By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Today, however, Southern California is relatively flush with water, at least for the short term, and political memories are now focusing on upcoming elections. So I am not surprised with the recent political controversy over the project. Again, Mr. Haefele has done a credible job in laying bare the relative political flip-flopping that is taking place with regard to this project. Kudos to the Weekly for this story.
STILL KVELLING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
Michael Baers’ excellent article “Fashion Victims” [May 12–18], exploring the circumstances surrounding the display of the Smithsonian Institution’s sweatshop exhibit at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, may have left your readers with the incorrect impression that the Los Angeles Jewish Commission on Sweatshops has been dissolved, or that activists within the Jewish community have effectively been thwarted in their efforts to address sweatshop-related issues.
In fact, the Sweatshop Commission remains alive and vibrant. We are proud that the commission is now a program operating under the auspices of the Progressive Jewish Alliance. PJA is a newly created, Los Angeles–based, national-membership organization addressing a variety of social and economic-justice issues.
For more information about the Sweatshop Commission and its ongoing work, or to obtain a copy of the commission’s comprehensive 1999 report addressing sweatshop issues in Los Angeles, please e-mail sweat firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323) 761-8350. For more about the work of the Progressive Jewish Alliance and its multi-issue agenda, please visit our Web site at www. pjalliance.org.
—Steven J. Kaplan Chairman, Executive Committee Progressive Jewish Alliance
LOVES ME LIKE A ROCK
Thanks to Gary Davis for taking a subject that is already confusing and making it more so. His article “Microsoft Loves You to Death” [May 19–25] strikes me as uninformed at best, and malicious and unfair to Microsoft at its worst. I realize that it’s easy to get anything that vilifies Windows published these days, and I don’t begrudge Davis his paycheck (we all gotta eat), but this one should have been caught by an editor. Or a fact checker. (Does the Weekly even bother with that?)
Just to clear up a couple of things . . .
Number one, claiming that Microsoft has any culpability in the I Love You virus debacle is just silly. That’s like blaming a razor-blade manufacturer for the rising rate of suicide. No one saw this one coming. Period.
Two, the reason your computer automatically runs “obscure” VBS programs is because it’s supposed to. Besides, Visual Basic Script is not obscure. It’s a powerful and popular programming language, particularly among the shareware-development community. Visual Basic scripting performs dozens of useful operations through your e-mail client that you never even notice . . . until it stops doing them. Visual Basic Scripts, like ActiveX controls, Java applets and all the other tools used by virus writers, are useful and valid pieces of software subverted for nefarious purposes.
Three, it is ludicrous to even suggest putting a firewall inside your own computer — especially since, if you run antivirus software, you’ve already got one. Antivirus software didn’t catch the I Love You virus because no one saw it coming (refer back to No. 1). And remember, every scanning, firewall-like program running on your computer takes up system resources and lowers performance. Do we really need another annoying prompt message to slow down our work?
Four, I Love You is far from being the “most destructive virus in the history of computers” . . . Mr. Davis, just because they say it on CNN doesn’t necessarily make it so.
Essentially, we should put the blame where it belongs: on the malicious developer who designed the virus to get through security and ultimately steal passwords off your computer (a fact that was not mentioned by Mr. Davis), and all the careless people who passed it on. This was a criminal act performed for eventual financial gain, not a prank, and not the result of a bug in the VB Scripting host. A burglar found his way in through a window no one expected him to get through. Happens every day.
—J. Rhodes Los Angeles
I can’t believe Willy Banta dissed all the rock & roll greats who went to that lame-o party just because of their age [Slush, May 19–25]. What an ass! He wonders what Tom Petty’s girlfriend sees in him? Who in Silly Willy’s approved age group has accomplished as much as T.P.? He’s a genius, and a cute one, too! Tom Petty rules; ageism sucks.
—Kate Lennon North Hollywood
A MOST PECULIAR MAN
Doug Harvey is awesome! Every week I flip open the Weekly to see if he’s contributed, and I’m always pleased by what I read. He writes about the obvious and the obscure in equal parts, and when our views overlap, it happens in a way that actually clouds my boundaries between agreeing with him and being influenced by him, which is very seductive in a writer. There is no attempt at objectivity (so gauche in this day and age) and no regard for local conventional wisdom. Best of all, sometimes he’ll write a positive review for an individual and condemn that individual’s very context — friends, gallery, school, age group, et al.
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