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Letters to the Editor 

Week of March 13, 2002

Liberal Bias

The problem with diversity and tolerance: When you wrote the article endorsing Mark Leno ("Mark of Effectiveness," Matt Smith, Feb. 27), were you laughing yourself silly after claiming that "California's only salvation lies in the urbane, liberal values of San Francisco"?

You know that our politicians will dance to any tune to stay in office and get their power fix. They are self-serving opportunists who believe they are entitled to feed at the public trough. Is it here that we find the standard-bearers of liberal values?

Liberal values to save California? So that the rest of the state can enjoy the Muni experience? Let's spread the filth and squalor around; let's give everyone shitty schools and high taxes and user fees and all the other wonderful things we do so well.

Diversity, is this one of the High Values? Different people, from different cultures, opening different restaurants. So what? Disneyland has as much. Where is the diversity of thought? Where is the political diversity?

Tolerance, another High Value? Yeah, we are tolerant. Tolerant of pandering politicians who shamelessly PC us to death with their claims to race or gender or sexual-preference entitlement. Tolerant of the mess these people have made of San Francisco. Tolerant of their "victim ethos" that equates doing good with offering and accepting victim status. That perverted liberal value has nothing to do with any right and honorable thing that passes between equals.

Our Human Rights Commission has final say over construction contracts at the S.F. airport. Our Housing [Authority] has sold vouchers for profit, but this is just simple graft. Our Board of Appeals has upheld a zoning decision that tells the owners of the West Cork Hotel whom they must rent to. Our Board of Education was set to shut down Edison Elementary School in Noe Valley because it "fractures a sense of cohesiveness about public education."

Are these the liberal values we wish to foist on the rest of California? If not, maybe it's time to say so.

Paul Burton
Bernal Heights

What's Good for the Goosed ...

A condom comparison: Rather than be PC-predictable and accuse Joel P. Engardio of barely restrained homophobia (his sexual orientation being beside the point -- yes, there are plenty of self-hating gay men around) ("The House That Chuck Built," Dog Bites, Feb. 27, on a major donor to the new gay and lesbian center whose company sells "barebacking" gay porn videos), I would simply ask him: When was the last time you saw heterosexual porn -- pre- or post-AIDS -- in which the man wore a condom? Like, ever?

I thought so.

Bart Snowfleet
Duboce Triangle

Two Countries, One Heart

The Filipino dilemma: I take this opportunity to congratulate SF Weekly and its very able staff writer Bernice Yeung for the splendid article about Filipinos in the U.S. and their torn loyalties between their native land and their country of residence ("Divided Loyalties," Feb. 20). The topic of citizenship is a burning issue of the day among Filipino-American citizens and Filipino immigrants in the U.S. Bernice has her fingers on the pulse of the Filipino community in America to know about this major anxiety. The passage of the dual citizenship and absentee voting bills now pending in the Philippine Legislature will hopefully be a solution for which Filipinos in the U.S. have been lobbying.

I also must commend the choice in Mr. Rene Pascual as the main subject of the article, whose life story interwoven with the discussion of the issue gives a down-to-earth perspective of the problem. He is the quintessential representation of the many Filipinos who have come to this country. A typical hard-working, educated Filipino who leaves his country mainly because of better economic prospects and the well-being of his family. However, deep within him is a dream, sustained by his undying loyalty and devotion for the country of his birth, to return and help his native land in any way he can.

The recent layoff of scores of baggage screeners at SFO ("The Price of Citizenship," Bay View, Feb. 13), not because of their competence or ability but because of the new citizenship requirement of a recently enacted federal law, is another facet of this dilemma. They could have applied for U.S. citizenship, but they stand to lose the rights of citizens in their country of birth. I hope SF Weekly will continue to cover stories and issues of vital interest to minority communities in the Bay Area.

Renato Santiago

His Next Film: My Fare Lady

When we can find you at Blockbuster, maybe you'll get a whole page: In regard to the article entitled "Taxi Driver" written by Mark Athitakis (Dog Bites, Feb. 20, on a cabdriver/filmmaker who advertises his movies in laundromats), I am honored to have two-thirds of a page dedicated to my work. Much of what Mr. Athitakis had to say about my movies is valid. The only thing Mark left out is where someone might acquire a copy of my work. Home Movies, which includes the films Self-Portrait, The Hunter, and San Francisco Taxicab, is available three ways: It is on sale for $10 at Streetlight Records on 24th Street, it is for rent at Naked Eye News and Video on Haight Street, and one may buy it from me directly through my e-mail,

Peter Kirby
Nob Hill


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