Torture Memos; Migden in District 10; Obama’s First 100 Days; Beauty Pageants; More John Garamendi …

by on April 29, 2009

To the Editor:

The release of the torture memos reminds Americans that human torture is not only morally unacceptable — it is also a crime. Unfortunately, too many Americans believe themselves superior to other countries and thus, anything we do to protect our country’s national interests, including torture, is somehow justifiable. To these Americans, to believe otherwise, places us in the same company as history’s infamous torturers.

Waterboarding, for example, dates back to the Dark Ages. By using torture, we lose any ideological advantage we might have — the promotion of democracy, freedom and human rights. By using torture, we become the thugs our enemies say we are. I for one applaud the release of the torture memos and urge those responsible be prosecuted.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco


To the Editor:

They key question facing San Francisco District 10 – regardless of the complexion of its Supervisor or the particular personality – is how its representative will tackle the complex questions of land use, economic development, environmental renewal, and public safety.

The fact is that while the Bayview remains an African-American stronghold, the District is far more diverse. Some want to focus on what the person looks like, fine. I believe the more substantive criteria on which to evaluate the candidates is on their record of engagement in our neighborhood’s issues, their record of accomplishment on those issues, and their ability to explain why what’s good for D10 is good for the City as a whole. Everything else is just noise.

Lets see who throws their hat into the ring and let the fight it out on that terrain.

Alex Lantsberg
District 10 resident


To the Editor:

I agree with you 100% that Barack Obama cannot be bogged down with prosecuting CIA agents. There is too much, much too much, on his plate right now. If he can get just half done, he will have done a lot more than his predecessor. It’s good to have a President who can walk and talk at the same time.

Maggie Carmody


To the Editor:

I am in complete agreement with this article, and am extremely impressed with President Obama’s performance. When you look at him on the tube, it can be a source of anxiety because he doesn’t sweep the problems that exist under a rug; it makes us come out of denial as a nation. We are in a much better situation than with the previous President, who in comparison seemed to do almost nothing to fix our problems, or worse, did things to get us in deeper. It leaves me with less to write about since I can’t write articles any longer that knock the President.

Jack Bragen


To the Editor:

I admit I still get a kick out of watching the beauty pageants, so I wouldn’t wave a banner suggesting we do away with them …. but mention of the gorgeous Enrique got me thinking that perhaps a better solution to the supposed “sexual objectification of women” typified by the Miss USA contest would be to have all-male beauty pageant. I don’t mean Mr. Universe with ugly muscle-bound oafs, but a true contest of masculine good looks and style. And hey, don’t limit it to the U.S. because I’d definitely want Enrique there. With his sexy singing voice and bedroom eyes, he’d be a shoo-in.

Lynn Vogwill


To the Editor:

I have to say I disagree with your fervor of ad hominem attacks hocked at John Garamendi. How is it that having a lifetime servant of our state and nation creating policy in the House of Reps be a bad thing? Did you have a chance to speak with him along with the other bloggers invited out for drinks? Or did you keep your head in the sand b/c your pride was too great to keep an open mind since maybe — just MAYBE — you might have been swayed (or not) by dialoguing with the man.

Better to avoid the exercise entirely, especially after embarrassing yourself with a “Draft Garamendi” flier campaign — by the way, WTF was that supposed to mean? A man who started his life of service in the Peace Corps — do you think he hasn’t served his country enough? Maybe I’m a simpleton from the valley (b/c I know that’s how you see people from that whole inland area, right?!) but I always thought the character of a man is based on his ability to honor his word, and to respect the integrity of that which is right and truthful. How do you get to espouse faults if you didn’t try to seek the truth?

Josh Bolin

PAUL HOGARTH RESPONDS: First, I never said John Garamendi should not run for Congress — my beef is that he’s running in the wrong district. Second, I did attempt to dialogue with Garamendi at the California Democratic Convention — but he said it didn’t matter what arguments I made, because he’d never change his mind. I regret not being able to attend the Saturday blogger meet-up with him that his staff had arrange, but I had other commitments during that time. Third, I don’t believe people from the Valley are simpletons — in fact, I believe Garamendi is doing them a disservice by taking the easy way out and running for Congress in a liberal Bay Area district.


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