Letters for the week of August 16-22, 2006

Where were the examples? What is the difference? Who are you kidding? How original is that?

“One Blowhard Down, Plenty More to Go,” City of Warts, 7/12

What a stupid article
So this computer program finds Ann Coulter guilty of plagiarism. And the same program finds Hillary Clinton guilty of plagiarism. And the article gloats about “bringing down Ann Coulter.” What about Hillary? Or maybe this is just another stupid computer program. Amazing that the article didn’t give a single specific example of reputed plagiarism by either Ann Coulter or Hillary Clinton.

Richard Eisenman, Hayward

“Swirling, Whirling Mosh Pits,” Press Play, 7/12

Ring around the rosie
Circle moshing’s for pussies too scared to slam! That running around in a circle crap, playing “ring around the rosie,” sucked ass when it first materialized and still does. What those people in Argentina were doing is more like it; good old-fashioned slam dancing. I used to describe it as a bunch of rabid cue balls bouncing off each other. Nothing can top its frenetic intensity. If you’re in it, you’re in it, not off on the sideline sucker-punching people as they go by. If you can’t take the heat, stay the fuck out of the kitchen, and go run around in a circle.

Chin Gao, Oakland

Only in Oz
Only after getting knocked flat on your back by hurricane winds or mosh-pit collisions do the winds and moshers spin clockwise in the North. In Australia, NASCAR-type oval track races are also raced clockwise, the opposite of US NASCAR.

Jeffrey Ricker, San Francisco

“Dealing in Death,” Feature, 7/5

Why blame the retailer?
I found an interesting juxtaposition in your July 5 issue. The author decries the legal sale of guns by the owner of a San Leandro gun shop. If, however, you turn the page of the same issue, you find a full-page advertisement for Camel cigarettes; and another turn of the page reveals a full-page advertisement for alcoholic beverages.

I suspect that far more deaths can be attributed to alcohol and cigarettes than to guns. Your article also reported that the owner of Trader Sports had asserted that it was difficult to determine who was a “straw buyer” and that it was impossible to “read the mind” of someone who came in to buy a gun.

If Trader Sports is in violation of law, then it should be held to account for such. On the other hand, if Trader Sports can show, in court, that they made good faith efforts to follow the rules, then they should not be forced to close their business any more than a newspaper should be closed because it carried advertisements for dangerous substances such as tobacco and alcohol. Should the East Bay Express be closed because someone bought beer after reading an ad in the Express and then became a drunk driver and killed someone else? I think not.

It is amazing that when a person is killed with a firearm, the gun gets the blame. When a drunk driver kills someone, very few people blame the booze; they rather blame the human being who abused the substance. Which is as it should be.
Bob Fink, Berkeley

Kara Platoni responds
My story documented 36 years’ worth of government and court documents showing that Trader Sports has repeatedly violated federal law.

“The Moonies and the Sharks,” Feature, 7/12

The Moon agenda
I have worked with cult members to overcome mind control and know the damage cults can do. Reverend Sun Myung Moon is nothing but a two-bit cult leader who has been convicted of tax evasion. The “Reverend” is an egomaniac that has destroyed countless families and lives. Cult recruiters prey on young and naive college students, wrecking their lives in the process.

It is a common misperception that Reverend Sun Myung Moon has a conservative agenda. His only agenda is fascism thinly disguised as “conservative values.” Reverend Moon would like nothing more than to make humanity into slaves with himself as the living god. Thank goodness most people have the good sense not to get mixed up in dogmatic cults.
Christian Peper, Saint Louis, Missouri

Beach the Ship
This article mentioned “the church’s boat.” I would hope that the Fish and Game Dept. will confiscate the vessel and equipment and ban “Rev.” Kevin Thompson from holding a fishing license. That “Ocean Ministry” needs to be sunk, period.

