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 V.17 No.38 | September 18 - 24, 2008 

Letters

Sexism, Barracudas and Pitbulls

Dear Alibi,

Is Sarah Palin under attack or is she just setting the tone for the end of these elections? According to Jim Scarantino's article [Re: The Real Side, "Palin Drone," Sept. 11-17], she is a damsel in distress. Yes, sexism exists; I've felt it as well as prejudice growing up a Hispanic female.

However, as a woman, I am more outraged by Palin's self-comparison to a "pit bull with lipstick." This is an imposition on the image of all women who aspire to be leaders, implying they must somehow show attack-dog traits in order to be accepted and taken seriously. In Swift Boat Veteran style, one of the first things Palin did when she entered the national political arena was shun tactfulness and substance for aggressiveness and image. She purposely avoids addressing the issues in any profound way. Instead, she goes on the offensive with superficial, personal attacks on Barack Obama, looking pretty all the while.

As a woman, I find her bullying tactics offensive and her use of sex appeal more damaging to women and contributing to the sexist mentality than any of the media's questions of her. When it comes to leadership qualities, are women deemed inferior to men unless they exhibit aggressive or antagonistic behavior (often associated with men)? To take the edge off her vicious licks, she bats her eyelashes and smiles coyly while her Republican PR machine waits to attack anyone who questions her tactics as "sexist." Palin is proud of her strategy of beauty queen and killer queen all in one. As her nickname "barracuda" attests, she avoids any outward association with the emotions of empathy, caring and nurturing that are key to understanding the needs of citizens and healing the problems of our country.

By focusing an entire article on this Republican ploy to spotlight nonissues, Scarantino falls prey to their strategy and tactics and avoids addressing the real issues afflicting downtrodden Americans in the democratic process to pick an effective leader. So it took a cynical move by the GOP, pandering for the votes of women (finally choosing a non-male for vice president, 24 years after the Democrats) to open Scarantino's eyes to sexism?

By the way, Scarantino, racism is still going strong in the "Land of the Free": Maybe you can dedicate some time and an article to addressing stories of people like Obama and the uphill battle in this country for people of color. What media outlets are you watching? Sexism is the smokescreen in another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters and steal another election. To top it off, I find it hilarious that John McCain compared Obama to Britney Spears, when it's Palin who is setting the latest trends in clothing, shoes and eyeglass styles. To top it off, she has a pregnant teenage daughter to match Britney's sister, Jamie Lynn. Substance and relevancy, Jim, those are the keys to effective debate. Try to stick to them and maybe you can help contribute to genuine discussion of the issues affecting us all.

Lita Romero

Albuquerque

What's Wrong with Health Care?

Dear Alibi,

Marisa Demarco writes about efforts by health care workers here in New Mexico and around the country [Re: News Feature, “Doctor, Doctor,” Sept. 4-10]. She and others repeatedly mention our “failed health care system” as if this was a simple fact and we could do no worse than our current system.

While our system is not without its problems, change for the mere sake of change is the wrong prescription. After all, Americans are not alone in criticizing their health care system. According to the Mayo Health Policy Center, when consumers in other countries with very different health systems—including Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands—are asked the same satisfaction question, they give similar, negative responses.

Also, while we do spend a lot of money on health care, America is a rich country and health is extremely important to most people. It seems logical that we would spend relatively more on care as we grow richer.

Indeed, America does some things quite well in health care. Nearly 80 percent of global drug development occurs in the U.S., with only 16 percent coming from Europe. America also leads in high-tech treatments that draw people on waiting lists (or where treatments are simply unavailable) from Canada and the U.K. to get treatment in the U.S.

Of course, our health care system could be improved greatly. It certainly leaves too many people without care. But let’s address those specific problems without destroying the parts that work by socializing the entire system.

Paul J. Gessing

President, Rio Grande Foundation

Intelligence and Some Skank from A.K.

Dear Alibi,

[Re: Blog, “Palin is a Creationist (And a Nut)”] Let's all be honest here. Two weeks ago, you couldn't tell Palin's ass from a hole in the ground. Her flaming, sordid death wouldn't have rated 10 words on the last page of the Washington Post. Yet today, because some addled old fuck picked her, she seems to be the greatest woman in of all human history. Sure, she got cheers at the RNC, but if McSame had chosen Charlie Manson as his running mate, his past would have been touted as an example of a great leader and thusly more experienced then Obama. The great overweight über-whites in Minnesota are thick enough to follow her right into the gas chamber.

May a raging moose trample her and her brethren into the ground to then be devoured by a polar bear and her cubs.

EatTheRich

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