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Your article on the Butterfly Lounge was the most insulting, and degrading piece I have ever seen (Rebecca Schoenkopf's "Yes, Fat Chicks! Big Beautiful Women Rock the House," Dec. 13)! It's people like you who start segregation and racism!

Christine Osborne
Via e-mail

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The article about the BBW clubs was a clear representation of your ignorance and stupidity—or maybe it was just jealousy. Maybe you are envious of women who are comfortable in their own skin. I have only been to the Butterfly Lounge about three times—but I can attest that the people are 10 times more friendly and approachable than in any other club from here to New York City. That may have been a more constructive angle to take than the "gluttony" angle.

Chrystal Bougon
Via e-mail

I'm sure I am in the minority, but I thought Commie Girl's article was true, funny and not insulting. We are fat. Should we wear backless tops? Hell, yeah, if you feel good in them! Rebecca even says, "But who am I to play fashion cop?" If we get bent over every seemingly insulting thing thrown at us in life, we'll spend all our energy defending ourselves and developing a huge chip on our shoulders. Be who you are—enjoy it and boogie till you drop, is my theory. Kudos to Commie Girl for an article that made me laugh out loud. And I wouldn't doubt it brings a few more men toward BFL.

Cecilia Prado
San Diego


Trains were running through Placentia long before agriculture was paved over and complainers' houses were built (Dave Wielenga's "Train in Vain," Dec. 13). I'm tired of NIMBYs who move next door to a railroad, airport, dairy, chicken farm or whatever, and then complain about it.

Dean Whinery
Via e-mail


What exactly is a "10-stone tamale" (Gustavo Arellano's "All About the Antojitos," Nov. 29)? Might that be stone-ground, perchance? Please forgive me, but here in the United Kingdom units of human weight come in stone(s), as opposed to pounds. Because of this worrisome sentence, I was forced to see in my mind's eye a fat man wearing a tamale suit jumping up and down on a trampoline.

A Disturbed Citizen
Norwich, Norfolk, U.K.


Nick Schou's article mentioning me was interesting, but a tad off on a few tiny details ("Slate Nailer," Dec. 13). Let's take just one paragraph: my name is now Lord-Butcher, not Butcher. I never resided anywhere in England in the 1980s. When I married my lovely Afro-American wife in 1991, her last name was Lord. She was gracious enough to take my name, so I took hers, and we became the Lord-Butchers. Commencing in 1994, we lived in London for two years. I am a British subject, my dad was born in Leeds in 1901, and I have British citizenship. We have never claimed noble birth, most especially not while in England, as the title comes before the given name and my wife did not change her name to Lady-Butcher. Neither Arnold Forde nor I ever referred to ourselves as "the Darth Vaders of direct mail." One very funny California Journal article 25 years or so ago did, but I have not heard the term applied to us before or since. I have never considered Social Security and Medicare a "right-wing cause." I am proud Arnold and I managed the Proposition 13 campaign and helped Howard Jarvis in the many fights to preserve this incredible protection for homeowners—especially elderly, retired homeowners who were losing their homes to the taxman prior to Prop. 13. Those are the only inaccuracies in this paragraph. I can understand, I guess, these minor miscues by Schou. It would have required a phone call all the way down to San Diego to get it right.

Bill Lord-Butcher
Via e-mail

Nick Schou responds: I'd like to thank Lord-Butcher for sending a letter that so perfectly illustrates my thesis—that his chief strengths are diversion and outright deception in the service of his conservative politics. I'll recklessly take Lord-Butcher at his word that he is indeed a British subject; that he lived in England in the 1990s, not the 1980s; and that he changed his name to Lord-Butcher to please his wife. (On this last item, I never reported otherwise, but I am grateful for any evidence of a feminist man on the far Right.)

I'll take him at his word for these claims because they are absolutely irrelevant to my thesis—as is his claim about the origins of the nickname "Darth Vader." I got the information about Lord-Butcher and Arnold Forde's nickname from Tom Rogers' 2000 bookAgents' Orange. He cites a March 6, 1996,Los Angeles Times article. I found the article for myself, and it does indeed report that Lord-Butcher and Forde were "a pair of Newport Beach political consultants who called themselves the 'Darth Vaders of Direct Mail.'" TheCalifornia Journal article Lord-Butcher references was 11—not 25—years ago. Time flies when you're having fun making money in politics.

Regarding the making of money and trips to England, Rogers points out that Lord-Butcher left the U.S. for England after he and Forde deposited into their personal accounts cash they had ostensibly raised for conservative political crusades. The disappearing-money act came in the 1980s; my mistake was misreading Rogers' account and concluding that the English sojourn came at about the same time. It's telling that Lord-Butcher ignores the controversy over cash in order to focus his readers' attention on his itinerary. I never said Lord-Butcher claimed Medicare and Social Security were "a right-wing cause." Lord-Butcher undoubtedly knows this but would rather indulge his now-graceless talent for rhetorical sleight-of-hand. Raising the specter of such insubstantial errors (his hyphenated surname, his time in England) and simply making things up allows him to blow smoke around a conclusion he never challenges: the name Lord-Butcher has become a mnemonic for "butcher of truth."

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