I’m Australian and quite appalled at L.A. Weekly’s moronic Bush-as-Dracula cover [November 5–11]. Is it supposed to be postmodernly ironic? Or is it meant to show the left-winger idiots in L.A. how tremendously clever the Weekly is? Or to show the world how puerile, lefty trendoids of U.S. publishing have no understanding of the will of the people? Yes, that’s it; it’s designed to show that the democratic majority of voting U.S. citizens is scorned. Meanwhile, the Weekly continues doing its liberal, value-free, latte-, sex- and violence-loving thing.

—Tony Jones Melbourne, Australia

Congratulations on the Bush-as--vampire cover. It’s one of the finest political cartoons I have ever seen. Is there any chance of L.A. Weekly -producing an edition printed on heavier paper? Perhaps post cards that could be used to send complaints to the White House and Congress, or burned as part of voodoo rites?

—Thomas Fuchs Los Angeles

I am disgusted with L.A. Weekly’s recent choice of covers. While I applaud the paper’s fearlessness, I am concerned that a portion of recent covers are not suitable for children, and given that the Weekly is displayed throughout the Southland, it definitely poses a problem for parents with impressionable youngsters. Bush as a vampire? Elephants ingesting their own dung [September 3–9]? Children nursing on bombs [July 2–8]? While political satire is certainly needed, does such imagery need to appear in places accessible by children?

—Brian Mine Hollywood

The image from last week’s cover, by artist Shepard Fairey, is on display along with several other artists’ works, through January 1 at La-La Land Gallery, 6450 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.


Would Mr. Meyerson have used the same tone in "Long Night’s Journey Into Hell" [November 5–11] if the three newly elected senators were black Democrats with similarly parochial views? Would he have mentioned and mocked them for what they thought/said? Does he share the same view of everyone so clearly inferior to his own bad self? Or does his condescension just apply to Republicans?

—Clark Alexander Huntington Beach

For Harold Meyerson to say that the political pendulum will swing back toward voters more culturally liberal is wishful thinking — the Republicans own the pendulum.

Monday-morning-quarterbacking the Kerry campaign does little. The people who dislike Bush did mobilize. But it was Christian fundamentalists who gave Bush the extra votes. (John Powers mentions this in "Something Wicked" [November 5–11].) The fundamentalists, along with evangelicals, fill auditoriums without celebrities or Bruce Springsteen. Combine them with the prejudice and white power embedded in the South, and you have last Tuesday.

The pendulum isn’t going to just swing back. The Bush regime is going to clamp down harder on freedoms to make sure that doesn’t happen. The best plan is to move to disrupt the regime. The question is: Do the American people have the courage to organize?

—Mark Flores Hollywood


If Simon & Schuster, Free Press’ parent company, shows an ounce of ethics, The Intimate Life of Abraham Lincoln, a book focusing on Lincoln’s "love of comrades," as Doug Ireland reports in "Was Abe Lincoln Gay?" [November 5–11], will never be published. Its author, the late C.A. Tripp, was a hoaxer — somewhere between Alex Haley and Doris Kearns Goodwin. Tripp not only cooked sex data to invent the thesis that Lincoln was gay, he plagiarized more than one author, including me. I have flooded Elisa Rivlin, Simon & Schuster’s chief counsel, with massive and irrefutable evidence of Tripp’s fakery and copying. After four months of pondering my submissions, Ms. Rivlin has yet to deny my case. Nevertheless, she tried to buy me off with a bogus acknowledgment of my contributions to the book.

Tripp and I were co-authors. I broke with him in 2000 when he refused to stop cheating history and plagiarizing other writers. His final manuscript is riddled with fabrications that he refused to discard when we were working together between 1995 and 2000. Furthermore, most of the first chapter of The Intimate Life is mine — my words, my ideas and my narrative, which Ms. Rivlin does not contest. It is my fervent hope that Simon & Schuster will come to its senses and pulp the galleys of Tripp’s book, just as it did with all extant copies of Goodwin’s The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys.

—Philip Noble New York, New York


As a black male, I am inspired by Norman Kelley’s article on the decline of black politics ["Black Power(less)," July 23–29]. I pray that others will read this article and realize that if we continue to honor Democrats as our savior, we will self-destruct. For nearly 50 years, we have followed the rhetoric of the Democratic Party. As a result, we have unemployment, no education and no economic power.

Now that this election is over, who do we turn to during the next four years? Our so-called black leaders have no friends in the Republican Party to address our black issues. We must turn to a two-party system, and elect black representation on both sides of the aisle so that we will have representation no matter what party has the White House.

Right on, Norman Kelley.

—C. Boulware Fontana


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