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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

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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.

I absolutely agree with this viewpoint. San Francisco offers (arguably) the best quality of living in the country, if not the world, and there is no coincidence that this same city happens to be one of the least auto-friendly. People come here to ride our cable cars, streetcars, ferries, etc., because they have disappeared from their own cities and neighborhoods where once they were the norm and not the exception. I moved to the city so I wouldn't HAVE to drive. I lived in L.A. for a long time and know what it is like to have to drive miles and miles to eat in one area, pick up dry cleaning in another, go to a grocery store in yet another place, and live miles away from all of it again.

Our city, like New York, is unique, and it should stay that way.
Lance Walker
Noe Valley

A Parallel Universe
I know quite well that to expect a geographical faculty from the average Joe is an exacting requisite, but to see such mediocrity in SF Weekly, the paragon of ethnic and fiscal diversity, is disheartening.

Shalimar is not an Indian restaurant, even within your limited, out-of-context colloquial categorization ("Best Indian Restaurant," Best of San Francisco, May 17). It is not in any way reflective of Calcutta, a city in Bengal state, over 1,200 miles from Lahore, which incidentally is the location of the Mughal "Shalimar" garden. It is not only inhabited by "Pakistani cooks," its cuisine is Pakistani, as well as the ownership.

Cities and cultures over a thousand miles apart share very little in common. A parallel for the Eurocentrics among us would be the distance between London and Berlin: 720 miles.
Saqib Mausoof
Twin Peaks

Released
Spundae Productions requests an immediate retraction and correction be initiated with regards to the item printed on Page 147 of the May 17 issue of SF Weekly (Best of San Francisco) titled "Best Club to Scope Out Exotic British DJs" ("Release" at Ten 15 Folsom).

The content two-thirds of the way deep reading "Take DJ duo Sasha and Digweed, for example, who treat the club as a second home" is grossly incorrect. Sasha and Digweed have never played for the production company Release. Sasha and Digweed, who are world-renowned talents, play exclusively for Spundae Productions. These two talents have absolutely NO ASSOCIATION with Release Productions.

The following sentence in the Best Of article is also incorrect: "... and other bigwigs like Paul Oakenfold, Andrea Parker, and Grant Plant." Paul Oakenfold has never represented Release Productions. He plays exclusively for Spundae Productions.
Michael Anthony, PR Manager
Spundae Productions
San Francisco

SF Weekly responds: DJs Paul Oakenfold and Sasha and Digweed have only played for Spundae in San Francisco. SF Weekly regrets the errors.

Big Shoes
As a regular reader and occasional contributor to Michael Fox's Reel World, I was surprised at the reference to S.F. Film Commission Executive Director P.J. Johnston as virtual ("... as effective as phantom Film Commission Executive Director ...," May 24).

While the late Robin Eickman left some mighty big shoes to fill, it seems like P.J.'s unique history and combined political savvy, diplomatic skills, and motivation to further the local film community have already brought significant success to the scene.

Post P.J.'s campaign service to Da Mayor, his office's marketing efforts and neighborhood concern resolution have nurtured a robust spring of film production and post work, including shooting for Disney's Bedazzled and currently Bel Air Entertainment's Sweet November. Several other significant feature projects as well as commercial and industrial production have helped put bread on the table for many of us employed in the San Francisco film industry. We're thankful and supportive of P.J.'s efforts, which seem a bit more real than phantom.
Howie Stein
American Zoetrope
San Francisco

Both Sides Now
Interesting photo of Live Nude Bands ("Long Live Sport," Night Crawler, May 31). You have the rare distinction of publishing a photograph that is both over- and underexposed. And you call the Weekly an alternative newspaper.
Ronald Tierney
Via InternetJeff Riggenbach

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