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12.08.10

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'Affordable' Objections

While the resurrection of the Rio Nido Lodge is probably good news, I was disturbed by Elizabeth Parker's statement that "there are people . . . afraid that [the developer] might put affordable housing in."

Since when is that a bad thing? I object to the casual implied conflation of affordable housing with ex-cons, drug use and prostitution.

With all the people losing their homes and/or jobs in Sonoma County, availability of reasonably priced rentals is essential for the less affluent among us. The fact is that when housing becomes unaffordable, you get homeless families. Does anyone really think that's preferable to the alternative?

Michael Rofkar

Santa Rosa


Go Easy on Conspiracy Theorists

I chuckled when I read the editor's request for fewer conspiratorial letters ("Dept. of Sanity," Dec. 1). I have a wealthy, conservative friend who three years ago would have laughed in my face if I had suggested that Goldman Sachs was conspiring to rip off many of its naive clients. Now, he and his well-connected buddies won't touch the stock market. They claim the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury are intentionally manipulating the market.

To study the writings of ex-CIA operatives is to discover that large covert operations can be successfully perpetrated with few individuals understanding the full scope of the operations. Most operatives perform on a need-to-know basis. They fulfill their patriotic duty without considering the full ramifications of their actions.

Our lives are filled with conspiracies of interests and values. As Americans, we conspire to pay taxes to support mass slaughter in cities we can't pronounce. We pretend that the American battlefield of predatory capitalism is the best way to scrape out a living. We pretend we are intelligent animals, while destroying the ecosystems that support our intelligence. We pretend we are smarter than nature, forgetting that nature gave us the ability to think.

Ideas that are on the cutting edge of change are usually vilified as crazy before they hit the mainstream. I don't know if the other two letter writers were correct in their conspiracy theories, but I enjoyed reading them.

James Miner

San Rafael


Inspired to Agitate

I found this article inspiring ("Start Agitating: Norman Solomon on getting out there and doing something," Dec. 1). It brings to my mind other courageous reporters. Had Bradley Manning and Wikileaks revealed the truth about Iraq before the invasion, we would have kept our soldiers and tax dollars at home.

We also would have understood the problems with the Federal Reserve and agitated earlier to save billions, if not trillions of dollars. No foreclosure crisis, pension funds lost, jobless recovery and healthcare atrocities.

We should all support journalists who report the truth—it's the foundation of any movement.

Joseph Mungai

Elgin, Ill.


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