Letters for the week of December 14-20, 2005 

Wrong about Jack London Square. Wrong about the Hebrew Bible. Right about Stanley "Tookie" Williams. But wrong about Readyville.

"A Shadow Falls over the Square," City of Warts, 11/9

Journalism on crack
I think it's sad that Chris Thompson chose my comment, "I think he's on crack" out of all the things I said during our half-hour-plus conversation. It's obvious that he's merely going for sensationalism. I also clearly said that I hope that he pulls it off, but that I can't imagine that people would want to live next to the railroad tracks and adjacent to all the future Jack London Square Redevelopment plans. My hopes for decent journalism are lost and I won't be reading the East Bay Express in the future.
Joanna Adler, Oakland

Adler did indeed say that she hoped the proposed development would succeed. Our story should have made that clear.

"The Mystery of the Good Book," East Side Story, 11/16

THE bible was edited; too bad you weren't
Justin Berton makes a common error in referring to "the original Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament."

The Hebrew Bible, codified several centuries before the death of Jesus, ends with II Chronicles. Some time around 350 CE, Christians who wanted to tell the story that Jesus was the Messiah reshuffled the Hebrew Bible into the Old Testament, which ends with Malachi, as if to predict the arrival of Jesus as fulfillment of the prophecies.
David Altschul, Berkeley

"Teachin' Tookie," East Side Story, 11/23

Fan mail from afar
Brilliant! That shit deserves a prize. This is what the alternative press should be about -- flinging it any which way, but making it stick. Regardless of my position on clemency (for it), it's oh-so-enlightening to see the specious prodding that leads the impressionable to theirs. It's sad but telling that the gangster on the back row is the only one who gets it. This piece is the exception that proves the journalistic tenet against quote-stacking: With what I count as two mild instances of editorial license, you turned an otherwise trite civics lesson into a much-needed primer in feckless persuasion. Kudos.
Shane Johnson, staff writer, Salt Lake City Weekly, Salt Lake City

The problem with progressives
It's disgusting to listen to the "progressive" media's defense of murderer Stanley "Tookie" Williams. Workers who get up every day and go to work to sustain their families, many of whom work at stores where they're often victimized by scum like "Tookie" Williams, don't get air time on the KPFA's of the media. Williams, at taxpayers' expense, is spending his idle time trying to portray himself as a role model, just like that other scumbag that was executed in Texas, Gary Graham aka Shaka Sankofa: His son is now sitting in jail for murder. Some role models! The executions should be carried out within a week of the commission of murder during a robbery or rape.

The "progressives" choose their role models just like they choose their antiwar heroes: Stooges who long served the empire like Ambassador Wilson and CIA [operative] Valerie Plame; Richard Clarke; Daniel Ellsberg; the mother of a war criminal Cindy Sheehan; Camilo Mejía; John Dean, and on and on. They're the ones who get the most coverage in the "progressive" media. There's a total disregard for the rights of the victims, whether in the streets of the U.S. or in Iraq. One hundred thousand U.S. citizens have been murdered in the U.S. since 1999; 100,000 Iraqis have been killed by the occupation forces, but that's not a concern for the "progressive" media, they worry about the murderers and "our troops."

The workers are rejecting this pro-murderer; pro-gun control; pro-lumpen criminals; pro-racist divisionism; pro-degenerate elements of the society; pro-junkie scum; pro-abortionist feminazis and other politically correct garbage like pro-Vietnam war criminal John Kerry. This is the politically correct garbage that pushes the working people toward the right. The criminal scum, while a product of the capitalist system, is not a threat to the system but to the working people in their neighborhoods.
Leo T. West, San Leandro

It's all about balance
Props on your very important report. While I did find your piece important, there are two excerpts I'd like to comment on. Firstly, you identified the class Ms. Faucher spoke with as "attended primarily by black and Latino students." Ms. Faucher is identified as a "strawberry-blond ... dressed in sensible khakis." I imagine she is "white." Later, you state that "one black student cut in." Considering that the majority of students who were present are individuals of color I don't see the need to make that reference. What is my point? My point is that an individual should be identified by how they are classified in society (i.e. Ms. Faucher) and not left for the readers to assume. It's all about balance.
Lasana Taylor, Palo Alto

"The Crying Game," Down in Front, 11/9

In my dreams we ride horses
How many people really trust you? Because, every night, when I go to bed, I dream that I'm the mayor of Readyville and that I'm wholly responsible for the livelihood of its 1,888 citizens. Sadly, when I wake up, I realize I am just a court reporter in Duluth. I am not the champion.

I am incapable of laughing at a song about my death that has already been both written AND performed. After all, I have not been to songwriting school. Maybe someday I will go (to a real small town). And once I graduate, I'll be able to write break-up songs about girls I've been dating for a week, casually use the word bucolic, and, um, shamelessly ape John Darnielle.

Gracious, forgiving, and disinclined to talk trash, sincerely yours, in outline form.
Stephen Handley, Berkeley

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