A pox on both their houses: Kevin Hoffman neglected to complete the Bill Maher quote ["Laughing Through the Apocalypse," March 5], so I will do it for him: "We have been the cowards, lobbing Cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly." I've noticed this omission in the comments of others who cite the Maher incident as a cautionary tale for the champions of free speech.
In her defense of Maher, Arianna Huffington did not commit this sin of omission, but her comments are obnoxious for another reason: "In fact, in the past, I've made much the same criticism of a foreign policy that obliges our military to fight at great remove from the theater of battle."
The problem Maher and Huffington should be most concerned with is their hypocrisy, not the enemies of free speech. Neither Huffington nor Maher (nor Kevin Hoffman? Nor you?) have performed any kind of national service, let alone military service, yet they presume to lecture those who have on the meaning of courage.
The left-wing hypocrisy of Maher and his kind is as virulent as that of the right wing.
Crime Can Too Pay
Mookie's got a groupie: "The Hustle" [June 18] was absolutely fabulous. Mookie sounds like the man. I can never knock a man with priorities and a goal. Call him a true businessman. I love things like what he hustles.
Jimi Izrael's story had me eager to get to the end, hoping there would be at least a pager or cell number for him, but nooooo. What's up with that? Hook a sistah up. Hopefully, you won't be bombarded with lots of requests for his digits. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Or maybe a fan club: The real hustle in "The Hustle" [June 18] rested with Jimi Izrael's ability to nail that story. A fashion article was never too much fun to read, and I've written a few myself. So tell me, where can I find Mookie?
So much for good intentions: How could Scene be so corrupt as to put that O-Town reject, Connor O'Brien, in the singer-songwriter category of the Scene Music Awards? Check his website. He doesn't write his own songs. Only maybe three of his songs are even co-written by him. Even his being nominated makes Scene look like an ignorant publication and is an insult to true singer-songwriters like Mike Farley.
I guess to get Scene to notice you as a artist, you just need to buy yourself some songs and a band. I wonder how much he paid Scene for the cover story ["Out of Sync," November 20, 2002]?
Editor's note: While it's true that Connor O'Brien works with outside songwriters -- as is often the case with pop-oriented performers -- he also pens his own material and is doing so more and more with each album. As for bribing us to write a cover story, the guy still hasn't come through with that suitcase full of 20s, though we've billed him repeatedly.
Dump the Capo
Throw Arshinkoff to the Nazis: Thank you for the extremely informative article about Alex Arshinkoff, capo di tutti capi of the Summit Country Republican Party ["The Godfather in the Closet," June 11]. In my 35 years in the labor force, I've worked with gays, lesbians, and even one person who was in the middle of gender reassignment. So, I've no problem with Alex Arshinkoff being queerer than a three-dollar bill. I'm a Democrat. We're the liberal party.
However, what he does to his fellow Republicans is of grave concern to us all. I urge the FBI and the IRS to take a long, hard look at Arshinkoff's financial dealings, as well as those of his unofficial appointees. After all, a contribution is only a contribution if it's given of one's own free will. If it's conditional to keeping one's job, it is a kickback. And as we all know, former Congressman James Trafficant is in prison for receiving kickbacks on a much smaller scale.
Telling a judge who to hire and fire is tantamount to tampering with a judge. This, too, is against the law. You cannot expect justice from a judge who serves in fear of his party chairman. There's a word for "pay-to-play politics," and it's corruption. People should stop giving money to the parties and instead give it directly to the candidates of their choice. We Democrats got rid of Vern Riff. I challenge the Republicans to get rid of Alex Arshinkoff for the good of the system. I'm sure the American Nazi party will welcome him with open arms.
Got milk?: After reading your fine exposé on Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, I was reminded of the following quote from John F. Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." It seems that Arshinkoff has milked the citizenry for all he could. The Republican Party would be well rid of him.
Su Casa Es Mi Casa
Lakewood vs. the Constitution: Thanks for a great article ["Stealing Home," June 25]. We are in quite a constitutional battle here, in the west end of Lakewood. I never thought I would be in this situation, with our great city trying to take my property to give to another private individual. But, as you pointed out, this is far more common than it should be.
L D Farris & Associates, Inc.