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To admit that you're cynical, as Rich Kane does in his review of the U2/No Doubt show at the Staples Center, is bad enough; to brag about it is like bragging about being depressed (LowBallAssChatter, Nov. 23). So what is Rich's problem with U2's commemoration of the lives of all the people killed by terrorists on Sept. 11? Just this: that the list scrolling on an immense screen was broken up into “such categories as 'NYPD' and 'FDNY.'” Always the critic, Rich. I can't speak for everyone, certainly not cynics or critics, but I was at the show, and I found this moment of communal remembrance more comforting than any church service, parade or speech I'd heard or seen. I was surrounded by amazing music and crying people, each of whom I suspect felt as I did that the names of Muslims, Christians, atheists, Jews, blacks, whites, Indians, Chinese, Americans and non-Americans—that all these people were part of some great universal soul, and that we were part of that soul, too, a soul that terrorism finally can't touch even with a fully loaded airplane. Based on the fact that everyone around me was crying, I suspect Rich wasn't nearby. And for that, I'm grateful.

Brent Hahn
via e-mail


As a longtime member and co-chairperson of the Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club (ERDC), thank you for the article on Ted Crisell (Dave Wielenga's “Is It Time for Ted?” Nov. 23). Crisell keeps saying that the Democratic Party is asking him to run for Congress. Who is that? The ERDC is proud to be endorsing Gerrie Schipske to represent the Democrats. The Orange County Central Labor Council has also endorsed Schipske. I know many Democrats and Republicans who will support Schipske in November.

In your article, I was shocked by the nasty attitude Crisell took toward members of his own party. We need a candidate who can and will bring the Democratic Party together and be able to get people of other parties to elect them. My support goes to Gerrie Schipske for Congress!

Steve Valkenburg
co-chairperson, ERDC


The folks who bomb and threaten abortion clinics are disgusting and hypocritical, to understate my feelings toward them (Steve Lowery's “Anthrax? Yawn,” Nov. 16). Similarly, the violent anti-war protesters and some of the tactics of heavy-handed animal rights and Act Up activists bring shame to those of us who otherwise support their general aspirations.

While the pro-life forces just don't get it that making abortion illegal will do little or nothing to stop abortion, here's an unsettling little voice that I believe speaks for many: it's high time we pull our heads out of the sand and take an honest look at the act of abortion per se. “Pro-choice” euphemisms and other evasions simply make such a deplorable deed more comfortable. Likewise, I wish pro-lifers would focus on a change in mentality like the anti-fur and no-smoking activists have with considerable success. Adoption is a nonviolent alternative to abortion, and wouldn't it be a leap forward in human civilization if people were willing to advocate a change in behavior to prevent unwanted pregnancies with the zeal they did to prevent themselves from contracting AIDS?

I used to work at a free clinic and at a pathology lab. At the former, the repeat abortion numbers I'd see on individual charts and the casual attitudes of the counselors who referred abortions to the doctors who “volunteered” their time for us made it difficult to believe human feticide was performed in a spirit of great sorrow and necessity. At the lab, it was my job at 4 p.m. to pick up the bottles of POCs (“products of conception”) from the OB/gyn's office; what we had to piece together isn't easy to suppress from memory when reading articles that highlight just one aspect of abortion-war violence.

Ginni Haddad
Midway City


Matt Coker gets a lot of things wrong in his work, and I don't usually care because it's the Weekly, and I know it's not serious. However, when I read his latest article, I felt it was necessary to complain.

His article on the environmentalist community talks about the Bolsa Chica Land Trust as being the most “notable” group fighting for “decades” for the restoration of the wetlands. Wrong. The Bolsa Chica Land Trust is the least notable group and has proved highly ineffective at producing even meager results. Coker also implies that they are on the opposite side of the argument from the Surfriders. Wrong again. Both groups have gone on record as opposing the tidal-inlet plan. Playing up their influence is very insulting to those of us who have really done the legwork and made the sacrifices. Even though he writes for the Weekly, Coker probably thinks of himself as a journalist, and journalists need to be credible. If he can't be trusted to get the details right, he can't be trusted to get the big story right.

Renee Black
Huntington Beach

Matt Coker responds: Yes, it's true, someone who failed to read the item carefully could conclude what Black did. But I actually wrote that the Land Trust is among those environmental groups who have battled for wetlands restoration for years. I noted that one of those groups, Surfrider, opposes connecting the wetlands with the ocean. Maybe a real journalist could uncover what's inaccurate about that statement.


To Mighty, Mighty Christian in Lake Forest: Abortion is legal; killing abortion doctors is illegal because the courts say it is. Please check your Bible, especially Romans 13:1-8. To San Diego Jim: Anybody who lives in Southern California and hates Mexicans is asking for it. We have two syllables for you: “Oslo.” To Newport Beach Conservative: Thanks for the advice, but we left Alabama to get away from the likes of you. To Irvine Businessman: (1) learn to spell; (2) never refer to yourself as “CEO” unless your company has more than a single employee; (3) “bite you”? Not even after a tetanus shot. To Mom: Stop reading the paper from back to front.

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