Barbara Graham, San Diego

“Savage Hate,” Feature, 7/19

He’s number one
You got it backward. It should have been Savage Love! I love this guy! He tells it like it is, not what the liberal trash would like to hear. Twenty years ago my wife and I loved the city (SF), but when all the scum moved in, we stopped going. The city turns my stomach now.

The Savage haters are jealous of his successes, and hate the truth. You see, the liberal pot-smoking drudges can’t stand being wrong, and can’t admit they failed. They ruined the city! I love it when he writes a new book, and it goes #1 in New York, time after time! Don’t you?
Ray Howard, Concord

This being America, Michael Savage has the right to speak his mind on air as he sees fit and to publish whatever he wants. His many fans have the right to buy his books and listen to his show. I just wonder why reputable media have to help promote him. He says so little that’s original, or especially provocative.

Immigrants and feminists are destroying America. Ho-hum.

On second thought, Savage’s lack of claim to strong religious beliefs, and his contempt of religious hypocrisy, are noteworthy among high-profile haters today. I want to see to see his attitude as evidence that the notion of the “religious right” may slowly be losing its currency. What a relief.
Karen Armstead, Oakland

Savage Jew-baiting
Michael Savage not only turns his back on old friends, he turns his back on his own ethnicity (the acknowledgement of which is strictly taboo on his show):

“Now, let’s go a step further. I have a bill in my hand; a one-dollar bill. It says ‘In God We Trust.’ That’s next from the verminous Brooklyn College lawyers, isn’t it? Go down South and have a ‘tee-hee’ over the goyim. Laugh at the goyim. Go down there and take away the crosses and they can’t touch you, huh, Mr. Cohen? Hee-hee-hee. Mr. Cohen? And you wonder where anti-Semitism comes from. Let me strip the mask off of it for you today because if you think I’m going to mince words, you are mistaken. It comes from situations like this — when you have a New York Jew like Cohen going down South into the heartland of Christianity and stealing the religious symbols from Christians. You are not going to hear it anywhere else. It’s so shocking, you don’t even believe you just heard it. No one in the media has the guts to say what needs to be said. They’re all going to make this a dancing on the head of the pin argument. They’re all going to make it a little legal argument, and go onto to the next thing and sell you a piece of garbage on their television or radio show, but let me tell you something, there’s a lot more at stake than a radio show. The future of this nation is at stake today. And I am not going to sit on the sidelines and have a little gentlemanly conversation. I said it like it is.” (11/13/2003 Savage Nation radio broadcast.)

“Red Diaper Doper Baby lawyers that are suing over at Yale to kick off those mean military recruiters. Get one of those foaming-mouthed, Coke-glassed, CURLY-HAIRED DEVILS OUT OF NEW YORK CITY. Get one of those boys from NYU steeped in the hate America philosophy.” (Emphasis to note the Jewish insinuation of so-called “Red Diaper Doper Babies.” 11/3/2003 Savage Nation radio broadcast.)

“There’s a big difference here between a liberal like the one I am talking about and a radical, like the ACLU Mark Rosen-bum. Those have malice. The really dangerous ones are the ones with malice toward the white Christian male. The liberal does not have malice toward the white Christian male. Most of them are white Christian males. The ones that have real malice toward white Christian males are the mad-dog, foaming-mouth, Red Diaper Doper Baby. Usually they went to Columbia or NYU in my experience.” (9/17/2003 Savage Nation radio broadcast.)

“Do you remember what happened in the 2000 election when the Democrats sent busloads of New York lawyers to steal the election for Al Gore? Remember what happened? Do you remember the scenes of the young men in white shirts and ties, mainly Cubans? Do you remember them running into that office and pounding on the glass? Do you remember how they scared them to death, and all of the CURLY-HAIRED BOYS FROM NYU hid under the desks when they were trying to cook the votes and steal the ballots?” (12/24/2002 Savage Nation radio broadcast, emphasis to note the Jewish insinuation of “New York lawyers.”)

