CityBeat's out of touch
Aaryn Belfer's sneering, thinly veiled anti-Catholicism exemplifies what's wrong with CityBeat [“Backwards & in High Heels,” Feb. 18]. She rarely writes anything constructive in her columns, or hardly anything informative about San Diego.
Belfer's ridicule of Catholic beliefs shows her intolerance. She implies that an inept 20-year-old writer, a Holocaust-denying bishop and an outdated Pope are representative of about 1 billion Catholics. They're not.
Catholicism has evolved into a pluralistic community. Catholics live according to individual conscience and have the right to disagree with Church authorities.
CityBeat has space for forgettable rants by gloomy columnists and for frequent preaching about foreign policy. But it has little space for news about San Diego. It's not a coincidence that CityBeat has shrunk by about 20 pages in the past year. The newspaper is out of touch with San Diego.
The irony is that Belfer's column describes the San Diego Reader as a “dressed-up-in-alt-weekly-clothing publication best used as an Ambien substitute—since it's both sleep-inducing and non-addictive.” Does she think CityBeat is much better?
Florencio Ramos,University Heights
Editor's note: It actually might be a coincidence. CityBeat's advertising revenue had been growing steadily, and its page count had been holding firm, until the economy tanked last fall.
I don't know why the federal government can't create its own health insurance company and run it at non-profit [“Editorial,” March 4]. Call it Fannie Hip—provides basic coverage to all Americans on a sliding-scale, participation is voluntary (you can buy your premium health insurance through a private insurer if you want). Doctors and hospitals would be forced to accept it. The “company” would be subsidized by a tax on private insurers, and those who chose to buy their own private insurance, well, that income wouldn't be tax-free anymore. The government company would create not only more jobs, which we need, but also competition in the industry, as well, driving down the price of private insurance. It's win-win.
James P. Castranova II, Esq.,South Park
The myth of socialism
Your March 4 editorial hit the nail on the head. I'll add another factor of the “for-profit insurance model” mentioned in the piece. Healthcare IT and other cost-saving measures are commonly bandied about as solutions. Such solutions are moot because in a for-profit model, cost savings go to executives and shareholders; they are not passed on to the consumer.
By the way, the mention of socialism in the editorial brings to mind another dynamic that is in play. Socialism is the new talking point being thrown around by the GOP, the religious right and others—and especially by what I call the ESSS (echo-spin-scare-smear machine.) America has always had elements of socialism, public education, for example. The socialism claptrap is just propaganda to create a knee-jerk reaction to the mere mention of the word; it's the same way that “liberal media,” “liberal elite” and other myths have been exploited. They also are trying to exploit the conflation of “socialism” with “communism” in the minds of many. I would remind people that the New Deal and the Great Society implemented many social programs, and we certainly weren't a socialist country back then, and we were fighting the commies tooth and nail—either directly or by proxy.
Dan Jacobs,Mira Mesa