Mark Boal's "The FIDNet Files" [August 24], about the proposed Federal Intrusion Detection Network— a secret plan to monitor the Internet— was an outstanding piece of journalism, and is exactly the sort of work you should be doing consistently. Protecting us from Big Brother is a bipartisan duty. Totalitarians in both parties— and especially among the apparatchiks— constantly threatens individual liberties.

Fred Moore
Orange Park, Florida

Mark Boal's "The FIDNet Files" proves a point that Libertarians have been making for decades— that the problem is with the structure of government, not who's in charge. Your readership should note that the infringements on liberty threatened by FIDNet is the result of bureaucracy gone amok, not just a party gone amok. The solution has and always will be to cut the inherent size of government and to reduce the scope of its activities.

David R. Sarosi
Suwannee, Georgia

Samurai Peckinpah

So J. Hoberman thinks Sergio Leone "created a totally distinctive place" ["Finding Their Religion," August 24]? Give me a break. Why is it that directors like Leone or Sam Peckinpah, whose westerns emulate Akira Kurosawa samurai movies, are regarded as men with personal visions? It isn't their vision— it belongs to the director of Sanjuro. Only a delusional fan would come up with the idea that Leone was so enamored of Yojimbo that he had to make it as a western. Get real. He wanted to repeat the Italian commercial success of The Magnificent Seven. He even wanted to cast James Coburn in the lead.

Jay Finkelstein

Indifferent Administrations

Wayne Barrett's "The Indifferent Governor" [August 24] notes in passing that the proportion of minorities in New York State government workforce has diminished. This is due at least in part to a policy of moving state jobs from ethnic New York City to whitebread Albany, which actually began under Mario Cuomo and has continued undiminished under the present administration. That this can go on when five-eighths of the state's population and voters live in the New York metropolitan area demonstrates the nullification of representative government under New York State's political system.

Thomas Howe

Cry for Joe

I read with a mixture of dread and sadness Andrew Hsiao's article in The Village Voice about the missing writer and editor Joe Wood ["Into Thin Air," August 3].

I met Joe five years ago at the first Unity minority journlists convention in Atlanta, and he was extremely kind and solicitous to an anxious freelance writer like myself. He went out of his way to help a brother, and I appreciate his efforts. I enjoyed his stylish, clean prose in the Voice and in other publications. I would not hesitate to say that Joe Wood inspired my own writing endeavors.

Though I knew the man only slightly, I feel diminished by his probable loss.

Jeff Winbush
Columbus, Ohio

Shortstop on Earth

While the recent Jockbeat item on Pee Wee Reese ["Pee Wee's Excellent Career," August 24] was laudatory, it didn't go far enough to capture the man's basic humanity. Reese helped Jackie Robinson through the tough moments of Robinson's heroic struggle to integrate major league baseball not because he was some guilt-ridden liberal intent on changing society but simply because he was a good and decent man. All athletes owe him a deep degree of gratitude.

William A. Borst
St. Louis, Missouri

Micky and the Babe

I was born in the Bronx, and reading Rachel Ellner's article "Director of the Pinstriped Pilgrimage" [August 31] brought back to me the happy times when my father, my brother, and I attended baseball games at Yankee Stadium. Dad was almost always at work, my brother was either in school or out doing what young boys do, and me a girl. Hmm. But on the weekends Yankee Stadium brought the three of us together.

Now when I visit New York City from Idaho, I think back to those days and Ms. Ellner put it all into words. Thank you for a heart-warming and nostalgic look back. I do hope the Yankees stay in the "House That Ruth Built."

Miriam "Micky" Waltch
St. Maries, Idaho

Madding Crowd

Edmund Lee's survey of public attitudes on the issue of forced mental treatment [Mad on the Street, August 10] revealed the effects of the campaign of slander and stereotyping by the mental hell-th industry and the mainstream media.

Where is the concern for the victims of the frequent violent assaults, the routine drug overdoses designed to terrorize, traumatize, and debilitate, the deaths of mental patients by electroshock, and the prolonged horror of sexual-assault torture that is legalized by labeling it "restraint therapy"?

Psychiatric survivors agree that many more violent acts are committed every day by mental hell-th professionals and staff against patients than are ever committed against the public by anyone who is deemed to be "mentally ill." Yet the mainstream media refuses to tell our stories.

Verna Brunet
Highgate, Ontario

Women's Liberal?

I just loved Tom Tomorrow's article "Warren Beatty's Next Role" [August 24], but I wonder about the statement that none of his former girlfriends has had a bad thing to say about him.

How about "You're So Vain" as a campaign song?

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