Letters 8.20.08

Aimless and Andy

Re Wayne Barrett's 'Andy's Kids' [August 6–12]: This has to be the stupidest piece ever written by Mr. Barrett. There are numerous books out today that detail how our nation got into this mortgage mess, and not one makes the assertion he makes in this article. Maybe Wayne should have taken some time to read Chain of Blame by Paul Muolo and Mathew Padilla, Confessions of a Subprime Lender by Richard Bitner, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets by George Soros, or Bad Money by Kevin Phillips—all of whom have a lot more knowledge about this issue than Wayne!

The only thing I agree with is his point that politicians played a role in it from the Clinton days through the Bush days. This includes HUD officials, the White House, members of Congress, governors, and mayors, all of whom jumped on the home-ownership bandwagon because it was driving our economy to new heights and keeping us out of the recession and depression.

For Barrett to now put the blame on Cuomo for the four years he was HUD secretary is just outrageous. Sounds as if he has an ax to grind with Cuomo.

Derwin Nevada

via internet

Terrific work uncovering a missing piece of the mortgage-meltdown puzzle.

Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solom

via internet

Good way of showing a piece of the big picture. Andrew Cuomo is known in my circle as a deceptive operator who is proud of his tough, bullying tactics. This piece also shines a little light on parts of his character.

Seth Feldon

via internet

Six people involved in writing such an uninformed piece? Beats me! The information on what really happened isn't lacking, though: extensive reports from the GSEs' supervisor; the OFHEO (not mentioned even once in the article); the Government Accountability Office; endless Congress committee hearings over the years; Fed research teams' analyses; Alan Greenspan's own speeches on the subject—you name it! What we're offered instead as information sources are . . . other reporters' derivative pieces! Pretty embarrassing.

Paul Jorion

via internet

Free all billboards!

Elizabeth Dwoskin's 'Everywhere a Sign' [Runnin' Scared, August 13–19] was disappointing to those who cherish free speech. Perhaps all have forgotten about the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment.

If you don't like the ad, don't buy the product. Advertisers will get the message.

How ironic that those who would defend public displays of art that some might consider pornographic are quick to censor outdoor advertisers. Why no outcry when candidates, every campaign season, litter neighborhoods with thousands of their own posters illegally attached to light poles. Have you ever seen any losing or winning candidate taking down this visual garbage after election day?

Larry Penner

Great Neck, New  York

Accentuate the positive

Re Nat Hentoff's 'School's Out' [August 6–12]: The crucial issue discussed here is the critical value of individual teachers who not only "make a difference and keep students in schools," but most importantly, in my opinion, fill the crucial and often vacant role of being a strong and positive role model. My experience attests to that influence at all levels of the educational journey.

Reading Hentoff's article reminded me of my time at Pace University in lower Manhattan from 1972 to 1976 and my law professor, Ivan Fox. Although law wasn't even my major, Fox made the class so interesting and challenging with his engaging teaching style and broad knowledge that I truly feel it's entirely appropriate to credit him for much of the ethical and moral grounding of my life's path since, and I know that he had a similarly positive influence on many others.

I often take positive influences in my life for granted, so this article is an important reminder. Thanks.

Harvey Siederbaum


Wanted: Arts Intern

The Voice is accepting applications for its fall arts internship. Candidates should have a broad familiarity with New York City's cultural scene—especially theater, film, and books—and be eager and talented writers. Applicants should mail a cover letter, résumé, and writing samples to:

Brian Parks
Arts and Culture Editor
The Village Voice
36 Cooper Square, NY, NY 10003

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