Letters to the Editor

Letters from February 28, 2001

Size Matters

Hey, we don't write 'em, we just print 'em. Up front. Where everyone can see.:Each week I pick up copies of both SF Weeklyand the Bay Guardian and immediately turn to the back to see how many pages each contains. When the Weeklybests, or at least ties, the Guardianin page count, my spirits are lifted.

A brilliant woman I used to know had a memorable comment about this odd habit: "It doesn't appear that your mind is overly preoccupied." Indeed. Why I should be concerned with a statistic that should be of primary importance only to your assistant cost accountant rather baffles me.

I suppose it's because the Guardianstrikes me as a classic example of the cognitive dissonance that afflicts a certain class of San Franciscan. The primary advertisers in its initial pages are health clubs, supposedly frequented by the upscale dot-commers the Guardianotherwise doesn't have much use for. The accompanying editorial content, however, mostly concerns "progressive" causes, some of which were dead before many of its readers were born.

The Weeklyalso sometimes shows signs of this confusion. But overall, I get the sense you recognize that each individual in San Francisco is exactly that, someone who can be both politically correct and incorrect, both believer and agnostic, intermittently or even in the same breath. In that, it seems to recognize all of the possibilities of San Franciscans. For that, you should be rewarded with the incremental revenue and margin expansion that a higher page count brings.

Bob Schneider
Richmond District

Sticks and Stoners

We took journalism, but we didn't inhale: Matt Smith's Feb. 14 message to medical pot users ("Smoke and Smearers") was as far removed from the spirit of St. Valentine as could be. It must have been severe indigestion indeed that prompted the nasty spew he directed at what he calls "the doobied classes," against whom he (unnecessarily) admits to having a prejudice.

Smith has two apparent goals: One is to defend the honor, integrity, and employment of embattled Marin DA Paula Kamena, who is facing a recall election in May. He presents Kamena as a prosecutorial St. Joan, simply intent on protecting Marin citizens against the evils of medical pot, which Smith assures us is "a bale of hokum meant to give drug profiteers broader reign."

He also wants to heap scorn on medical marijuana proponents: dangerous people, whose mere exercise of constitutional rights menaces "the fundaments of egalitarianism and democracy."

Stripped of Smith's pompous rhetoric, the nexus of his and Kamena's error is that the law they disagree with was passed overwhelmingly in 1996; loosely written or not, it's on the books. It -- not federal law -- is the one Kamena is sworn and obligated by California to uphold, like it or not.

Smith has left out most of the facts in this case and distorted those he's included. Whatever his over-the-top essay represents, it's neither accurate reporting nor reasonable opinion; and it sure as hell isn't journalism.

In fact, it's exactly what his headline accused Kamena's opponents of conducting: It's a smear.

Tom O'Connell, M.D.
San Mateo

Tendentious? Effluvia? Excoriating? Try putting down the dictionary.: I have to say that this is the most tendentious pile of badly executed, ill-begotten, sophistic flotsam I have read in a long, long, long time (excepting, of course, the editorial page of the New York Times).

Do they actually pay you for such coprography? Unbelievable. Since you write for a commie rag, I have a feeling you are one of those puerile phonies who label themselves "progressive." But that is a pool of effluvia I will wade into at another time.

It's funny that you support people who refuse to uphold the law while excoriating (I realize that word is too big for you. Look it up. In the thick book. The one that says "Dictionary.") people who are working legally to accomplish their goals. Lenin and Stalin would be proud of you.

The simple fact is that the war on drugs is destroying liberty at home and entire nations abroad. Our police have become militarized, arrogant, and completely out of control. They despoil citizens of their property without trial. Our freedom is evaporating all around us. Whatever happened to realliberals? You rabidly lick your chops over the thought of pot smokers in prison. It won't stop there. When they come for you I hope you will remember the words of Martin Niemöller: "Then they came for me and ... there was no one left to speak up for me."

So, while you wallow in the hate-filled, mean-spirited muck that is your soul, I'm gonna light up a fatty of exotic, imported smoking material and enjoy myself.

Scott McCrea
Las Vegas, Nev.

Weed killers: Duuuuuuude, your article and viewpoint are so lame. In the sentence "Like other practitioners of the Politics of Base Urges -- gun nuts, death penalty advocates, etc.," you forgot the category to which you belong: journalists who try to sway others with absurdly misguided views. You are clearly trying to place pot smokers in the same category as violent, gun-wielding thugs (witness your Rambo illustration, bursting from a jungle of hemp, or the statement "armed-and-dangerous marijuana entrepreneurs"). Trying to scare readers into thinking that those who inhale the "acrid smoke" of ganja are destined to commit violent acts on society is stupid. Unless you are extremelyignorant, you may have noticed that people under the influence of marijuana are the most mellow, laid-back, and nonviolent folks you can find.

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