By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
LITTLE TO THE MAX
Re: Eddie Little’s “To the Super Max” [November 23–29]. Wow! My boyfriend of three years, having been busted for heroin, has been in custody — at Super Max and, currently, at Twin Towers — since September 13, and almost everything you described I have heard before from him. He got “regulated” at Super Max in the 700 dorm. He gets out October 28, 2002, and I will be printing this story out for him. I know he will read this and remember the hard times he faced in jail. Hopefully this will be a reminder and will be something he can look at so the next time he has some thought that might have him do a repeat performance, he’ll think again.
I was excited when I saw Eddie Little’s article. Finally a progressive weekly was addressing the “Super Max” prison issue. Alas, what is defined as Super Max in a county jail system is nothing like the real deal in the state system. Up here in the great Northwest, we have a “Super Max” facility called Pelican Bay State Prison. It is a horrible place where prisoners are kept in 23 hours of solitary confinement, and many of the 1,267 prisoners in this unit have been there for almost a decade. If your readers are truly interested in the reality of the human-rights violations going on up here, they can contact Bar None at P.O. Box 1, Arcata, CA 95518, or call us at (707) 269-0295, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a long list of prisoners who desire pen pals. They will tell you the true horror stories of the tombs.
It’s painfully obvious that Eddie Little is not only a hopeless drug addict, but a hardcore criminal and recidivist. And as anyone who’s read his books and articles knows, it is also painfully obvious that he is America’s Greatest Living Writer. I wondered what had happened when his “Outlaw L.A.” column was taken over by someone else and allowed to go downhill until it disappeared. Now that question has been answered: He is obviously still living an insane life. Please, please, please print anything you can get from Mr. Little before he self-destructs.
THE WHITE STUFF
I am a 30-year Randy Newman fan and active participant in an online newsgroup devoted to him and his work. Erin Aubry Kaplan’s cover story on Randy [“White Man With Attitude,” November 23–29] was one of the best articles/interviews I’ve ever read about/with him, and definitely the best I’ve read in the past three or four years. Excellent work!
GUNS N’ BURKAS
Re: Judith Lewis’ “Out of the Frying Pan” [New World Disorder, November 23–29]. It is good that she is calling attention to the plight of Afghan women. But what about Afghan men? Amnesty International has documented that, since 1991, men have been selectively detained, subjected to forced labor, tortured and killed in Afghanistan. As recently as October, every Afghan family was required to give up one male to bolster the Taliban army for the impending attack. According to one British report, tens of thousands of Afghan men were conscripted in just two weeks.
The horrors visited upon Afghan male civilians began long before the Taliban came into power, and are likely to continue unless people realize that men, too, are worthy of freedom and life.
In “Out of the Frying Pan,” Judith Lewis claims the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan has “Maoist underpinnings.” While I commend Lewis for balanced coverage of the issue of Afghan women, I would appreciate it if she qualified her claims of RAWA’s political leanings with some evidence. In my work with RAWA for over a year and a half, I have not seen one RAWA statement regarding any leanings toward Maoism, or communism in general. RAWA’s main goal is to struggle for democracy and human rights in Afghanistan. It’s as simple as that. False associations with Maoism cloud the motives of their struggle and misrepresent their ideology.
Afghan Women’s Mission
THE SAME OLD SONG
Regarding Diamanda Galás’ rant in your November 23–29 issue [“The Deep End”]: Considering that Israel must spend a huge amount of money to defend itself against the numerous countries and millions of people that would like to see it destroyed, it is perfectly reasonable for that nation to seek to reduce its costs by co-producing the Arrow missile-defense system with the U.S. and Turkey. Galás says she’s against genocide, yet seems to be opposed to the Israelis’ doing anything to prevent another holocaust of Jews. Of course, your paper goes along with this, as the Weekly can’t seem to let an issue pass without some Israel bashing.
Re: “No Room at the Ranch” [November 23–29]. I wish to clarify my conversation with Sara Catania regarding the Ahmanson Ranch â project. I made it clear to Catania that my organization does not take positions on individual projects and does not have a position on the Ahmanson Ranch. I did share my personal and professional concerns about “complete communities” that do not include housing for very-low-wage workers. I have shared these directly with representatives from Ahmanson Ranch as well, but in no way should they be construed as official support or opposition.
Executive Director, Southern California
Association of Non-Profit Housing
“No room at the ranch”? A total of 774 Ahmanson Ranch units will be reserved for low-to-moderate-income individuals and families, including 185 units for very-low-income households (following HUD stipulations, households earning less than 50 percent of the Ventura County median), and leased or sold in conformity with Ventura County affordable-housing regulations — in other words, approximately one out of every four units constructed for the community of 3,050 units. Washington Mutual will continue to list the affordable-housing program of the Ahmanson Ranch as a positive and beneficial feature of the project, without apology.
Vice President, Corporate Public Relations Washington Mutual
DON’T BLOW UP THY ENEMY
Re: “A Few Good Saints” by Joshuah Bearman [November 23–29]. In this excellent piece on the anti-war stance of All Saints Church, you neglect to note that there are indeed committed pacifists in this vibrant Christian-faith community. For me, at least, the church I love has not gone far enough in condemning all acts of violence, even those undertaken to deter great evil. Pacifists are regularly told that their views are impractical, if not downright irresponsible. We are accused of being unwilling to take action to end the suffering of others, be they Jews in Nazi Germany or women under the Taliban. But real pacifism is not the same as quietistic withdrawal from political action, it is simply the recognition that when it comes to bringing violence to an end, we must embody Jesus and his radical, total commitment to nonviolence.
DON’T/DO BLAME IT ON CAIN
Greg Burk states in his article “Divine Suicide” [November 16–22], “We’re all descendants of Cain, of course.” While this would explain a lot, this is actually incorrect. Cain was exiled for his transgression. Adam and Eve then had another son, Seth. It is Seth from whom we’re all descended.
GREG BURK REPLIES: Well, since we’re all descended from Noah, and Noah was descended from Seth, you may be right. Thanks. But I like to think that Noah’s wife, unnamed and unsourced in Genesis, came from the line of Cain.
In last week’s Scoring the Clubs recommendation of Thunderball’s Echo Park gig, Eighteenth Street Lounge was identified as a “Frisco label.” Actually, it’s in D.C.