Hardcore Coverage

I find it ironic that Richard Goldstein ["Cybersex Addiction: The Power, the Panic, the Profits," June 13] quotes Paul McMasters of the Freedom Forum as saying that those of us who raise the issue of cybersex addiction are tapping into the "ready market for proclamations against sex" in an issue of The Village Voice that uses an eye-popping image of someone having sex with a computer in order to sell copies.

Steve Watters
Editor, Pure Intimacy Webzine
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Bending Over Backwards

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It seems utterly absurd to me that Richard Goldstein accuses GOP Senate candidate Rick Lazio of mocking homosexuals simply because Mr. Lazio used the word pansy in an interview ["Lazio to CBS: I'm No Pansy," June 6].

It may be true that pansy can refer to a male homosexual, but then again, computer once referred to a person whose job was to perform arithmetic calculations. (You can look that up in the dictionary, too.)

By contrast, consider that former Clinton White House aide Paul Begala is quoted in last week's U.S. News & World Report as calling Mr. Lazio a "total butt boy for [Newt] Gingrich the whole time he was in the Congress." If "butt boy" isn't an antigay epithet, I don't know what is.

So where are the outraged editorials calling for Mr. Begala's head? Or are Democrats—unlike Republicans, it seems—automatically given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to making crude slurs?

Kevin Shapiro
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Richard Goldstein replies: If you think pansy doesn't necessarily refer to gay men, how do you explain Lazio's aide insisting that he merely meant the flower? Wake up and smell the contempt! As for Begala, he's no flower—but neither is he a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

DN Nay

For New York police commissioner Howard Safir to suggest that the forensic results of DNA kits used by police will be closely monitored and that safeguards against abuse will be in place is to suggest pure fantasy ["Stop, Drop, and Swab," Ayana Mathis, June 6]. It won't happen. Once instituted, the DNA program will be closely guarded and subject to potential abuse without any safeguards.

One need only remember the handing over of hundreds of sensitive FBI files to the White House in the early years of the Clinton administration to realize that DNA information held by law enforcement will not be safe.

In addition, law enforcement currently refuses to accept external audits of its forensic science.

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst
Executive Director
Forensic Justice Project
Washington, D.C.

Libs, Labs

Re Ayana Mathis's article on portable DNA labs: Just because we have the technological ability to obtain genetic material from a saliva sample doesn't mean we should do so. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable search and seizure. The civil liberties of the citizen are eroded by anything less.

Robert J. Hopkins
Chicopee, Massachusetts

Alpha Fems

Practically the only way that Al Gore can keep Ralph Nader from costing him California is to name either Senator Dianne Feinstein or Representative Nancy Pelosi as his running mate. As James Ridgeway points out [Mondo Washington, June 6], Nader has considerable power in labor circles in addition to the Green Party's clout on eco issues.

Feinstein or Pelosi could protect Gore's flank and help attract female voters. They are also considered strong on the environment and labor issues.

If Gore can't hold Nader to less than 10 percent in California, he can kiss the election goodbye.

George A. Dean
Southport, Connecticut

Remembrance Of Swings Past

While I enjoyed Gary Giddins's article on Mildred Bailey in the "Jazz Survivors" supplement ["Mrs. Swing," June 13], Bailey is not quite as forgotten as Giddins suggests, thanks to recent and upcoming CD compilations. In the past year, the Classics label, based in Paris but well-distributed in the U.S., has begun reissuing her complete solo recordings as The Chronological Mildred Bailey. Three volumes released thus far cover her work from 1929 to 1938.

Additionally, the Connecticut-based Mosaic Records is currently preparing a multi-CD set containing all of Bailey's recordings for Columbia and its subsidiary labels.

David Torresen
Washington, D.C.

Wide Ranging

Just a note on Will Friedwald's fine article on Ralph Burns in your jazz supplement ["Everybody's Arranger," June 13]: Burns's contribution to singer Lee Wiley's RCA recordings of the mid 1950s did her a world of good and, though not as popular as some of the other projects Burns was involved with at the time, are great examples of his work. Also, Burns's contribution to the success of Natalie Cole's "Unforgettable" was sublime.

Lazaro Vega
Spring Lake, Michigan

Flying Down To Rio

It was a pleasure to read the articles by renowned writers like Will Friedwald and Gary Giddins in your jazz supplement. Being a journalist myself (and one of the few writing about jazz in the Brazilian press), I enjoyed these pieces the most.

José Domingos Raffaelli
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

One In A Brazilian

As someone who has been training capoeira students in New York City for 10 years, I found it refreshing to read an article on the subject that was insightful ["Blame It on Brazil," May 23]. Thad Dunning touched upon some interesting ideas, especially in his interview of Mestre Ombrinho—who has been teaching as long as any currently active teacher in the city, yet has been pushed to the periphery. Please follow up with a more detailed analysis!

Brendan Lyons

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