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Newton's legacy

Huey P. Newton, who, by the way, had a Ph.D. in History of Consciousness from UC Santa Cruz, went through about 16 major trials and court cases and was not found guilty of anything ["Burying the '60s with the 'T' Word," 2/13/02]. He was the most harassed person in America. The Federal Bureau of Investigation compiled one million pages of spy files on him and two million pages on the entire Black Panther Party.

The Black Panther Party had principles. There were the most loving people you would ever meet. In 1969 they were getting the gangs to do community service and stop fighting. But the FBI sent false letters and spread false rumors between the gangs. If the Black Panther Party's programs had been allowed to continue, we would not have all this gang violence we have today. We would have community policing, safe streets, housing for all, and our children would be raised to learn how to think for themselves and to come to their own conclusions.

James Mattson Berkeley

More from the bunny wars

I write this to you from my lair in Bristol, England, on the 100th birthday of the most excellent Brair Rabbit. His shining example of bunny virtue, goodness, and cleverness stand testament to the nobility of our creed and give lie to the vicious misrepresentation of bunnies put forward by one "Mr. James (Efudd) Brown" as was seen in your "Worthless Bunnies" letter [Letters to the Editor, 2/20/02]. We are used to his kind. And in defense of our most esteemed friend reigning from the United States, Sir Pierro Amadeo Infante (knighted thus by the Order of the Black Rabbit, an ancient and proud order stemming from the Middle Ages), I can only quote from that most revered piece of lagomorph literature, Watership Down: "You cannot rule the world, El-ahrairah, for I will not have it so. All the world will be your enemy, Prince With a Thousand Enemies. And whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first, they must catch you – digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed." And so we are: swift, cunning, and full of tricks.

I hope this shall set the record straight in regards to the outcome of this, this beginning of the "bunny wars."

Hippity hop!

Richard Robbins Bristol, England

What will be cut?

Thank you very much for your article "The Budget Dance" (2/13/02), which draws attention to the proposed $12 million cuts to mental health and $30 million cuts to public health. I am the director of a geriatric mental-health day-treatment program that is up to be cut.

I would like to make a correction and to question the validity of the primary point of the article. Woodward states that these proposals "are basically mythical" but doesn't substantiate that point in any way except to quote Department of Public Health director Dr. Mitchell Katz as saying, "the mayor and [Board of Supervisors] have said they don't want to cut services." You mean just because they don't want to means they won't? As a director of a program up for cuts, I don't feel I can sleep better at night knowing the mayor and board "don't want" these cuts any more than I do.

The second point is just a minor clarification. At one point Woodward states "all adult day treatment" is being cut, when in fact two geriatric day treatments are also being cut.

David Silva Family Service Agency of San Francisco

Large is the enemy

Ms. Woodward really got it this time ["Small Schools, Big Hassle," 2/20/02]! In education, small is always good: small classes, small schools, small districts, etc. Many minority activists shoot themselves in the foot by protesting when teachers and parents take the initiative to create and foster an educational environment where accountability and concern reign supreme.

Ackerman and company do not like these schools because they are bureaucrats who would rather remain not accountable for what is truly right for kids.

Large is the enemy in schools for another reason: corporations like Edison ultimately seek to make a profit by taking money for a large amount of students and cutting out all personal relationships, mentorships, etc., between students and teachers. The Edison mentality is even worse than the district's: Teach kids how to pass the test and punch the right mouse button on the computer and kids will grow up knowing right from wrong, how to solve problems, and the joys of literature.

Darrell Simon

San Francisco