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Name Withheld by Request
via voicemail

Discouraging Decent People

After seeing and enjoying The Last Song, as we did Nicholas Sparks’s The Notebook, it is very irritating and offensive to read Shepherd’s so-called review. He calls it an “insipid summer romance.” As far as I’m concerned, Shepherd’s “review” is what is insipid. Apparently never having the pen success of Nicholas Sparks, your wretched reviewer belittles Sparks by saying his pen is “sparkless.” We thought Miley did an excellent job of capturing the spirit, mentality, attitudes, and reactions of an intelligent and artistic teenager. He implies that the movie is “a piece of dreck,” whereas to me his reviews are pieces of dreck. I don’t know what this apparently wretched excuse of a movie reviewer looks like, but I’m sure that Miley looks better at three in the morning or after a hard workout than he does at his best in a tux. Why can’t you get a movie reviewer with heart, human emotions, and family values who knows and believes in real, kind, patient, unselfish, heroic, self-sacrificing, enduring, and committed love to review G and PG movies and let the so-called movie reviewer Duncan Shepherd review R- and X-rated movies. Real, kind, patient, unselfish, heroic, self-sacrificing, enduring, and committed love appears to be completely out of Shepherd’s understanding and experience. He should get a job at the morgue to write reviews of funerals.

A killjoy movie reviewer like this Duncan Shepherd discourages decent people from seeing decent movies. If I had been stupid enough to accept his misleading movie review, we would not have gone to see The Last Song. His attack on The Last Song is an attack on me and my tastes and preferences. When he describes as insipid, sparkless, and dreck the movies I like and prefer, he is implying that my tastes and preferences are insipid, sparkless, and dreck, when in reality it appears that this Duncan guy is the one who is insipid, sparkless, and dreck. He appears to do a far better job in discouraging people from seeing decent moves than promoting and encouraging them to see such.

I am both a gentleman and a retired professional, so even though I am sorely tempted to stoop to the street vocabulary level of four-letter words and anatomical names to tell you what I think of Duncan Shepherd and his consistently #$%& reviews of movies my wife and I have enjoyed, I will settle with asking why a decent paper like the Reader has such an apparently cynical, pretentious, emotionally callous, egotistical, arrogant, pompous, bigoted, and heartless movie reviewer? His consistently obnoxious and biased reviews of movies that we have enjoyed immensely are enough to discourage me from reading the movie reviews in the Reader and to read reviews online instead. It’s to the place that I don’t trust the Reader’s movie reviews. The guy apparently has the jaded personality and mentality of Scrooge, Killjoy, Simon Legree, Hugo’s Javert, and Dickens’ Fagin in order to write reviews as he does. The readers of the Reader deserve better.

Ron Tyler
via email

Bizarre Army

After reading the “Sly Smart-Meter Swap-Out” column (“City Lights,” April 8) this week, I realized there’s another seemingly insurmountable problem. That is, on one side we have an environmentalist and utility army, so to speak, that wants you to save energy, and at the same time the utility organizations run to the PUC and say, “Our revenue is down, we have to raise the rates per kilowatt” or whatever, whether it’s the water, gas, or electric. So you seem to have a rather bizarre army on one side saying, “Save energy, save water,” and on the other side, these same industries say, “Well, since our revenue’s down…” And they are, I think, under state law, apparently they have a guaranteed rate of return, somewhere, I think, between 6 and 8 percent, which of course is a mathematical anomaly. I wonder if there’s anyone in your shop who might be interested in looking at both sides. We customers are right smack in the middle.

Marvin Gargenbaum
Bay Park

A Minutemen Minute

Wow, Maribel, talk about extremists (Letters, April 8). I think you would qualify. I’ve never heard anything the Minutemen have said that would be deemed racist. I think they definitely see a difference between legal and illegal, although pro-open-borders people don’t. You claim the Minutemen are racist and despise immigrants (where is the fact check the Reader demands of letters?), but you offer no proof. The borders are broken because the government doesn’t want to do anything to fix it. Politicians want to get the Latino vote.

As for stating the (white) Minuteman at the border wasn’t checked by the border patrol because he was white is somehow racist is bordering on delusional. What planet are you living on? Let’s see, the border is next to Mexico. Do you think they might be checking for Latinos?

When I stayed in Thailand and traveled the country by bus, the cops stopped and checked the people on the bus. Who do you think they asked for their visa? Did that make them racist? Or do you think the fact that I was the only white guy on the bus might have alerted them that I might be a foreigner that needed to be checked?

I do agree with you on the ridiculousness of the Cuban policy favoring Cubans (that’s just the government can’t get over Castro); the same immigration policy should apply to all. Stating that the Founding Fathers left Europe to get away from nationalism, I think you need to study history. They left to get away from religious persecution; unfortunately, they reverted to that same thing once they were here. Also stating that Native Americans didn’t deem the settlers illegal, maybe not in that term but they were very territorial even amongst tribes.

We need to control the borders for various reasons. We need to know who is coming in so criminals or terrorists are not let in to prey on people. We also have 300 million people now; we need population control. We need to leave open space for wildlife to coexist also. More people means more traffic, waste disposal, air pollution, sewage in the oceans, and more and more homes for people to live in. I like limited immigration from all over the world, not just south of the border. You can only let in so many people; some will have to be turned away.

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a2zresource April 27, 2010 @ 12:36 p.m.

RE "Bizarre Army":

"[O]n one side we have an environmentalist and utility army, so to speak, that wants you to save energy, and at the same time the utility organizations run to the PUC and say, 'Our revenue is down, we have to raise the rates per kilowatt' or whatever, whether it’s the water, gas, or electric."

Holistically, we have a generally free market with public utility monopolies embedded in it. One free market response to increasing electricity rates (in the face of increasing regulation for grid-connected home solar electricity generation) is to generate and use more electricity at home while keeping it strictly for home use or sharing with next-door neighbors, without feeding any of it back into the power grid to avoid federal regulation of "Qualifying Facilities". My Encanto Gas Holder neighborhood blogs have several entries on this issue.

As for increasing water rates, some of us in Encantostan see no problem with watering the outdoor plants in the yard on any day of the week with buckets of rain water taken from whatever is left in the Lemon Grove end of Chollas Creek, since San Diego and the utility monopolies seem to have no jurisdiction over the taking of it, and the city attorney of Lemon Grove has no apparent authority to say anything about it either. When Encantostanis get real desperate, we have Richard Graves' BUSHCRAFT for recommendations on purifying stagnant or polluted water without equipment.

In extreme market conditions, chronic electricity and water shortages should be considered in an all-hazard emergency incident context. See http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp and be prepared.


JJ2014 April 27, 2010 @ 2:07 p.m.

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SurfPuppy619 April 27, 2010 @ 3:29 p.m.

This is why we have public employees making out while those who support their hefty paychecks and pensions slide into ruin. This is why there seems to be no end to the financial crisis. And this is why tax increases and service cuts only make the problem worse — it’s like giving booze to an alcoholic.

Name Withheld


Now that is my kind of letter.

I agree you you 100% brother. I only wish I knew your name so I could publicly thank you.


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