Re "The real story behind the hunger strike" (Dan Morain, Aug. 11): Bee columnist Dan Morain justifies the tens-of-years-long imprisonment in solitary confinement using the case of Ashker, a member of an Aryan Brotherhood gang.
He implies that the thousands of inmates that are in hunger strike are all like Ashker. This is intellectual dishonesty at the level of Reagan's Cadillac welfare queen and the feds' $400 hammers that never existed. But if we know that politicians lie, journalists should not twist reality.
I grew up under fascism. Portuguese dictator Salazar and his political police, PIDE, used solitary confinement as a form of torture and to obtain "confessions." That is what the "pampered elite of Hollywood" and thousands of us ask for -- ending torture in a society that claims to be democratic.
Morain does not strike me as unhampered. What separates him from the other side of the elite is human values, especially compassion.
-- Maria L. Alexandrino, Fair Oaks