Letter of The Week
Gutted from within

In Nat Hentoff's "The War on Privacy" [Liberty Beat, February 15–21] Hentoff concludes: "Will the Democrats become a truly serious opposition party before privacy disappears entirely?" I would respectfully point out that, in order for the Democrats to become an opposition party, they would have to oppose something. They don't oppose anything, except Republican power. Gather the lot of them up, and I defy you to find a spine among them. Democrats are self-serving, self-aggrandizing, booty-licking betrayers of the American people. They are too vitiated to offer hope to the republic.

The handful of Democrats who stand up and dare to speak the truth are mercilessly ridiculed in the "free" press. Unfortunately, past errors, such as Ted Kennedy's abandonment of Mary Jo Kopechne and Al Sharpton's involvement in the Tawana Brawley case, are shoved down ill-informed American throats to taint these men's messages. No such historical summary appears when quoting the pearls and rubies dripping from Bush's lips. No one mentions what everyone knows to be true, that the devil can quote scripture for his own purposes. Opposition from Democrats? Come on, Hentoff, quit playing that piano. It isn't out of tune; its guts have been removed.

M.G. Matejic
Rio Ranchero, New Mexico

Editor in chief wanted:

The Village Voice, America's flagship alternative weekly, is seeking an editor in chief to carry on the paper's storied tradition of investigative journalism, feature-length storytelling, and cutting-edge cultural criticism. Applicants should have a fine touch with copy, significant experience crafting stories in magazine style, and strong reporting chops. They should be able to help staff generate superior in-depth stories that explain how New York City works, and guide beginning writers as well as accomplished ones. The ideal candidate will be able to edit and write, leading by example rather than by dictate.

Qualified candidates should send a cover letter, résumé, and clips to:

Christine Brennan
c/o Westword
969 Broadway
Denver, Colorado 80203

No dignity in outing

DignityUSA was mentioned in Kristen Lombardi's "Outing Cardinal Egan" [February 8–14]. The article reports on a lawsuit brought by Father Bob Hoatson in which three Catholic bishops are alleged to be gay. DignityUSA—the independent national organization for LGBT Catholics and our supporters—has been a strong voice calling Catholic Church leadership, including all bishops, to accept responsibility for the sex abuse/abuse of power scandal in the church. In addition, for more than 35 years, DignityUSA has consistently worked to create a climate of openness and respect on issues of sexuality at all levels of the church. We encourage all gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, including clergy and especially church leaders, to be out about their sexuality, if possible. At the same time, DignityUSA fully respects an individual's judgment in these very personal matters and does not out any individual, including bishops. Finally, your article mentions an alleged Dignity list of gay bishops. DignityUSA does not have such a list and has no knowledge of it. If it exists, whoever may have created such a list is not to our knowledge associated in any way with DignityUSA.

Debbie Weill
Executive Director DignityUSA
Washington, D.C.

Editor's note: After the Voice received this letter, Kristen Lombardi reinterviewed the former priest who, she reported, told her a Dignity leader had shown him the list of purportedly gay bishops. That former priest, Richard Sipe, explained that he may have been unclear about the identity of the person who showed him the list. The person was not affiliated with Dignity, Sipe says, though he adds that he has discussed the list with Dignity members.

Prelude to a storm

James Ridgeway is right about the abilities of both the coast guard and the Weather Bureau during the Katrina disaster ["Barricading the Storm," Mondo Washington, February 1–7]. In fact, the Weather Channel should be added to that list as one more agency that knew firsthand the complete effects Katrina was going to have on New Orleans. The Weather Channel was warning people 48 hours in advance to get out of New Orleans. Interestingly, the Weather Channel, gave a similar warning earlier in the summer when another hurricane (the name eludes me) hit Cuba. The Weather Channel was warning Cubans to get out of the way, and apparently, they heeded the warnings. How many Cubans along the coast of Cuba lost their lives?

Ricardo Aulet

Wilted blossom

Re Phyllis Fong's review of Blossoms of Fire [Tracking Shots, February 1–7]: I'm surprised this review took a dramatic device, i.e., outsiders' labels of utopian matriarchy, as the primary thrust of the film. The focus of the film on the Zapotecs of southern Oaxaca, Mexico, is the role that women's economic standing has played in maintaining an indigenous community against waves of historical invasion. I observe that, to Fong, Blossoms loses momentum precisely at the moment in the film where people start to speak for themselves. Suddenly, the film becomes "woolly anthropology." The scenes, which occur before the more "compelling" sections on local politics and gays and lesbians, are those where women and men talk about their work, their relationships, and the role of women as administrators. I agree that Blossoms of Fire is undeveloped in some areas, but it is the first film to try to understand this unique community in all its complexities. But even if Fong finds fault with the style of the film, to brusquely dismiss it on those grounds alone ignores the lack of access that these voices—indigenous people and women—have endured and continue to endure.

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