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Posted 2/18/2009

Thank God someone finally wrote a piece about the Cicero brothers and their Globe Poster Company! ("Letter Men," Feature, Feb. 4). The only minor part missing from Chris Landers' otherwise superb article was how some politicians and political slates also used their services over the years because they were reasonable, great to deal with, and quickly produced a very well designed product to boot. Having dealt with Frank and Bob on several occasions between 1995 and 2004, when we city Republicans were rather quixotically still trying to make a splash, I can personally attest that Chris captured the essence and atmosphere of this wonderful city enterprise and institution to a tee. Congratulations for a job well done, Chris!

Dick Fairbanks

The writer is the former 1st vice chairman of the Baltimore City Republican Party.

Market Wise

With the impending demise of the Baltimore Examiner at the pinnacle of its editorial and reporting quality ("Final Examiner," Mobtown Beat, Jan. 29), perhaps now the right-wing supporters of social-Darwinian-grounded laissez-faire economics will come to understand that the "free market" is not some omnipotent panacea that perpetually, if sometimes painfully and in ripsaw fashion, drives the quality of human life upward, but that the free market is a blind, pitiless process which annihilates the unlucky good and the truly awful with equal amounts of utter indifference. In this respect, the free market is like natural selection, which a callous, merciless Mother Nature uses to scythe through the natural world.

As humanity's mastery over nature increases and we improve our collective ability to blunt, to defeat, and even to subjugate the pitiless dictates of the environment and our genetics through interventions like law and technology, the quality of human existence improves. The most recent economic downturn should conclusively demonstrate to all that appropriate economic policies should not meekly submit to the unaware, truly senseless vagaries of the free market, while praying to the deity of one's choice that we prosper. We should, instead, through proper regulation, stringent law and regulatory enforcement, and other interventions properly cage the destructive tendencies of the free market, while harvesting its benefits.

Matthew Hood

Done With Butler

I usually like reading the letters in City Paper (and in The Sun for that matter), because I like knowing what other fellow Baltimoreans think, and can often be made to rethink my own opinions on whatever matters are discussed in that forum. But sometimes, or in City Paper's case, too goddamn often, there are certain voices printed that are just so plainly inflammatory, so inane, and so witless as to make me question the motives for even taking the time to read let alone print their letters.

As an Irishcentric-postmodernistical-musicalcoholic-masculinist--or, in Larnell Custis Butler's world apparently, just a plain ol' nigger-hatin' cracka-assed devil white boy--I'm really starting to get sick and tired of this lady's letters, as I'm quite sure most people with a brain in this city are ("Dixon a Victim," The Mail, Jan. 28). Ms. Butler loves to go up on her high-horse and tell us what evil, racist, paranoid, and undermining people whites are, always ranting about some injustice or another she's dreamed up (fuck, even Al Sharpton relies on SOME basis for his arguments, no matter how shaky his ground may be) where white folks are again just trying to keep the black man down. Would City Paper dare print a letter or story with the opposite view, maybe containing "as an Aryan, I think that monkey Dixon should be lynched!"? The truth is, Ms. Butler, though there are truly racist people in this world, when a black person of standing gets locked up it is very, very, extremely rare, if at all, the result of some big, ugly, lily-white, racist conspiracy. No, the people who actually are like that LOVE people like you, who do more damage to equality of race than any Ku Klux Klan, cross-burning redneck could ever dream of doing. While you go ranting about how evil whites are (which is exactly what you are doing, which is racist--have you heard of irony?), you are a) confirming some peoples' fear that black folks, if given power, are going to take out the 400 years of inequality, brutality, degradation, etc., out on tha' white folks for no other reason than spite, and b) give those very people real cause to worry because they may think you actually speak for the majority, instead of just being one crack-brained racist woman with too much time on her hands who blames any ill in her life not on her own hateful ideology, but whatever white person is handy to be the scapegoat. You know who does that type of shit, Larnell? Nazis, KKK, skinheads, anti-Semites, bigots, and the catchall category, idiot fuckin' jackasses. If you haven't noticed, a black man is in the White House! I voted for him, as did every white person I know. Quit being so paranoid and realize that your life would be a whole lot more enjoyable if you'd stop with the racist babble, because what it really makes you is the "Afro-Centric" Rush Limbaugh. And both of you make my skin crawl with disgust.

CP, would you please stop giving forum to this type of drivel?

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