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Re: Buddy Seigal's "Joe Strummer: 1952-2002" (Dec. 27): "If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway." A seemingly throwaway line at the end of one of punk's most enduring and tuneful diatribes ("White Man in Hammersmith Palais"), those words rang down all the way from 1977. Joe Strummer probably would never have wished to have been so prophetic. If only we'd listened. Instead, we all got fat, old and complacent about everything except figuring how to turn rebellion into money.

And the limousines really did turn up anyway—on Capitol Hill, apparently.

I met Joe Strummer a couple of times in the street. The last time, he was outside the Troubadour enthusing about the Strokes show he'd just seen. Funnily enough, years ago, he seemed too old for punk. Now that he's gone, he seems too young.

Paul LaMont
via e-mail

Anthony Pignataro's look at Ayn Rand ("Ayn Rand Institute Looks Back In Anger," Dec. 27) made the organization look pretty wacko. All I know is that I attended a recent lecture the Institute gave on Israel; it should have been required listening for the far-left, anti-Israel crowd. The speaker gave an incredibly potent case as to why the Jewish state should be allowed to exist (unrelated to the fact that Jews were there thousands of years before everyone else). It also pointed out that Israel has been extremely cautious in its responses to the killings of Jews it endures. I recommend you attend the next one; it will undoubtedly give you a perspective you can't get from the unfortunately reliably anti-Israel media.

Todd Edward Raphael
Santa Ana

In reading your article regarding Steve Vargas, it was difficult to understand whose trash you were talking about (Anthony Pignataro's "Trash Talk," Dec. 6). Vargas lost big-time. Had he been even somewhat honest with his facts and methods, he would have been supported by the people of Brea. The biggest trash issue in Brea this year was not the contract with Taormina, but rather everything that spewed from Vargas' mouth. His persona is based in dishonesty, faulty character and lack of integrity. He was a disgrace to the position because he was so disingenuous in his methods and activities. He was no spokesperson for anyone but those disgruntled with government.

T. Anthony
via e-mail

Dan Savage "advises" HOTTY to have sex with her coworker ("Savage Love," Dec. 6), but HOTTY is almost 30, and her coworker is a 17-year-old male. It's worth noting that the press and the nation are consumed with the pedophile issue, particularly as it manifests in the Catholic Church in this country. The nation, rightly, was aflame over the issue. Then in June, three of the highly touted movies of the summer dealt with the subject of older women and younger men, one of them concerning a 40-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy. Now comes this column about the 30-year-old and the 17-year-old, and it seems as if nothing has gone before. That is, as Alice in Wonderland would say, "curiouser and curiouser," no?

Dr. Cecil Lotief
via e-mail

Every time Over the Counter Intelligence (OTCI) has a show, Gustavo Arellano blows their musical prowess beyond proportion ("Ass Crack Peep Show," Jan. 3). OTCI's music is rudimentary at best; they try to mask their limited technique with simplistic riffs drenched in effect, and their lyrics are founded on infantile reasoning, such as "the only good cop is a dead cop" and "viva Zapatista!" Why didn't people mosh at their last gig? Maybe kids have come to realize something: OTCI aren't very good, and their tired anti-establishment rhetoric is as lame as their music. If those kids really want to make a difference, they should go to school, become somebody, and then fight corruption and racism from the inside. Punks don't pass legislation.

Enrique Avalos
Santa Ana

To the f&#k'n douchebag who scribbled, "The guy who is now dead" (Matt Coker's "This Week In F-ers: Social Distortion," Jan. 3). The guy has a name—it's Dennis Danell, you f&#k'n jackass! It's ironic that the photo of Social Distortion you ran included both Dennis and Chuck Biscuits, who also is no longer with the band. Get your shit straight by doing a little f&#k'n homework, you f&#k'n Larry! Also give some justice by acknowledging the other members of Social Distortion—John Maurer, Johnny Wickersham and Charlie Quintana—once in a while.

Thomas da Silva
via e-mail

Three years ago, I voted for Measure C, a $145 million bond to improve schools (Nick Schou's "Old School Politics," Jan. 3). I'm also paying an additional $55 annual tax on my property for the same reason. Now I'm pissed-off because nothing has happened. Our neighborhood, which adjoins Remington Elementary, had a couple of meetings in 2001 with school officials and representatives of the architectural firm McLarand/Vasquez, Emsiek and Partners. We were told a design study was completed to modernize the school but that the age of the buildings made it better to demolish the buildings and construct a new school. We were informed construction would begin in the summer of 2003. Now the project is on hold due to the incompetence and inefficiency of the board majority, led by Nativo Lopez. I have made 400 copies of the "Old School Politics" article. Nativo Lopez, count 400 votes against you.

Desi Reyes
Santa Ana