Letters and feedback
As good as it gets
Dear Mr. Sullivan:
Perhaps you are correct that “Nothing short of a revolution will stop the madness” [Commentary, December 2006]. In that case, though, the madness will likely continue indefinitely. There will be no revolution in America. Americans are steadfast only in their desire to remain blissfully ignorant of the workings of their empire. As long as they can drive their cars, watch their televisions and play with their computers, bombs dropping on foreign lands have no real effect on them. Most Americans will happily support wars, provided we win them and even, apparently, when we lose. Few Americans care about NAFTA or CAFTA or global warming or where and by what means their appliances are manufactured. It would take a profound economic collapse before Americans would even look at the current situation. They are far more interested in endlessly arguing about Roe vs. Wade or whether John Kerry is a “flip-flopper” than taking on the pressing issues of our time.
I agree that the Democrat takeover of Congress is unlikely to produce any significant change to the power structure, other than marking the end of a darker cycle than usual. So perhaps we should at least embrace that, because it’s probably as good as it’s going to get.
San Luis Obispo
There’s always hope
I’m living just down the road from you in San Luis Obispo and am a Cal Poly student. I read your article [“Institutionalized,” November 2006] by random chance and was greatly moved by it. It matured and enlarged my outlook on my life. I became aware of all the hassles that I go through every day to keep my life going as normal (paying bills, cooking food, cleaning up).
Also, the part about you ending your conversations with Brad caught my attention. At first I admired Brad for the way he was able to “see the glass half full.” Although I would never criticize Brad for accepting and seemingly succumbing to imprisonment—because that is a way of life I can only imagine living—I like your outlook better. THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE! And I might add that through your column you have more people (i.e., me) on your side. I will be praying for you.
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
I have just read your Scrooge article [“Scrooge lives!” December 2006] and for the most part I’m right there with you. However, have you ever considered that there is a deeper issue going on during the “holidaze” that makes people want to get drunk? The deeper issue is that there is something real taking place that they are missing out on, and they are mourning for in a primal sense. If what they are feeling is such bullshit, then why do they have this need to bury themselves in drink and other escapes?
THE DAY: November 20, 2006
THE LOCATION: French Hospital Parking Lot
TIME: 10:40 a.m.
THE PROTAGONIST: My wife Catherine, age 91, driver of our car, walks with the aid of a cane.
MYSELF: Howard, age 95, also drives and uses a cane. We have been married 72 years.
PURPOSE of TRIP: To have a heart monitor wired to my chest for 24 hours to monitor pulse rate.
THE CONFRONTATION: When we finally found a parking spot and my wife, with great difficulty, got out of the car and I got out from the passenger side, I saw a stranger, male, about six feet tall, age my guess about 60, berating her. He confronted her saying, “Did you know you were driving on the wrong side of the road? You cut me off. I followed you into the parking lot.”
My wife denied his accusations. He continued his haranguing. I then told him to leave us alone; we have had enough of his berating. He reluctantly left, still muttering. We later saw the same man at the reception desk talking to a hospital volunteer receptionist of French Hospital. We had to leave for my appointment. When we got to the check-in room, we found approximately 16 persons waiting. I had just been called to the reception desk and was giving insurance information, when in walks two police officers, one male in a blue uniform, the other, a female, she was in a gray uniform. The male officer started the conversation and addressed my wife with the following, “Are you Veronica?”
“My name is Catherine,” she said. Again the police officer addressed her as Veronica, and again she told him, “My name is Catherine.” The next thing he said to her was, “Do you have a drivers license?”
“Of course I do," she said.
“May I see it?”
“Yes,” and she handed it to him. I then addressed the male officer, “Do you intend to give my wife a citation, officer?”
My wife then pointed a finger at the female officer who had been glaring at my wife, saying nothing. “Who is she?”
Male officer: “She is my assistant, she verifies what I say. She is training to be a policewoman.” The police then abruptly left the room.
Could this be a case of mistaken identity? Do the police have the wrong person? Why is he addressing my wife with a first name sounding like Veronica? You don’t address someone you suspect is breaking the law by his or her first name. After all, my wife is not a personal friend of the police officer. Why did he not address her as Mrs. Gaines? Why did the police not confront my wife with the presence of the accuser? She has the right to confront the accuser under the Bill of Rights, to question who, what, why, when, where. PROOF!
Why were the police using their power to intimidate, harass, and terrorize a 91-year-old woman? She is INNOCENT! Why did the police hinder me by interrupting my medical attention that I bought and paid for? Again, the ugly word “INTIMIDATION” comes to my mind. The police are woefully ignorant of The Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Republic.
Liberty and justice for ALL, including the ELDERLY!
Survival, or literature?
Dear Rogue Voice:
I just moved to this area and picked up your paper in that groovy little coffee shop in Morro Bay, the one you have an ad of in this issue. Anyway, strangely enough, I like your paper. What the hell is that guy in jail who writes in for? Good writer but who wants to hear about women getting screwed over by men? There are enough man haters among the female population as it is, and I should know, usually belonging to that category or used to. The guy who washes windows whitewashed that depressing occupation but what is literature anyway? This generation seems to enjoy wallowing in squalor, misery and bullshit. I liked your story about the drunk who could have been a contender, reminded me of my brother. Yes, it is a sorry time of year, but perhaps that is why it is such a nice time too, the hopes, the temporary feeling of wanting to give something to someone else. It is good for people to write—I wonder if anyone has to read it. Anyway, it is good you are doing what you are doing. This place is slow. Sort of peaceful, it feels weird but I have a lot of books to read. I agree that the relationship between the sexes is strained but kind of don’t care anymore. We have bigger problems like survival, I think. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe if men and women could get along, creation would get a break. Got me, I think too much.
Your new neighbor in SLO,