Thanks a lot
I would like to thank San Diego CityBeat for its endorsement of my candidacy for reelection to Congress [“Editorial,” Oct. 30]. I greatly appreciate your support and will continue to work hard to earn it.
Bob Filner, Member of Congress
I felt compelled to write after reading your featured article on Tom Brosseau [“Music,” Nov. 6].
I am appalled at the lengths to which Mr. Brosseau will use a former loved one's personal tragedy, and not his own talent, to self-promote. It amazes me that in one breath Mr. Brosseau is recounting such a horrific rape and in the next is dreaming of how he will “make it” within the next year.
I wonder if Mr. Brosseau's former fiancée is fine with how collected and coolly he recounts her rape in marketing his latest recording.
What was the point of this article again? If it was to casually chat about one woman's personal catastrophe, congratulations, you have a winner!
Is it to be expected for the San Diego community to feel sorry for and want to embrace Tom Brosseau? I think not. I think that the larger readership of CityBeat can see through the sob story and recognize someone who is attempting to manipulate the tale of a horrible situation to further his career.
As a writer at CityBeat, you are in a position of responsibility to your readers, not to the artist whose main interest is self-promotion. I would think that you, Mr. Johnson, would have the professionalism to distinguish information pertaining to your music publication from information that is entirely inappropriate.
So, no, after reading your article, I don't feel sorry for the sad crooner Tom Brosseau. I feel sickened at the lengths to which this “artist” has reached to sell out for a glimpse of celebrity. It is too bad that you, too, seemed duped by such a sad crooner, Mr. Johnson, and couldn't see into the true motivation to make people feel sorry for him and promote record sales.
I'll never know if Tom Brosseau is a talented songwriter-after reading your article I don't care to.
Heather Hillyer, North Park
Editor's note: In the opinion of writer Troy Johnson, in no way did Tom Brosseau appear to be using this tragedy as a promotional tool for his album. However, we respect the letter writer's opinion on the content of the story.
Can't kill Ed's ideas
Re: Edwin Decker's column [“Sordid Tales,” Nov. 6]. I though it was pretty fucked up that these god damn right-wing-left-wing crap-wrangling ass-snatchers all wanna kill Ed-or at least hope he dies. What kind of person hopes someone as informed and funny as Ed dies?
And as for the pot article [“Sordid Tales,” Oct. 2], that was great-I never thought anything like that would ever get printed in this yuppie, khakis-with-Birkenstocks-while-wearing-socks city.
Nobody should be wished death, except the people who voluntarily spend over 20 hours on Girard Avenue (I used to work there, and it's the pissing eighth layer of hell). Even if you do crash your car into a pole, it doesn't matter-your ideas are out there, and they can't be killed. Keep up the good work. Ideas are bulletproof.
Dan Bronson, North Park
Deep in the muck
Re: “Private parts” by John R. Lamb [“The Front Lines,” Oct. 30]. Just wanted to let you guys know I thought the article was good. Following local politics is something we should all do, but of course don't because... (you're guess is as good as mine). Therefore, I for one really appreciate writers bothering to follow and analyze the muck for us. Kudos.
Sue Reynolds, Tierrasanta
Quibbling a bit
Re: your review of The Grey Zone, [“Film,” Oct. 23]. Neat review, but one quibble: the plural of the German word “Sonderkommando” is Sonderkommandos (though the men of the Sonderkommando would be known as “Sonderkommando haeflinge” or “special unit prisoners.”) I haven't seen the film but would recommend Eugen Kogon's Theory and Practice of Hell for more information.
Keep up the good work.
Jake Christie, Spring Valley
The guise of news
Congratulations on your editorial about KUSI news [Nov. 6]. Indeed, here in San Diego we have the most unfortunate pleasure of having some of the most biased news media in the country. An excellent example is our local daily paper, which constantly froths at the mouth anytime it has an opportunity to either bash organized labor or spread propaganda about Alan Bersin and San Diego City Schools under the guise of “news.”
Your publication is an asset to our county. Keep up the great work!
Edward Olivos, Chula Vista
Suck on this
Regarding Edwin Decker's recent column [“Sordid Tales,” Nov. 6]. Yes, it's true, wishing you dead because somebody doesn't like what you say is unacceptable. But that doesn't mean that your column doesn't suck, and your opinions don't suck, and you don't suck. You always have and you always will... suck.
Tom Hoffman, Pacific Beach
Reading and shooting How does Alan Bersin's plan to militarize our schools [“The Front Lines,” Nov. 6] fit into any definition of school “reform”? During his first year as superintendent, I was told that the key to the district's reform efforts was the “literacy block,” the first three hours of each school day and I, as a principal, was to be in the classroom during that time with “no excuses, no exceptions.”
I will always remember how any ideas I had to offer as an educator at my school or as a parent at my son's school or as a grandfather at my grandchildren's schools were rendered null and void.
Wanting to be included in what was happening was considered by Bersin as attempts to circumvent his mission to “support teaching and learning in the classroom.” In essence, people like me were relegated to second-class citizenship.
As one who dedicated pretty much every second of his 37 years in our school system to encouraging positive human relations, watching such human intercourse die on the vine, in the name of reform, has pained me no end.
And now you're telling me that, although contributing to the mission of the school system is off limits to the citizenry, there's going to be an open invite extended to the military? This baffles me because in an attempt to find something positive about the direction in which my beloved school system is heading, I have held out hope that, because of the district's persistent declaration that all its efforts were devoted to “student achievement,” it would stick to its policy of withholding student lists from the military in order to protect family privacy.
So I have to ask you, now that the district is planning to surrender civilian autonomy to the armed forces, how does this benefit our children?
You see, I just don't understand why there is a need for a task force to make sure that military recruiters have access to our children. Have you not seen the military shows on ESPN? Have you not seen the multitudes of slick “Army of One” and “The Few and the Proud” kind of commercials on TV? Are you not aware of Play Station 2's popular Navy Seal Game? Have you not stopped by San Diego High at lunch time when the marine corps sets up its table, its recruiters sharply dressed, wearing spit-shined shoes and warm, fetching smiles? How much access to our children do these people need?
Are you saying that if we make it easier for recruiters to use the military's aptitude test (ASVAB) in our schools to obtain detailed personal information on students that you are acting in their best interest in a world that has gone absolutely bonkers, crippled with fear? Are you saying that if we explore establishing an academy that would train students for military careers that you are in accord with, and willing to sacrifice our children for, a president who is itching for a war?
Are you saying that by considering expanding Junior ROTC so that it is firmly in place in all our high schools that it doesn't bother you that the military discriminates against gay people, that it denies them the right to be themselves with its “Don't ask, don't tell” policy? Is this why there is no longer a committee in the school district like the one I served on that conducted workshops at nearly every school and department in an effort to make life a bit safer for gay students?
How are our students to learn to think critically and truly strive to “Be All That They Can Be” when they are bombarded with images throughout our society that glamorize the warrior life, when we can so easily allow the Pentagon to militarize their political and social consciousness?
In closing, let me get this right: School “reform” is now about reading, computing and shooting? This community deserves more from you than your letting Alan Bersin orchestrate an assault on our schools like a military coup.
Ernie McCray, Golden Hill