LITTLE TO THE MAX
the Super Max” [November 23–29]. Wow! My boyfriend of three years, having
been busted for heroin, has been in custody — at Super Max and, currently, at
Twin Towers — since September 13, and almost everything you described I have
heard before from him. He got “regulated” at Super Max in the 700 dorm. He gets
out October 28, 2002, and I will be printing this story out for him. I know
he will read this and remember the hard times he faced in jail. Hopefully this
will be a reminder and will be something he can look at so the next time he
has some thought that might have him do a repeat performance, he’ll think again.
I was excited when I saw Eddie Little’s article. Finally a progressive weekly
was addressing the “Super Max” prison issue. Alas, what is defined as Super
Max in a county jail system is nothing like the real deal in the state system.
Up here in the great Northwest, we have a “Super Max” facility called Pelican
Bay State Prison. It is a horrible place where prisoners are kept in 23 hours
of solitary confinement, and many of the 1,267 prisoners in this unit have been
there for almost a decade. If your readers are truly interested in the reality
of the human-rights violations going on up here, they can contact Bar None at
P.O. Box 1, Arcata, CA 95518, or call us at (707) 269-0295, or e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a
long list of prisoners who desire pen pals. They will tell you the true horror
stories of the tombs.
It’s painfully obvious that Eddie Little is not only a hopeless drug addict,
but a hardcore criminal and recidivist. And as anyone who’s read his books and
articles knows, it is also painfully obvious that he is America’s Greatest Living
Writer. I wondered what had happened when his “Outlaw L.A.” column was taken
over by someone else and allowed to go downhill until it disappeared. Now that
question has been answered: He is obviously still living an insane life. Please,
please, please print anything you can get from Mr. Little before he self-destructs.
THE WHITE STUFF
I am a 30-year Randy Newman fan and active participant
in an online newsgroup devoted to him and his work. Erin Aubry Kaplan’s cover
story on Randy [“White
Man With Attitude,” November 23–29] was one of the best articles/interviews
I’ve ever read about/with him, and definitely the best I’ve read in the past
three or four years. Excellent work!
GUNS N’ BURKAS
Re: Judith Lewis’ “Out
of the Frying Pan” [New World Disorder, November 23–29]. It is good that
she is calling attention to the plight of Afghan women. But what about Afghan
men? Amnesty International has documented that, since 1991, men have been selectively
detained, subjected to forced labor, tortured and killed in Afghanistan. As
recently as October, every Afghan family was required to give up one male to
bolster the Taliban army for the impending attack. According to one British
report, tens of thousands of Afghan men were conscripted in just two weeks.
The horrors visited upon Afghan male civilians began long before the Taliban
came into power, and are likely to continue unless people realize that men,
too, are worthy of freedom and life.
In “Out of the Frying Pan,” Judith Lewis claims the Revolutionary Association
of the Women of Afghanistan has “Maoist underpinnings.” While I commend Lewis
for balanced coverage of the issue of Afghan women, I would appreciate it if
she qualified her claims of RAWA’s political leanings with some evidence. In
my work with RAWA for over a year and a half, I have not seen one RAWA statement
regarding any leanings toward Maoism, or communism in general. RAWA’s main goal
is to struggle for democracy and human rights in Afghanistan. It’s as simple
as that. False associations with Maoism cloud the motives of their struggle
and misrepresent their ideology.
Afghan Women’s Mission
THE SAME OLD SONG
Regarding Diamanda Galás’ rant in your November
23–29 issue [“The Deep End”]: Considering that Israel must spend a huge
amount of money to defend itself against the numerous countries and millions
of people that would like to see it destroyed, it is perfectly reasonable for
that nation to seek to reduce its costs by co-producing the Arrow missile-defense
system with the U.S. and Turkey. Galás says she’s against genocide, yet seems
to be opposed to the Israelis’ doing anything to prevent another holocaust of
Jews. Of course, your paper goes along with this, as the Weekly can’t
seem to let an issue pass without some Israel bashing.
Re: “No Room
at the Ranch” [November 23–29]. I wish to clarify my conversation with Sara
Catania regarding the Ahmanson Ranch â project. I made it clear to Catania that
my organization does not take positions on individual projects and does not
have a position on the Ahmanson Ranch. I did share my personal and professional
concerns about “complete communities” that do not include housing for very-low-wage
workers. I have shared these directly with representatives from Ahmanson Ranch
as well, but in no way should they be construed as official support or opposition.
Executive Director, Southern California
Association of Non-Profit Housing
“No room at the ranch”? A total of 774 Ahmanson Ranch units will be reserved
for low-to-moderate-income individuals and families, including 185 units for
very-low-income households (following HUD stipulations, households earning less
than 50 percent of the Ventura County median), and leased or sold in conformity
with Ventura County affordable-housing regulations — in other words, approximately
one out of every four units constructed for the community of 3,050 units. Washington
Mutual will continue to list the affordable-housing program of the Ahmanson
Ranch as a positive and beneficial feature of the project, without apology.
Vice President, Corporate Public Relations Washington Mutual
DON’T BLOW UP THY ENEMY
Re: “A Few Good
Saints” by Joshuah Bearman [November 23–29]. In this excellent piece on
the anti-war stance of All Saints Church, you neglect to note that there are
indeed committed pacifists in this vibrant Christian-faith community. For me,
at least, the church I love has not gone far enough in condemning all acts of
violence, even those undertaken to deter great evil. Pacifists are regularly
told that their views are impractical, if not downright irresponsible. We are
accused of being unwilling to take action to end the suffering of others, be
they Jews in Nazi Germany or women under the Taliban. But real pacifism is not
the same as quietistic withdrawal from political action, it is simply the recognition
that when it comes to bringing violence to an end, we must embody Jesus and
his radical, total commitment to nonviolence.
DON’T/DO BLAME IT ON CAIN
Greg Burk states in his article “Divine
Suicide” [November 16–22], “We’re all descendants of Cain, of course.” While
this would explain a lot, this is actually incorrect. Cain was exiled for his
transgression. Adam and Eve then had another son, Seth. It is Seth from whom
we’re all descended.
GREG BURK REPLIES: Well, since we’re all descended from Noah, and Noah was
descended from Seth, you may be right. Thanks. But I like to think that Noah’s
wife, unnamed and unsourced in Genesis, came from the line of Cain.
In last week’s Scoring the Clubs recommendation of Thunderball’s
Echo Park gig, Eighteenth Street Lounge was identified as a “Frisco label.”
Actually, it’s in D.C.