A plot that bombed
Re Graham Rayman's 'Bomb Plot: Not So Fast. FBI Agent on Synagogue Case Has Questionable Record' [villagevoice.com, May 21]: Great article. This is what we need The Village Voice for. Total scam and frame-up and concocted event by the government.
Any way you cut it, the idea of the bombing attempt was a dreadful thing. However, I can't quite get my head around how an alleged crackhead and a couple of purse snatchers managed to get as far as they did. The whole thing made for a wowee-type headline, but highly resembles a farce if you begin to think about it. Your article makes me think all the more.
I'm seriously wondering if these dummies weren't "over-helped" by authorities looking to entrap them. It would be great if you can keep us up to date.
Thanks for this illuminating and informative article.
License to steal
Re Tom Robbins's 'Another Thompson Supporter Rings Up a Big Pension Fund Score' [May 13–19]: You're barking up the wrong tree to keep harping on licensing. It's up to the pension staff to assess whether these deals make sensible investments—and, ultimately, that's decided by returns on the investments. Agents just make introductions. Full disclosure of what agents are involved and how much they get paid will take care of the rest.
Teachers' dirty looks
Reading 'School's Out' by Wayne Barrett [May 13–19] disappointed me. I have not read the Voice in quite some time and picked it up with the belief that you respect your readers enough to present issues intelligently. Sadly, this article assumes that your readers are idiots who require no evidence for your writers' sensationalist bullshit.
Let's see . . . where can I start? How about: Why do charter schools do better on statewide exams? Could it be—among other reasons—because charter schools handpick their students? That, perhaps, charter school students have parents who are engaged with their children's education, as illustrated by the required acts it takes to get your child into a charter school? Or is it because, as the article implies, the teachers are unionized? Hmm.
I could present you with other examples of Barrett's completely random and unsupported assumptions that the union and teachers are responsible for all the maladies of the system, and that it would be hurtful to the system to give the teachers any kind of decent contract this year, but I threw the issue in the garbage, where it belongs.
Lars the Arrogant
Re J. Hoberman's 'Lars von Trier's Antichrist Can't Save This Year's Cannes' [May 20–26]: Controversy and Lars von Trier are childhood companions, but nobody doubted that he would resort to arrogance in order to defend his latest film, Antichrist.
Re Ward Sutton's 'Set to Stun' [May 6–12]: In the second Star Trek movie, Paramount killed off Mr. Spock. In the following sequel, they destroyed the Starship Enterprise. I can remember turning to a friend at the press screening, and saying, "Gee, they won't be happy until they've bumped off the entire cast." Now, the new movie's time-travel paradox sacrifices all of the stories shown in the original '60s series' 79 episodes.
Although Star Trek is certainly an entertaining movie, I wonder how many mainstream critics thought the latest entry was simply a prequel? Surely there must have been a better way to relaunch the franchise than by jettisoning the work of producers Gene Roddenberry and Gene Coon (and a myriad of their talented collaborators) that helped create what so many of us like to think of as an American classic.
James H. Burns
Valley Stream, New York
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