By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Re Tom Robbins's 'Manhattan Bench Press' [December 10–16]: Thanks again to Mr. Robbins for exposing corrupt judges. It still shocks me that our society doesn't trust lawyers or politicians, but thinks judges—who are nothing more than half-lawyer, half-politician!—are somehow honest and noble.
Likewise, the very idea that bad judges are investigated by fellow lawyers is pure madness. (Imagine if we let only rapists be on the jury of an alleged rapist. How well would that work?)
Additionally, when you realize that half our judges are appointed by the same politicians they are supposed to be independently policing, and the other half are "elected" in completely bogus elections, you see that our system is almost utterly corrupt and anti-American. In the recent election here in NYC, there were five judges on the ballot for five seats, meaning that we voters had zero say in the "election." There was no competition whatsoever. This reeks more than Stalin's judiciary!
Mr. Robbins could perhaps help clean up this despicable branch of our broken government with a bit more sunlight on this fungus.
Soft on crime
Re Nat Hentoff's 'Obama's First 100 Days' [December 3–9]: I usually agree with Hentoff, but Obama's so right on this. Bam is, as always, following Lincoln's lead—he is a profound student of Honest Abe.
Reread the Second Inaugural Address before dissing Bam's stand. Lincoln found and urged charity for a criminal crew of traitors quite as bad, if not worse, than the Bush gang.
We have enough to do with the troubles on hand, the multiple crises and threats. (Worst and hardest to deal with of all: the global warming crisis—potentially the greatest disaster of all time, yet so distant that folks cannot realize the urgency of action now.)
It is time to bind up the wounds and get everyone to work together.
Rochester, New York
Re Kevin Baker's 'Word War III!' [December 10–16]: "To acknowledge a blogger is, of course, like giving rain to toadstools." In what I would say is an otherwise excellent article, I think the above simile is unfortunate because of its overgeneralization, inaccuracy, and mildly condescending and derogatory connotations.
But then again, what do I know? While not a blogger, I am a virtually anonymous Internet commenter—some sort of filth that clings to the underside of a toadstool, I suppose. Nevertheless, still a good article.
And count me among those cited in the piece who share the more optimistic opinions regarding the positive potential/effects of the Internet, blogosphere, and all the cyber-flotsam and e-jetsam found in their wake. A few hurt feelings are a small price to pay for a broader audience and wider range of available opinion.
Re Elizabeth Dwoskin's 'The Fall of the House of Rubashkin' [December 3–9]: As someone of Orthodox Jewish ancestry, with very strong ties to the Jewish community and certainly no fan of The Village Voice, I applaud the tone and matter in which this article was written as being eminently fair and objective.
The fact of the matter is, despite what some of the [online commenters] have to say, no one can accuse the Voice of singling out Jews.
This article is not about Jews, Jewish influence, kosher slaughter, or anything Jewish. It's about crime, it's about immorality, it's about people who brazenly flout the law—motivated not by interests in their community or by their religious beliefs, but by pure greed.
Wanted: Arts interns
The Voice is accepting applications for its winter/spring arts internships. Applicants should be excellent writers and be familiar with New York's theater, film, art, or books scenes. The internships, which are part-time and unpaid, are limited to enrolled college or graduate students who are able to earn academic credit for their participation. Applicants should mail or e-mail a cover letter, résumé, and writing samples to Brian Parks, Arts and Culture Editor, The Village Voice, 36 Cooper Square, New York, New York 10003 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Applications are due by January 1.