Rob Morie
Madison, Wisconsin

Secret Service

Reading Guy Trebay's "The Enemy Within" [May 11], I was disgusted by the hypocrisy of the U.S. military. Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy remains one of his biggest errors. If gay people want to serve their country, they have to lie about an essential aspect of their being, yet heterosexuals are free to taunt and harass at will. How can you expect gays to survive under the pressure of having to hide who they are?

Marquis Wilson
Urbana, Illinois

High-Caliber Security

Re Alisa Solomon's "Big Guns on Campus" [May 11]: Although I sympathize with students who feel that the money CUNY allocated to buy guns should have been used for academic programs, the 69 percent drop in crime that resulted from the creation of this new school security force is impressive. Anyone who claims that armed security isn't needed should consider their safety.

Byron Solomon
Brockton, Massachusetts


Sharon Lerner's analysis of our nation's health-care system ["Profit and Loss," April 6] was right on the money. For 80 years, right-wing ideologues have frightened us with the bogeyman of rationing under a national health program, to the point where 44 million of us are now rationed right out of our private-market system, 30 million­plus are partially rationed, and the rest of us have to fight like hell with our health plans just to get the care we need.

The result? We spend almost twice as much per person on health care as other national health programs and we allow for-profit entities to rake off 10 to 30 percent or more for administration, slick advertising, outrageous executive salaries, and profits. Meanwhile, those of us in need suffer and die. And now they want to turn our only national health insurance program, medicare, into a voucher scheme to feed HMO profits.

The private insurance­managed care revolution has failed. It's getting to the point where we cannot afford to get sick anymore. But the dirty little secret the insurance industry doesn't want us to know is that we can do better. We can afford the best health care for everybody by instituting a universal health-care program. Representative Jim McDermott's American Health Security Act has been reintroduced in Congress, and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried's New York health bill has passed out of committee and awaits Speaker Sheldon Silver's assent for a likely positive floor vote.

The only way we're going to get out of this mess is if people demand that public officials guarantee comprehensive, affordable, quality health care for all. Enough of feeding the beast!

Mark Hannay, Director
Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign

Press On

Richard Goldstein's May 25 Press Clips column was great! We need more on the anti-labor bias of the press and the resurgence of labor in New York City and nationally.

Len Rodberg

Fanning the Flames

Great article on the MetroStars fans at Giants Stadium [Denise Kiernan, "Among the Thugs: Who Are the Real Soccer Hooligans at Giants Stadium?" May 11]. There is nothing quite like the fan culture of soccer. It's a shame that security personnel cannot tolerate this.

As anyone who has attended soccer games overseas can attest, hearing fans chanting, singing, drumming, etc., is infinitely preferable to being in the comparatively lethargic crowds that watch American professional games. I'll take rambunctious fans over annoying, piped-in organ music and cries of "Charge!" any day.

Babak Nikravesh

Smoke & Mirrors

Re Donna Ladd's "Rebel Without a Smoke" [May 18]: I agree with Tom Humber of the National Smokers Alliance that historical photos should not be altered to suit the philosophy of the day. However, the digitally altered image of James Dean without a cigarette discussed in Ladd's article does not report history. It is being used to depict a sales image, and the advertiser has every right to alter it.

The question is, how is society starting to regard the promotion of cigarettes in the media? Do we still need to cast heroes in movies with butts dangling from their lips? Perhaps that is what needs to disappear.

Linda Savarese
Boston, Massachusetts

Road Warrior

It was good to read Sarah Smith's piece on Patrick Ewing ["Center of Attention," May 25]. Ewing may not be the athlete he used to be, but at his age and with his injuries, who would be? While I constantly hear the Knicks aren't a team to pin your hopes on, I've never doubted them. Why should I start now? Ewing is a warrior, which is what makes him stand out from all the other centers in the league.

Rose G. Charles

Saucy Sarah

Thanks for Sarah Smith's cheeky coverage of the underwhelming New York Knickerbockers, who've probably broken more hearts this year than Casanova did in a lifetime, my soft pea included. Her style is phat, her jams plentiful, and her insights penetrating.

Seth Sherwood
Austin, Texas

Late, Great Graffitist

Guy Trebay, in "Getting Up: DONDI and the Late, Great Art of Graffiti" [May 4], described the life of my brother, Donald J. White, from 1977 to 1988.

Dondi used the city of New York as his gallery and its public space and transit system as his canvas. He walked away from the fickleness of the art world in 1988. He fought demons, overcame obstacles, and found contentment in his life.

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