“When you see a guy, when you see a filthy, degenerate human being like Larry, what’s-his-face, Jerry Springer, and I’ll say it like it is, I think he’s one of the lowest human beings I’ve ever seen in my life, when he puts a television show on, and invites the lowest white trash he can dig his hands on … and he makes a mockery of them, and makes a living on it with his HOOKED NOSE, what do you think that does for the rest of the world?” (12/6/2002 Savage Nation radio broadcast, emphasis to note the Jewish racial slur.)

“When are you liberals going to wake up to the fact that a knife is at your throat, and you are going to still believe these leftists who are screaming about civil rights: ‘It sounds problematic to me,’ said ACLU attorney Mark Nobody-BERG. ‘If there is evidence to involve any of these fifty people in a crime, they should be targeted for investigation, but if people are being placed on a list because of something they have done in the past or someone they have associated with, an officer looking for a pretextual reason to stop them, that strikes me as wrong.’ I think you ought to put Mark Nothing-BERG in prison preemptively.” (12/12/2002 Savage Nation radio broadcast.)

Other examples of Savage’s appending “Berg” to a Jewish broadcaster’s name in order to underscore their Jewishness include NPR’s “Terry Gross-BERG” (1/10/2004) and CNN’s “Wolf Blitz-BERG.” See also [link] in which Savage baits media pundit David Brock as “Brock-STEIN.”

A call to the Savage Nation radio show:

SAVAGE: “Kathy in New York City, you’re up. Topic, please.”

KATHY: “Let’s throw the atomic bomb in Iraq and that’s it. We’re getting fed up with this anti-Semitism that’s in New York. They’re bringing on the antiwar people having signs in Arabic, siding with the enemy, and also blaming Israel and the United States, of course, democracies for this war.”

SAVAGE: “Kathy, how many of the protesters were Jewish, do you think?”

KATHY: “Uh, probably a lot.”

SAVAGE: “So their liberalism trumps their ethnicity, their liberalism trumps their, uh, familiarity with their own people who are in a sea of hatred, and so you understand why I say that liberalism is a mental disorder.”

KATHY: “Well, they’re self-hating Jews. Where was the … “

SAVAGE: No, no, I don’t go there. No, no, they may not be self-hating Jews at all. They just may be socialists or anarchists or communists as were, and let’s not be mistaken about it nor brush it under the rug — we all know that Trotsky, we all know that Lenin — uh, not Lenin — but Trotsky and Marx also had come from Jewish backgrounds. They eschewed their own religion, and they chose instead Bolshevism and Marxism, and we know what a disaster that was. It’s history repeating itself again, Kathy. The fact of the matter is that the Bible wrote about this. The Old Testament warned us against APOSTATE JEWS. The Bible warned us against these people. If you read all of the prophets of the Bible, who do you think they were talking about? Those who worship the Sun gods; those who, uh, did weird things with sorority sisters. What do you think the Bible was telling us about? The very same crowd that the Bible warned us about are back in the streets, saying ‘Give peace a chance.'” (2/17/2003 Savage Nation radio broadcast, emphasis to note the scapegoating of secular Jews.)

“I certainly don’t underestimate the Red Diaper Doper Baby, either. The Red Diaper Doper Baby — although pot-ed out, although deviant — is very, very smart with more power than you can imagine. They run every image in this country. Every image that comes out of Hollywood, Red Diaper Doper Baby driven. Every image that comes out of a New York newsroom, Red Diaper Doper Baby written. Every last one of them, Red Diaper Doper Baby, pulls the switches on the images and the words that come out of Hollywood and New York. Don’t for one minute think otherwise.” (6/11/2003. From his book, Savage Nation.)

“And so when you see the Red Diaper Doper Baby lawyers lining up to apologize for them, and you see the Red Diaper Doper Babies lining up to defend them, you understand that we have internal enemies in this country that must be SORTED OUT, SEPARATED, and CONTROLLED before we are all dead. And yes, the time will come. I’ll make that prediction. You may not believe, but the time will come that because of our need for self-preservation, we are going to stop the Red Diaper Doper Babies from killing us before we all die.” (10/25/2002 Savage Nation radio broadcast, my emphasis.)

