By Michael Musto
By Capt. James Van Thach told to Jonathan Wei
By Kera Bolonik
By Michael Musto
By Nick Pinto
By Steve Weinstein
By Michael Musto
By Michael Musto
Letter of the Week
Can we talk takeout?
Re Nina Lalli's "Dirtiest Bird" [Bites, villagevoice .com, April 27]: I consider myself somewhat of an expert on fried chicken. It has single-handedly ruined my every attempt at a Mr. Olympiatype body. I had an aunt whose fried chicken was so good that even people who hated her would drop by on Sundays just to eat her chicken. I agree with Lalli, that Popeye's is better than KFC, but currently in Texas we have two chains down here that rival anything the big boys put out. Golden Chick, a chain found in several Texas cities, has the best chicken tenders, bar none, and Bush's Fried Chicken has tenders almost as good, but they also sell good livers and gizzards. Sometimes when I get a wild hair up my keister, I'll go to Church's, but they really aren't a serious contender (though the honey biscuits are great). Anyway, there is no point to this note. I just like fried chicken.
It's unfortunate that Sarah Ferguson is incapable of covering any protest ["A Day Without Immigrants," villagevoice.com, May 2]without injecting her own sectarian biases and agenda. In this article, and many others, she goes out of her way to dismiss and denigrate the work of activists with the International Action Center. It's one thing to disagree with the politics of an organization, but Ferguson uses her article to carry out a personal vendetta, and that is out of line. While Ferguson was lounging around the Voice thinking of new and witty ways to dismiss and criticize activists, hardworking organizers with the International Action Center and many other organizations were working around the clock to prepare for this demonstration. If Ferguson doesn't like the way it was organized or doesn't like the people involved, then she should get off her backside and do some actual work.
Ferguson suggests that immigrants' rights and anti-war issues are interrelated. What she does not mention is that immigrants' rights also pertain to everyone's health, regardless of class and race. Immigrant workers hold most jobs in slaughterhouses. Cases have repeatedly been reported regarding occupational safety hazards: Workers have been denied rest breaks, bathroom breaks, and conditions that allow them to do their jobs effectively, because the more animals slaughtered per hour, the higher the profit. Therefore, many animals experience painful deaths because there is not enough time to stun them. The high stress animals endure reduces the quality of the meat you eat; I know I wouldn't eat meat from a tortured or sick animal. Thus, while you are contacting your congressperson about opposing HR 4437, please ask for the enforcement of the Humane Slaughter Act, a federal law that requires humane slaughter.
One world order
Nat Hentoff's article about Jose Padilla and the Supreme Court ["Mutiny at the Supreme Court," Liberty Beat, April 1925] is the first thing that has given me hope in the last three years. If we don't limit what President Bush and company can do, then we all, like Padilla (a U.S. citizen), may be arrested, detained, and not charged for years. What does it take for the American people to wake up to the shame of our own policies? Book after book, article after article reveal our stupidity and the unconscionable arrogance of the present administration. The United States has engaged in self-serving regime change in many other countries. It's time to examine and change our own regime. Remember: It is one world.
I can't believe that an educated person like Michael Atkinson would believe that poor people started the Cuban revolution ["The Lost City," April 26May 2]. The Cuban revolution, like almost all the revolutions in the past, was conducted by the middle- and upper-class intellectuals like Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, etc. What surprised me most of all is that Atkinson doesn't mention the 45 years of dictatorship and the lack of human rights in Cuba. Maybe Andy Garcia's movie is not the best movie ever, but for sure it is the beginning of telling the real stories of Castro and Guevara. Batista was a baby compared to these two killers. Thank God someone killed Guevara in Bolivia, because he had already killed hundreds of peasants there. I'd like to know how Atkinson would feel if the president of his country took everything he had worked for all his lifehis checking account, car, house, and freedom? I am sure he wouldn't be so liberal then.
After reading Rob Nelson's critique of Hard Candy ["Not Another Teen Movie," April 1218] I'm left to believe that he is operating under the strain of a handicapped intellect. Nelson obviously did not understand the movie and therefore sought to chastise what he could not comprehend. In his review he uses quotes from the brilliant Ellen Page as evidence as to why she is a cliché. Apparently, Nelson missed the ending where we learn everything Page has told us is a lie. He also apparently forgot to do his research. I first saw this film at Sundance in 2005 and I distinctly remember David Slade saying that Page was 17, not 15, years old when this film was shot. She was supposed to look older than 14, because as we learn at the end of the film, she undoubtedly is. A review that only seeks to demolish intelligent filmmaking has no place in the world of art. Hard Candy was brilliant.
Julian Dibbell's "Turf Wars" [Site Specific, May 39]berates the Wikipedian hive mind for the proposal to delete the Wikipedia article about Wikitruth, a hostile site. With two mouse clicks, Dibbell could have discovered that the matter had been resolved on April 20, with a decision to keep the information about Wikitruth. Dibbell insinuates that Wikipedia "can't make room for a critical look at its own practices." With a few more mouse clicks, he could have found that Wikipedia already has a 5,000-word article on "Criticism of Wikipedia," plus a different 5,000-word article that's just direct quotations from outside critics, plus a 2,500-word article presenting criticisms from users. Furthermore, if there's a criticism that should be added, or an existing one that should be stated more forcefully, Dibbell (or anyone else) can go to the page and edit it. Perhaps you paladins of openness would like to open your website to similar public criticisms of the Voice's practices.
In our March 17 issue, we published a cover story entitled "Do You Wanna Kiss Me?" All of the information in the story relating to Steve Lookner was false and completely fabricated. Lookner never made a trip like the one described in the article, never said the quotes attributed to him, and never performed any of the actions that were portrayed. We apologize to Steve Lookner for this story.
Because of a typing error, a quote by Laurence Tribe in Nat Hentoff's April 26May 2 column, "Why We're Americans,"was inaccurate. We quoted Tribe as saying, "The more people grow accustomed to a listening environment in which the ear of Big Brother is assumed to be behind every wall, behind every e-mail, and invisibly present in every electronic communication, telephonic or otherwise, the Constitution will be mummified." The quote should have ended after "otherwise." The phrase "the Constitution will be mummified" was Hentoff's.
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