Shelley took it — exactly like she said she would in an email to Shelly, which is in evidence and the information about the real water truck bandit, which is also in evidence.

Where did Ms. Knott get her info? Shelly is 5´3˝ and weighs about 110 pounds. She drives a little ready-to-break-down pickup that she can’t even keep gas in. I wasn’t with her 24/7, but I don’t see it happening. Not a water tank, not trucks, tractors, big machines. Clay and his cronies are a mile up the only road in town. They didn’t report any truckloads passing by.

Personally, I can’t believe the D.A. is wasting time in our budget-stricken courts.

The first thing Shelly did wrong, besides stand up to Clay, was to be too poor to have any place to go.

Oh, and surprise, Shelley! Diane’s sister-in-law Cynthia, and co-owner of the property, is a dispatcher for the S.D. sheriff’s office. Perhaps that’s why you’re not getting much sheriff-department support for incidents like Clay and his pals running you off the road in a big truck when you had a child in the vehicle, crashing your truck through the gate, and leaving your ripped-off license plate behind, which the sheriff used to track you down. Turns out that the terror crew had Diane’s permission to be on the property.

The part about Clay being a “hard worker” and a “good mechanic” made me laugh. In ten years I’ve seen nothing close to him being a good mechanic. He’s a good ol’ boy who would rather gamble than feed his kid. I’m certain I’ve bought more diapers for his kid than he did. We were neighbors at the time. He has one passion in life and that is to take their child from Shelley. He doesn’t want him, but he doesn’t want Shelley to have him either.

  • Randall Clark
  • Valley Center

Footing Allred’s Bill

Re SD on the QT: “The Filner Files,” August 8.

I wonder who is paying the legal fees for Gloria Allred, one of the highest-paid lawyers on the planet. I highly doubt the payments are coming from the savings of a mid-level city employee.

Perhaps you will choose to put one of your investigaive reporters on the case. Nevermind if the culprit turns out to be Douglas F. Manchester, developer and owner of the U-T, and/or his downtown business establishment.

  • Arthur Stein
  • University City

A Huge Hole

I’m wondering if you guys have received a lot of complaints about Matthew Alice’s column [Straight From the Hip] being discontinued. There’s a huge hole in your publication now.

I’ve been reading that column for at least 15 years, every single week! If I’m out of town I’ll go to a library to find a back copy. I have to find it. I’m obsessed!

Is there anyone else who could fill in her shoes? It had to be wildly popular, I would guess. There’s just nothing like it. I miss it!

  • Name Withheld
  • via voicemail

Was Matt Fired?

Whatever happened to Straight From the Hip? Everything is so old online, and I know there must be more up-to-date questions. Is the column dead? Was Matt fired? Does the Reader not update online entries?

Please let us know as it depends on us coming back.

  • M.V.
  • via email

We Want Alice

I really miss Matthew Alice. Straight From the Hip was the best part of the Reader. Please find someone to take his place.

  • Name Withheld
  • San Marcos

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I completely agree with Mark Dresser's letter: Robert Bush has boosted the vibrant music scene in San Diego. Bush's articles need to be in print as well as online. All of us involved in San Diego music appreciate his very knowledgeable reviews and previews. It's making a big difference for the better. Thank you, Robert.

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