William Miller
San Anselmo, California

Nat Hentoff replies: I am not on the same team as Michael Moore, who in his "documentary" made no mention at all of the mass graves and torture chambers under Saddam Hussein. To save our liberty from Bush, Gonzales, et al., requires keeping them—and ourselves—honest.

Breaking the mold

Jennifer Gonnerman's "Medical Marijuana Keeps on Rolling" [December 8-14] made for fascinating reading. Particularly disturbing was the idea of the state distributing confiscated pot to medical patients. This approach is quite problematic. Obviously it is tied to the continuation of (and raises the specter of expansion of) the wasting of valuable resources by prohibiting a substance that does absolutely no provable harm to society.

Aside from this, however, is the problem of quality control and proper storage. One problem with medical marijuana is that it is vitally important that marijuana ingested by people with compromised immune systems be free of mold, which otherwise can cause severe respiratory problems. This means that pot used by people with an immunodeficiency must be stored in such a way as to discourage the development of mold, and that patients who do receive moldy pot be taught how to remove the mold before using.

Chelsea Elisabeth Goodwin
Political-outreach coordinator, Medical Marijuana
Association of New York Park Slope

Crystal method

Charles McNulty ["One-Handers," December 15-21] does a great job of bringing us just what showbiz has on offer this season.

Billy Crystal is a banal cringe-inducer who made a reputation fawning to the front row of Hollywood's funniest overproduced hour of self-congratulation. His smarmy, middlebrow shtick makes Jay Leno look like Voltaire. Whoopi is TV: loud, purposeless, creative, and never ever useful.

And Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) is the greatest satirist working in the English-speaking world. He is a genius whose understanding of the Astroturf passing as flora at the rancid center of America is without domestic parallel.

The central question here: Why can't American comics take the saddest and most sordid chapter in post-war history and find anything to say? Look what Lenny Bruce did with the '60s, and then consider this pap. What the hell happened?

Warren Lemming
Chicago, Illinois


Due to an editing error, a byline was omitted from last week's interview with Jessica Yu, director of In the Realms of the Unreal [Take Five, Tear Sheet, December 22-28]. The piece should have been credited to Ed Halter.

The photo of Elliot Perlman ["Money Shot" by Jessica Winter, December 15-21] should have been credited to Fred Gurner.

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