Massaging the Truth
Smut spin: You published a story portraying Meg Whitman as a porn king ["X-Rated Feedback," Matt Smith, Column, 1/13], but then included several quotes from court depositions that show she didn't agree with the section of eBay [that sold adult products].
She was simply an executive at a large corporation that has a user-populated section that included sexually oriented products. EBay does not buy and sell sexually oriented products, but Wal-Mart has a section with lubricants, condoms, and even "personal massagers." Does that make the late Sam Walton the world's largest porn king? I don't think it does, but I think with a few minutes and a couple of minds at SF Weekly, you could spin it that way.
Where's the Compassion?
For a price: Dave Ferrell's article on the inevitable legalization of marijuana ["Weed Takes Root," Feature, 1/6] misses one point that baffles me. While I am grateful for access to the pot clubs (I have AIDS and cancer), I am at a bit of a loss to understand why, given the virtual absence of risk in producing and distributing pot, it is still so expensive.
When the concept of compassionate distribution was being promoted, I envisioned low-cost outlets staffed by volunteer members (naive socialist utopian dreamer!). What we have so far are facilities charging the high end of street prices to people who are already ostensibly facing hardship. I suspect Ferrell is not a consumer, as his quote of $150 an ounce hasn't been seen in S.F. since the '70s. An ounce for $300 to $400 is closer to the facts.
Legalization may be a factor in reducing the crime problem, but as long as [marijuana is] so expensive, it will continue to be attractive to criminals. If the stuff were really cheap (or free!), there would be little profit to draw thieves, murderers, or Mexican cartels.
So, besides basic capitalist greed, why does it still cost so much? Most of the truly disabled and terminally ill are on a fixed income, rendering the cost of pot not at all that compassionate.
Word Play Is No Laughing Matter
We wish we had personal ads: Alastair Bland's article, "Balls in the Wild" [Sucka Free City, 1/6], is making silly wordplay about a project that is very serious, both to its proponents and opponents. The construction of a soccer complex of fake-turf playing fields and 60-foot-high stadium lighting is a project that will destroy the quiet western end of Golden Gate Park.
Instead of serious journalism, you give us a joke. The article implies that construction of a soccer complex can solve the problem of illegal sexual activity in the bushes around the existing fields.
It's really an article about sexual activity, not about soccer fields. Why not simply write an article discussing whether this sexual activity is a crime? How rampant is it? Have park police received a lot of complaints? What is being done by the police and/or the Recreation and Park Department? Will lighting discourage the activity or encourage it, or will it go elsewhere in the park? Should the department place this type of high-intensity lighting throughout Golden Gate Park to discourage the activity? Finally, ask yourselves: Are SF Weekly backpage ads contributing to these liaisons?
In response to a blog post about Supervisor Chris Daly's vow to say "fuck" at every board meeting: How fucking mature to judge someone on the use of one fucking word. There are fucking useless people who use it, and some really fucking awesome people who use it. It's just a fucking word.