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From across the pond

I’d like to thank you for your article on the reactions to the Patriot Act ("In the name of patriotism," Metro Times, Dec. 5-11). It is heartening to know that not everyone in the United States has been "shredded by the shrapnel of rampant jingoism." Apart from the Morning Star, the occasional features in the liberal Guardian and a few journals, most of our media tend to observe the belligerent government line.

The Labor government is also trying to force through new draconian anti-terrorist laws through Parliament. The last time they changed the law in such a manner, was in response to the situation in Northern Ireland That resulted in many Irish people being imprisoned. They included the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six who were released many years later when it was discovered that the evidence against them had been rigged.

Ironically, they have been held up by the House of Lords [upper house]. But it's only temporary, they will be forced to pass it when the Commons [lower house] send it back. The few Labor politicians who have opposed the war and the attack on civil liberties, are being bullied by their colleagues and branded as cowards, even traitors, by the press.

I enjoyed your paper during my last visit to Detroit. —Jeff Sawtell, London, England

Saving ourselves

As in any wartime (I use the term loosely) drive for patriotism, extremists will lurk about. Some would say that there is no room for moderation during wartime and I disagree. A skilled politician should be able to defend and preserve our constitutional rights at the same time. It has been said that many people have been taken into custody because they spoke with or knew the Sept. 11 terrorists and have waived their Miranda rights although every effort is being made to provide them with attorneys. I do not know if that is true and I wonder who is investigating the investigators. In times like these, I am glad that organizations such as the ACLU exist. Special-interest groups are sometimes the only way to effectively mobilize Americans in fighting for the cause of justice. If Bush won't preserve our rights we have a duty to do it ourselves. —Melissa E. Tyler, mtyler2@lsu.edu, Baton Rouge, La.

Management mistakes

Thank you so much for printing that article "Union unfriendly," Metro Times, Dec. 12-18). It's about time this company was publicized for its terrible management. I bought a computer from Bignet prior to its takeover by Scaramuzzino. When I bought mine, if I had a question it would be answered immediately. If it was not answered immediately, the employees (tech support) would call me back with information. It sounds like Union Friendly is going down the drain. I hope that other employers will notice that UFSI employees are the tops. —Linda Culpepper, Laingsberg

Never again

I don't care what the context, using the "N" word is wrong "Niggers, old & new," Metro Times, Dec. 12-18). It's not right in any context — ever.

Not in speech. Not in music. Not between friends. Not as an insult. Not as a joke. Not in an article. Never. Yes, I understand we have freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but we have an obligation to correct mistakes of the past, not perpetuate them. We need to come together, unite as one people — Americans. Love one another. Peace. —Tim Steffes, tsteffes@hotmail.com, Westland

The wrong paper

Is Metro Times becoming like the National Enquirer ("Music, madness & Marquette Prison — Roy Brooks’ sad opus: From hard bop to hard time," Metro Times, Dec. 12-19)? "Jazz and jail" — I can't believe Metro Times published this. I worked with Roy Brooks on and off for about a year and a half and I find this title and jail bar imagery on the cover very disgraceful and disrespectful. By the way, the article isn't what the people will remember. —Julie Meitz, Detroit

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