Re: “Sweeping injustice” by Kelly Davis about Westfield malls and their janitorial workers [“In Focus,” Oct. 9]. Thanks for publishing such items; the public needs to be kept informed about the abuse of the poor by faceless corporations, which are, in reality, just people hiding from their own irresponsibility. As a supporter of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, I appreciate your support. Peace.
Peter M. Kopkowski, Linda Vista
Congratulations on a great new magazine. I used to live in Austin, Texas, which has an award-winning alternative weekly. When I moved here and first read The Reader, I laughed out loud. Thanks for coming to the rescue, and keep up the good work.
Chris Hawkins, Downtown
I just discovered your publication last week-picked it up because I thought it might interest my musical son. Boy was I surprised to find general news stories as well.
I was most impressed by your coverage of the war protest organized by the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice [“The Front Lines,” Oct. 9]. It was well written and gave me the feeling of being there. In younger and healthier days I would have been.
Thanks for the memories. I look forward to follow-up stories for as long as the drum beat for war continues. Do you think they might try to sneak the draft back in?
I also enjoyed some of the other music and non-music stories as well. Keep up the good work.
Bill Roe, Chula Vista
Got the spirit
Thank you for the coverage on the war protest downtown on Oct. 6 [“The Front Lines,” Oct. 9]. The piece was well written and captured the spirit of the protest.
Rebecca Melillo, Carlsbad
Bush's war plans
I really liked the article “A critical mass” in the Oct. 9 edition of CityBeat. I think that Kelly Davis did a good job of conveying the feelings and the message of the people who were there to demonstrate against Bush's war plans.
Bush cares nothing for democracy (stolen election) or freedom (detention without charges or trial), and the U.S. Congress cares nothing for peace-witness their vote for war. The people of the United States need to take to the streets and let the government know we want peace.
Polls can be interpreted, which is why you can say that the people support Bush on the one hand, and on the other you can say they only support conflict with Iraq if it's supported by the U.N. The overwhelming sentiment of letters and calls to Congress has been against war. When I'm out on the street handing out flyers against the war, the response there is also mostly positive.
The corporate media concerned solely with profit and ratings cares nothing for the truth of a situation. Small independent publications like yours and larger independent organizations like the Independent Media Centers are places where people can turn.
The global Indymedia Web site (www.indymedia.org) after putting out a call to all the IMCs around the U.S. determined that there were more than 80,000 people out in the streets last weekend in this country to say no to war.
I do think, though, that it would have been nice if you had mentioned the contact info for the San Diego Coalition for Peace and Justice (www.sdcpj.org).
Jim Carter, Normal Heights
Re: your coverage of the war protest downtown [“The Front Lines,” Oct. 9]. I was there, and I liked your write-up. Actually, I wasn't that surprised about the turnout. Maybe it was a little high for a demonstration during peace time. I participated in the demonstrations in the late '60s during the Vietnam War, and I thought the crowd was pretty impressive in those days, too. Except the climate was different and we were heckled and verbally abused a lot more.
It will be interesting to see what the public's reaction to peace rallies will be if and when Dubya goes to war. Reading the letters to the editor in the Sunday paper for the past several months, I am sensing a lot of dissention with Dubya's policies (environmental, economic, foreign policy), which leads me to believe that the political scene in San Diego is changing. I just hope all those letter writers will go to the polls in the next election.
Gisela Koestner, Poway
Thanks for caring
Thank you for printing the excellent story by Kelly Davis on the janitors working for Building One and serving Westfield malls across San Diego [CityBeat, Oct. 9]. Since Westfield has a monopoly on the marketplace, treatment of their workers impacts a large number of individual families-not to mention potential shoppers. Thank you for caring about a near-invisible population.
Lisa M. Sparaco, Southeast San Diego
Just when Ed Decker thought he would never receive anymore hate mail from brainwashed buffoons who sold their souls to Bubba “Dubya” Bush. Rick Williams from Normal Heights [“Letters,” Oct. 9] proved to this reader that regurgitated rambling from a retarded, repugnant, right-wing rectum representative like Rick Williams is worth nothing more than some great laughs.
