Letters

The "sex tourism" trade is based on the worst of human greed and exploitation. Many of these women, men, and children could only be called slaves. This "anything you want" that a rich American can get includes some cruel stuff—fucking little kids, trapping and abusing people of all ages economically and sometimes by force. Do you think these "college friends" have a clue about what went into providing their jollies? I thought you were a politically righteous paper.

M. Boloff
Brooklyn


Scarred for life

Once again we have to thank Jennifer Gonnerman for showing us in "Tanisha's Scars" [October 5–11] the substandard mental-health care the people in the New York State Department of Correction Services receive from the mental-health providers at the Office of Mental Health. OMH did nothing to prevent Tanisha from getting worse and getting more punishment. She went in with a two-to-six-year sentence and 11 years later she is still there. Why did they not do something to prevent her from getting more prison time? Instead of treating her behavior as severe symptoms of a deteriorated mental condition, they chose to look at Tanisha as a criminal, sentencing her to solitary confinement for years on end. Shuttling her back and forth between Central New York Psychiatric Hospital and the SHU accomplished nothing. It is unconscionable that public policy allows such cruelty and inhumane treatment of a person with a psychiatric disorder. It is time to stop using the prisons as a substitute for treatment. Mental illness is not a crime.

Leah Gitter
Rights for Imprisoned People With Psychiatric Disorders
Manhattan


Forever young

Re Mark Holcomb's review of Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without a Country [October 5–11]: Vonnegut was a pillar of the counterculture during the heyday of the Voice. Holcomb's lack of appreciation for his new book springs from Holcomb's appetite for producing clever-sounding, lightweight, slapdash criticism. Seniors are such easy targets. Who is cold enough to accuse an octogenarian literary past master of "brain farts"? May you become so lucid by the time you reach 83.

Robert Sidney LaVelle
Manhattan


Niles's a jewel

The characterization "who-the-fucks like John Jacob Niles" in Jon Dolan's review of Scorsese's No Direction Home shames the Voice [October 5–11]. Niles's reputation and stature are not diminished by such comments. It is a sad fact that none of his many recordings are currently available. But this is a comment on the pathetic state of the recording industry and a reflection of ignorant comments like Dolan's rather than on Niles and his importance.

William Messing
St. Paul, Minnesota


Didn't deny

James Ridgeway fumbles the ball in "The Whistleblower and Harriet Miers" [Mondo Washington, October 4, villagevoice.com]. He writes: "Barnes hit the headlines during Bush's first campaign because he supposedly was the man who got young George out of the draft and into the Texas National Guard, a charge he denied." Wrong. In fact, ol' Ben acknowledged on 60 Minutes (September 8, 2004) that he had arranged a position in the National Guard to help Georgie avoid the draft.

Leslie Pool
Dripping Springs, Texas

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