| 11 Nov 2014 | 09:42

    Brett M. Slater, Manhattan

    Way to Be Canadian Bad luck. I am an unemployed Canadian, due to company restructuring. Recently I was offered a two-week job in Washington, DC. As I returned home via Greyhound on 10/9 and transferred buses for Toronto, in New York City, I accidentally left my wallet behind somewhere. Having walked some meters from the bus I realized I was missing my wallet and returned to the bus to search for it, unsuccessfully. Ironically, I was one of the last passengers leaving the bus. I lost all forms of personal documentation, 360 American dollars and the opportunity for my family to have Thanksgiving dinner. Plus I’m struggling for next month’s rent.

    I hope whoever found my wallet reads this letter and meditates about his good fortune.

    Felipe Torres, Toronto

    100% Rall Cheese I have been following this Ted Rall thing since the beginning, and I just can’t believe this guy. I feel like I’m watching a man go completely insane in a very public way. How many people have to tell him he’s wrong before he’ll imagine that it’s possible?

    I’m not a cartoonist, but I work in the comedy business, and it seems to me that anyone who wants to be funny needs a sense of humor when they’re going in. If your business is making people laugh, sometimes you have to take a pie in the face.

    I know some of the cartoonists involved in this affair, and they’re all such nice, gentle people that I guess they assumed Rall was one of their own. They treated him that way by teasing him in exactly the same manner in which they tease each other. It’s just too bad that his stupid case against Danny Hellman hasn’t been thrown out of court yet. What a waste of the justice system.

    Becky Thyre, Los Angeles

    Up Against the Rall Sam Henderson’s "Turd Rail" was fabulous, as was John Strausbaugh’s "Dirty Danny Update" ("Publishing," 10/27). How ironic that Rall, in his out-of-control frenzy, seems to have done more to damage his own professional stature than any prank Hellman could have perpetrated.

    Irwin Chusid, Jersey City

    Hasids Aren’t Zionist Regarding George Tabb’s Zionist Halloween costume for his dog ("MUGGER," 11/3): I’m outraged, really outraged. It is absolutely indefensible to impose one’s religion on one’s pet like that. I had the good fortune of meeting Scooter Tabb this last summer and, as a matter of fact, the subject of theology did come up. I can now attest to the fact that the doggie’s an Episcopalian. I mean for God’s sake, he’s a Yorkshire terrier!

    Rachel Courtney, Brooklyn

    The Sage of the "City Hall District" I would just like to point out how talented I feel George Tabb is. His latest essay involving his boyhood friends ("Oklahoma," 11/3) and the relationships they share with one another and with their fathers had me not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Indeed, I found myself doing both. Mr. Tabb, like other great American writers, has a fine grasp of humanity, as well as a refreshingly raw sense of humor. Write on, George.

    Tom Howard, Brooklyn

    She Gets It I look forward every week to reading NYPress, particularly the writers who appear in "Taki’s Top Drawer." Taki is always interesting, and I share his revulsion for the Clintons (Any news on the Albright painting swindle?), the intense George Szamuely (Innocent? Surely you jest) and the one I often save for last to savor, the very witty and elegant Jim Holt.

    This publication is a bizarre mishmash where a fine page such as "Top Drawer," intelligent political analysis (well, for the most part), serious criticism (Godfrey Cheshire comes to mind), arresting gothic (The Collyer Brothers) and the wonderful John O’Sullivan run alongside vulgarities I feel compelled to hide from our dog. (Sparky, no!)

    Josée Kestner, Manhattan

    Three Men in a Tub For quite a long time I’ve been meaning to write you in praise of the excellent film writing in NYPress. I recently finished a graduate degree in film studies and now work in the film industry. The result of my background is that my passion for film combines a desire for serious analysis with an attention to real-world concerns. White’s, Cheshire’s and Zoller Seitz’s reviews come closest to embodying my ideal of true criticism. They take film seriously, maintain voices and recognize film as at once art, commerce, politics and many other things. I admire these writers’ convictions as well as their critical flexibility. Unlike the case with many other critics, one can’t predict their thoughts before one reads their columns.

    Thank you for fostering this kind of writing and for respecting your readers.

    Marie Guirgis, Manhattan

    Chris, Cross May I please be allowed to respond to the letter from Richard Kramer ("The Mail," 10/13)? Your heading "In Deutsche" should have read "In Deutsch," with no "e" ending. Or to be more correct, "Auf Deutsche." In many forms in German grammar, instead of the plural form’s ending in e/er/en, the plural prefaces the noun when the noun has no plural ending. Thus, der hakenkreuz (swastika) becomes die hakenkreuz (swastikas). Meaning, of course, hooked (hakem) and cross (kreuz)–hooked cross.

