Hillary's dirty tricks
Jack Lessenberry's comparison of Hillary Rodham Clinton to Richard Milhous Nixon ("Hillary Rodham Nixon," Metro Times, March 12) totally made my day. If only Helen Gahagan Douglas was still alive to chortle! She dubbed Nixon "Tricky Dick" in 1952. Back then, the whispering was about if a candidate was a Commie or not. It was just as damaging to whisper rumors as it was to make the allegations explicit, like frying a witness in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). That was way before Barack Obama was born, but Senator Clinton picked up on Nixon's vibes and now whispers "Muslim" the way the people used to smash political careers by whispering "Commie." Trash tactics are alive and well today, Tricky Dick! Too bad you and Congresswoman Douglas can't be around to see Hillary. Oh, well. Thanks, Jack! —Anton Scott Goustin, Harper Woods
The name game
According to Jack Lessenberry ("The real GOP," Metro Times, Feb. 20) "Right-to-Work" and "Paycheck Protection" mean union-busting. For this, he blames the Republicans. Let's look at what each of these really means.
"Right-to-Work" means when a laborer hires into a company, they have a choice — join a union or not. Today, they have no choice. If a laborer gets hired in a union-represented company, they must join.
"Paycheck Protection" means a union must seek permission from a laborer to use dues from that laborer for political lobbying. Today, that permission is not required.
So according to Lessenberry's logic, if a laborer is given a choice, he will not support unions. And somehow this is the Michigan Republican Party's fault? If the unions need the force of law to coerce dues and membership, they are at fault, not the Republicans. —Steve Sutton, Farmington Hills
In response to Katha Pollitt's "Ralph rides again" (Metro Times, March 5), I beg to disagree with her. If she had a bit more maturity and had the ability to listen to Nader's interview, she would understand that he is not beholden to any political action committee. He is, and always has been, a completely honest and intelligent man. he is the only candidate sorely needed in this arena of AIPAC and the like, who have the rest of the candidates in their pockets.
Ralph Nader could not be bought many years ago when he took on General Motors, and he remains that way today: The only candidate with true, old-fashioned, honest principles. But then maybe Pollitt is too immature to understand this logic. —Diana A. Hage, Westland
Motor City's burning
These lyrics to "House Burning Down" by Jimi Hendrix ring true for me these days:
Sisters and brothers, daddies, mothers, standin' 'round cryin',
When I reached the scene the flames were makin' a ghostly whine.
So I stood on my horse's back and I screamed without a crack:
I say, "Oh, baby, why'd you burn your brother's house down?"
This was Hendrix's civil rights song. He was influenced by Martin Luther King a lot. He didn't understand why the black community would burn down their own neighborhoods and riot. You can't change anything through violence. Only through education and learning will anything change.
As the song goes: "He shouts retired and disgusted so we paint red through the sky, I said the truth is straight ahead, so don't burn yourself, instead, try to learn instead of burn."
Mayor Kilpatrick: By continuing to refuse to step down, you are in fact helping to burn your own house down. Only the house is not solely yours. The house, in this case, is the entire city of Detroit. And you have no right to do it. You have hurt this city enough.
If you truly love Detroit the way you say you do, then walk away and let it start to heal. By refusing, you're not only pouring salt into the wound but acid. Burning the hole bigger and bigger.
You are in fact burning the house down — and it's not yours to burn. —Linda Valerio, Detroit
I'm a Canadian resident who lives right across the river from Detroit. I think the mayor should be a man and step down from office whether he committed the acts he is accused of or not. He has been a disgrace to the city of Detroit and is now becoming a spectacle to the whole United States as well as the rest of the world. They're even talking about him on the BBC and CNN. —Ted Weidinger, Kingsville, Ontario
Movie review unfair
I am writing to you today in response to the review of the movie Funny Games ("Faces of death," Metro Times, March 19) by Corey Hall. In this review, he graded the movie a scathingly undeserved "F." I am an avid reader of your publication, and one of the things I look forward to every week is the cinema section. Your movie reviews are much more informed and intelligently written than your competition. Now, one should never see a movie solely based on the review, but I nonetheless highly enjoy them. However, in the past weeks, I have tended to disagree with some when normally I would concur. With this latest review of Funny Games, I could silence myself no longer.
First of all, I would like to know what Mr. Hall's qualifications are to be a film critic? Has he had any proper education concerning film or filmmaking?
Second, this film he trashed is brilliant! I viewed this film on opening weekend based on the trailer without even knowing it was a remake. I was blown away, and please allow me to insist that I am by no means a sadist or lover of "torture-porn" (which this film is not). Not only was I terrified, but amazed at how a movie could relentlessly break and push the bounds of cinema.
The subject matter is horrifying and extremely difficult to swallow, but it is how it is presented which makes this film unforgettable. For a film to extract this kind of a reaction out of a viewer, any viewer, positive or negative, deserves extra attention and some sort of gratitude. The beauty of film is that it is the only medium that can receive these results on such a large scale. To be able to influence and inspire on that level is sublime. To trash Funny Games with an "F" and call it "torture-porn" is unnecessary and irresponsible. —Seth Culp, Clarkston
Disappointed in Hall
The review by Corey Hall of the locally produced movie A Detroit Thing (Cinema, Metro Times, Feb. 13) was a real disappointment. The reviewer seemed to imply that the movie should have been about his favorite groups instead of the artists in the movie. Instead of Corey citing his preferred artists, I would have liked to hear more about the photography, the direction, the stuff that reviewers should be critiquing. I saw the movie a second time and found myself wanting more. Not only was it entertaining, it did something few movies do: to put the viewer in the real past life experiences of the filmmaker. That is more valuable than all the CGI-enhanced, big budget films out today. I appreciated the movie for what it is: a real life experience told in an artful way with some entertaining music as a bonus. Corey Hall missed the boat on this one. —Steve Brook, Royal Oak
Erratum: Last week's News Hits item about Attorney General Mike Cox's failure to question Carlita Kilpatrick during his investigation into the rumored Manoogian Mansion party ("Cox in a box," Metro Times, March 19), contained an error. We incorrectly identified the WXYZ reporter who interviewed Cox about the lapse. It was Peggy Agar.
Send letters (250 words or less, please) to 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226; faxes to 313-961-6598; e-mail to email@example.com. Please include your telephone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.