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12-STEP SNOT ROCK
Fantastic article about Ben Froehlich and his "delusional" band [Vickie Chang's "Walk Away," July 14]. I applaud his honesty, especially in mentioning his opinion that musicians are self-centered, über-ego babies. Just add a mediocre record deal and the failure of a second album and they'll end up at a 12-step meeting crying about their "15 minutes" or the lack thereof. It's refreshing to read the truth about the lack of anything genuine in that industry and the pseudo snot "rockers" that actually think they're good. I am not surprised at the idolatry of post-mortem MySpace bullshit—just look at all the granddads and mamas trying to sell the ground-breaking punk rock music of 1978. Am I the only person who's embarrassed to see middle-aged men and women still acting like children? It's no wonder Ben walked away; he is smart enough to realize that if he didn't get out then, he may have awoken a fortysomething with crazy-colored hair and a tattoo of dragons circle jerking.
THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF IRVINE
Thanks for the coverage of the city of Irvine's shameful capitulation to China in agreeing to sever any relations with the city of Taoyuan and the country of Taiwan [R. Scott Moxley's "Twisted Sister City," June 30]. The mayor of Irvine, Beth Krom, seems confused about the controversy. Can't local officials support the brutal dictatorship in China instead of the democracy of Taiwan? Only in Orange County would such a mishap occur. Business interests and not human decency fuel every endeavor. Perhaps China's offer to Irvine to contribute money to the Great Park plan in return for cutting off any relations with Taiwan should include a giant Tiananmen Square monument. Is the mayor's memory that short?
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SHANE AND THE COUNTY SITTING IN A TREE, S-H-R-E-D-D-I-N-G
In your rant about what the county spends your money on, you singled out a $60,000 payment that social services makes to a shredding company [R. Scott Moxley's "Privatize This!" July 7]. What you didn't say was the company that does all of the Social Services Agency's shredding specializes in shredding confidential paper work. Anyone who is in the SSA system has a paper case file that can contain, but is not limited to, copies of drivers' licenses, immigration documents, Social Security cards, bank statements, automobile registrations, paycheck stubs, medical information, Medicare cards and Social Security payments. This information is confidential and if it fell into the wrong hands it could result in fraud and identity theft. That is why this particular company is more expensive than most document shredding companies. It's because they have to guarantee the safety of these documents. You also failed to tell your audience that social services is the largest agency in the county and has dozens of offices all over Orange County with confidential documents at each district or location that need to be shredded. We are talking about literally tons of paper. You also conveniently left out the money that the county pays out to aid illegal aliens. I know that your paper has a Marxist agenda reflected in every page, and it shows in your selective opinion about how the county spends taxpayer money.
R. Scott Moxley responds: The county has agreed to pay a company more than $300,000 for the next five years to shred confidential documents at one agency. If this is a bargain, what about the MX-200, an $8,800 shredder approved by the National Security Agency? Or the 5500-S3 industrial-sized shredder? It destroys 50 feet of paper per minute and costs $25,600 retail.
LIAR! LIAR! 'COMPUTER STRESS ANALYZER' ON FIRE
R. Scott Moxley is right on the mark in noting the irony of Sheriff Mike Carona dropping $12,500 of our tax money on a "computer voice stress analyzer" to help determine when someone is lying [R. Scott Moxley's "Sheriff Funny Guy," July 7]. The agony is that ABC News aired a segment on national television months ago which questioned the effectiveness of the equipment that the sheriff has bought into. "A Pentagon study obtained by ABC News finds that a new kind of voice lie detector used by the U.S. military and American police departments is no better than 'flipping a coin' in detecting lies." The story focused on a hilarious Florida company named the National Institute for Truth Verification. The Orange County Sheriff's Department, unfortunately, is listed on their website as one of many law enforcement agencies that has purchased their products. I'd be lying through my teeth if I said any of this is surprising. Shame on the Sheriff's Department for wasting our tax dollars on the electronic equivalent of tarot cards. And, more importantly, shame on everyone who voted for Mike Carona.
CONFIDENTIAL TO . . .
Um, everyone. Please, please, please write Ellen Griley a nice (or angry!) letter every once in a while. She gets sad every time she has to read almost an ENTIRE LETTERS COLUMN devoted to Gustavo Arellano or R. Scott Moxley. Thanks.