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Kudos to your newspaper for some hard, investigative journalism on the continuing saga of the OC bankruptcy (“Bankruptcy? What Bankruptcy?” Dec. 3). You dare to tread where, for unknown reasons, the big dailies don't. One area you should look at in this context is the OC pension system and the per-diem benefits of the public servants, their staffs and the elected officials. Despite the bankruptcy, pension increases did not suffer. No wonder so many people want to be in government—to have access to the seemingly unlimited trough of public money provided by the unwitting, hard-working taxpayer.

One suggestion: tell your journalists to get over their left-wing bent for constantly casting their articles in terms of how the “poor” are the losers. “Poor” is an arbitrary term that includes lazy louts, mothers and fathers who deliberately don't marry so their children help them to get and stay on the dole and the ubiquitous exploitation of our welfare system by illegal aliens.

Just stick to factual reporting. If your journalists want to do an article on the “poor,” do it, but don't mix it up with other areas of reporting such as the environment, unjustified property-tax increases, and the exploitation of the middle class that bears the brunt of government costs.

Ed Hepner Corona del Mar The guy who writes the Contents page blurbs for theWeekly responds: When we use the word “poor,” we're talking about guys like you, too, Ed—people for whom the decades-long decline in the American standard of living leads more or less ineluctably to a life of poverty, what some sociologists call “relative immiseration.” That's not a problem of too much government, but of government dedicated so obviously to the causes of the very, very rich. But, heck, the way you describe poverty—lots of sex and free money—maybe relative immiseration ain't such a bad thing.


I was just curious if, as a journalist, Rebecca Schoenkopf is exempt from penalty for calling a county prosecutor a “whore” (Commie Girl, Dec. 10)? If so, I'd like to fax her a list of people she could call whores for me. I only wish that things like name calling and voodoo dolls worked in the big playground of life and made the big bad kids cry! Let's hope at least that Schoenkopf hurt deputy DA Jana Hoffman deep down in the abscess where her heart should be.

Patrick Wagenbrenner via e-mail Dear Patrick: Thanks for asking. Here's how First Amendment law works: you can call Hoffman a “whore” for her role in convicting 17-year-old Arthur Carmona in a trial that raised more questions than an episode of Win Ben Stein's Money. The reason is that “whore” is an example of rhetorical hyperbole in this instance—it's clear from the context that Schoenkopf isn't actually accusing Hoffman of performing sex in exchange for money but of participating in an especially odious miscarriage of justice. Of course, if Hoffman actually had performed sex in exchange for money, Schoenkopf's use of the word “whore” would be true and therefore defensible.

Re: “New New World Order”: I wanted to let you know that I had the pleasure (or perhaps displeasure) of meeting Jana Hoffman during a presentation she made to a class I took through a local police department. She spoke on the merits of the local district attorney's office. What stays with me even now isn't so much her physical beauty (she's extremely attractive), but her very unattractive, extremist views of criminal justice. She referred to defendants as “scumbags,” leading me to ask her, “When a defendant is proved innocent, is he still a scumbag?”

Name withheld by request via e-mail


“Hindu U” (The County, Dec. 10) made me think, laugh, worry and then discuss the inequities of Orange County society. Buena Park is a dump. They should welcome any new construction—especially a temple.

—Theodore Schraff Irvine


I just finally managed to get through the whole 4th Best of OC (Oct. 22). I couldn't help noticing a few important items missing from the Disneyland section, including this one: listening to Rod Miller play ragtime piano at the Carnation Corner on a Sunday afternoon with a bunch of people who otherwise spend way too much time in front of a CRT, clicking change and keys on the piano's lid to imitate tap dancing.

Rod O'Riley Garden Grove


We spelled artist David Goldstein's name incorrectly in Rebecca Schoenkopf's “Downright Hiddy!” (Art, Dec. 10). At least we think we did. It was “Goldstein” on the wall at the Huntington Beach Art Center and “Goldstein” in the catalog. But a factchecker discovered it was “Goltein” on the Web site. Which is what we went with. And we were wrong. We think. So we apologize. Sort of. But we don't apologize for describing Goldstein's art as “ugly, pathetic, crimes-against-humanity grids.” Or for suggesting that Goldstein “needs his ass kicked hard.” Just for the spelling error.

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