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Regarding your recent endorsement for president: Ralph Nader relentlessly sounds the twin themes that a) corporations have too much power, and b) government today is up for sale to the highest bidder. Both correct, but whence does he think corporations derive such power? Corporate charters, with their insidious exemptions from various liabilities, are a creation of Big Government. Na ders solution has a blind spot: He proposes to vest even more power in the government, which will only give the politicians more favors and influence to peddle. So how does that separate him from Bush and Gore, except in the details?
For all the Green rhetoric about corporate abuse, it is the Libertarians who recognize that the abuse of power is but a symptom of the more fundamental problem namely, the power to abuse. If we reduced the federal government to its actual constitutional functions, as enumerated in the body of that document and clarified by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, then corporations would no longer be able to buy favors, for the feds wouldnt have any to sell.
Which is why, incidentally, it is disingenuous for Nader to claim that he doesnt support the war on drugs. Yes, he does for he supports the power the government wields in the exercise of such insanities. When you give the feds the power to impose your version of good onto society, you give them the power to impose someone elses. And their version of good might be your version of evil. A society of truly free minds and free markets could never force that on us; the politicized version that Nader endorses can. And already does, every day.
Brian Mulholland North Hollywood
BEYOND BOOTY CALL
As an aspiring writer and soon-to-be filmmaker, I would like to thank L.A. Weekly for the October 2026 cover package entitled Black Film Now. As a filmgoer, I have to say that black films at times are an embarrassment, because not all African-Americans want their movies to resemble an ass-shaking, thong-showing trashy music video. We still have a very long way to go in understanding what the black communities really want and what is the bottom line.
Tina Jeffries Akron, Ohio
Loved the roundtable article on black women directors and just wanted to point out one error: Darnell Martin and Cheryl Dunye have both shot second features: Martins film Prison Song (I think thats the name of it) was shot a while ago, and Dunye just wrapped her feature Stranger Inside, right there in L.A. Although its true that Martins downtime between first and second features was way too long (though pretty normal for any indie filmmakers who are doing challenging material), Dunye spent about three years after the release of Watermelon Woman researching and developing Stranger Inside, and as soon as the script was ready, it went into production.
So add two more directors to your list, and be on the lookout for strong work to come from directors Lisa Collins, Tanya Hamilton, Patrice Mallard and others.
Jim McKay New York City
How could Manohla Dargis introduce the black film issue without a mention of Marlon (Tongues Untied, Black Is . . . Black Aint) Riggs? Is the film editor homophobic, or is it just that tired parochial L.A. attitude of If it isnt made here, its not worth mentioning?
Craig Kepler Minneapolis, Minnesota
Im so glad that you guys did a feature on black female directors. It seems today that if your film isnt the commonplace buffoon piece, or doesnt have a slew of rappers in it, it isnt representative of the black populace (which is not true). Continuing giving directors such as these more media coverage will help tarnish that idea, and perhaps there will be more cinematic features such as Love & Basketball, Daughters of the Dust and Eves Bayou. Keep up the good work!
K. Tyson Minneapolis
Re: Hardball [cover story, October 1319]. During a largely misspent youth, I had the good fortune to be much involved in baseball. John Albert convincingly and movingly shows us how this game can also have a salutary effect on adults.
R. Munro Claremont
Here I am sitting 34 miles north of New York City, hating the Yankees and missing Los Angeles. John Alberts story reminds me of why I love L.A. so much. Its the people. Its great to read about someone who lives life with a passion, and a twisted personality. Thanks for publishing it, and thanks for the Web site so I can read it 3,000 miles away.
Matt Hourihan Briar Cliff Manor, New York ã
Re: John Alberts Hardball story. Keep an eye on this guy. And give him some space. Hes not Henry Rollins, but hes got the same smell. Great story from a road warrior.
Dan Malloy Boston, Massachusetts
Its encouraging to us fledgling writers that the fantastic Manohla Dargis isnt immune from the occasional flub in her always pithy and urbane film column. Franco phones furrowed brows reading, in her AFI Fest preview [Calendar section, October 2026], Samira Makmalbaf, daughter of Iranian filmmaker Mohsen, referred to as fils. She is, of course, her fathers fille.
Mark Wright Claremont
GOOD MEDICINE, BAD MEDICINE
Re: Ben Ehrenreichs Pass the Ballot, My Friend [October 2026]. Although many share his views about Ritalin and its covert abuse, I strongly disagree. Im a 14-year-old currently being medicated with Ritalin and Paxil. I attend a drug rehab along with around 20 other teens. The majority have ADHD/ADD along with other disorders and learning disabilities; they have gone untreated, not to mention ridiculed, for being stupid since first grade. With frustrated parents, low grades and even lower self-esteem, most of us self-medicated. Pot seemed to make us slow down and feel normal.
Re: The Decline of Western Civilization, Part III [October 1319]. What was the point in printing Bob Macks nauseating attack on tribute bands? You may as well have a pro-wrestling fan write about ballet, or vice versa. Im curious why he didnt bother to ask for opinions from some of the regular people who pay to see the tribute acts he mentioned. Obviously, there are a lot of people who enjoy these shows. So who really cares if Mr. Artsier Than Thou Mack enjoys them or not? I saw Pink Floyd perform The Wall in Long Island, yet I can still enjoy a performance of Which Ones Pink? Not all of us make a living at being snobs.
Gary R. Burbank
Thanks for finally running Tony Millionaires beautiful, harrowing and hilarious Maakies strip. Your comics page is now near perfect. (A second page of comics by the likes of Steven Weissman, Dave Cooper or Sam Henderson wouldnt hurt.) I hope this addition is a permanent one.
Gus Mastrapa Los Angeles
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Just a word of appreciation for Steven Mikulans beautifully written obit of Gus Hall [Lost in Yonkers, October 2026]. As a writer and editor, I am constantly impressed by the quality of the writing in the L.A. Weekly.
Helen Colton Los Angeles