The other side of the story, as promised: Congratulations to Lee Kaplan for his work on behalf of Israel, the Middle East's only democracy, and his opposition to genocide-advocating Palestinian supporters ["Disturbing the Peace," Aug. 9].
Kaplan was right to alert the Israeli authorities about ISM'er Paul Larudee. While Mr. Larudee may have captivated the naive author of the piece, Eliza Strickland, by coming across as "polite and soft spoken," he has regularly justified Palestinian acts of terrorism and even boasted online about sleeping in the bed of a suicide bomber.
Moreover, the harboring of two soon-to-be suicide bombers noted in the piece is not the first time Larudee's ISM provided safe hiding for prominent terrorists. As Mother Jones, in its damning piece on Rachel Corrie, reported, ISM also sheltered a leader of Islamic Jihad who was wanted by the Israelis for having planned numerous homicidal bombings.
SF Weekly readers should understand that the people for whom Kaplan is making life difficult are not simply idealistic college activists. When these champions of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups shout, "Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea," they clearly mean the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state. Thus Kaplan's Herculean endeavors against those who support genocide are more than worthy of praise. While Kaplan's tactics might be deemed unorthodox, he may well have been instrumental in saving the lives of innocent Israelis, and for this he merits heartfelt thanks.
Reviewing the reviewer: It's not your job to ruminate on whether Jean Shelton's "frequent 'ahs' and 'ums'" are "part of an ingenious portrayal of a pensioner" or "a symptom of the actor's struggle to remember her lines" ["Home Again," Chloe Veltman, Aug. 9]. How Ms. Shelton came to give the performance you saw that night, whether by design or by accident, is none of your business. It is your job to examine the performance itself and offer your opinion of it. Nobody invited you to the rehearsals.
New York, NY
A fan remembers: I enjoyed reading Mark Keresman's homage to Arthur Lee and his band, Love ["Love Was Here and Now You're Gone," Aug. 9]. Just one misstatement: It's not true that Love never toured outside of California. I saw the band perform at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit in 1968. It wasn't a great set someone had stolen all the band's equipment at the Detroit airport. Lee struggled to play his signature riffs on a borrowed axe. Still, Love was one great band. I'm glad we have a few albums to remember Lee and his group.
Editor's note: Mark Keresman was referring to the original lineup of the band, with which Lee recorded the act's first three albums, and which did not tour outside California. For the fourth album, Lee put together a new lineup that did play outside the state.
Michael Savage, arrogant? Do tell: When I occasionally tuned in to Mr. Savage's radio talk program (the only thing conservative talking heads seem to "show" is arrogance!) several years ago, he sounded at least semi-intelligent ["Inside the Savage Nation," Ron Russell, July 19]. Then came the invasion of Iraq, the slightest opposition to which drove him nuts.
There had been a protest march in San Francisco at the time. Mr. Savage referred to those marchers as "fecal smearers," and I'm sure that's the epithet Ron Russell found a classier reference to in his recent excellent cover story. One day a woman called in, had a few disagreements about the invasion. Mr. Savage asked her if her parents were Communists. "No," she said, "in fact, my father served combat duty in Vietnam." To which Mr. Savage commented, "Yeah, and I guess he did some fragging over there, too." I was outraged at his arrogance and wrote him a letter, copy to station manager, asking what gave him the right to debase in such a manner a soldier of whom he knew nothing, and who had laid his life on the line for our country. I suggested [that] an apology on the air for such a loutish remark was definitely called for (even if the lady never listened to Mr. S again). No answer. I followed up twice, with copies of everything to everybody. No answer. Of course, to ask a person like Mr. Savage, who just sits at his little studio desk and yells demeaning epithets for three hours a day, or his radio family, to offer a reply would be rather futile. Respect is hardly something Mr. Savage is likely to earn, continuing his present modus operandum!
In our Aug. 2 issue we published a letter from Tom Hamlyn of Kyiv, Ukraine, and headlined it "From Russia with gratitude." Ukraine is, of course, no longer a part of "Russia," aka the USSR. We regret any confusion the headline may have caused.