Mailbag: Weinstein not the problem in 'Iron Lady'

Re "Iron Lady' portrayal is inaccurate," Mailbag, Jan. 27

I read with great interest Dr. R. Claire Friend's letter regarding "The Iron Lady," currently in release in movie theaters. While I share Friend's disappointment in how the story unfolded (all too few flashbacks reminiscing the former prime minister's achievements, chief among them her meteoric rise) focusing more instead on her diminished state of mind, I take particular issue with the doctor taking Harvey Weinstein to task as the doctor did.

The Weinstein Co. bought and distributed the film; that is the extent of their involvement. Granted the promotional trailers were misleading, suggesting that the film was a biography of Margaret Thatcher, not a memoir of a former world leader whose life has been reduced to a series of recollections of her glory days.

I would suggest that Friend save her lecture(s) and accusations of "perfidy" (Friend's word, not mine) for the writer, Abi Morgan, who is directly responsible for the screenplay, not the Weinstein brothers. Granted, Morgan's screenplay pales in comparison to the screenplay of "The Queen," by Peter Morgan (no relation), Morgan exercised what is commonly referred to as artistic license. Enough said.

I am grateful for Miramax (the Weinstein brothers' former company) and the Weinstein Co. for distributing independent films to a broader audience that would most likely only be screened in a handful of cities.

As for Meryl Streep's magnificent performance, her nomination (her 17th) is surely well-deserved, as is the film's one other nomination, for makeup. So I will add my two cents in and say that it will be a great injustice if Viola Davis does not win the best actress Oscar for her stoic performance in "The Help," along with Octavia Spencer's marvelous supporting performance.

I would suggest that in the future Friend keep her day job and refrain from film criticism, especially considering that she saves her criticism for film maker(s) not the distributors, and let's keep our founding fathers, Jesus Christ, God and Ronald Reagan out of it. The film is a work of art, not the official biography of Lady Thatcher.

Bette Doremus

Newport Beach


Try visiting all schools in Newport-Mesa district

Re "Community Commentary: Smith's generalizations about Newport-Mesa are wrong," Feb. 7:

Trustee Karen Yelsey,

I think your letter would have read very differently if any of the schools in your section of Newport Beach/Corona del Mar were Title 1, low-performing schools and your neighbors were driving to Huntington Beach and other neighboring cities to educate their children.

Not only does Costa Mesa struggle with low-performing students who flounder with mediocre, at best, to poor education options, but we also watch our property values suffer when Title 1 schools are considered the best option for our neighborhood. I suggest you visit all the schools in N-MUSD and not just read bar graphs and pie charts. Thanks for listening.

Katie Shoenberger

Costa Mesa


Newport-Mesa's bridge to 'nowheres'

The infamous "bridge to nowhere" promoted by politicians in Alaska finally faded from consideration (and late-night TV jokes) because it was clear the residents at one end, on the island it was supposed to serve, didn't need or want it. Here, we have the Newport Beach City Council promoting the "bridge to nowheres" — plural because residents at the two ends of the proposed 19th Street bridge, in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa, don't need or want it. And they've made this clear to Newport Beach City Council. Who isn't listening. Yet.

Richard Alexander

Newport Beach


Learn more about country club plans

I am writing to ask you to join me in support of Friends for Good Planning, introduced to me by Alex Bottom. There is a planning controversy now before the City Council, between the tenant at Newport Beach Country Club, International Bay Clubs (IBC) and the property owner who owns both the golf club and the adjacent tennis club, Robert O. Hill.

It is important for locals to know the issues regarding this decision before the City Council, which affects long-time clubs as well as traffic and views along 700 feet of Coast Highway that are so important to our city.

Please visit to learn more and attend this Tuesday's City Council meeting at 7 p.m.

Paul Salata

Newport Beach


Weekly columns about Islam are too much

I am growing tired of Mona Shadia's weekly articles about Islam and Muslims. I am not against any religion, but why does she feel the need to try to promote her religion, and especially as a peaceful one, when it is arguably one of the most violent religions? Why aren't there any other reporters writing their news pieces about Christianity or Judaism? Why don't you just report the news?

As for Shadia's article, "In Islam, men, woman are treated as equals," (Jan. 28), why bother to sugarcoat the fact that Islam is the most repressive religion when it comes to women's rights? Why does she feel compelled to mislead? In her own country of Egypt, why have more than 80% of all women had to undergo a clitorectomy? Isn't that one fact alone dispelling any question that women are oppressed in her religion?

For infidel readers like me, the Koran says women are inferior to men and must be ruled by them: "men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other" (Koran 4:34). The Koran declares that a woman's testimony is worth half that of a man: "get two witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her" (2:282). It allows men to marry up to four wives and have sex with slave girls also (4:3). It rules that a son's inheritance should be twice the size of that of a daughter's (4:11). It tells husbands to beat their disobedient wives (4:34).

Aisha, the most beloved of Muhammad's many wives, admonished women in no uncertain terms: "O womenfolk, if you know the rights that your husbands have over you, every one of you would wipe the dust from her husband's feet with her face."

Blasphemy in many Muslim countries is punishable by death, and in Pakistan, 80% of the women are regularly beaten by their husbands. Around the area of Karachi, a women is murdered every day. Not to mention the "honor killings" and regular "stoning of unfaithful women."

Human rights and women's rights don't apply if they conflict with Sharia law (Muslim law found in the Koran). Pubescent women are married off to middle-aged men, just like Muhammad did. Women in Saudi Arabia cannot legally drive, and they impose crippling repression of women in the name of Islam.

People who have taken the time to read about Islam understand that Islam is a suffocating religion, especially for women. Enough about it already. Why don't you stick to reporting the news?

Jeff Hubbard

Huntington Beach

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