Letters to the Editor

Free Taiwan; A Critical Examination of Cracker Morons and the Fall of the Roman Empire; Critical Mess; Death to the Deserving; Playing the Victim; Arrogant My Ass; Car Talk; A Parallel Universe; Released; Big Shoes; Both Sides Now

Free Taiwan
I am a fan of Joel Engardio's coverage of globalized gay issues, but was disappointed to see him passing on the People's Republic of China characterization of Taiwan as a "breakaway province" ("Comrades of the People's Republic," Postscript, April 26). No government has ever governed all of China and all of Taiwan. Taiwan was only a province ruled from Beijing for seven years. Then, rather than breaking away, China ceded the island to Japan. After World War II, Japan did not cede it to the PRC or any other country. Not one square centimeter of Taiwan has been ruled by the PRC for even a millisecond.
Stephen O. Murray
Potrero Hill

A Critical Examination of Cracker Morons and the Fall of the Roman Empire
"Cracker morons" are everywhere ("Cracker Morons Who Maim," Matt Smith, May 10). It's a consequence of crowding, use of drugs and alcohol while driving, short-term and long-term effects of toxins in our environment affecting the mentality of the general populace. Hey, if the Roman Empire fell because of lead in their water, why wouldn't we fall because of lead from our fuel in our air?
Michael T. Nelson
Redwood City

Critical Mess
Thank you, thank you, thank you for being brave enough to publish the truth about bicyclists in San Francisco ("A Cracker Moron Explains How Drivers Feel About Bikes," Postscript, May 24). You will certainly receive more than your share of hate mail, but you are right on. While I could agree with the cycle activists that their chosen mode of transportation could be good for them and good for the city, all the good is negated by their arrogant, holier-than-thou refusal to play by any traffic rules. As a pedestrian, I claim the moral high ground (higher even than the cyclists) when I say that the two-wheeled anarchist hordes make both the streets and sidewalks much less safe than they ought to be and everybody in city government to afraid to do anything about it.

It is long past time that San Francisco officialdom called in the Bicycle Coalition and its fellow travelers and laid down the law -- literally: no more bike lanes, no more cooperation with "critical mess," no cooperation of any kind until the spokespersons for bikes admit the lawless situation they have fostered and start helping the city get things under control.
Bernard Thomas
Civic Center

Death to the Deserving
A great big one-fingered salute to Cracker Moron Howard Beason ("A Cracker Moron Explains How Drivers Feel About Bikes"). I'm sure his logical and well-thought-out argument was an inspiration to other Cracker Morons who may have been questioning their driving habits. Now vindicated, these motorists, nay, these CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE, can apply themselves anew to the business of running down deserving pedestrians and bicyclists!
Christopher Cantor
Oakland

Playing the Victim
Very pleased to see an alternative view on the bike issue. The writers, Howard Beason ("A Cracker Moron Explains How Drivers Feel About Bikes") and Duane Danielsen ("The Battle Lines Are Drawn," Letters, May 24) are both right on -- bike riders are NOT innocent victims. They consciously violate the same laws they demand other drivers obey, in spades! Keep up the fair reporting. Bravo and kudos!
Erik Beckjord
Citizens Against Bike Abuse
North Beach

Arrogant My Ass
What a delightful change of pace to read a satirical piece in SF Weekly. I refer, of course, to the Postscript "A Cracker Moron Explains How Drivers Feel About Bikes." The first tip-off that this column was meant tongue-in-cheek was at the beginning of the third paragraph, when "Howard Beason" states that bike riders are "arrogant." A cabdriver calling a bicyclist arrogant! What a richly comic imagination Mr. Beason has! According to him, bicyclists break "the same laws we get tickets for breaking." But, living downtown, where at least a third of the vehicles on the streets are cabs, I know better.

Spend an hour walking around downtown. You'll see cabdrivers double parking, making illegal turns from outside lanes, blocking pedestrian crosswalks, backing down the street, you name it. I've been living downtown for eight years now, witnessing these things, but I've never seen a cabdriver being ticketed.

Cabdrivers, as anyone who spends much time downtown knows, are the rudest and most arrogant drivers in the city. Bicyclists come in a distant third, with the operators of private cars in second place.

Oh, by the way, thanks for Matt Smith's fine piece on "Aparkalypse Now" (May 24). It's such a relief to read something on this subject other than the incessant whining of Ken Garcia and Laurel Wellman about how they can't find any place to park the stupid, useless cars they wouldn't be driving at all if they had any sense.
Jeff Riggenbach
Via Internet

Car Talk
Just wanted to take a moment to thank Matt Smith, David Pasztor, and everyone else who contributed to the "Aparkalypse Now" feature story. One hears a great deal of moaning and complaining about the auto traffic problems in the city and how we should "solve the problem" by adding more spaces, but this is one of the first pieces I have heard from the other perspective.

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