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
CRUISING IN THE MAINSTREAM
In Erin Aubry Kaplan’s recounting of a recent cruise trip [“The (Minor) Agony on the Ecstasy,” May 23–29], it was amusing to read her reaction to inadvertently meeting people who supported the war with Iraq. She sounds like a zoologist who just stumbled on an entirely new genus of mammals. She then feels the need to explain how she could possibly tolerate, let alone eat dinner with, these repulsive alien creatures. This was no doubt necessary for her to maintain her impeccable liberal credentials with her co-workers and friends back home. After all, as she hastens to inform us, these people exemplified “mainstream American values that [she] hardly encountered at work every week.”
At a time when more than 70 percent of Americans supported the war with Iraq, it’s remarkable that the L.A. Weekly is such a hermetically sealed environment that its writers would be shocked to encounter one person who might disagree with their opinions. You really ought to get out more. What I’ve always suspected has just been confirmed: The L.A. Weekly preaches diversity in everything but thought.
—Alistair Latour Los Angeles
Regarding Greg Goldin’s article “Light and Open” [May 23–29]: Like the devotees of West Hollywood’s Schindler House, I too oppose the destruction of the remaining single-family homes on Kings Road, as they provide a welcome respite from the “canyon effect” created by the street’s large, boxy condominium complexes. However, with its imposing sidewalk-adjacent wall of bamboo, the Schindler House itself contributes to the canyon effect. Unlike most other single-family homes on the street, which have kept their front yards open, the Schindler House has walled itself off from the community in which it sits. In this regard, the keepers of the Schindler House seem as selfish as the developer next door. If they want others to make sacrifices to preserve their own light and open space, they first should do the same.
—Jeff Jacobberger Los Angeles
ROVE OR RIEFENSTAHL?
History’s precious little moments repeating themselves. It’s déjà vu . . . oh you know the rest.
—Ray Greenfield Los Angeles
PERLE, POLICIES AND PROFIT MOTIVES
Your excellent article on Richard Perle’s myriad conflicts of interest as a member of the Defense Policy Board [“Perle the Impervious,” April 11–17] neglects to mention that he is also a director of Autonomy Corp.
Autonomy makes software to sift through e-mails and phone calls to identify patterns deemed to be suspicious. Subsequent to Perle’s joining the company as a director, Autonomy signed contracts with the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service, the National Security Agency and the FBI.
The company is now well-positioned to play a key role in the Defense Department’s Total Information Awareness (TIA) initiative, which aims to develop a comprehensive database on all U.S. residents. TIA was discussed at the February 27 meeting of the Defense Policy Board cited in your article.
Revelations that U.S. security policy may be compromised by high-level officials’ profit motives should concern us all. We, the citizenry, must demand directly that government ethics rules be enforced. For starters, Perle must go.
—Gabriel Demombynes Oakland
A PUBLIC BLOGGING
Regarding Marc Cooper’s Dissonance column in the May 9 issue: Maybe Cooper could spend less time documenting the cocktail chitchat at these limousine-liberal parties he seems always to be attending, and reminiscing about the old days as Allende’s speechwriter, and spend more time documenting the very real excesses on the right happening now.
I suggest Cooper start up an Internet blog, where he can snipe at the left to his heart’s content, thus freeing up those valuable column inches in the Weekly so his staff mates can continue the real journalism he seems to have retired from.
—Alfredo Tryferis Los Angeles
THE CASE FOR L.A. DRUG COURTs
Joe Domanick, in his article "High on Justice" [May 15-22], demonstrated that his instincts are partly accurate: dedicated, knowledgeable, hard-working judges are essential to have a successful drug court. Moreover, Domanick’s heart is in the right place: "drug addicts should be treated as people with a disease, not as criminals." However, his limited snapshot view led to some profoundly erroneous conclusions. Specifically, his statement that the Los Angeles County drug court judges lack "courage and compassion" is disturbing as it is entirely untrue.
Drug court judges in Los Angeles County have gotten it right. These judges have not only shown "courage and compassion," but many have volunteered much of their own time and money to ensure that the addicted drug court clients receive the best possible comprehensive treatment services. L.A. judges have taken a leading role in developing and improving drug courts. Los Angeles drug courts have been chosen as "mentor" courts by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and others, helping to improve drug courts throughout the United States. L.A. judges have served with distinction as board members and officers of the NADCP and the California Association of Drug Court Professionals. Many of the L.A. judges have been employed as faculty members in judicial training programs in California and other states, conveying best practices in court-based treatment.
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