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Letters for the Week of August 10

Readers sound off on Solano Stroll, Bawdy Storytelling, and California's tax policies.


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Dalton Piercey

Executive Director, Napa Musicians Performance Guild

"Spicing Up Sexy Storytelling," Culture Spy, 7/27


As someone who's been a storyteller, I enjoy the casual nature of Bawdy Storytelling, personally. It's like telling a story at the dinner table — I don't need everyone to be staring me in the face to feel listened to, and I like the little whispers. And I love the other stories — they're recountings of places and people I know, which makes it fun, told in ways that entertain me. I'm amused at your portrayal of Sister Mable, Danarama, and Midori as having an air of pompousness, but then, these are people from a community I'm pretty familiar with.

I get the impression that you came to this event not wanting to be there and wrote down everything you disliked. Oh well — it's not for everyone, and maybe you should be back when you have a story to tell. It's hard to be up there. It's easy to sit in the audience and sniff —perhaps when you think about pompousness, you should engage in some self-reflection about your own perspectives? Just a theory. ::shrug::

Kitty Stryker, Oakland

Miscellaneous Letters

A Historical Look at Social Security

This letter is a discussion of the potential ramifications of the eminent destruction of Social Security and Medicare.

First, from Aristotle: "Political restraint should be enacted by the creation of laws that prohibit excessive political influence either for reasons of wealth or associative connections; if this cannot be done, then such persons should be required to remove themselves out of the country. Watchdog authorities should be set up to oversee activities not in keeping with the welfare of the community at large; exceptional wealth in one sector of the society is particularly to be guarded against. It is well to remember revolutions begin from reasons connected with peoples' private lives."

Again, from Niccolò Machiavelli: "Of all the follies a leader can involve himself in, perhaps the worst is to incur the general hatred of the people; such will never know safety. If they disarm the people, the people will fight them with the fury of their fists; if they kill their leaders, soon new leaders will spring up like the heads of the Hydra."

Octavian Caesar, the first Roman Emperor, understood the above principles so well that he considered his most important title (out of many) to be Tribune — that is, "protector of the common man against the rich and powerful." It should be noted that he was one of the few to die a peaceful death in old age.

It is clear the Republicans have little sense of history. Czar Nicholas II of Russia was certain his reign was secure with armies and navies and secret police, but in the end they could not, nay, would not save him (or his sympathizers). Well, reality is when it happens to you. These disenfranchisers of the proletariat had better start realizing that a gated community and a few rent-a-pigs won't save them when political Armageddon comes; and believe me, if enough vital services/programs are destroyed, it will come. Count on it.

James J. Fenton, Oakland


In our August 3 Legalization Nation column, "Gay Pride Tussles With Hemp Expo," we misstated the number of people who attended last year's Oakland Pride Celebration. Attendance was estimated to be at least 30,000. That article also contained an incorrect quotation estimating Pride's size relative to other similar events. The quote should have read that Oakland Pride is "arguably the second-largest Pride event in Northern California."

In our August 3 Eco Watch, "Soundwalls Bound for Rockridge?," we incorrectly summarized resident Jon Gabel's position on the Rockridge sound walls. His position is that along most of their routes, they are not justified by the measured noise levels.

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