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I read your take on evil, and while it's good, you missed something—the pro-choice viewpoint ("Great, Satan!" March 8). Really, what is the reason for abortion? Is it to get rid of something somebody doesn't want—the pain of having a baby? Is it money? Is it evil? Bottom line, hundreds of thousands of babies die every year. Choice is a cop-out. Smokers have a choice, but they still smoke. Do I have a choice to abort a smoker because of secondhand smoke? The mother's egg is living tissue—right?—and the father's sperm is living tissue—right?—so how do two living things add up to something that is not living? Maybe the mother and father should be aborted, too, just to be fair.

Scott Demont
Santa Ana

I applaud Jim Washburn for hitting on the tobacco tycoons ("That's Evil Goin' On," March 8). But I would be remiss not to point out that the Weekly takes advertising to tell smokers what bars/restaurants they can smoke their Camels and kill themselves in—or what cigarette paper they can use to do the same thing. You might reply that the reader is aware of the dangers and has free choice. Drug addicts are also aware of the dangers, but you don't tell them where they can "shoot up" because their dealers are not paying you to do that. How do you spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E?

Edward I. Miller, M.D.
Newport Beach

The best speller at theWeekly—a recovering addict—forgoes his smoke break to respond: Washburn unfurls a 1,300-word essay that equates the product of one of theWeekly's steadiest advertisers with the most heinous evils in human history—and all the good doctor wants to do is talk smack? We expected a letter like this—but from a tobacco company.


I did a double take when I saw the Le Tigre story (Chris Ziegler's "No Lecture Band," March 8). It was next to a half-page ad for Beverly Hills Cosmetic Center. I can only conclude that this is a clever plan on your part to draw in meathead concertgoers who expect the band to look like the model in the ad. Boy, will they get a surprise!

Ned Raggett
Costa Mesa

Thank you, Anthony Pignataro and Dave Wielenga, for your long investigation of former Huntington Beach City Councilman Dave Garofalo. As far as I'm concerned, your investigation was a major factor in his eventual felony conviction. You were far ahead of the LA Times and The Orange County Register. Garofalo supporters claimed that mean-spirited, extreme, political advocates led to his demise. To the contrary, most of the citizens against Garofalo were anything but political activists. I believe the investigation revealed only a small fraction of the kickbacks Garofalo received. At least he's gone. Keep up the good work.

John Jones
Huntington Beach

Thank you for all your tireless work during the El Toro reuse struggle. My two primary sources of info were the website and Anthony Pignataro in the Weekly.

Bryan Williams
Laguna Niguel

Regarding your observations on candidates for Orange County clerk/recorder ("Slim Pickin's," March 1): Although this article was far from complimentary to the majority of the candidates, I would be interested to hear why you referred to Bruce Peotter as a "gadfly."

Donna Dean
via e-mail

The American Heritage College Dictionary responds:gadfly: 1. A persistent, irritating critic; a nuisance. 2. One that acts as a provocative stimulus; a goad. 3. Any of various flies, esp. of the family Tabanidae, that bite or annoy livestock and other animals.


Missing from the Weekly's coverage of local political races was any guidance on obscure judges' posts ("Slim Pickin's," March 1). In fact, the election offered voters no real choice in this county when it came to the big philosophical questions faced by our candidates for Superior Court judge. The candidate statements published in the voter's guide all came from the same perspective: "Criminals are bad, and we should lock them up forever or kill them." Of the 12 people running, all but three mention that they "support the three-strikes law and the death penalty." Two did not provide a statement. The other did not say anything about the three-strikes law but expressed support for the death penalty "where warranted." This must be the liberal in the bunch.

My biggest problem with these candidates is that they only address the hot-button issues of criminality. Some support victims' rights, while others seem to believe in women's issues (but only if women have issues with domestic violence; no one took a stand on equal pay or reproductive rights), but they don't speak up on any of the issues with which most of them will be dealing on a daily basis. Since they were all the same, I chose not to vote for any of these people.

Tom McCarthy
Newport Beach

Burnie Thompson's OC Weekly article "The Making of a Free Speech Activist" (Feb. 2, 2001) was named a runner-up in the national Felix Morley Journalism Competition. The judges of this libertarian competition lauded Thompson's "use of on-the-spot reporting to personalize the story of an entrepreneur whose liberty was repeatedly threatened and violated by his local government." The entrepreneur was Pelican Theater owner Bill Gammoh, whose La Habra strip club was the target of outraged moral monitors. The award committee gave Thompson a $250 prize—about what we paid him for his fine article.

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