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Dec 20th
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From The Editor

Greg 12It’s already been a busy week for Santa Cruz. Last weekend found the cast and crew of the highly anticipated movie (filmed locally) Chasing Mavericks in town for a private screening. That same night, über liberal Bill Maher hit the Civic in a sold-out show. (Big Bird was in attendance, too.) So, what lies ahead? There is the election, of course, so this week, be sure to turn to our News section and ponder the essence of Prop. 32, which revolves around campaign finance reform. But does it, really?

The idea of war does not go unnoticed in any election year, but now that the War in Afghanistan has moved beyond an entire decade, it’s fitting, perhaps, to take another look at some of the events taking place there. For that, we turn to local writer and photojournalist James Clark, who served twice in Afghanistan. This week, through a series of vivid photographs. he hopes to shed light on not only the war, the men and women on the battlelines, but also on the local Afghans, many of whom are children trying to find a sense of balance and meaning in their war-torn country. Experience the tale.

In the meantime, Chasing Mavericks is still on everybody’s mind. The film opens at The Nick on Friday. GT interviews necomer Jonny Weston who embodies the soulful and adventurous surf legend that was Jay Moriarity, who met an untimely death back in 2001. The film chronicles the unique bond between Richard “Frosty” Hesson and Moriarity, but locals may find what Weston really took away from the experience interesting. Read on ...

There’s plenty more in between but as we head deeper into fall, and Halloween and Thanksgiving approaches, it wouldn’t hurt, amidst our increased busyness, to, as the now-famous motto goes, “Live Like Jay,” meaning ... try to be in the moment and embrace nature and humanity.

Onward ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor
Checking on Bill

An open letter to Bill Maher: I was reading in the cover story about you (GT 10/11) and that you were proud and were “going to take most of the credit” for a poll that says more young people doubt the existence of God than ever before. Bill, are you sure you really want to do that?

My concern for you, as a fan, is that you are misusing your vital life force and superior intellect to make a case against religion ... and thus, when successful, removing a vital emotional support system from many poor souls.

This letter is humbly submitted hoping you might see that you are ultimately misguided in this quest. I know that you sincerely believe you are helping by your actions but, in fact, you are hurting people and here's why. Many of the “true believers” sincerely and deeply need God in their lives for strength, hope and love. For some, the only love they have experienced started with the idea that God loves them, as in … “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Unfortunately, many people are riddled with negative thoughts of guilt and are focused on life's regrets that keep them from moving forward to a brighter future. For these people, finding faith in a loving, forgiving and merciful God may be the only thing that keeps them from taking their own lives. So, Bill, do you really want to be the one to take that little bit of hope away?

And yes, it's been said that religion can be a psychological crutch for weak-minded people. That's kind of the point. (It works for me!) But in this hurting world, people need crutches. Crutches are designed to help people move forward, to give them some mobility. Crutches come in all forms. (And, for the record, some see pot as a crutch.) If you saw a person using crutches to hobble down the street, would you make it your business to pull the crutches out from under the man, telling him that he should use his own legs? It kind of looks like that is what you are trying to do with your movie and lectures aimed at the poor religious people who desperately need God to give them hope and strength.

And, Bill, can you see that you are acting toward religion like the Fed-DEA acts toward pot. “Why do the Feds have to take away our pot when we know, in moderation, it’s mostly harmless and can even provide personal positive healing benefits? Right?”

You are a smart guy, Bill. We all know that. But sometimes more than brains are needed. I understand that you have not experienced the bliss that God provides billions but can you now see that there are important and vital reasons why people want to believe and do believe? They need their crutch and until you have something better to replace it with, that’s easily accessible to the masses, I would ask you to please stop acting like the DEA, back off and let them have their crutch.

A sincere fan.
John Wilkins
Santa Cruz


Online Comments
On ‘Bill Maher
I'm fortunate to have just come home from seeing Bill in Santa Cruz. Other than sounding like he had a cold or flu of some sort, he nailed it! He actually got stronger as the night went on—hard to do when you don't feel well. The crowd was great, as was 'Big Bird' with Bill's own version of the five-point plan hung around his neck: Go F*** Yourself Mitt Romney
Classic Bill Maher! Really a great evening. Thanks, Bill.
Norm

I used to stay up at night just to watch Politically Incorrect. I am happy that there is a legitimate heir to George Carlin. Carson was too mellow, but OK.
Richard Maxwell

On ‘Sonic Waves
“PG&E is committed to conducting all their seismic research safely and in a manner that reflects community and environmental values,” says Jones. Oh, yes, and PG&E was so committed to Erin Brocovich's Hinkley, Calif., and to San Bruno, was it? Yes I'm sure the safety of the marine life of the Central Coast has nothing to worry about. I'm sure they will be well looked after by PG&E.
J. London

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