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Letters to the Editor 

Week of October 29, 2003

Ordinary = Good

It's Nice to Be Nice

Especially if you're a Skoal-chawin', curse-screamin' youth sports coach: I wanted to let you know that I appreciate Matt Palmquist's article "Nice Guys Finish First" [Oct. 15]. Not only is it a well-written piece, but it is great that these ideas are being put out there.

I am the athletic director for the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. We are a longtime partner and supporter of the Positive Coaching Alliance. As an organization that serves over 1,500 children a year, we have found our relationship with the PCA to be tremendously beneficial. Thanks again!

Craig Salgado
San Francisco

You Kill Ours, We Kill Yours

And the whole stupid daisy chain of death never ends: Ted Rall's cartoon depicts a Palestinian man whose wife and children died in an Israeli missile attack, and the caption says that Israeli policy in defending itself is a fantasy [Oct. 15]. In reality, there have been no more than a handful of Israeli missile attacks resulting in the deaths of women or children, and in all such attacks Israel was responding to the murders of its citizens by targeting those who committed or directed those murders and were planning more.

By contrast, the Palestinian government, backed by the majority of the Palestinian citizenry, has an affirmative policy to do just what is depicted: murder women and children. Israel's right to exist is not recognized by any Arab nation whom Israel has not defeated in a defensive war. To date, the number of Israeli citizens murdered is the equivalent of approximately 50,000 Americans murdered. Before the intifada, the Palestinian government had autonomous power over approximately half of the West Bank, but sought to pursue the murder of Israelis rather than peaceful statehood. Israeli defensive actions only began after the Palestinian government chose to reject an offer of peacefully coexistent statehood comprising 97 percent of the pre-1967 war territories, and Israel has continued to offer Palestinian statehood as soon as the Palestinian government controls those who desire only to continue to murder Israelis.

The fantasy is the belief that Israel can be destroyed and all its people murdered: The reality is that when Palestinians and Arab nations recognize Israel's right to exist, the Palestinian murderers will be recognized as self-defeating and the Palestinians will achieve statehood.

Jason Jungreis
Richmond District

Sometimes just OK is, well, OK: I wanted to commend you on including Chris Baty's excellent review of the new Strokes record in the Oct. 15 Weekly ["Old Faithful," Music].

Though I have not heard the new album, I think the review accurately expresses my feelings (and the feelings I know friends and family have) about records that are not earth-shattering, but "just fine."

What I really love about Baty's review is how he raises the issue that not all records have to be grand leaps forward or giant steps in the opposite direction, either for their genres or for their creators, to be considered of merit. He really nails the sentiment that I feel about a lot of records that I end up buying and adoring -- that they often are not revolutionary, but they are pleasant to listen to. Too often you see media coverage of records only when they are judged to be either abysmal or five-star-worthy -- nothing in between, not even mediocre.

I commend you on devoting a good deal of coverage to just a plain old good record. And I am simultaneously looking forward to and setting my expectations a little lower for hearing the Strokes' new disc for the first time. Great work!

Jon Wolanske
San Francisco

Mulch the Homeless!

Heh. Just kiddin': Harry Pariser is wrong to say that "standing with a sign on street medians" is a harmless act [Letters, Oct. 8].

Somehow, the bills have to be paid in S.F.; the main industry in the city is tourism, and median walkers and homeless people urinating on sidewalks downtown and taking up every available bench at what are supposed to be tourist spots does nothing for the tourism industry here or the economy. Why so many San Franciscans choose to deify the homeless at the expense of everyone else who lives or visits here is beyond me.

Jack Sparks


Musical History Lesson

Oops -- sorry!: Thank you for Kevin Chanel's article "O, Happy Dagger: Shonen Knife returns" [See/Be Seen, Oct. 8]. But I found an error. Let's Knife was not their debut album. Their previous albums released in America were Pretty Little Baka Guy, on the Subversive label in 1986, the Shonen Knife album in 1990, and 712 in 1991.

Other than that, the article was great.

Bob Davis
Via the Internet


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