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RECOMMENDATION

Re: your endorsement for “No”
on Proposition F [October 25–31]
. Thank you, L.A. Weekly, for having
the nerve to print what many of us, as grassroots Valley anti-secessionists,
haven’t had the opportunity to express. Yes, at its core the breakaway movement
is the last cavalry charge of the NIMBY, regressive suburban flight. But my
heart goes out to the good-spirited City Council candidates who got caught up
in Richard Katz’s pseudorevolutionary rhetoric. Unwittingly, they — along with
a mostly East Valley legion of voters — are poised to make history: the abrupt
creation of America’s sixth largest city as a flathead plebeian nation, all
painted pretty with nowhere to go.

On the flip side of this, the rest of us go about our business fixing cars,
splicing film, writing cheesy pop songs, painting houses, loving, losing and
loving again on both sides of Mulholland Drive. For us, L.A. still feels like
home.

—Paul Perner
North Hollywood

 

Wow! Such courage, such conviction you have shown once again in your endorsements.
Simply vote for the Democrat, even if he makes you sick. Don’t even think of
voting for a third-party candidate, and don’t even listen to the Republicans.
This is a perfect example of what the Democratic Party has become and why I
left it: cynical and dictatorial. Don’t even dare question the leadership. Just
do what you’re told.

I still appreciate the endorsements, however. It’s an efficient method know
of finding out what to vote against.

—Tony Blass
Winnetka

 

Rarely do I find myself in disagreement with my friend Harold Meyerson. But
the Weekly’s decision to endorse Gray Davis is incomprehensible. You
based your endorsement on the good legislation he has been forced to sign. But
a governor does many things aside from signing bills into law. As your own reporters
have chronicled over the past few years, Davis has:

• hired the law firm of O’Melveny and Myers to browbeat 12-year-olds during
depositions in civil-rights lawsuits filed over the deplorable condition of
California schools;

• refused to even threaten to seize the power grids during the state’s energy
crisis;

• refused as a matter of policy to entertain the idea of paroling anyone convicted
of murder decades ago, no matter the prisoner’s record while incarcerated;

• proved himself to be nothing less than a fund-raising machine, exempting
himself from the scandalously high contribution limits of Proposition 34; and

• rewarded his contributors with lucrative labor pacts, such as the one with
the prison-guard union whereby guards’ salaries exceed those of teachers in
the state.

Having lost your competition to the ravages of the market, the Weekly
has a special responsibility now to be an alternative voice and not a mouthpiece
for the Democratic Party.

—Roy Ulrich
Vice President, Southern
California Americans
for Democratic Action
Los Angeles

 

Once again, the Weekly bemoans the absence of a viable third party,
then, every chance it gets, pisses on the only possible political party in California
to fulfill that role. One has to ask oneself whether you are serious. Simply
lamenting the rotten choices offered by the major parties will not cause a third
option to arise. Such political parties and movements are not spontaneous. They
take years of grassroots activism to build — and the only party to try to do
that is the Greens. Whining about lack of meaningful choice, then backing the
perpetrators of the current Catch-22, sabotages all efforts to build another
option. The Weekly’s endorsements are neither responsible nor alternative,
especially in view of the fact that they match those of the L.A. Times
almost exactly.

—Joseph Crompton
Los Angeles

INTERVENTION

I liked the candid Iraqi-American comments in
Celeste Fremon’s article “Hold
the Missiles Please” [October 25–31]
. This is very troubling, however: Among
those local Iraqi-Americans who favor U.S. intervention is Dr. Maha Yousif,
a 51-year-old orthodontist who teaches at USC. “We don’t look at it as an invasion,”
she says. “We look at it as a liberation.” Yousif says she understands there
may be Iraqi casualties, but her attitude has become fatalistic. “Death is coming
to Iraqis either way,” she says, “so we can’t worry about it anymore.”

I am afraid this is exactly what our administration is also thinking. Death
of Iraqis is a pill they must take for their liberation. Unfortunately, this
is exactly what the suicide bombers in Israel think. Once again we are encouraging
the kind of ideologies that we are supposed to fight.

—Daryoush Mehrtash
Seattle

RESIGNATION

It was very interesting to read
Nikki Finke’s story on Miramax president Mark Gill’s
resignation and the
way he was treated by the Weinsteins. I have a few friends who work in the Miramax
L.A. office, and my spouse had been with Miramax for a number of years until
recently. Although I’d heard horror stories about the intensely negative working
environment, I was still surprised by the treatment received by Mr. Gill. By
all accounts, Mark was a great guy to work with, and incredibly honest and friendly
— not to mention his devotion to Miramax, and the contributions he made to the
company’s success. If anybody should be investigated for dishonesty or “dirt”
or whatever those crazy brothers were looking for, I suggest the Weinsteins
take a good, hard look at themselves.

—Barry Washington
Los Angeles

 

MASTURBATION

Re: A Hit for
Ovitz” [October 18–24]
. I realize for many the thought of shooting Michael
Ovitz Godfather-style is appealing (though not particularly original),
but the stupidos who wrote the “spoof” can’t even stop masturbating long enough
to learn that the Motherlode serves no food at all. Period. Never has.

—Tom McDustrell
Los Angeles

 

CONDESCENSION

Re: “Cabaret
Tammy Faye” [October 18–24]
. Margy Rochlin had the same ugly, condescending
tone in her writing that most journalists do when writing about Tammy Faye.
It’s difficult to discern whether Rochlin is uncomfortable with her own femininity,
or just too cynical an individual to accept a truly down-to-earth subject like
Tammy Faye. Rochlin takes jabs at Tammy Faye’s every utterance and gesture.
What a tragedy she couldn’t look beyond the heavy mascara and appreciate the
way her subject is so readily touched by the human spirit. It is Tammy Faye’s
completely unthreatening nature and her totally nonjudgmental heart that attract
so many to her. Rochlin could learn a lot from her, apparently.

—Damon Devine
Los Angeles

 

REITERATION

What was the point of publishing reader Judith
Lillard’s letter last week if you weren’t going to answer her question? I’ll
ask again for her and other concerned Weekly hostages: Why aren’t archived
articles of New Times being made available to your readers?

—Mark Ebner
former New Times contributor
Venice

 

THE EDITOR REPLIES: That’s a question better addressed to your New Times
franchise, still at www.newtimes.com.

 

KUDOS

L.A. Weekly columnist Michelle Huneven
received a 2001 Whiting Writers’ Award for her novel-in-progress, Jamesland.
The award is given to emerging writers of “exceptional talent and promise.”