Letters

THE DOBLER EFFECT

Rick Perlstein's article "Come Out Fighting" [September 17-23] warms my heart, providing me with a sense of optimism and hope for the future.

Thank you, Village Voice, for providing the forum for this article to be presented and thank you, Rick, for writing it.

Stephanie Dobler
Seattle, Washington


THE BROOMS OF THE SYSTEM

Your cover for Tom Carson's "Hillary Potter and the Senate Chamber of Secrets" [September 10-16], was a masterwork of art.

I have always thought Hillary's only mode of transportation was a broomstick. If there's a broomstick built for two, Bill should also be on it. Those two should never be separated.

David A. Powers
Midtown


BY PAUL KELLOGG

Cynthia Cotts's "Much Ado About Bylines" [September 24-30] offers the paper's readers encouraging news.

After the Blair scandal and the Bragg tempest—which ended in Bragg's resignation—and the departures of editors Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd, the Times appears to be getting some well-needed reforms.

The Times—like any other newspaper—ought to give authorial credit when it is due. Newspaper employees need to see their names in print—it gives them the well-deserved feeling of recognition if they contribute significantly to a story.

Paul Kellogg
Upper East Side


BEHIND THE SCENES

Re Nat Hentoff's "Testing to Create Dropouts?" [September 17-23]:

Nat Hentoff writes about the education problem in New York City: "New York State's commissioner of education, Richard Mills, is a leading perpetrator of dropouts by this method, as is George W. Bush, whose 'No Child Left Behind' legislation, based on repeated collective testing, will in fact leave behind many children for whom college will be merely a mirage."

I agree, but there is blame to be shared by a number of people, including Ted Kennedy. He was, I believe, one of the primary negotiators of the No Child Left Behind legislation.

Jim Christ
Prescott Valley, Arizona


CASHING OUT

I have read online your obituary of Johnny Cash [September 17-23] and would like to thank you for a fitting and honest tribute to a great (if all too human) musician.

Aidan Sammons
Birmingham, England


CRIMINAL INTENT

Thanks for Anya Kamenetz's "Holding Pattern" [September 3-9], describing the fate of 15-year-old Muhammed el-Najar, from the Deheishe refugee camp.

In this country, we pursue and apprehend kidnappers (or at least that's what I am led to believe watching Law & Order!). But when Israel commits a kidnapping, we reward them with aid and assistance! Maybe we should do the same for our own!

Yusuf Agha
Brookline, Massachusetts


GOOD KATE BECKINSALE MOVIES ARE ABOUT KATE BECKINSALE

Re Alex Pappademas's review of Underworld ["A Vampires-and-Werewolves Dud," September 17-23]:

Perhaps Pappademas would have been more content with the film had it rehashed the established vampire and werewolf lore and offered him no new ideas or surprises. Where he derides the film as weak is indeed where the film gets its strengths. He erroneously asserts that "good vampire movies are really about sexual submission, good werewolf movies are really about sexual aggression."

Good movies are also about good ideas. Underworld created a believable narrative, complicated plot line, and fast paced shoot-'em-up without resorting to convention. It's a film in which the bad guys aren't so bad—and vice versa.

Alex Ivey
Carroll Gardens


WATER UNDER TROUBLED BRIDGE

Your article on the Brooklyn Bridge [Robert Julavits, "Point of Collapse," August 27-September 2] misses an important story. The bridge was designed for pedestrians and horse carriages, before automobiles were invented.

Shortly after the bridge opened, there was a panic in which pedestrians thought the bridge was going to collapse. Twelve were killed and 35 injured. It was fortunate on August 14 that the modern pedestrian has more confidence in bridge technology.

Louis Rubenstein
Arcadia, California


SHOCK TACTICS

Re James Ridgeway's "Stunning News for Parents" [September 3-9]:

Many readers will undoubtedly consider Steve Robnor's invention—for taming kids and pets—a jest. But I'm afraid that in this brave new America, no repressive measures, no cruel punishments, and no Frankensteinian "discipline" tactics to ensure conformity and obedience should be assumed so outlandish that we needn't investigate further. Indeed, it is by its very extremity that great evil escapes protest and opposition.

That is, until it is too late.

Teresa Whitehurst
Nashville, Tennessee


PATRIOT GAMES

Re Ward Sutton's "Are You a Self-Defeating Democrat?" [Schlock 'n' Roll, September 3-9]:

Sutton is right. We Democrats have 1,001 excuses, and we stand in fear and trembling that someone like Dean will go after the jugular while attacking Bush. Someone has to call attention to the fact that Bush has set democracy back a century or more, all in the name of freedom, while waving the flag.

I am a non-combat veteran of four years; three brothers served in WWII, one a prisoner of the Germans and a highly decorated air ace, the other two served in Africa and Italy, and this non-military president had the gall to say that because I opposed his "war" policy, I am a traitor. Why haven't the Democrats seized the opportunity to send this dictator-in-waiting into oblivion, where he belongs? Bush has yet to answer my challenge to a debate on my patriotism, nor has he had the decency to respond to any of my letters—more than two dozen since he called me a traitor.

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