“[P]eople who know me, know that this is the real me. I don’t pretend to be angry, and then when I turn off the radio I suddenly go out and have a drink with a Red Diaper Doper Baby. Believe me, if it were up to me, I would deport them.” (9/12/2003 Savage Nation radio broadcast.)
Jeffrey Silberman, Mill Valley

Spare us the bovine cud
Your article on Michael Savage gave no new info. Everything you wrote has already been on the Web about him.

I am a middle-aged gay woman. I work in arts/entertainment and communications.

Savage is like every other celebrity in the following ways:

1) He needs adulation

2) He has people in his past who are jealous of him

3) He has people in his past that he wishes he had never met

4) He is a mature man and does not have the same views when he was a young man

5) He has views that run counter-culture OR at least are not run of the mill … like Bob Dylan

6) He is opinionated

7) He’s taken a stage name

Savage is unlike celebrities in the following ways:

1) He’s not interested in being voted “Mr. Congeniality”

2) He’s well read in many areas

3) He’s educated WAY above average

4) He doesn’t pretend to be “the common folk” to deflect his success and financial prosperity

5) He doesn’t pander to the popular beliefs “du jour”

6) He’s not atrophied in adolescent behavior and thinking

Savage OFTEN makes me very angry … but then I think of his honesty and I am disarmed. You don’t spend much time in your article explaining how he worked tirelessly in the beginning of AIDS right alongside his gay male friends to help find a solution. He deduced that the bathhouses were largely responsible, and he’s still RIGHT about that. Gay women were giving blood in barrels full to help gay men. I stopped because it was like throwing money away … and blood is more precious than money. I’ve heard him say frequently that he has no ax to grind with two adults in a mutually chosen relationship.

Like him, I too get irritated with the gay brigade behavior. I know that science has not proven gay is genetic. However, running in the opposite direction as a “chosen lifestyle” is a bit off the mark too. There are no advantages to being gay except a lot of time on your hands to be successful in a chosen field.

His historical and cultural perspective is pretty darn on the mark. He’s not a revisionist and I like this about him. It appeals to my pre-’70s college education.

He gets pretty angry that white men are bashed. I do have to say that in my own experience the nastiest things that have happened to me both personally and professionally have been by white males. Unfortunate but true, so I have to be honest.

As far as calling Allen Ginsberg the devil, I find that amusing. This notion that SOME teenage boys or young people may want a sexual relationship with an adult is lazy and stupid. Since when does any adult with half a brain give a kid something they want JUST BECAUSE THEY WANT IT? I haven’t raised my own children, but I’ve participated in a lot of childcare in my family. Kids are always wanting what isn’t safe or good for them.

PLEASE GIVE US SOMETHING NEW ON SAVAGE. Your article is bovine cud. It’s already been chewed to death. Savage is a pain in the ass, but he isn’t an idiot. Your article is nothing but an ax to grind with his popularity. If a throat cutter was coming at me, I’d step to Savage’s side and not to some “Pollyanna” lib who wants to talk IT ALL OVER A LATTE. GEEZ, what happened to the working-class Democratic Party I grew up in from the ’50s to the ’70s? Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy were not weak-kneed. This is a big BITE in the SAVAGE BIT. Dissect his positions, NOT his past.

Everyone has a past, even you.
Marie Victoria, Berkeley

Such a thin skin
I am a former New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, now an “expat” living near Cincinnati. I have also been working within the radio industry, from the AOR-rock format to the current format evolution known as “active-rock,” for nearly 35 years. However, my earliest memories of radio include talk giants Jean Shepherd (whom Savage dares compare himself to), Barry Farber, Bob Grant, and many others.

