"High Society Lowdown," Feature, 3/22
"Can a glamorous former women's club adapt to life in the 21st century?" I'm impressed that there are enough glamorous former women to warrant their own club!
Tony Corman, Berkeley
"Danger! Dial 9/11!," Night & Day, 2/22
Where to sort the wheat
My thanks to Kelly Vance for a reasonably fair-minded blurb on the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance's film festival. As a founding member, I know Janette, and she is in fact pretty much a "chatty neighbor who had witnessed a crime." I am a bit puzzled about a few things Vance wrote, though. How is the "conspiracy-theory industry" an "evil twin" of the 9/11 attacks? Granted, there's a brisk trade in videos, literature, etc., some of it quite wacko. There is also a lot of very good stuff, well researched, referenced, and written. Researchers need to eat too. I know a lot of good reporters who are not reporting because they have to do something else to pay their rent.
It's clear that we're not getting straight answers from our government; the 9/11 Commission Report and other official stories are at least as incoherent as the Warren Commission Report. So who we gonna call? We gotta do it ourselves. This is evil? I'd say the lies & cover-ups we get from our government are a lot more evil.
And yes, the volume of conspiracy stuff is daunting, and some of it is tacky or sensational, or both. We certainly need to keep an eye out for nuts, but one can sort the wheat from the chaff, if imperfectly. As far as timelines go, I recommend Paul Thompson's( CooperativeResearch.org/project.jsp?project=911_project), also available as a book: The Terror Timeline. Mike Ruppert has a much shorter but very useful one at ( CopvCIA.com/free/ww3/02_11_02_lucy.html). Academics who have written some good introductions and intensive research are Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottowa ( GlobalResearch.ca); Peter Dale Scott of UC Berkeley (IstSocrates.berkeley.edu/~pdscott/); and Steven E. Jones, Brigham Young University ( Physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html). Project Censored up at Sonoma State also has some good stuff.
There are also plenty of whistleblowers with firsthand experience who can explain things. I'll be happy to help any reporter get up to speed on the issue (I used to be a KPFA reporter). Several of my essays on 9/11 and its historical context are on my homepage ( ERippy.home.mindspring.com ). And of course you can check the NC911TA Web site ( SF911Truth.org) for more links and events.
Ed Rippy, Concord
"Lafayette Schmaltz," Calendar, 3/22
Everything's coming up roses
I recently saw your listing for the musical Gypsy under the heading "Lafayette Schmaltz." Although Ethel Merman was certainly a huge name in theater, she never once blared "Let Me Entertain You" in this musical. Nor did Rosalind Russell in the movie version. It was Mama Rose's young daughter, the character named June who, as a child in vaudeville, sang the song. In the show this same tune would later be sung by the character Louise when she becomes the famous Gypsy Rose Lee (but with a completely different relevance).
The show is popular, but not, I believe, because of any "schmaltz." It is popular because it captures a sense of what vaudeville entertainment may have been like. The character of Mama Rose takes the audience on a roller-coaster of highs and lows in her attempt to make her two daughters stars of the theater circuit. Arthur Laurent, Jules Styne, and Stephen Sondheim's brilliant collaboration of story, music, and lyrics leave the audience wanting more.
Although I have not seen the Town Hall production of the show, when Gypsy is performed with talent and polish it can be an enthralling experience.
Timothy Vigil, San Francisco
""Some' Kind of Wonderful," Water Cooler, 3/15
Solidarity with criminals
Regarding Michael Mechanic's piece of garbage, I want to add one more case to his two that he can find. That's a 50 percent increase.
I left Oakland, after sixteen years of living there, because of the criminals' control of the streets. I was capable of standing up to the criminals; it was their families and neighbors who look the other way I couldn't stand. What was disgusting was the racial solidarity with criminals from neighbors, lawyers, city officials, and the police.
First blacks, then Mexicans formed their own gangs and their own racial solidarity committees. The scene is repeated over and over, relatives of those killed in shootouts claiming that their relative was "a good boy."
The police in Oakland is not about fighting crime; they're busy running their own scheme: Confiscating cars from people who are caught in their prostitution or drug-selling setups, or people involved in sideshows, or people caught at checkpoints without license or a drink too many. It's a very profitable scheme.
The solution is very simple: To take away from the prosecutors the ability to use the laws that prevent people from defending their families, their properties, and their life. The criminals would no longer control the streets. This is not acceptable to the state, for it wants the population to be dependent on the police.
It's very obvious that Michael Mechanic didn't do any research before writing his little piece of garbage; just another expression of "political correctness" and solidarity with criminals.
Leo T. West, San Leandro
Seven Days - January 16, 3:41 PM
Seven Days - January 16, 7:54 AM
Seven Days - January 12, 12:40 PM
Seven Days - January 11, 4:53 PM
Seven Days - January 10, 4:38 PM