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DON’T KNOCK THE BROCK

Re: Marc Cooper’s
book review “Blinded
by the Fight” [May 10–16], of David Brock’s Blinded by the Right: The Conscience
of an Ex-Conservative
. I don’t get it. David Brock delivers an amazing
document that corroborates that there was, as Hillary Clinton said, a right-wing
conspiracy to bring down her husband’s presidency. Brock writes as a worker
in that enterprise. And what is Marc Cooper’s reaction? A major Cokie Roberts
hissy fit on the author’s character. But that’s what the book is, Marc — a confession.
Brock doesn’t say he is proud of what he did. He is trying to set the record
straight. Why would you want to trash that? Did you find any lies in the book?
Your review doesn’t raise one substantive issue where Brock might be wrong on
the facts. Okay, Brock calls Ann Coulter and the now-sainted Arianna Huffington
fag hags. The horror! The horror! The same Ann Coulter who called for liberals
to be shot. What’s with you, Marc? Jealous that Brock wrote a best-seller? Or
are you still shilling for your fellow Clinton-hater Chris “the Snitch” Hitchens?
Is that why you close your nasty little piece with an attack on Sidney Blumenthal?


—Michael Elias
Beverly Hills

CHILE CON COJONES

Re: Marc
Cooper’s “Their 9/11 and Ours” [May 10–16]
. I can only say that Marc Cooper’s
efforts, and those of Judge Guzman, don’t just provide healing for injustices
past. I never thought I would live to even see in print a summons, let alone
a petition, to extradite Henry Kissinger. The work in Chile cuts even the most
despairing amongst us some inspirational slack.

—Linda Dann
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

PATRIOTS

Re: Erin Aubry Kaplan’s “Breakfast
of Champion” [May 10–16]
. I loved this article. I am so glad that we have
one member of our elected legislative body who can evoke one’s admiration. Barbara
Lee, like Cynthia McKinney, is above the reproach of the rest of the legislators,
who signed the USA Patriot Act without reading its 342 pages. (You don’t believe
that was really written in the three weeks after 9/11, do you?) These two women
are heroes of the highest order and worthy of being called true patriots.

—Sheryl Jackson
Las Vegas, Nevada

 

THE HIGH COST OF

ACCOUNTABILITY

The crisis at Ivanhoe Elementary School over the future of its dual-language
program [“Dueling
for an Education,” May 3–9]
is but the latest example of the power of standardized
testing to undermine educational quality. What the Ivanhoe experience underscores
is that any part of the curriculum not specifically measured by standardized
tests will be jettisoned, no matter how educationally valuable it is. Years
from now, the full damage done to students in the name of “accountability” will
emerge, but by that time it will be too late to remedy matters.

—Walt Gardner
Teacher
Los Angeles

 

VIVID! ILLUMINATING!

HYPOCRITICAL!

How fascinating was Lovell Estell III’s bird’s-eye view
of the L.A. riots [“Trouble
With Angels,” April 26–May 2]
! How vivid his description of the looters
vandalizing stores! How illuminating his guilt over ripping off that TV! How
hypocritical that he not only still has it, but brags about it still working!
A momentary lapse of reason is understandable given the situation, but he should
have returned the TV. Half-assed “guilt” doesn’t cut it anymore, people. This
sort of fuzzy thinking insults both community and culture, and sets a lousy
example. I’m not trying to brand Estell a bad Joe. I’m sure he’s not. It’s just
that a wrong choice was made, and you have to rectify wrong choices, not let
them slide.

—James Nolan
Los Angeles

BALM FOR SPIDER BITES

Re: “I, Bug”
[May 3–9]
. Although I doubt Ms. Dargis needs anyone to defend her, I just
wanted to say that I was totally surprised by the large number of nasty, angry
letters you printed in response to her review of Spider-Man. Even though
I didn’t completely agree with the article (I thought the movie was fun, despite
its occasionally terrible script), Ms. Dargis’ piece was well-written and insightful,
as her pieces always are. And my friends and I spent minutes laughing at the
hilarious opening sentence.

—Anthony Ha
Palo Alto

 

Manohla Dargis’ review of The Piano Teacher [“Music
Drill,” April 12–18]
was thoughtful, brainy, sure-footed, and a clear-eyed
evaluation of a film that was certainly, for American eyes, much bolder than
what we’re so often presented with. Her knowing the novel too was well beyond
the call. Good stuff.

—Robert Butler
Los Angeles

CORRECTION

In last week’s On column, the Carlyle Group, a global
private investment firm, was misidentified as the “Carlisle Group.”