Letters to the Editor 

Kicking it, not kissing it

Re: “We pause for a note about the author” (Metro Times, Nov. 24), yee-haw! Buckets of bile, profligate spleen-venting, unrestrained media-skewering and formidable Dee-troit street cred to boot! Now that’s what I like to see.

This will put to rest those nasty rumors about you being nothing more than an ex-food snob from an overpriced, oversized glossy based in the suburbs with the word “Detroit” in its title.

Unleash the hounds! —P. Casey Coston, Cincinnati, Ohio, ccoston@ssd.com


More muckraking, less muck

I write to applaud Jack Lessenberry’s review of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s recent speech in East Lansing (“Crimes against nature,” Metro Times, Nov. 24).

I, too, was able to listen to Mr. Kennedy, and to speak briefly with him afterward, and I hope that we in Michigan can continue to talk frankly about our brownfields and power plant pollution. Not only that, but also the policies that allow them to continue and, more importantly, the money being spent not to clean it up and move forward, but to continue with these conditions so those responsible can continue to get away without paying for it.

A recent article in The Detroit News noted that in Michigan the media cover environmental stories with somewhat greater regularity than other states, for which they deserve a pat on the back. However, I will reserve more heartfelt congratulations and thanks for the day when the media spend more time exposing the companies and individuals responsible for relaxing environmental regulations and polluting our communities in the first place.

A clean, healthy environment is not a drain on the economy. Forward-looking environmental protection and innovation in developing technologies such as fuel cells and construction of ‘greener’ buildings can bust through the myth that we must choose jobs or a clean environment. Sure, cities like Detroit, Lansing and Flint present big challenges in this regard, but without media keeping corporations honest and accountable, we Michiganders face an uphill battle to get there. —Ross Hammersley, Lansing


Keep the war in Iraq

Re: Jack Lessenberry’s editorial “We must get out of Iraq — now” (Metro Times, Nov. 17), you may be right about some of what you wrote, but in chatting with more than one serviceman, I have learned that the Iraqi people as a whole want us over there to help them have peace in their country and help with rebuilding it after the terrorists have torn them down. If we pull out that is telling the terrorists that we are afraid of them and to come and get us. Is that what we want? To be destroyed? Sure, we can sit back and say that we have done all that we can do, but won’t that tell the rest of the world that we are so weak as a country that they can overtake us? That is also telling them that we approve of them hitting the twin towers and killing so many of our people. I’m sorry that you feel the way you do, but I hope that we stand up for what is right and protect our country from the terrorists. —Karen Beecher, Yates Center, Kan.


Post-election suspicions alive

Re: “Moonshine moment” (Metro Times, Nov. 24), I find professor John Allen Paulos’ explanation of the electoral improbabilities rather thin.

There are four manufacturers of e-voting machines and the many optical scanners that are used nationwide. All four are ardent Bush supporters and have resisted creating paper printouts mightily, even when it would increase sales and the acceptability of their product. The source code has been found lacking and system security unacceptable. No one else needs to be involved but a handful of people from these companies. As far as no leaks being “impossible,” all you have to do is look at the White House for a model for no leaks. I don’t know how they do it, but they do. The Plame investigation, the energy task force, the lies before the invasion of Iraq, etc. What are the mathematical odds of that?

After the last election, fraud shouldn’t be difficult to believe at all. It should be top of the list. That’s how these folks got in power and that they might try it again is closer to “common sense” than ignoring a mountain of disturbing evidence. —Carol Davidek-Waller, Kirkland, Wash., cadawa@hotmail.com


Election leaves voter blue

I’m still an angry voter who thinks GWB is one of the last people on the planet I’d want running my country. His record in the last four years and his prospective actions in the next four years make me seriously fear for my country’s future. I love my country, and don’t like its people, laws, and institutions to be manipulated at the whim of madmen.

It is unfortunate, but I think the Republicans have gained control of the country and will continue to do everything they can to retain power, including fraud, lying, cheating and worse. And I also believe Republicans will be successful if we continue as is.

At first I thought I would move to another country, but why should I have to move? The blue states are by far the richest states and best to live in. Instead, I’ve become a big proponent for splitting the country up into two countries or even joining Canada. Let the red states have GWB. —Ryan Price, Ferndale, ryantprice@hotmail.com


Double standard in coverage

It’s interesting to listen to American news reports about the Ukrainian election furor. It reminds me very much of a recent election in a country we all know and love: Nov. 2nd in the United States. Here, too, there were widely divergent differences between exit polls in key “battleground” states and the final vote tallies, particularly in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Yet, strangely, our mainstream media have not given voice to the possibility of corruption on the part of those currently in power here.

Why the double standard? Why would Ukrainian exit polls be deemed reliable evidence of fraud while American exit polls would simply be inexplicably wrong nationwide and in six battleground states where Kerry was shown to be leading but Bush ultimately won? Where is our press in our own hour of electoral crisis?

What are the odds that exit polls in those three key states could be so far off from the final vote tally? University of Pennsylvania Professor Steven F. Freeman, whose expertise includes “research methods,” compiled an analysis entitled “The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy.” His findings: The odds of all three states legitimately arriving at the vote counts they did “are 250 million to one.”

Will you allow our democracy to be stolen with nothing but a whimper? History awaits an answer. —John Jordan-Cascade, Eugene, Ore.


Memories taste good

I was transported back to the kitchens of my childhood when I read “Just like Mom used to make” (Metro Times, Dec. 1). The recipe for creamed chipped beef on toast was exactly as I remember my mother making for Saturday morning breakfast once or twice a month.

I am the oldest of nine children. My mother managed to feed us simply prepared, home-cooked meals three times a day until the last of my siblings left home, using the same nutritional food pyramid as your mother. She continued to prepare home-cooked meals for my dad until her sudden death nine years ago. My dad died less than a year later.

Thanks to the teaching and patience of my mother and grandmother, I learned to cook and bake at an early age. I was born and raised in rural West Virginia, where very little food other than staples came from a grocery store. So, I learned to cook “from scratch.”

Over the years, I have prepared many meals and baked goods that were not in their kitchen repertoire. However, my favorite moments in cooking and baking come from using their recipes (some handed down over several generations) and following their techniques. Moreover, I still make salmon patties and creamed chipped beef on toast.

Thanks for the memories. —Marty Eddy, Warren, eddypowmia@aol.com


Watt’s on first

Re: “Green Day vs. Meat Loaf: Who’s the real punk Pavarotti?” (Metro Times, Nov. 3), while I understand the stretch for Meat Loaf as an “article starter,” in 1997 Mike Watt released the punk rock opera, “Comtemplating the Engine Room.” Though not as widely popular, this album would trounce Green Day’s assertions of “first,” in my opinion. —Keith DePoorter, Warren


Errata: In last week’s Holiday Gift Guide (Metro Times, Dec. 1), the editorial photographer and illustrator were not credited. The photos were by Antal Zambo. The “bad gift” illustrations were by Matt Gross. Also, in our Nov. 24 restaurant review, we gave an incorrect phone number for Crave in Dearborn. The correct number is 313-277-7283.

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