Long before Rush Limbaugh, talk formats were indeed a place where diverse opinion could be exchanged, along with topics from the bizarre to the comically entertaining. All existing within a climate of civility, in a world and nation that also was being torn apart. Remember 1968? I hear Savage/Wiener locally and evaluate his “program” as a radiophile and atypical Savage listener. At a time when the state of not only this nation, but indeed the world, demands the opposite, the kind of hate speech Savage spews is devoured by ever-increasing numbers.

The irony of his incredible ratings in New York on the same station which presents a host with a polar-opposite viewpoint [Lionel, WOR; where Jean Shepherd’s compelling program aired nightly four decades ago], simply speaks to the notion that a radio company will broadcast ANYTHING within the bounds of FCC tolerance, to boost ratings. Savage is dangerous. I listen not because I agree with him, but because his program opens an otherwise closed door to a very different world than the one I exist in. The Savage Nation is populated predominantly by the disenfranchised “angry white man” (and some women) who are in need of a focus for their frustrated hatred. An all-too-familiar scenario that validates hatred and furthers the divide among the diverse soul of this country. Part of what I hear, from both sides of the political spectrum, is beyond simple partisanship. It is a fracturing of the culture, where accepting an opposing view means your viewpoint may be incorrect, or … perhaps needs more thought and perspective. This segment of society simply can not admit to or accept that notion.

A fundamentalist believes without question, as do most of those who agree with Wiener. If someone is totally supportive of the Bush administration, to admit the failure of his policy is to also admit their own fallibility.

I think it’s another dangerous and very sad commentary that this man is as popular as he is. Thanks for this very interesting and necessary article. I hope others find it as I have. I heard Savage reference a recent article on his show last night [7/24], and a Google search revealed yours to be the most recent. I’m assuming this is the story he was so angered by, suggesting the author sought no “positive” comments. Poor Michael. Such a thin skin. Another example of his damaged ego.
Joel Moss, Batavia, Ohio

“Need Work? Swear on the Dotted Line,” Cityside, 7/19

Solutions for the oath
I understand Jackson’s concerns about signing this oath — the practical point especially — could this be construed and/or used as a consent to enter the military? I worked for the County of Alameda for over seventeen years and I don’t recall being required to sign such an oath, though it may have happened. I did avoid being fingerprinted for several weeks because I considered it to be degrading and criminal-oriented. The wording of the oath does raise serious concerns if someone thinks it through.

Mr. Jackson is a unique and original person and it is good, I think, that he has brought this to light. I have two solutions:

1) A person could sign the oath and add a statement similar to this on the paper: “My signature on this document shall not and may not be taken as consent to military service for myself. It is not necessary to take up arms and do other things involved in military service in order to ‘support and defend the United States and California constitutions against all enemies foreign and domestic.’ Indeed, to support and defend often means to watch out for political maneuvering that will undermine what is good, rather than to be sent to kill and die.” (Notarizing might be added.)

2) The oath itself should be rewritten in a standard form that specifically states that signing the oath shall not and may not be taken as consent to military recruitment and/or military service, which is a separate matter form loyalty and support for state, country, and constitutions thereof.
Name withheld, Berkeley

“The Quick and the Dead,” Feature, 7/26

Vegas too
Your “Live Fast, Die Young” article really captured my attention, pal. Apparently, this madness is happening in “Anytown, USA.” The Las Vegas Valley is exploding and so are young drivers that think these Las Vegas streets have all the ambience of a NASCAR and/or IRL racetrack. Remember, Las Vegas is a 24/7 town; including drinking!

Dave Bundy, Las Vegas

A letter that appeared in our July 19 issue left some readers with the impression that San Leandro’s venerable Harry’s Hofbrau restaurant is about to close. Restaurant management assures us that this is not the case.

In our May 24 cover story “Err Jordan,” the first name of Alameda County Board of Education member Jacki Fox Ruby was misspelled. Also, the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury was mistakenly described as an “agency.” It is better described as a panel.

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