I have noticed it is only the right-wing, brainwashed buffoons who find it necessary to attack Ed Decker and his column “Sordid Tales.” Obviously, brainwashed buffoons who are anti-American, pro-Adolph Hitler would not appreciate a gifted writer like Ed Decker for always telling the truth, being honest no matter what the subject matter is about in his “Sordid Tales” columns.
Albert Einstein said that “great spirits often meet violent opposition with mediocre minds.” It is the ignorance of mediocre minds that refuses to appreciate a writer who is honest and truthful. Instead, it is violent opposition of mediocre minds that forget it is the job of the writer to report back.
Readers like Rick Williams need to ask themselves who the real sick jerks are, who is really being selfish and who is the real evil pig? Anyone like Rick Williams who claims to be so disapproving and disliking of both Ed Decker as a person and as a writer, which is obvious from all of the verbal attacks, bitching, moaning and groaning that has originated from Rick Williams doesn't make a lot of good common sense.
Personally, I don't understand why someone like Rick Williams still chooses to read “Sordid Tales” each week, especially when Rick Williams doesn't care much for Ed Decker. I guess this is how brainwashed buffoons do the “Love American Style” response to those they consider sick jerks and evil pigs.
I prefer my advice for those like Rick Williams: “If you are going to act like a turd, go lay in your own yard,” because “if you can't run with the big dogs, it is best to stay on the porch with the small dogs.”
Rick Pumphrey, Sierra Mesa
The case for Steve
I want to thank you for taking a strong stance against the federal prosecution of Steve McWilliams [“Editorial,” Oct. 16]. Apart from the specific legal and factual issues of his defense, the notion of prosecuting medical marijuana patients and caregivers should be repugnant to people from all sides of the political spectrum in San Diego.
Depending on your point of view, the following legal and factual aspects of Steve's prosecution may be troubling and/or offensive:
1. Under federal law, marijuana is a Schedule I drug (even with the New England Journal of Medicine's statement (and many other scholarly studies) that marijuana can serve legitimate medical purposes, and ongoing UCSD studies that may also corroborate marijuana's legitimate medical purposes).
2. Steve was only providing medicinal marijuana to those patients who had a doctor's recommendation that stated the use of marijuana would help alleviate serious pain or illness.
3. The amounts of marijuana that Steve allegedly possessed and/or provided to patients is almost always prosecuted in state court, rather than in federal court.
4. The DEA spokesman has publicly stated that the impetus to Steve's federal prosecution is that he “flaunted” it-thus, prosecuting Steve for exercising his free speech rights.
5. Federal law enforcement officials worked closely with the San Diego Police Department in developing their case against Steve, even though no state charges have been brought against Steve, and Steve is in full compliance with Proposition 215.
6. Federal and state law enforcement officials in California are using hundreds of hours and thousands of taxpayer dollars to investigate and prosecute medical marijuana caregivers and patients.
7. Steve's prosecution is a direct affront to California voters in their passage of Proposition 215 as well as the California Supreme Court, which affirmed the law.
8. Therefore, the prosecution is a direct attack on California state sovereignty and the direct democracy of the initiative process.
9. These issues are all in the face of President Bush's hypocritical statement during his election campaign that medical marijuana was a local/state issue which federal government should stay out of.
Clearly, this issue affects all California citizens. Moreover, Steve's prosecution also implies that any voter who voted in favor of Proposition 215, which gave Steve the encouragement to harvest and provide medical marijuana to patients, is perhaps guilty of aiding and abetting Steve in his alleged violation of federal law.
Obviously, this may be a legal stretch, but in my opinion, a creative prosecutor could make a case that there are at least 5.3 million “unindicted co-conspirators” who voted for 215.
It's time for people to stand up for Steve, not just medical marijuana advocates, but people from the left, right and center who want the federal government to stop meddling in the affairs and policies of California.
Patrick Dudley, attorney for Steve McWilliams