Dreams” by Charles Rappleye [March 29–April 4]. The Bus Riders Union is
not only bad for L.A.’s transit future but an insult to the civil rights movement.
And it’s not just about rail. Salaried BRU organizers have opposed busways,
the Rapid Bus program, the upcoming Universal Fare Smart Card technology and
a study to allow college students to receive subsidized transit passes. Sound
hysterical? At a recent MTA meeting, they passed out fliers stating that the
East L.A. light-rail project would disturb the dead at nearby Evergreen Cemetery
and cause cancer in the living.
The BRU knows that federal dollars earmarked for capital improvements have
not one penny to do with bus operating funds but constantly repeat the lie that
it is “bus money stolen for rail.” When cornered with the truth, they simply
shout the lie louder and scream racism. Do we really have to have our future
held hostage to race-baiting liars?
In Charles Rappleye’s condemnation of the predilection of the Bus Riders Union
for buses over rail, he declares that rail is a “faster, more comfortable alternative
to the bus.” Is he not ignoring the obvious fact that buses go everywhere while
rail can serve only certain corridors? It would be helpful to see a more substantial
Marc Cooper’s story about Bush’s military escalation
in Colombia [“Mission
Creep,” Dissonance, March 29–April 4] posits an irrationality of purpose
to the U.S. mission there. Looking at Colombia only, that would be true. However,
the real goal is control of Venezuelan oil. Increased U.S. proximity to this
huge energy source, in the minds of Oily Bubba and the Corporate Thieves, translates
to guaranteed U.S. access. Never mind that the overall practice of oil dependence
— no matter what the source — is itself irrational and doomed to war and other
conflagration. Is the U.S. public ready to make the switch to renewable and
sustainable? I think yes, and we deserve the courage of leadership not only
to say so but to do so. Does anyone doubt we need a change of regimes here in
order for that to happen?
—Larry A. Piltz
Re: “It Ain’t
Cool” [On, March 29–April 4]. Fine piece by John Powers. I’m very sorry
to hear about Henry Sheehan getting let go by the Orange County Register.
But I was more amazed that he was even there for that long. Mostly because he’s
so good, and the few times I’ve seen that paper (when visiting family in Seal
Beach), it’s been, well, if not lame, certainly limping.
I was put off, to say the least, by John Powers’ article. Undeniably, Harry
Knowles is a film geek, and no, he has no life outside of enjoying films, but
the man has etched out a symbiotic way of life with the very thing he loves
so dearly. If only every human on Earth found such luck.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
I applaud Judith Lewis’ article “Dealing
With Druggies” [March 29–April 4]. Random drug tests are unconstitutional
and demeaning. In my experience, treating a child like a criminal is a sure-fire
way to ensure that he or she grows up to become one. Instead, let’s try treating
children with frankness, honesty and respect.
“‘It’s astonishing to see how what should be sound legal reasoning has been
distorted by drug-war rhetoric,’ says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of
the Drug Policy Alliance.” Mr. Nadelmann is being myopic. Surely the distortion
in the legal reasoning of the Supreme Court goes much deeper than the drug war.
—Terrence T. Downes
Re: “The Binge”
[Ant Farm, March 29–April 4]. Robert Lloyd is correct in his testament to
reading’s ability to transport and illuminate. The least hopeful of us are those
who cannot or, sadder still, will not read. Their worlds will remain forever
narrow and skimpy and drained of color.
Last week’s story “The
Mission Is on a Mission,” about a religious monthly’s coverage of
Cardinal Roger Mahony, repeated information in an Los Angeles Archdiocese e-mail
that was incorrect. Father Peter Liuzzi does not, in fact, teach at Crespi Carmelite
High School in Encino.