Get outta the bubble
Got to say I was especially interested in the story “The gay agenda” [“The Front Lines,” Jan. 21], and I definitely think there needs to be more analysis in why the gay-rights movement has remained an isolated movement. Many people don't take it seriously, and many younger people involved treat it as a fad, so there shouldn't be any surprise that there is also a lot of ignorance surrounding the issues and even the basic ideas of homosexuality within society.
What needs to happen, I think, is for the gay-rights movement to move beyond their own movement and join the increasingly larger efforts of other causes. A narrow-minded, single-issue activist will make the stupid and racist mistake of blaming another minority for their own failures.
Votes aren't what we want, and neither are laws. What we want is real change in society, and that is going to take gay-rights activists becoming involved in every struggle against oppression and sharing ideas with their new comrades. As long as any activist, no matter what their cause, stays in the bubble, we won't have the unity we need to really get what we demand.Kenneth Eby,North Park
Bring on the Indians
About your Jan. 28 story by Eric Wolff about the city unions [“The Front Lines”]: I am supposed to have sympathy for someone who has not produced anything? We have public “employees” who can retire at 150 percent of salary for not working for life. Well, boo-hoo,
I have worked for 48 years and Social Security gives me $1,425 a month. I could care less about these leeches who suck up taxpayers' money who do honest work for a living.
Get real Mr. Wolff; you don't have a clue.
How many federal employees contribute to SS?
Fire all of them and outsource to India. Send all of them out to the public workplace to look for a job. Problem is, based on experience with public “employees,” I cannot imagine any entrepreneur hiring someone with an entitlement for not working.James Kulpa,University City
Where credit is due
About “The color of reality” [“Presently Tense,” Jan. 28]: D.A. Kolodenko's conclusion that Obama becoming president does not mean that racism is over is spot on. In addition to the indicators Kolodenko cited to support his conclusion,
I'll add another. Consider that many people thought that Colin Powell's crossing party lines to endorse Obama was based on race, yet those same people did not consider it based on race when Lieberman crossed party lines to endorse McCain. Barack Obama did not win because racism is over—let's give credit where credit is due. The only way at this point in our history that Obama could have become president—or a woman for that matter—was for white guys to have fucked up royally.Dan Jacobs,Mira Mesa
‘A bong is a bong'
I read “Authorities smoke out water bongs” by David Silva [“Post-Mortem,” Jan. 28]: Your characterization of the county as confused and enforcing ill-defined laws is not fair. I spent many years in the anti-drug business. Please allow me to clarify some issues.
First, paraphernalia dealers are a component of the drug-trafficking machine. John Brown III, former acting DEA chief, put it well when he said, “They are as much a part of drug trafficking as silencers are a part of criminal homicide.” And the citizens don't want it. The North Park Community Association's Drug Paraphernalia Working Group stages public events in protest. The stores send a bad message to children and users alike.
Second, the county is bound by conflicting laws that allow certain persons to consume marijuana while banning devices used primarily to smoke it. Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gianera related the county policy in a Union-Tribune interview published Nov. 9, 2006. You can find it on the 'Net.
Third, narcotics paraphernalia is also a federal subject matter per 21 U.S.C. 863. The best source for definitions and case law on this topic is the DEA website. If you enter the query string “drug paraphernalia,” you will find a great deal of information. Under the federal law, there is no such thing as a “tobacco exemption.” The 2003 DEA campaigns “Headhunter” and “Pipedreams” were both followed by press releases that discuss that particular exemption. A bong is a bong, and it is paraphernalia “per se.” Perhaps the smoke shops would prefer a visit from the DEA? Those releases are also available on www.dea.gov. Also Jesse Katz at Rolling Stone wrote a piece called “The White House Tries to Ban the Bong.” It was published in issue No. 927. It, too, relates the specificity of these laws.The specificity is there under both the federal and state laws.
For too many years the smoke-shop industry enjoyed the protections of a laissez-faire U.S. attorney who liberally construed these laws. Our current U.S. attorney has yet to relate her position on this topic.James Fatchett,North Park
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