Making the best of busted things: Your reporter claimed that, on Election Day, I was working "to prevent shenanigans by Republican challengers" ["Better Dead Than Red," November 10]. My intent was actually to help people vote despite a broken and abused system, not merely to protect them from those willing to game that system. Remember the Democratic chestnut "Vote early and often"? Abuse is wrong from either side.
The correct quote from Richard Feynman is "Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." I observed serious breakdowns in a fragile, under-resourced polling system, but nothing I'd call malice. The biggest risk to democracy remains the loss of honest debate to theater disguised as journalism and a public intentionally misinformed by ends-justify-the-means political hacks from both sides of the aisle.
The one who can count the highest wins: I just finished "Better Dead Than Red." It was well written, captivating, and indicative of the problems the Bush-Cheney machine had in structuring a technical win in Ohio. The people's passion was evident.
Los Lunas, New Mexico
Dems, Reps, Ralph, and Dainty Boy: In regard to the blurb "Nader=nada" in First Punch on November 3, I must say that your reporter behaved in a completely unethical manner.
I was there and watched your dainty reporter talk to Nader like a hero, feigning camaraderie and acting as if he were on Nader's side, when the subsequent article shows that he was really just blowing smoke up his ass.
The irony is that Nader was in Cleveland to condemn such a mentality, the desire to discredit him simply because he posed a threat to John Kerry -- not because Nader was a bad candidate. He was pointing out that the Democrats were officially behaving much as the Republicans were, at a time when we obviously need a major shift in politics.
Since he had gathered more than 15,000 signatures of folks who wanted his name to appear on the ballot, he wanted to tell them why their request was denied. There was hardly any coverage of this. Of course, the best outlet present (Scene) unfortunately spat out the blind rhetoric of a "GOP stooge."
Overall, you guys continue to put out the goods, despite the shady way one of your reporters may behave. He obviously needs to get over his little-man complex. There are honest ways to talk to people you despise, yet still manage to get the scoop.
The Naked Truth
Support the arts in these parts: Hee hee . . . artists drawing nude (snicker) models ["Art for Skin's Sake," November 10]! Okay, and how old are we?
Last August, the Cleveland Institute of Art suddenly canceled all its continuing-education courses, to the dismay of artistically inclined Clevelanders. It is great news that Mr. Kozmon is offering drawing classes. Individuals seeking art instruction can also check out Art House, the brand new Center Art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Several artists now offer classes in their studios. I am one such artist.
That's the real truth about drawing in Cleveland. Sorry to bore you, Cris Glaser.
PC Über Alles
Freedom of mockery vs. mock freedom: I am extremely disappointed about the treatment of letters in response to the article "Krautballs" [October 20]. Scene is perfectly comfortable mocking letters with sarcastic headings.
Your staff should push the bounds of creative journalism, and sometimes you do it quite successfully. But trying to be witty while marginalizing honest concerns leaves you wanting. Worse, this makes mainstream newspapers look like the bastions of good journalism.
But please don't let this reader change your editorial policies. Feel free to mock this letter in an upcoming edition.
Falls Church, Virginia
It was a joke, for crying out loud: I just happened upon your publication and came across the "Krautballs!" article. "And can Germany technically be called a culture?" you wrote. "Or is it really just a large group of serial killers in temporary hibernation?"
Well, is America just a large group of redneck xenophobes? You're right, it isn't. But apparently it is a place where some fucking idiot can have slanderous anti-German insults published under the veneer of news.
Kamloops, British Columbia
Back to the B.S.A.
Fie on those who bare naughty secrets: I am disgusted by your article on the Boy Scouts. I understand that your article may raise some valid issues regarding sexual abuse, but you went way out of line discussing the secrets and rituals we were sworn to keep. You have no respect for tradition.