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Letters to the Editor

Disciplinary Proceedings

Re "In the Dark" (The Fly, Dec. 12): Thanks for the Fly's note on DA's dominatrix McCracken and her fearmongering campaign against civil liberties such as being able to read what the police have written about you after they tased you without charge.

You can't imagine what those meetings have been like—the mic is dominated by McCracken (clocking her time?) and by the SJPD which is flanked by lawyers in suits worth more than your average car. Watching these public entities scare the crap out of our poor volunteer SRTF is like watching animals that eat their young.

If McCracken wants to be truly qualified to represent the public on this—a public that is absent from these meetings, by the way—let her be tased, arrested, jailed, accused and denied the basic right to see why.

Karen Maleski

San Jose

Cooking Near T.J.'s

Re "Cooking with T.J.'s" (Live Feed, Jan. 23): Thank you for this great review of our cookbook! We're delighted that you liked our work. We would like to correct one error in the first paragraph, last sentence, "Although the book is sold at Trader Joe's ...": The cookbook is not available at Trader Joe's, unfortunately. It is sold at select Borders stores and on our website at, as noted at the end of your article.

Again, thank you for the great review. We hope you continue to enjoy the cookbook!

Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati


Debating 'Debaters'

In his review of The Great Debaters (Film, Dec. 26), Richard von Busack says that the film, directed by Denzel Washington, who also plays one of the lead roles, has a "miasma of earnestness, laid down by producer Oprah Winfrey."

So the film is too "earnest" for Mr. von Busack, is it? Does he want a lighthearted depiction of racism in a small Texas town in 1935? Should the lynching have been played for chuckles? When vigilantes attack tenant farmers meeting to organize a union, does Mr. vB think they and the farmers should have been singing a happy song?

The debating team from a very small Negro college in a small Texas town triumphs, ultimately, over the best debaters that a prestigious white institution of higher learning can field against them. But the film didn't leave this viewer feeling good about race relations in the 1930s USA, or about the history of race relations in our country in general. It was a painful and vivid reminder of the oppression suffered by blacks in the Jim Crow South, but also a useful presentation of the separate society and parallel institutions that U.S. blacks developed post-slavery, which probably did much to help them provide for their needs in a racist America.

The Great Debaters is about black people. No white saviors appear in its story. Both of those statements are true also of Beloved, likewise produced by Oprah Winfrey.

I have wondered whether white move reviewers react to films about Blacks, in which whites have only marginal and, for the most part, unsympathetic roles, and which leave one feeling queasy about some major aspects of our country's history, with acute discomfort that leads them to write dismissively of such films.

Maybe Mr. vB thinks the film should not have been made. It has been, though, and I think his review does it injustice.

Raymond Meyer

Mountain View

The Last Word

Re "Votes from the Underground" (Silicon Alleys, Nov. 14): Thanks for the remembrance!

Suzanne Von Slut


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