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I was astonished to see on your recent "Black-Eye Edition" cover a woman apparently punching another woman in the eye [March 19]. This is not funny. Domestic violence is an epidemic in this country and should not be treated lightly. It happens in all classes and cultures, including among same sex partners. I would expect more responsible journalism from the OC Weekly. I think you owe your readers an apology.
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As a former ambassador (under a Democratic president), deputy assistant secretary of state (under a Republican president), and career diplomat for 30 years (under seven presidents of both parties), I thought your criticism of George Argyros' performance as "our man in Madrid" was way off the mark [Gustavo's Arellano's "Lost in Translation," March 19]. Mr. Argyros did exactly what he was supposed to do in those press interviews you found so offensive. He defended the Bush administration's policies and worked to put our nation in the best possible light. Furthermore, the press comments about Condoleezza Rice that Ambassador Argyros protested were indeed racist and offensive. How could any American think otherwise? As for the Spanish opposition leaders who refused to accept the invitation to breakfast at the Embassy Residence because it was a "violation of Spanish sovereignty," in all my years I never heard of such a thing. It seems obvious that they didn't like the administration's policies on Iraq and decided to score some domestic political points at the American ambassador's (and the Aznar government's) expense, and some segments of the Spanish press accommodated them.
As a former OC resident for the past four years, I know that you have your domestic political differences with Mr. Argyros. But in this case I hope you'll take the word of a professional diplomat and career ambassador. Whether you agree with Bush's policy on Iraq or not, George Argyros did exactly what an American Ambassador is supposed to do, and he did it well.
Ambassador John R. Malot
Gustavo Arellano responds: I agree completely with your letter, Ambassador Malot: Argyros did what he was told and followed the Bush line. And look at the results of "doing the job well": a nation that hates the United States, a broken alliance, and about 190 innocents dead. If Argyros was the representative of a Fortune 500 company in such circumstances, he'd be on the next plane back to Newport Beach. Oh, wait; he is.
I am a 1969 graduate of Mater Dei High. I can't tell you how glad I was to get away from that horrible place. I was nervous the entire four years I went there. I'm glad to read Gustavo Arellano's report about the lawsuits against Mater Dei ["The Cool Counselor," March 12]. Hopefully Mater Dei will become a part of Santa Ana's past; hopefully soon. No child should have to contend with people who are allowed to violate them and at the same time break the laws and get away with it. And no child should have to even consider that their perpetrator will get off free just because he/she is affiliated with the Catholic Church.
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Lisa Alvarez's article ["I Am a Terrorist: I Teach," March 12]. She is wonderful, and I applaud her satire of current politics.
Jackie Pitchford, future teacher
On behalf of the non-"dipshit" voters in Huntington Beach, I'd like to thank you for mentioning our resounding victory over Measure E [Matt Coker's "A Clockwork Orange," March 12]. Perversely titled the "Fair Districts Initiative," Measure E really stood for Evil, pure Machiavellian Evil. Measure E was written, financed and primarily supported by people with power who were after just one thing: more power! [Utility company] AES contributed $22,000 to ensure that their initiative would be on the ballot. Part of that money was used to pay people to gather signatures for the Fair Districts petitions. Those hired hands did a great job and helped to collect 22,000 names. But come Election Day, less than 16,000 people actually voted for Measure E.
Why such a disparity between signatures and votes? In several letters to our local newspapers, people claimed that overzealous signature hunters falsely portrayed Measure E as a term-limits initiative. Term limits is a popular cause and a much easier sell than Measure E's true intentions, so it would be a good ploy to use if you're trying to get people to sign on. Paying people to gather signatures for petitions seems like a dubious practice that could lead to all sorts of conflicts. If people get paid per signature, doesn't that give them an incentive to collect as many names as possible, even if that means misrepresenting the goals of their petitions?
Okay, Gustavo Arellano, in your attempt to win the "Liberal Man of the Year" award, you forget that some of us can read between the lines ["Rally 'Round the Racist," March 5]. Either you HATE white people more than anyone else in the world (Farrakhan included) or you are really pissed off that you aren't white. Either way, apparently Howard Stern (of all people) is a big racist, Mexicans NEVER do anything wrong and are the abused, unsung heroes of our society and if you are Caucasian, heterosexual and Christian, you will be blamed for everything that is wrong with the world. That's right, blame the mainstream!! How cutting edge!! You don't tell the truth!! You just play it safe and no one pulls your covers because they are afraid of being called a racist and possibly losing their job, place in the community, etc. By the way, I bet your girlfriend is white!
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