Congratulations for getting rid of Pamela Houchen [Nick Schou's "Slime Away," Sept. 10]. You guys are the America's Most Wanted of political corruption in Orange County.
Huntington Beach HAIDL
God, the Haidls must HATE you [R. Scott Moxley's "Portrait of the Rapist as a Young Man," Sept. 10]. Keep up the good work!
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Why is there no major outcry against our legal system's protection of a sexual predator and disregard for, or even villainization of, his victim? When someone goes on trial for stealing a car, the defense doesn't argue it's the car owner's fault for having such an attractive vehicle just sitting out there on the street. ("You have to understand it was the new model Hummer. The one with the tiny truck bed in back. Beautiful car . . .") As the soon-to-be mother of a second daughter, the prevalence of this scares the hell out of me.
I am a lifelong Republican who has supported Sheriff Mike Carona, but never again. After reading your latest story, I still can't believe he's keeping Don Haidl around as his assistant sheriff. This is a disgrace to Orange County and law enforcement.
via e-mailMIND GAMES
The article on Elizabeth Loftus was so refreshing [Sasha Abramsky's "Memory and Manipulation," Sept. 10]. I've been a private-practice psychotherapist for more than 20 years, and the first question just about every client asks me is "Why do I do this?" That's usually a request to find the historical "event" or experience that resulted in their present distress. Although the answer to the question can sometimes lead to high drama, it rarely helps anyone. Validity questions aside, psychiatric-history witch-hunts too often help fill someone with the twin poisons of victimhood and vengeance instead of the relief they say they seek. Over the course of the past two-plus decades, I've noticed what I've come to call the diagnosis du jour: the popular diagnosis certain to explain the problems you've been having for most of your life. Years ago, it was childhood molestation or alcoholism/codependency. Now, the big thing is bipolar; hell, 20 years ago, that seemed almost unheard of and was seen mostly in institutions. On the rise is Adult Attention Deficit Disorder.
D. R. Keene, Ph.D., MFT
via e-mail BEASTLY
I can't believe you guys put down the Beastie Boys on your front cover [Alison Rosen's "Ill Communicators," Sept. 10]. What a dumb statement: "Politics and the Beastie Boys don't mix." A lot of hip-hop is about exposing how corrupt the system is. I think the new Beastie Boys CD is awesome. I love the fact that they verbally attack the Bush administration. I like the fact that they are rapping about more than just women and booze. I believe in free speech, and it is okay to critique the Beastie Boys, but did you guys really need to do it on the front cover?
Long Beach PATRIOT GAMES
Jim Washburn got it exactly right ["No, You Shut Up!" Aug. 25]. All of these conservative Republicans who piss and moan because Linda Ronstadt likes Michael Moore, who cry foul when Barbara Streisand holds a benefit concert for Democrats, are the ones who voted for Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who slapped "My President is Charlton Heston" bumper stickers on their pickup trucks when Clinton was in office. I heard my next-door neighbor, who works as a mechanic for a local car dealership, complain after the Democratic convention that Ben Affleck was allowed to answer a few political questions on CNN. "He's an actor," he said disdainfully. I know for a fact that this guy doesn't even subscribe to a daily newspaper, yet he's angry at Affleck for expressing an opinion? A word to the wise, dude: Ben Affleck may be just an actor. But you're just a mechanic. Shut the fuck up and fix cars.
How very generous of letter writer Bill Matthies. He "accept(s) other people's opinions but only in a venue/circumstance appropriate manner" [Letters, Sept. 10]. Does that mean he's equally outraged by all those jingoistic country singers who praise the war at their concerts? Oh, by the way, Bill, the reason more people respect Michael Moore's opinion than O.J. Simpson's is because Moore won that Academy Award for a political movie! Simpson did not win his Heisman for playing political football.
Lamentably, the actions of the probations officers in your Sept. 10 Hey, You! were perfectly acceptable in this post-Sept. 11 world. Because of the Patriot Act, law enforcement has been given the go-ahead to monitor and harass pretty much anyone they please for any number of reasons that can be molded to fit what framework they need to justify their actions. The Patriot Act gives them carte blanche to go into anyone's home, search it for anything they deem "suspicious," take anything they want, and never have to tell you what they took or why they were there. I would highly recommend she vote against Bush and work to make the Kerry administration repeal this unconstitutional legislation. Until then, she probably shouldn't leave too much stuff at his house.
via e-mailDept. of Corrections
A headline on our Sept. 17 cover indicated that Adam R. Stull, an attorney connected to the Haidl case, raped "girls." In fact, Stull was convicted in 1992 of raping just one girl—six charges involving "oral copulation with a minor" and one charge of "penetration of the genital or anal opening with a foreign object"—while he helped teach mock trials at the girl's high school.
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