    Trusting this clarifies things.

    Christopher Close, United Kingdom

    Not Jesse’s Camp MUGGER: In your 10/27 column you wrote of the nomination of Carol Moseley-Braun: "Clinton could’ve nominated one of 100 other qualified public servants, black, white, yellow or purple, and he or she would be rubber-stamped."

    Then you mention William Weld and how Helms refused to even bring the nomination to a vote. Obviously, what you mean is that Clinton should nominate persons who are on Jesse Helms’ approved list.

    Naturally he’d "rubber stamp" appointments that are to his liking. However, Jesse Helms is not president and has no business interjecting his personal bias into the confirmation process. You "forgot" to mention that Helms’ beef with Moseley-Braun centers on her resistance to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a racist organization, receiving official imprimatur to use the Stars and Bars on their logo. Braun’s refusal to cave to these racists infuriated Helms, who is expected to block her nomination out of personal pique.

    Actually, this nomination is a masterstroke. Helms could have dodged the bullet and proclaimed avuncularly something like "The ex-Senator and I have had our differences, but I endorse her for ambassador," were it not for the questionable baggage that Moseley-Braun brings with her.

    She is ethically challenged, no question about that. What that means is that Helms is forced to reject her, something that can and will be blamed on the Stars and Bars incident. It will be a lot of fun watching this one play out. Let’s see if Jesse manages to ward off this attack.

    It won’t be easy, that’s for sure. But that’s just fine with me. I hope that this nomination will lead to the destruction of Jesse Helms as a political power. If Clinton plays his cards right, there is a good chance of exposing this troglodyte and bringing him down. I’m looking forward to Helms pounding the gavel and screaming for "decorum," as he’s so fond of doing, while being chased around and relentlessly branded a racist.

    H. Fisher, Los Angeles

    Your Mother? MUGGER: What I want to know is, who’s putting the oats in your nosebag, you jackass? Reporters are liars and idiots. Just because someone doesn’t buy into the spin politics that sell your papers doesn’t mean he’s not genuine. I have an idea–why don’t we decide to elect someone who can execute policy based on principle; that way we can self-actualize our ideals, make policy we can actually believe in and quit all this blamestorming. But wait–then you might actually have to work for a living! (You know, I think I just answered my own question from the top.)

    Thanks for perpetuating a cancerous system by weakly asserting that McCain, someone who is at least trying to be sincere, is a bad person.

    Your ability to complain is unsurpassed. Congratulations!

    John Kane, Swedeland, PA

    Soup Bones God, what will Al Gore come up with next to amuse us? ("MUGGER", 11/3). It seems pretty silly to appeal to a birdbrain like Naomi Wolf for anything, but I suppose if that’s what Gore wants to do, if he wants to go after the feminist birdbrain vote, then it makes sense. I don’t even have a problem with their keeping it a secret–at least they are sane enough to know that she’s an embarrassment. (Wolf says the secrecy was her idea, but that is surely not the case, since it implies that she is aware of how goofy she is.)

    No, the part that’s really screwy is the $15,000 a month they originally agreed to pay her. That is a staggering amount–there are doctors and lawyers, highly educated people who do real work who don’t make anywhere near that kind of money. What on Earth do they expect to get from her that would justify that price tag? I just can’t imagine. That’s really the kind of judgment that we need in the Oval Office. On This Week last Sunday Wolf was repeatedly asked to justify her high salary working with Gore. She offered the usual gibberish about being in touch with women, which her hosts were clearly not buying, and finally huffed, "As a professional woman I make more apologies for earning a professional salary. And I don’t believe that any woman in America should apologize for that." In other words, she has no answer.

    Personally I’m all for it, though. Let Gore piss away his resources on fruity consultants; it will diminish his already small chances even further, while scaring off voters with an eloquent demonstration of his unfitness for office. And I’d love to see the reaction from all those suckers who put up the money for his campaign when they see what Gore is doing with it.

    Joe Rodrigue, New Haven

    Granite Hate MUGGER: Just read your 11/3 McCain indictment. You really need to take a break for a while. You come off as the embittered, supercynical honcho of the castrati chorus.

    Have a good one.

    Ted Leach, Hancock, NH