Little Toy Sparks Large Debate
Spawned by Rand and Reagan: "The great irony of San Francisco's Happy Meal ban is that it's the legislative equivalent of Happy Meal," [from "Forbidden City," Joe Eskenazi and Benjamin Wachs, Feature, 1/19]. Well said. These laws are innocuous and inconsequential. So how, then, do Eskenazi and Wachs draw the conclusion that these laws signal an ominous dystopia of big government?
I encourage the authors to examine the ideological roots of their fears of "supersized government," which trace to the right-libertarian rhetoric of Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan. It was, of course, this movement that spawned the era of deregulation. By focusing on these silly laws, Eskenazi and Wachs fuel distrust of government in an era that cries out for better regulation.
Being open-minded may become synonym for liberal conformity: Joe Eskenazi and Benjamin Wachs deserve a Pulitzer for their insightful and well-researched piece on the rank hypocrisy. They could add to their list the building of anything in the city that doesn't conform and blend in to a neighbor's house. For a city so "liberal" and allegedly "open-minded," this town has some of the most draconian building codes in the nation. That's S.F.'s version of being free-wheeling and open-minded! This is a city where liberal moral superiority and righteousness competes with Bible thumpers in the Bible Belt.
Careful When Drawing Conclusions
A reader's concern for linking Jared Loughner's opinions to others: This is in reply to Peter Jamison's post, "The Real Message of Jared Loughner," [The Snitch, 1/12]. I am concerned with a number of inaccuracies in that post as well as a troubling implication of guilt by association.
First, he claims that conspiracy theorists believe that the Federal Reserve is run by "shadowy international bankers." This is not actually a conspiracy theory, but is actually partially true. Private banks who own a stake in the Federal Reserve elect board members who control the regional banks of the Federal Reserve while the President decides who will be on the board of Governors, usually someone from a major bank.
Next, he implies that Ron and Rand Paul believe in and promote the belief that the government controls people through grammar. This is certainly not true, and as far as I know, is not a popular theory among the tea party. Furthermore, Ron Paul has never claimed that fiat currency was illegal; he is merely against it.
The thing that I am mainly concerned with, however, is that [Jamison] seems to make an implication that simply because Jared Loughner shared a dislike of fiat currency with a few members of the right, these people and their ideas are inherently violent. The same argument was used against Barack Obama during the 2008 election: that because he had met William Ayers a few times, that he was practically a terrorist. It was wrong then, and it's wrong now.
Peter Jamison responds: U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is on the record saying that "Federal reserve notes aren't legal tender; gold and silver are legal tender." Nowhere did the blog post in question assert that Paul or his son, Sen. Rand Paul, subscribe to the theories of David Wynn Miller regarding grammar. The post did describe the Pauls' stated beliefs in secret construction of a "NAFTA Superhighway" that will link the U.S., Mexico, and Canada as a single country.
Blog Comment of the Week
In response to a blog post about the sudden closure of USF-based radio station KUSF: Public stations serve the community, not the students of their parent universities ["KUSF Volunteers Create Plan to Halt Sale of Radio Station," Matt Smith, the Snitch, 1/19].
I am a KXLU DJ in Los Angeles; it's widely accepted that the students at Loyola Marymount have little awareness that they are home to one of the great stations of L.A. To suggest that KUSF has no value outside of the listenership and awareness of USF students is to be ignorant of the reality of public radio. Those airwaves go everywhere and they reach the most random groups of people, something that would never happen with an online-only station. What's happening here is an outrage.