Now, is that the vomit of heroin users, or the other kind of junky vomit?: Re Matt Smith's "Housing Democrats" [Dec. 15]: I'm not sure how big-city mayors are going to "manufacture" Democrats by giving them big-city experiences like wading through puddles of junky vomit every day to the two or three jobs necessary to save enough money to buy a home which they'll never be able to afford in the city due to a certain "progressive" politician from Texas and his City Hall cronies who managed to buy nice little condos for themselves but curiously do not want anyone else to own one ... savings which will be tough to accumulate due to the taxes necessary to build thousands of housing units for unfortunate, drug-addicted, alcoholic felons from out-of-state ... housing units which will breed criminals and bring blight to our neighborhoods for decades to come ... holy shit!
If anything, these big-city experiences will more likely convert lifelong Democrats into solid Republicans.
We'll leave the PR part to you: I am an ex-San Franciscan and a new New Yorker, but lived in Vancouver, B.C., for 20 years. I think you make a really good point, not just to make more Democrats, but that densification of our inner cities is in the interest of business, the environment, and a better, more tolerant society. I hate the suburbs and love living in a city like Manhattan. It's expensive for a lot of reasons, not just desirability, but because New York has such stupid urban-planning and rent-control laws that do not benefit the community as a whole. And this is a Democratic city with a Republican mayor and governor! Anyway, I'm passing your article along to some of my fellow Dems and would like to learn more about how you are going to promote this idea to mayors across the country. It's a good idea.
Good luck. If you need a good PR person to help you, let me know.
New York, N.Y.
Jessica Simpson's album did not tank. It merely stank: I really enjoyed your column in regards to the year in music ["OK Then, 2004!," Dec. 15]. I agree with your entire column but had to address a comment about your reference to Jessica Simpson's album tanking this year. That is actually incorrect, since her album In This Skin will sell 3 million copies, which is a huge comeback since her last record didn't sell 1 million copies. Also, "With You," the biggest single off the album, will finish the year as one of the biggest songs at Top 40 radio this year. If you ask why the fascination on this? I have worked very hard for the label she is on with her release, and mind you, I personally listen to Iron and Wine, and Secret Machines, but I have to address this error in your article. While pop music is not the favorite of SF Weekly readers, I had to let you know that her album did not tank.
Editor's note: Mr. Rubin, regional promotions manager for Columbia Records, is correct in noting that In This Skin sold millions of copies. SF Weekly regrets the error.
Oh, we don't know; how about June?: Maybe secession ["How to Secede From Jesusland, Without Really Fighting," Matt Smith, Dec. 8] is not such a crazy idea after all, as it is both a legal and peaceful way to not continue to be under the Bush administration policies and actions that are contributing to the destruction of the environment, economy, U.S. dollar, innocent lives, civil liberties, U.S. world image -- do I need to go on? To some, secession may sound like a joke or wishful thinking but it is not, as most states have within their legal system or state constitution the steps that can be taken to secede.
There are a number of states that already have a strong grass-roots secession movement such as California (www.moveoncalifornia.org) and Vermont (www.vermontrepublic.org). One of the main motivations for secession is economics, as states are now having to fund, cut back, or even eliminate much-needed services and programs that traditionally were funded or provided by the federal government but no longer are. This has all increased drastically under the Bush administration and has been one of the major factors, but not the only one of course, that has contributed to so many states across the U.S. running huge budget deficits.
So states like Vermont feel, "Why not secede and then keep all the federal taxes that normally would have been drained out of the state to finance, say, the war in Iraq and instead use them to fund education, environment, day care, jobs, health care, and many other much-needed programs or services for the average citizen of that state?"
So let's face it: The Bush administration/federal government is bankrupt, and I do not mean just financially. So do we want to continue to be part of this and go down with the ship because it is headed straight for an iceberg? Or do We the People want to take matters into our own hands on a state/local level that is both legal and peaceful? It's our choice. If not now, then when?