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I am an avid reader of your publication because I like to get the "other side" of stories in our community. But Gustavo Arellano's cover story ("Peace Through War," April 11) was the biggest piece of junk I have ever read. If you wanted to print the article in your paper, that was fine, but to make it the cover story was unbelievable. First of all, my daughter is also a junior at Mater Dei. We had a discussion with her about what happened, and her side of the story is completely different than that of Luis Sarmiento. He's wrong if he thinks that Mater Dei went "ballistic" because of him protesting the war. He wishes he had that much influence! As a parent, I commend the school for taking the safety of the students above all. They reacted to information provided by the Santa Ana police. Why should they question authority? If he is so unhappy with the school, he doesn't have to attend Mater Dei. No one forces him to go there. There are plenty of public schools for him to attend without disrupting the Mater Dei environment. All you have done is make this jerk famous and cause friction on campus.
via e-mail A Catholic responds: Dear Anonymous: Since you clearly are someone who believes in mindlessly following orders, AND since we assume you're Catholic, we're puzzled that you have a problem with Mr. Sarmiento, who was merely following the authority of a little someone we like to call the Pope. The Pope was against the war in Iraq, and Sarmiento said he was merely following the Pope's lead. And from all the things we've read, the desk sergeant at the Santa Ana PD isn't the head of the church. God bless. SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL
Re: Nick Schou's "A Stupid Thing to Do," April 11: I've been friends with Raymond Shipley (Lord Morder of the black-metal band Sol Evil) since 1999. While not a Christian, he's definitely not Satanic. He is an upstanding person, always willing to help out, and never caused any problems. His stage persona is not his real-life persona. It's the same as Alice Cooper, who's obviously not in real life the monster he appears to be onstage. It's all an act; you're selling a fantasy. I'd also like to clear up matters about the Plague: it was by no means a cult or anti-Christian terrorist organization; it was a small record label/distribution.
There is fantasy, and then there is real life. Lord Morder and Raymond Shipley are NOT one and the same. The shooting at the Teen Challenge Christian Ministry in Santa Ana was obviously a crime, but to claim it was a hate crime is totally unwarranted.
via e-mail BAGHDAD TIMES
For someone who has the title of senior editor, I am amazed at Steve Lowery's lack of professionalism. If you are going to put someone down, you ought to at least do some research to know what you're talking about before you print a column. I suggest you investigate who the "Prince of Persia" represents before you call it nonsense ("Diary of a Mad County," April 11). Furthermore, there are a lot of 'billies who would not appreciate you putting them in the same category as the leaders of TBN. Why don't you take your sorry #@# to Iraq and live under that oppression for a few months? Then let's see what your opinion is. Maybe there you could learn what it means to be a real editor.
via e-mail CLASSLESS SOCIETY
Thank you so much for Jeb Burt's article about Orange Coast College professor Ken Hearlson ("Red Ken," April 4). I am a student at OCC and was at the protest, and I found him to be as intimidating as your paper said he was. He did call us hypocrites and, in a sense, blamed us for spitting on the men who came home from the Vietnam War—as if any of us were even born then. I am a political-science major and have chosen not to take a course from Hearlson. I understand and support the fact that he has the freedom to say what he wants, but I reserve the right not to take his class.
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Huntington Beach PET FOOD
Big kudos to Julian Smith-Newman for the article on the proposal to cremate dead pets vs. rendering them ("Fido's Last Stop," April 18). It's amazing that a "civilized" society where people spend thousands on Fido's food, grooming, doggie outfits, etc., can turn away from the horror of what happens to animals who die in shelters. The fact that there are so many unwanted pets is another entirely disgusting issue, but to know that these animals are once again tossed out as garbage to become fertilizer is simply unacceptable. How cold-hearted are county boards that money once again triumphs over dignity? Maybe we could take all of the homeless John Does of the world and render them—better yet, let's make homeless "shelters," and if no one claims the indigents after two to three days, maybe we can cut county costs, "put them out of their misery" and get use out of their physical remains. The thought is repulsive, but don't these animals deserve better treatment?
J. Law, Esq.
Newport Beach DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Andrew Nienaber authored last week's glowing New Theater Review of the South Coast Repertory play Intimate Apparel.