Readers comments 8.4.12

Love it or leave it

Dear Editor:
I was rather shocked at Peter Weinberger’s
“love or leave it” comment on
Michael Valentine’s letter this past
Wednesday in the COURIER. If he doesn’t
like it in Claremont…he can move. I’m
sure others will say the same thing in response.
This is a clear example of the
snobbery complained of by the writer.
Did women decide to leave their homes
in their fight for suffrage and equality and
move to a different place?
Did blacks looking for civil rights simply
leave the South during the 1960s because
their quest for equality was
frustrated by many in the white majority?
Did the anti-war protesters in the 1960s
give up and go home because of the infamous
response of the establishment:
“Love it or leave it?”
Did gays simply move out of their
communities because they were rejected
and discriminated against?
Or was the response to the narrowminded
bigotry one of standing one’s
ground and fighting for what they believed
was right?
Mr. Weinberger makes Mr. Valentine’s
point so perfectly that little response is
necessary. I am not a longtime Claremonter
but have experienced the small-mindedness,
the intolerance and the derision
because I dare hold an opinion contrary to
the few people who think they are opinion-
leaders due to position, longevity, a
graduate degree or ego.
I’m glad that Mr. Weinberger stooped
to “our level” and “allowed” the
COURIER to publish Mr. Valentine’s letter.
The elitist attitude displayed in his little
tirade is just about as perfect a
counterpoint there could be.
Tolerance, it must be remembered, is a
double-edged sword.
Like respect, it must be given in order
to be received.
Joe Farrell

Valentine’s screed
Dear Editor:
Had Mr. Valentine followed the rule of
good writers—brevity is vigor—many
more of us would have read his entire
The publisher’s remark, however, happily
recalls William F. Buckley’s response
to a National Review subscriber wishing
to cancel her subscription: “Cancel your
own damn subscription.”
Cheers, Peter, well said.
Nick Quackenbos

Smart politics
Dear Editor:
A letter written in the COURIER on
July 28 has me scratching my head. The
writer was either upset at the fact we have
city councilmen who support the idea of
our being a green community or perhaps
the author of the letter is upset at the fact
that a city councilman may choose to endorse
a candidate.
I am confident that all of the city council
members are supportive of Claremont
being a green community, and we should
all take pride in the fact that Claremont
has a wonderful reputation for being a
beautiful town.
Regarding endorsements, each citizen
has the right to endorse who they want to.
Just because running for the city council is
a non-partisan election does not mean that
one’s rights under the First Amendment
should be affected by that fact.
I have a feeling that the author might be
a supporter of the aforementioned candidate’s
opponent. Well, such is politics. By
the way, in these newly-redistricted areas
it is smart politics to work with the person
who will most likely be the newly-elected
assembly person. Claremont has issues
such as our water costs and it just might be
helpful to have an ally in Sacramento who
can help Claremont with our problems.
Our former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly
just seems to be interested in immigration
issues. Naturally, therefore, it
behooves our electeds to be willing to
work with and even endorse a candidate
that might help us. That is just good politics.
Gar Byrum

Family values
Dear Editor:
I am always saddened to read Mr.
Valentine’s diatribes about how he hates
Claremont but his recent tirade spoke
partly about someone that I care about
very much, someone who has given his
life to his family and his city.
Mr. Valentine called my friend “anti-
American” for throwing flags away. The
flags were ruined by someone’s business
cards (stapled onto each flag). That is the
desecration. My friend’s family is one of
the hardest working families in this community.
They volunteer for every civic
event, every nonprofit venue, cancer
walks, parades, pancake breakfasts, charity
events, on and on and on.
He and his family have helped make
Claremont a special place for all of us.
Mr. Valentine, come and join most of us
who work hard to keep Claremont a special
place, and remember, hate is not a
family value.
Marilyn Bidwell

The value of a culture
Dear Editor:
I am not entirely sure what Michael
Valentine is working through emotionally
with his attack on Claremont’s culture,
but after reading his diatribe I felt
very much like a Palestinian who has just
been informed by a secretive multi-millionaire
that the real value of a culture is
based on the amount of money earned by
the members of that culture.
Wherever Mr. Valentine ends up, I
wish his neighbors well. Hopefully, they
will be the sort who place little value on
intellectual achievements. And hate trees
as well as PHDs.
Michael Benfield

Dear Editor:
In a long and convoluted letter to the
editor (COURIER, July 28), Jerry Hodge
criticizes several members of our local
city council for endorsing 41st Assembly
District candidate Chris Holden. Mr.
Hodge’s criticism is contrived and baseless,
and it implies a distorted concept of
Mr. Hodge imagines that the city council
members endorsed Mr. Holden because
they consider him a “green”
candidate. That flimsy hypothesis is nothing
more than fanciful conjecture but,
based on his assumption, Mr. Hodge proceeds
to construct an elaborate case
against Mr. Holden and his endorsers,
contending that Mr. Holden isn’t truly
green after all.
Aside from presenting a rambling discourse
of questionable validity, Mr.
Hodge appears to misunderstand the purpose
of elections. The ballot will not provide
a referendum on Chris Holden.
Instead, voters will have a choice between
2 candidates, Chris Holden and Claremont’s
own Donna Lowe.
As our city council members know,
Chris Holden is essentially a pragmatic
Democrat, and Ms. Lowe is a local leader
of the Tea Party wing of the Republican
Party. Mr. Hodge conveniently ignores the
choice we are faced with, and the ideological
weaknesses of the second candidate.
Most city council members are probably
concerned about more than one issue,
but it is reasonable to expect that endorsements
of assembly candidates would
be based partly on the candidate’s relative
prospects of restoring state funding to
cities. Is it unfair to suggest that Donna
Lowe simply doesn’t inspire confidence
on this issue? Mr. Holden would certainly
do more to support the work of city councils.
It is also worth noting that even if Mr.
Hodge’s hypothesis about green issues
and the city council members’ endorsement
had merit, Chris Holden would have
to be viewed as the stronger, greener candidate,
and the better choice, despite Mr.
Hodge’s efforts to smear him.

VOTE on November 6.
Dave Nemer


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