Re "Uncertain Strength" by Frank Kogan [March 24-30]:

While I appreciate Kogan's opinion, I really don't believe Rodney Adkins can make a bandstand floor (and entire room for that matter) vibrate quite like Trace Adkins does when he reaches down and grabs those resonant notes of his from the cellar depths. There's really no comparison between the two.

Trace brings so much more soul, history, sensitivity, and sensuality to his music. And talk about fun—no one has more fun than a Trace Adkins audience. With his quick wit, seasoned background, and incredible talent, Trace Adkins in concert is an unforgettable experience.

I more than recommend catching this gracious, generous, and highly gifted country gentleman in concert.

Linda Foster
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Purple hearts

Ward Harkavy's "Day by Day, Death by Death" [March 24-30] is quite poignant, but equal attention should be given to the wounded, who outnumber the dead by a factor of five.

The Bush administration's Pentagon is seeking to hide the wounded by not issuing to the media lists of their names—lists that were routinely issued in previous U.S. wars.

To its shame, the media does not protest this unprecedented censorship.

Sy Lutto
West Palm Beach, Florida

Who's in the army now?

Re "Day by Day, Death by Death":

It is an unfortunate fact of wars that people in them are killed, which is why wars are not entered into casually. But with all due respect to Ms. Slavenas, your son did so volunteer to risk his life when he joined the military.

If we want to have a discussion on why young Americans enlist, that is another matter. It will quickly become a discussion of the sociological and economic realities of life in this country today.

Christopher Hitchens puts it succinctly in his Clinton pamphlet: "For many poor Americans of all colors, jail is the only place where doctors, lawyers, teachers, and chaplains are, however grudgingly, made available to them."

One might add the same for the military, only absent the legal counsel.

C.W. Anderson
Worcester, Massachusetts

Calling Ralph Nader

Re "Day by Day, Death by Death":

Perusing the manner in which these deaths happened, I was struck by the very large percentage that were caused by vehicles rolling over.

The manufacturers and the army should learn a thing or three, evidently.

I'm surprised a class-action suit against the vehicle manufacturers hasn't already been started by the families of the dead.

Clive Warner
Monterrey, Mexico

Dead wrong

Re "Day by Day, Death by Death":

Ward Harkavy lists every death of a serviceman in Iraq regardless of proximate cause, as though it were a consequence of the war. Heat stroke, brain aneurysms, heart attacks, traffic accidents, drowning while swimming, etc., are all very common ways people die here in the United States, no war required. To think that none of the hundreds of thousands of troops serving in Iraq would not have died anyway had they not been deployed is ridiculous. Had the author compared, for example, death rates per thousand from heart attacks in Iraq versus death rates per thousand from heart attacks in the United States and had there been a statistically significant difference, then he might have been justified in adding the names of all the soldiers who died in Iraq while not in combat.

In any event, the issue is not combat deaths but whether the reasons for going to war were justified. Just over 100 servicemen have died from both non-combat and combat injuries in Afghanistan, but no one seems to have noticed. Maybe the invasion of Afghanistan was justified.

Gabriel Eszterhas
Park Slope

Puppy love

I have a question re Richard Goldstein's article "Petaphilia" [March 24-30]: Would Americans only be allowed to marry pets of the opposite sex? And what of our spayed/ neutered best friends? These issues need to be resolved before I'd be willing to register at Petsmart with my toy fox terrier.

Craig E. Seery
Eureka, California

Loan danger

Re Brendan I. Koerner's "The Ambition Tax" [March 17-23]:

Having spent five years pursuing a double degree at a state school, I'm now $17,000 in debt. The equivalent of at least two and a half of those years was fully paid for by scholarships and grants. I've been working part-time for most of that period, and my parents have been able to help me out. I was a great student, I got scholarships, I worked—what more could I have done?

Now I'm faced with the daunting prospect of adding student loans to a pile of bills that will only get higher. I'm just getting by as it is. It's generally accepted that a college degree is necessary for any sort of career, and yet those degrees—even as they become more and more common—are becoming more expensive than anyone ever thought they'd be. The system is collapsing, and will not last for much longer in its current state.

Koerner's piece is a deadly accurate portrait of what the current generation of students face. The most depressing part is that this is the first time I've ever read an article in any major publication on the subject. And we (the students) are generally apathetic about it. It's been made painfully clear that there's nothing we can do. Any alleviation of the skyrocketing costs would require a major financial reconstruction and serious tax increases. Older generations would rather hold on to their money, while saddling us with insurmountable debt, and that will never change.

Adam Hart
Seattle, Washington

Every inch a king

Re "Lear as Daylight" [March 10- 16]:

I'm so thankful to Michael Feingold for coming out and saying what is most remarkable about the current King Lear. Feingold is the first reviewer who seems to get the intention of the production and to appreciate its deliberate lack of "director's theater" concepts. His brilliant comparison to Richard Maxwell's Henry IV is so right on: Lack of spectacle and capital-D "Direction" is itself a valid directorial choice, as Maxwell has shown in his own plays.

It's refreshing when someone shows us what theater might have been like before movies and before melodramatic warhorses. I imagine the first staging at the Globe could not have been that different.

Garrett Eisler
Upper East Side


Kareem Fahim's "Eyeing the Wrecking Ball" [March 10-16] mistakenly refers to Department of Buildings (DOB) violations recorded against East 45th Development LLC. The violations were issued by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

The Massimo Vitali photo that appeared in Voice Choices for March 24-30 was misidentified. The correct title of the photo is Pegli West (2000).

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