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Letters for November 18

Readers sound off on the lost runner, our CD reviews, Don Perata, and KPFA.


"A Troubled Rape Case," Feature, 10/28

My Mind Has Been Opened

Thank you for the in-depth investigative report on this important story. I have to admit that when I first heard about an "aggressive" DA and a much-younger ADA, I jumped to conclusions that are clearly not warranted. Now, I have an open mind

Peter Logan, San Francisco

"Manipulating the Vote," Full Disclosure, 10/28

What Name Recognition?

Why do various articles keep emphasizing Don Perata's name recognition?? All I have is NEGATIVE name recognition from years of his influence peddling, power-mongering, and so many shady dealings with his political opponents, and campaign donations from all the Good Old Boys. As a long-term Oakland resident, why can't I recall even one thing he did to help those he served in those many terms in office? He takes credit while others did the work. When I see his name on the ballot, I will rapidly skip over it.

Leslie Bonett, Oakland

How Can He Show His Face?

I am surprised Don Perata is not ashamed to show his face in Alameda County where so many voters already know that IRV/Ranked Voting elections allow better democracy. Many of us have long known that Perata was the one in Sacramento preventing voters statewide from modernizing to ranked voting. IRV is the election system that counts the will of the most possible voters in the decisive round of vote counting, there is no honest reason to oppose it.While he stalled, we have had to rely on politicians like Debra Bowen and locals Keith Carson, Loni Hancock, and Kriss Worthington for any progress towards IRV modernization.If Perata had not killed the bills to allow IRV modernization statewide, Oakland and Berkeley would already be demonstrating how much better democracy can be, and setting an example for how failing war-torn so-called "democracies" like Iraq and Afghanistan can also modernize to the better/best election system and resolve their issues without violence.Instead, Perata has consistently tried to maintain the status quo money-dominated two-party election system because he is more confident of raising money and using insider-party politics than he is of getting actual voter support.

Sennet Williams, Berkeley

KPFA Elections Mark Station's Latest Turmoil," News, 10/28

Where's the Change?

Chris Thompson's chronicle of the latest spitting duel at KPFA starts with a slap at Glenn Beck and ends announcing that the executive director of Pacifica is planning to oust KPFA board member Brian Edwards-Tiekert, presumably for his ideological impurity.Just as our president responds to diversity at Fox News by trying to trump the First Amendment and freeze that network out from contacting the people we pay, so, too, KPFA honors the basic leftist tenet that diverse colors are cool, but diverse opinions must be disenfranchised.

It's no accident that another board hopeful is Henry Noor, whose antipathy towards the most religiously diverse and free-speech-honoring nation in the Middle East (Israel) is well-known.

In 1968, as an anti-war activist, I was surrounded by leftists more interested in grabbing power than in enhancing freedom.I'd love to see someone on the left champion change I could believe in.

David Altschul, Berkeley

Not Revolutionary

The fight at KPFA has nothing to do with democracy; the main factions in the dispute are the old Jewish-Stalinist guard and associates, and the newest crowd of racists of color and associates; even though, sometimes, they cross-breed.

They're all opposed, not just to democracy but, most of all, to socialism.

In the last ten years they've drastically reduced the talk shows and only a few programs still allow some listeners' calls; they're carefully screened. Once they identify a caller who's not going to walk their line or the guest's line, the caller is disconnected, bypassed, or unceremoniously cut off.

This breed is totally disconnected from the US working class and it can only survive in Berkeley, even though, lately, its had serious trouble meeting its fund-raising goals. Its disappearance wouldn't be any loss to revolutionary politics for it is a total distortion of what "revolutionary" means.

Antonio Trossero, San Leandro

"The Lost Runner," Feature, 10/7

The Elephant in the Room