Steamed Greens

I appreciate being contacted by the Metro Times and News Hits, and have no particular argument with the article's mention of the Green Party of Michigan, other than the blatantly erroneous assumption that continues to color Bill Ballenger's perception of Greens and their voters ("News hits," Metro Times, Nov. 20-26). I will say that the quotes attributed to me missed the most salient aspect of our position, which I attempted to convey to the paper: If Democrats were following our agenda, we would be assisting and voting for Democrats. They're not, so we're not. It's that simple. Perhaps a shift back to the left is in order? I'll leave that to the local Dems. —Marc Reichardt, Chair, Green Party of Michigan,, Ann Arbor

Review your history

The Dems are crying again how the Greens "handed" a Republican an election. I can't wait for the day when the Democrats realize that they are so much like the Republicans that many progressives like myself can't stomach the thought of voting for them and have run to the Green Party, where people are pushing for real change. Back in the late ’60s, Bobby Kennedy was saying exactly the same things that the Green Party is saying now — and he was a Democrat. So what in the hell happened to that party in 35-odd years? Maybe when the Dems are pointing their money-grubbing, corporate-loving finger at the Green Party, they should remember that four fingers are pointing back at themselves. —Patricia L. Smith, J.D.,, Ann Arbor

Two thumbs down

What a glowing review Stewart Francke gave for a … documentary, for chrissakes (Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Metro Times, Nov. 20-26). SITSOM should have debuted on the Arts & Entertainment Channel, not big silver screens. The documentary exemplifies revisionist history. Earl Van Dyke stated he made $80,000 a year at the height of Motown’s success — good money for the mid-’60s. And what's with the choice of artists? Authentic Motown artists were there for the taking. Instead they get fading artists like Gerald Levert, Joan Osborne and Bootsy Collins. The Contours, Jimmy Ruffin, Edwin Starr, the Velvelettes, Martha & the Vandellas and many other former Motown acts would have loved the opportunity. And what about the Andantes, the background singers who reportedly sang on nearly as many recordings as the Funk Brothers played on, or the arrangers and the producers? The Funk Brothers, who this movie is supposed to benefit, will wind up disgusted and busted. Enjoy the adulation, fellows, but don’t try to pay MasterCard with it. SITSOM producer’s are already moaning that expenses have to be recouped before the Funk Brothers see one dime. —Mike Hill, Chicago, Illinois

Don’t look, just listen

Eve Doster being superficial and cheeky is one thing; her being misinformed and caustic is another (";MC at CMJ in NYC," Metro Times, Nov. 13-19). Calling Deb Agoli of Outrageous Cherry an "accoutrement" is demeaning and absurd. Doster also mentions "the odd juxtapostion of older men and young women" in the band. Before making such a superficial assumption, a journalist should at least get the facts: Deb and Matt are very close in age; in rock-and-roll years, their ages are practically the same. Not that age really makes a bit of difference, except to someone juvenile enough to believe that this so-called "odd juxtapostion ... could have an avant-garde appeal" in the first place. And if Doster finds Outrageous Cherry "simply a bore," I think it is a case of, as an old teacher used to say, the book reading the student. —Mike Garrison,, Detroit

Doing it Frank’s way

For Brian Smith to say Bryan Ferry is a better singer then Sinatra shows that he is truly in over his head as a music critic ("Suckerpunch," Metro Times, Nov. 13-20, 2002). Ferry is great, but compared to Sinatra he isn't close. Sinatra invented the style that Ferry mimics. —Billy Fraser, Plymouth

Check the math

I don't have an issue with Jack Lessenberry's thesis in "Why taxes are a good thing" (Metro Times, Nov. 20-26). But his assertion that they pay more taxes in Japan couldn't be further from the truth. When I was working there, my entire Japanese tax burden (national, local and social welfare) did not even total 20 percent, less than two-thirds my current tax burden in the United States. —Mike Chachich,, White Lake Township Send comments to

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