Lord of no rings

As someone who is tired of the perpetually annoying "How can you be a Yankee fan? Aren't you Dominican?" line of inquiry, I'm glad to see that Allen Barra's article on A-Rod ["Atlas Struggled," August 30–September 5] touched on the lack of Dominican support on his behalf. The Yankees have never had much of a fan base among Dominicans, not even with Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Octavio Dotel, and Tony Peña, as coach, currently among their ranks. Like A-Rod, my brother and I were born in Washington Heights, and we are proud Dominican Americans. Rodriguez represents more than just the American dream: He is the embodiment of the circumstances, sacrifices, and ultimately, perseverance of the family that led him to be who and where he is. So even though I haven't been entirely happy with his performance on the field this season—not to the point of booing him, though (what kind of bullshit is that?)—I'm going to keep rooting for him. After all, no matter what uniform A-Rod wears, he'll always be one of ours.

Henry Mena

Ground zero's non-hero

I commend Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins for having the courage to expose the myth about Giuliani and 9-11 ["Rudy's Grand Illusion," August 30–September 5]. It is outrageous the way that Giuliani has exploited the tragedy for his own personal gain. He knowingly permitted the firefighters to have radios that were known to be faulty. As a result, 300 firefighters entered the World Trade Center as it was ready to collapse and lost their lives. When he left office, he founded Giuliani Partners, which is a firm that assists businesses regarding security issues—another example of his exploitation. Now he is one of the front-runners for the GOP nomination for president because he is laughably thought of as an expert in fighting terrorism. The fact is that Giuliani is no hero; the true heroes were the police, firefighters, and others who risked and lost their lives saving people. When it comes to self-promotion Giuliani is an expert. Hopefully one day the American public will wise up about the myth of Giuliani being America's mayor and the hero of 9-11.

Reba Shimansky

That's all he wrote

I've been reading the Voice for 15 years now. Today I stop. The firing of Robert Christgau was the final straw; I can only assume that J. Hoberman is next and then there will simply be nothing left of value in what was once one of the truly great things about living in New York. I hope your new publisher is ashamed of himself.

James Murphy


Re: Mark Fiore's flash video "Welcome to America the Shootiful" [villagevoice.com, August 24]: Isn't it funny that the states with the strictest gun laws are the states with the highest violent-crime rates? Just because something is banned doesn't mean it goes away. Making it illegal to own certain weapons doesn't keep them out of a criminal's hands; that only keeps them out of a law-abiding citizen's hand. Why would a criminal care if the gun he has is illegal? Hell, he's about to commit a crime anyway, right? I have an idea: Let's take away law-abiding citizens' guns so they can't protect themselves from the armed criminals.

Mr. Hurst
Wellington, Alabama

Pleading the Fourth

Re Nat Hentoff's "George Bush: Recidivist" [Liberty Beat, August 30–September 5]: I wonder if Judge Anna Diggs Taylor or Hentoff have actually read the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Free speech does not mean that your speech cannot result in negative consequences. Free speech does not guarantee the right to be heard, or in this case, the right not to be heard. There is no right to privacy. There is a right against illegal search and seizure—the word "listen" is not part of the Fourth Amendment. Judge Anna Diggs Taylor did not teach anything about the Constitution except that a federal judge does not have a clue what she is doing. Furthermore, if Hentoff did some research, he would find this judge has been questioned repeatedly for her unethical behavior.

Gary Sladcik
Dallas, Texas

Nat Hentoff replies: If your privacy is invaded by illegal secret government surveillance, your right to free speech is compromised because the government knows what you are saying.As for Judge Taylor's ethics and legal knowledge, she has received very high ratings from the widely respected Almanac of the Federal Judiciary.

No piece in the Middle East

I have been reading the Voice my whole life and have never been as disappointed in the paper as I am now. Where was the coverage of the Israeli massacre on Lebanon? Where was the cover story on that conflict? Every week I was increasingly shocked to find it missing and in its place, band reviews etc. I expected the same kind of coverage that 9-11 deservedly received. The Voice was conspicuously absent on the crisis.

Ann Ruiz


Due to an editing error in last week's Fly Life column, the location of the late-September Nightlife Security Summit was misstated as City Hall. It will take place at John Jay College.

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