Elit Kirschenbaum

Sharon Lerner replies: You're right—hormone therapy does offer some benefits. Women with serious symptoms can still feel reasonably safe taking the drugs if they stay on them for a short time. My point was to note the financial incentive companies have to promote hormones, not just to treat severe symptoms, but to prevent heart disease in all aging women. As the activists I wrote about have been arguing for years, exaggerating the benefits to boost sales is an outrage.


Like Lerner, I am outraged that the vast amount of money the drug companies raise through public funding is used to ram products at us when their internal research has obviously indicated an ambiguous or dangerous result from their application. This news on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) also makes me wonder why my doctor was not questioning "unproven claims" and noticing common, negative results in his patients? I am a breast cancer survivor of three years, and my cancer was hormone sensitive. I had been on HRT for 10 years.

Debi Maude
Vancouver, Canada


Re Alisa Solomon's article "Protecting the Homeland" [July 30]: I know it is fashionable to be a humanitarian and support open borders for immigrants. It is also very popular to assume that anyone who wants to slow immigration into the United States is uncompassionate. But even if the United States took in 80 million immigrants a year we would not put a dent in the growth in population and poverty of the world. In the long run we would do much greater harm to the world in general because we produce a third of the world's pollution. By 2050 America's population will reach one-half billion, 95 percent of this growth due to mass immigration. At this rate, what future are we leaving to our children?

James Lane
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida


Alisa Solomon's article is the kind of mushy thinking that will make John Ashcroft's job easier. On 9-11, nine of the 19 hijackers were stopped at airport security for additional screening, and it is safe to assume that the fact that they were young Arab males was a major factor. A profile that produces a 50 percent hit rate is a good one.

Also, Solomon cites Jose Padilla as a counter-example because he is not an Arab. But he is, like Richard Reed, a prison convert to Islam with ties to the Middle East. Because Solomon leaves out this salient fact, she gives the impression that we're as likely to be terrorized by Latinos as Arabs. Those responsible for most past terrorist attacks against the U.S. have been Arabs and Muslims. The INS, FBI, and CIA should act accordingly.

Alexander Polsky
Baltimore, Maryland


What was the point of John Pastier's whining about Barry Bonds's home run at Yankee Stadium ["Blast-Off in the Bronx," July 30]? While I agree that the Yankee organization probably refuses to give an impressive-sounding number for visiting players' blasts, their general recalcitrance on the whole topic is wise. The whole "science" of it is just guesswork. No stadium has advanced mapping capability for these hits; they just assign a number based on where the ball lands and its rough trajectory. The margin of error is huge. As for having greater enthusiasm for home runs by Yankee players, isn't that part of what the "home" in home run is for?

Cornelius Collins
New Brunswick, New Jersey


Re the column Uni Watch [villagevoice.com, July 16] by Paul Lukas: The nameplates? You're worried about the nameplates [arced strip of fabric sewn onto the back of the uniform with the player's name on it]? How about the fact that the team names on the front of the uniforms are unreadable. The uniforms look like the team owners got them at a clearance sale at Kmart.

But the most unprofessional trend of all is players wearing overly long pants that spill down over their shoes. They look like a bunch of Little Leaguers wearing hand-me-downs from their big brothers!

Tom Haas
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin


I read with interest Kyle Gann's obituary of composer Ralph Shapey [July 16]. Shapey was my violin teacher, visiting weekly our home in Sunnyside, Queens, in the early 1950s. I was seven years old. I remember Shapey as a friendly, intense man in his early thirties, clean-shaven then, hair starting to recede. By the time I was 10, he'd moved on to more important things than trying to coax beautiful music from the bow of a less-than-inspired student.

Later we received word of his music's radio debut. We knew Shapey was something of an enfant terrible then, and though we didn't expect to really like his music, much less understand it, we were all rooting for him. My mother was the only one in the family who heard the broadcast that day. When I got home, I asked her how she liked Shapey's music.

"Well," she said, "it wasn't exactly something you walk away humming."

I like to think Shapey would have taken no offense to so honest and innocent a review.

Marc B. Fried
Gardiner, New York

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