Although I haven't been much of a "Trekkie," an interred Asian or specifically gay man, I still find the career and life of George Takei fascinating ("George Takei's New Trek," Dec. 11). The author of this article paints a picture of an uncomplicated American original who has survived, and is now thriving in an ambiguous culture with an uncertain future. His bravery is demonstrated when virtual and actual worlds of real people meet. It is not surprising that he has gained an immense following in the realm of social media. A man of this caliber would be a natural for political office in any arena.
Takei's ending statement about humor being the connective glue that binds us speaks to his humanity: someone with this much insight and wisdom is desperately needed to lead us out of our virtual prison camps and into a closet that fits us all (pun intended).
George is also active in the Japanese-American community, producing a musical drama on his imprisonment here called Allegiance. And when he posted a petition to stop a proposed fence at Tulelake Municipal Airport, the site of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center, to his followers, he bumped the petition by about 25,000 signatures. Fighting for civil rights with passion and humor—an amazing human being!
Walmart Isn't the Problem, Apparently
Marty Bennett, the Living Wage Coalition and their knee-jerk reaction—and I do mean "jerk"—are all typical of the kind of people and attitudes that have plunged Rohnert Park into the financial morass where it wallows ("Sam's Takeover," Dec. 4).
Pacific Market was a business failure. Its business plan—putting a high-end, high-priced market into a median-income area where the closest surrounding customers were in apartments—was a failure. It tried to put on the front that it would fail if Walmart expanded its store. Truth is, it failed anyway. Walmart had nothing to do with it.
As for the study about how Walmart would decimate them, note that Pacific Market's "owners petitioned [the] study from Sonoma State University." It is easy to conceive of a study and execute it to produce a preordained result. Any egghead can do it. Academia is full of them.
Twin Oaks Triumphs
Saturday night my wife and I went to the Twin Oaks Tavern in Penngrove, under the new ownership of Sheila Groves-Tracey and her sister ("Honoring the Arts," Nov. 6). There has been some new work done on the interior, and it is very warm and inviting. The band was good (no cover charge that night) and Rasta Dwight's barbecue was killer. Lastly, the staff was super welcoming. We can't wait to go back!
Although peace has been the goal of mankind for thousands of years—and the desire for peace is never so great as it is at Christmas—it seems that our ability to find or establish peace continues to elude us. Today, after the end of the Cold War, bloody hostilities continue on nearly every continent, reaching global proportions once again after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 in New York City, Washington, D.C., and near Pittsburgh.
As Pete Seeger's well-known folk song from the '60s asked, "Where have all the flowers gone? When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?" True peace on every level—from international conflicts to our personal lives—has become more difficult than ever to achieve.
"And in Bethlehem today, children fear, yet still they play
While mothers cry and fathers pray for peace to come again.
And a round the weary world echoes the refrain: "Christmas in Bethlehem, when shall true love reign?"
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