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One "S" Too Many

Posted 12/7/2005

I was happy to find that my poem "Double Shot" had won in your poetry contest (Fiction and Poetry Contest, Nov. 30). There is one typo, however, that makes our Girl Barfly Speaker seem even sluttier and less grammatical than she really is. In line 23, it’s just one friend who shows up: "and when his friend showed up . . . I let him kiss me too." Three’s company, more’s a crowd. Thank you.

Moira Egan
Baltimore

Editor Lee Gardner responds: Sorry ‘bout that.

Poor, Ignorant Russ

Russ Smith’s comparison of the Baltimore City Council "impotence" to that of the United Nations (Right Field, Nov. 30) seems to support H.L. Mencken’s observation that the dominant emotion of men in this country is dread of what they cannot understand. This may explain why right-wing vocal yokels dread the U.N. so much.

Comparing a government to the U.N. reveals the fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of that international body. The U.N. is not a government but a membership organization, with national governments as members. While governments are sovereign, that ýs, have the power to pass and enforce laws, the U.N. is not—it can do only what its sovereign members agree to do. A simple click on the United Nations website would clarify that point. So if there is any "impotence" in this international body, it merely reflects the unwillingness of member states to "go with the program."

Wojtek Sokolowski
Baltimore

My thanks go out to the layout people at City Paper. While Russ Smith muddies up his column with all the predictable right-wing nonsense denigrating the City Council, Democrats who want to change their position on Iraq now that it is clear they were lied to, and a routine slap at Bill Clinton, the read-out says it all:

"Aside from his pro-life position and opposition to the death penalty, Steele hasn’t offered voters an expansive platform on the issues of the day."

Well, Earth to Russ, that’s all Michael Steele’s got!

Voters may remember from the gubernatorial election that Steele essentially has no résumé. Prior to his election as lieutenant governor, Steele had a nonexistent law practice and some sort of figurehead post with the Maryland GOP, which had to pick up the tab for his living expenses. Since being elected, Steele has done his job. That wasn’t too hard because Maryland’s lieutenant governor has no duties.

Of course, any criticism of the illustrious Mr. Steele is answered by all pure-of-heart Republicans with cries of racism. It is much the same strategy they use when one criticizes the Bush administration and finds oneself accused of "hating America."

In both cases, it is reminiscent of a scene in the Steve Martin movie The Jerk. The title character is working in a gas station. A sniper opens fire. Bullets pierce some cans of oil nearby. Seeing this, Martin’s character exclaims, "He must hate these cans!!"

In other words, their argument is beside the point. Steele is simply not qualified to hold a seat in the U.S. Senate. Can anyone honestly believe there isn’t an African-American Republican in the state of Maryland who is more qualified to run for this Senate seat? Steele’s candidacy is just another cynical attempt by the GOP to turn the race card to their advantage.

Remember, folks, this is the same political party that has been exploiting the passage of civil-rights legislation and the resentment it caused among white Southern voters for the last 40 years.

There may be good reason to oppose Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume as they vie for the same Senate seat, but both men have some legislative experience. Steele is an empty suit. The color of his skin and the fact he is a Republican is not enough for any reasonable voter to think he is qualified to hold such an important office.

Joe Roman
Baltimore

Beat Beats

Tell Vincent Williams I think Fifty Cent’s new song "Window Shoppers" sums up why hip-hop has gone down the drain and doesn’t hold the same usefulness as old R&B and hip-hop (Social Studies, Nov. 30). Like Vince and his friends, my teen daughters and I recently had the same discussion. When I was a teen in East St. Louis, Ill./St. Louis, Mo., I remember hanging out with my friends singing "Its like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under, " or Stevie’s "Lookin’ back on when I was a little nappy-headed boy, then my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy." Boy, those were the days when hip-hop had meaning and purpose. Yes, in my ’hood Stevie was hip-hop because he sang the struggle!

Today most of the artists are window shoppers peeking through jewelry stores and car lots planning to buy another bragging toy while communities and music suffer. My daughter stated that she thinks hip-hop is down the drain because artists can easily be copied, and that takes the quality of the music down. I must agree if I see one more gyrating blond female singer, I will scream, or a rapper using bullets to guarantee record sales. Even Jamie Foxx thinks a tattooed body will sell a stale CD. Artists are on the radio begging fans to buy their music. I thought the music was supposed to sell itself. My brother joked how certain acts can sell out stadiums while with others it takes five acts to sell out one small arena. I loved seeing Prince tear up ticket sales. He’s a musician!

My daughters and I enjoy music that tells a great story, but sadly record companies are more interested in recouping funds than great, meaningful melodies.

Sharon Wright
Baltimore

We’re Not As Bad As Them

When you see Americans beheading people, (remember Nick Berg and others), hanging and burning folks on bridges, having rape and torture rooms, using improvised explosive devices, flying planes into buildings, killing lawyers that defend the possibly innocent, then we will have become as depraved as our enemies ("No Control," The Mail, Nov. 23; Political Animal, Nov. 9).

Wasn’t that plane that went down in Pennsylvania headed for Washington? Ain’t that right next door to Baltimore? And yes, we (this country) probably will be hit again in the future; the question is when and where. With 600,000-plus people, many government offices and research areas, Baltimore could be a tempting target. Paranoid, no; realistic, yes. I’m thankful you and I can debate the issues. Aren’t you?

Robert Hill
Baltimore

Hate Talks Back

Yes, our newspaper, The Aryan Alternative is greatly increasing in circulation ("Alternative Hate," The Nose, Nov. 16). Seventy thousand copies of our latest and fifth edition were printed and are being distributed nationwide on and near college campuses and to white folks, generally, by more than 100 volunteer distributors.

One can Google "news" then "Aryan Alternative" and view the literally dozens of jewsmedia (TV and newspaper) "compliments" regarding recent distributions.

We believe that whites have interests just like everybody else. We work for those interests by providing news and commentary from a white perspective, suppressed for half a century by the "American" Jewish-dominated media.

The unnamed author of your article claims to stand for reason. Well, if he/she really does stand for reason, and your paper does as well, then you’ll be reasonable enough to print the web site address where all people, regardless of race, religion, or political persuasion, can read our paper and make a reasonable judgment about whether we are lying or whether your newspaper is.

Thank you for allowing my reasonable free speech in your paper.

Glenn Miller
Springfield, Mo.

Clarification: In last week’s Councilmania (Mobtown Beat), it was pointed out that the City Council passed a resolution encouraging city residents to honor civil-rights heroine Rosa Parks by making Dec. 1 a day of "action" in her memory rather than a day of "absence." Although the title of the resolution was changed during the City Council session to encourage people to actively honor the deceased activist, the language of the bill still notes that public and private employers should not penalize people from being absent from work to honor the spirit of the day. We apologize for any confusion.

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