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Having just seen Remember the Titans and as I think back on Manohla Dargis' other reviews, has she ever given a positive review of a film directed by or starring an American person of color, or is she just the most racist movie critic in America? It seems that if you're a person of color, Manohla will always pan you for either selling out or somehow not being quite good enough.

Hal O'Brien
Costa Mesa Manohla Dargis responds: Seriously, this letter is so stupid I don't want to dignify it with a response, but how about a list of movies I've liked:
To Sleep With Anger; One False Move; Daughters of the Dust; Combination Platter (or doesn't Asian count?); The Crow (ditto); Menace II Society; Suture; Basquiat; Pulp Fiction; Seven; Crooklyn; Clockers; Set It Off; The Long Kiss Goodnight; Independence Day; Jackie Brown; Enemy of the State; and He Got Game. There are many more, but this jerk can look up the reviews on the website. BEAVERS

R. Scott Moxley's brilliance shines again. The list of things on which the county spent $12.8 million was really amazing (“What Can You Buy for $82,320?” Oct. 6). What was especially amazing was the amount of corporate welfare that you and I pay for through our taxes.

According to politicians, this money is “wisely” doled out to all kinds of rich people who didn't earn it. The power to do this most likely came from the desire to do what some of your readers may think of as “good things”—such as daycare, subsidies for struggling businesses, loan guarantees and redevelopment grants. But once that power to do something “good” is granted to a politician, it usually cannot be taken away, and we all end up paying for the kinds of things Moxley and most of us would agree are “bad”—subsidies to the Irvine Co., outrageous consulting fees and $82,000 beaver exhibits. If you or I could direct how the county spends our tax money, I might not be so upset about our forced-tax system, but the workers just don't have that kind of power anymore. And anyone who says, “We direct the county by voting for different politicians” is dangerously naive.

Doug Scribner
vice chairman
Libertarian Party of Orange County

Re: “Disneyland's Downwinders” by Fermin Leal and Vu Nguyen (Oct. 13): Jim Anderson says he bought his house in 1969. I lived in nearby Garden Grove in 1969 and always enjoyed watching the 9 p.m. fireworks over my back fence. Surely Anderson knew about the nightly shows before he moved there. They have been going on for a very long time. He has no right to complain now.

Bill Turner
via e-mail

R. Scott Moxley claims Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) is “a pro-Republican group funded largely by ultraconservative corporate special interests” (“Cox Tales,” Sept. 15). On the contrary, CAGW is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with 80 percent of its support provided by more than 1 million members and supporters nationwide from across the political spectrum. There are more than 110,000 such people in California alone.

Our Annual Congressional Ratings, also referred to by Moxley, are a powerful tool for highlighting Democrats and Republicans alike, based on their voting records. Those who vote 100 percent of the time in a given year to defend taxpayers against special interests and bureaucrats are named “Taxpayer Superheroes,” as was Representative Chris Cox (R-Newport Beach). Others cited this year by CAGW for their spending restraint include independent Representative Virgil Goode of Virginia and Democrat Representative Ralph Hall of Texas.

Moxley's petulant analysis of Cox's record speaks for itself, but he should be more careful with his labels.

Tom Schatz
Citizens Against Government Waste
Washington, D.C. R. Scott Moxley responds: Each year, Cox mails at taxpayer expense unsolicited, promotional letters to 750,000 people in his district. CAGW ignores such spending to absurdly name him a “superhero” with a “100 percent” voting record against wasteful spending. The congressman recently snatched $21 million from the federal kitty to dredge a bay in his Newport Beach district. CAGW routinely slams Democrats for district projects that cost one-twentieth of Cox's pork-barrel grab. Which brings us to the questions of what constitutes “wasteful” spending and whether CAGW is nonpartisan. Of the 611 votes cast during the 106th Congress' first session, CAGW picked just 26 to determine which members are “pork busters.” Mr. Schatz wants us to believe that it was coincidence that his group sided with House Republicans 97 percent of the time. Two votes selected by CAGW as “wasteful” demonstrate the group's right-wing bent. In House Resolution 2, they said it was wasteful
not to approve Representative Dick Armey's (R-Texas) bill, which would give hefty federal scholarships to lure public school students to private academies. In House Resolution 2723, the group deemed it wasteful to improve health care for the uninsured working poor. Their idea of wasteful might be someone else's idea of decent government. And lastly, CAGW endorsed massive unrequested increases in the bloated defense budget, spending supported by Cox. If it were honest, the group would identify itself as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.

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