Steamed About Rice

While Judith Lewis’ article regarding Condi Rice’s recent confirmation hearings was generally on target [“Protocol for Lying,” January 28—February 3], I do not agree that the soundbites used by the mass media portrayed Barbara Boxer as “a nippy little harpy.” Dr. Rice impugned her own integrity by contradicting herself repeatedly over the past four years. Senator Boxer simply called her bluff — something that should have been done a long time ago. Rice’s responses (or lack thereof) exposed the new secretary of state as being outwardly confident but, at the same time, in over her head. I wonder how Rice resolves the cognitive dissonance that must surely arise from the mixed messages that she’s programmed to deliver.

—Mary Shaw Norristown, Pennsylvania

Erin Aubry Kaplan’s “Rice and the New Black Paradigm” [January 28—February 3] is racist in origin, attesting to the left’s rage and impotence at their loss of political power. Kaplan’s venom for Rice mirrors that of a plantation owner’s when his favorite “darkie” jumped on the underground railroad. Democrats have long viewed blacks as their personal domain, and when a Ward Connerly, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell or (gasp) Condi Rice make their God-given choice to embrace the other side, they’re viewed as pariahs by their putative masters. Kaplan embraces house Negroes like Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson et al. who’ve “not forgotten their base” (Is that a noun or an adjective?). The reality that individuals might, for less than base reasons, have core beliefs that don’t reflect Kaplan’s worldview appears not to have entered her mind.

—Stuart Weiss Los Angeles

“Rice and the New Black Paradigm” was quite entertaining, but just that and nothing more. Isn’t it interesting that a “sistah” who professes such high-pitched moral indignation over this complete farrago could not find anything in the way of facts to reveal to us, the malleable public, to enlist our similar outrage, let alone the encyclopedia the subject sorely deserves? I guess sistahs give sistahs a pass. Right on! Solidarity. I mean, it’s not like journalists don’t know their job, is it? Or is it? After all, with the Eternal Supinity Factor now a staple among “liberals,” one understands that newspapermen/-women are easily bought into agreeable positions by shows of power intimating that any true dissenter will be the next target. Ah, the fourth estate! Let’s see now, whence did Orwell say the true oppression would come? Hmmm, if I think about it long enough . . . I’m sure it will come to me.

—Marc S. Tucker Manhattan Beach

Sweet Smell of Secession

I agree with you, Joe Donnelly [“Leaving Home,” January 2127]. California can do quite fine on its own. I know plenty of folks who cannot support this fraudulent, immoral Bush “junta” any longer. Turns out the secession idea is catching on: I read in The Nation, for example, that there’s a group in Vermont seriously working on it for their state. It’s time to do something that will cut into Bush’s plans for continual war. We can also create our own Bill of Rights and nix this idea that evangelical ideology should govern law. We’ve got to convince Governor Arnold to go elsewhere, though. He has proved himself to be against most of us and for wealthy interests only. Folks, follow his deeds on Speakoutcalifornia.org or Arnoldwatch.org.

—Jan McQuain Northridge

Josh Mintz’s depiction of a diabolical neocon Vulcan [Image Control, January 28February 3] is just the right-on icon for the next dismal four years. While I would personally object to the transmogrified flag, and believe that Mr. Spock would also find it somewhat offensive, it nonetheless sends a message that belies all talk of creating a spurious “democratic zone of peace.” The headline could just as well have been “Lie Long and Prosper.”

—Robert A. Rowland Los Angeles

Action Speaks Louder Than Words

It’s good that the Weekly is criticizing Democrats who are spending so much time and money on think tanks where all they do is try to come up with strategies that will win over Americans in 2008 [“The Next Four Years: A Survival Package,” January 2127]. I mean, instead of spending millions of dollars on ideas that will convince people that Democrats really care about people, why don’t they instead spend that money on actually taking care of people? What a novel idea! But then, aren’t all you Weekly pundits doing the same thing? I can remember back in the early ’80s when the Weekly had a large and visible agitprop section where each week its readers could see where a demonstration or a fund-raiser or a project to save a school or clinic was going on. Many of the Weekly staff were actively engaged in those efforts. The Weekly needs to take inventory of itself now. Is it going to just continue to write about what needs to be done (and bitch about party politics) or will it try to be an active part of the solution? I’d like to challenge the Weekly and its creative and intelligent staff: Enough with writing about possible strategies . . . DO SOMETHING!

—Rhabyn Epstein Los Angeles


In last week’s music picks, the wrong date was listed for the Mignon show at the Parlour Club; the correct date is Tuesday, February 15.

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