By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
I try to teach my students the difference between ignorance and stupidity, but with the failing of Orange Unified School District's Measure A and the election of the politically unknown Steve Rocco, it's a very difficult task [Nick Schou's "The Rocco Horror Picture Show," Nov. 12]. Teacher, why would someone vote for a person they didn't know anything about just to vote against a school bond meant for kids? Well there are people in the community who thought the bond money would go toward teachers' salaries. What's wrong with paying teachers a good salary? I've seen your car, it's older than me. I don't know what to say. Well, I read in theOC Weekly last week that Steve Rocco might be a nutcase and then I read a letter from Nancy Agnew that we deserve to have this idiot in office: I don't understand. I don't either. Isn't this what you call "shooting yourself in the foot"? No, this is what you call "cutting off your nose to spite your face," and the worst part is the superintendent is going to retire in June. How many exemplary superintendents are going to apply for a job where voters aren't willing to pay for improving schools and have to work for a guy like Steve Rocco? How many talented teachers are going to apply for a job in our district with all of this going on?
A word or two to "Sgt. Dave" and Lisa DeMentae [Letters, Nov. 26], regarding Iraq vet and amputee, Robert Acosta [Gustavo Arellano's "Hail the Hesitant Hero," Nov. 12]. Sgt. Dave (anonymity makes abusive letter-writing not so scary, huh?), the pertinent disgrace is a government that deceives a nation into supporting an unprovoked, unjust aggression and an arrogant, brutal and greedy occupation, both causing the deaths of tens of thousands of people who've done nothing to us. And Lisa, it's not as indecent to "badmouth" America as it is to support this war in or out of uniform.
Hey, "Sgt. Dave," nice balls. You have the audacity to rip a man who gave his arm for this country when you can't even give your name? Even with one arm, Robert Acosta is twice the man you'll ever be.
First off, I'd like to offer both thanks to OC Weekly for reviewing my CD and encouragement to reviewer Todd Mathews in his pursuit to become a professional journalist ["For Those About DuRoque, We Salute You!" Nov. 26]. The main premise of his review—that smug, insulated, suburban, progressive Orange County residents should not be writing about social issues and politics—is a well-taken one. The only problem is: Where does that leave the OC Weekly and its staff? I don't believe too many of y'all are from Compton or Colombia.
Todd Mathews responds: Mal, I didn't say you shouldn't write about social issues or politics. I said you shouldn't write crappy jingles and expect to be taken seriously. That's John Cougar Mellencamp's gig.
Steve Lowery, you are a fucking genius! I'm reading your Diary of a Mad County in the most recent OC Weekly [Dec. 3]. I am laughing my ass off on the train to San Diego! But honestly, how many people do you think got your Rasputin reference? I found it brilliant. Keep up the gospel, brother!
Re: Gustavo Arellano's "Crusaders at the Gates" [Nov. 26]: The article concerns an apparent "problem" the Islamic Society of Orange County is having with Christians outside its gates "proselytizing" members of that mosque. "Proselytizing" is an accurate but also a pejorative term. And some vital information is missing: comments by those outside the mosque's gates or any Christian viewpoint whatsoever. There were apparently no attempts to talk to one of the Christians outside the gates. Secondly, does Arellano consider the two organizations referenced in the story to be the only potential source on the issue? Not another church—liberal, conservative or raving fundamentalist—was contacted. While the Muslims attributed the Christian presence to two organizations, why didn't the author speak with these Christians to verify that assertion? Why is the "Arabic Christian Education Center" described as "sinister"? Are they running death-squad camps, threatening Muslim's with bodily harm, or otherwise doing something illegal or even unethical? This is actually a great story to cover, but the journalist did such a shoddy, evidentially biased job of reporting it, that it discredits the story, and by implication, your entire enterprise.
Gustavo Arellano responds: Scott, you're damn right I'm going to use pejorative terms like "proselytizing" and "sinister" in describing organizations that say you're going to hell if you believe in Allah. I would've loved to have included the Christian perspective, but neither of the groups that harass Muslims outside their house of worship returned my numerous calls and e-mails. And why should I have sought the opinion of another Christian denomination on the story? It's the Arab Christian Education and Courageous Christians United who are doing the proselytizing—not Catholics, Methodists, Mormons or the folks who think the Virgin Mary appears on sandwiches.