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Re: Matt Coker's "Tree People" (A Clockwork Orange, May 12): As any fool knows (and I'm not just any fool), the Sex Pistols' original bass player was Glen Matlock, not Sid Vicious. Still, nice to know that we Brits are an environmentally conscientious bunch, what?

Alasdair Patrick
Dana Point


In his discussion of Skratch's sellout issue (LowBallAssChatter, May 12), Rich Kane wrote, "Supernovice's David Turbow penned a glowing critique of a ska record in which he says, 'I am a HUGE enthusiast for all forms of ska.' . . . Turbow once wrote a song called 'Sick of Ska.'" The truth is that I wrote an honest, mostly favorable review of a ska CD for the April issue of Skratch but was informed at the last minute by the editor that all reviews should be rewritten in a "kiss-ass" manner as an April Fool's joke. I informed the editor that I did NOT want to participate in this joke, yet he personally altered my reviews and put my name on them anyway. I have since resigned my post at Skratch.

David Turbow
via e-mail


Re: Todd Mathews' stupid attack on Chris Cox ("Light at the End of the Tunnel," March 31): His focus of ridicule is Cox's well-researched report on how China suddenly made quantum leaps in the advanced technology of nuclear-guidance systems in missiles that now threaten the U.S. Not having any cogent arguments against the report itself, Mathews uses your front page to make obscene attacks on Cox himself. Although it has become apparent to anyone with an open mind that our current president would sell his grandmother if he thought it would get him votes, Mathews is not at all concerned about the following highly provocative facts: (1) Clinton quietly approved the export to China of technology, the wisdom of which was then under investigation by the Justice Depart-ment. (2) One of the major aero-space companies involved in the transfer, Loral, has as chairman Ber-nard Schwartz, who just happens to be the largest individual contributor to the Democratic National Committee (1995-1996). (3) Johnny Chung told investigators that a large part of the almost $100,000 he gave Demo-crats in 1996 came from Liu Chaoying, who works on defense modernization for China's People's Liber-ation Army. (4) And Clinton overruled Secretary of State Warren Christo-pher's decision to limit China's ability to launch American-made satellites on Chinese rockets.

George Neiiendam
via e-mail Todd Mathews responds: All of your "facts" were well-reported in the media when Cox released his findings. I'd be delighted to go over with you the information available since that reveals the utter poverty of Cox's "well-researched report." But let's leave it at this: it wasn't Democrats alone, but Republicans-including Cox's good buddy, Hun-tington Beach Congressman Dana Rohrabacher-who proposed giving the Chinese government U.S. missile technology. The reasons are clear: troubled by the rising costs of sending satellites into space from the bases in the United States, the U.S. aerospace industry searched the world over for cheap alternatives and settled on China. There was just one problem: Chinese missile technology was antique-good enough for fireworks but little else. Led by Rohrabacher, the aerospace industry lobbied the venal Clinton administration to allow a "technology transfer"-that's a political euphemism for giving the Chinese U.S. missile technology. You can see why Cox found it more palatable to blame Chinese spies rather than members of his own party. Or maybe you can't, blinded as you apparently are by the heavenly light shining from Chris Cox's fundament.


How does anyone go to Bali and not have a good time!? It takes extraordinary effort, but somehow Christine Gamble pulled it off ("Death in Bali," May 5). What a depressing BITCH!!! Like a growing number of Cali-fornians, I have been to Bali numerous times. This island paradise is an absolute blast! Imagine: days at the beach enjoying some of the world's best surf, whitewater rafting in deep canyons, touring natural wonders and rainforests that put Maui to shame, shopping that will make you feel like a millionaire. It's too bad a cultureless ignoramus like Gamble was so repulsed by a sacred Balinese religious cremation ceremony that it practically becomes the only thing she could write about. The lesson here is very basic: don't slam what you don't understand.

Bali Girl!
San Clemente
A drunk in the mail room observes: Don't slam what you don't understand, indeed. The theme of our travel issue was encounters with the supernatural-it said so right in the title. In keeping with that, Gamble focused on a Balinese funeral ceremony which she greatly admired. Her disdain was reserved for Americans who, in their celebration of living life as a beer commercial, too often forget what the Balinese seem to know: we're all tourists headed for the same destination. P.S.: It's unclear how flying to a Third World country for the surfing, whitewater rafting and shopping will get you closer to an indigenous culture.