Justin A.P. Jones
Via e-mail

One Thing for Sure

Lucky guy: After reading your "sure thing" column this week ("Out of Luck," by John Gonzalez, October 9), I feel compelled to ask you one question: If you are so bad at predicting anything sports-related and are a poor wordsmith, how can you possibly consider yourself unlucky when the Observer pays you each week to write a sports column? THAT strikes me as extremely lucky.

As far as the ESPN/TV thing goes, I can't condone any growling, but I highly doubt that everyone (or even most) at the so-called auditions were better-looking than you. And I know.

Geri Ruppert
Via e-mail

Iraq and Back

Gutsy young man: Let me first say how utterly stunned I was when I opened your paper and read Carlton Stowers' piece on Marine Corporal Lee Strange ("Back From Babylon," October 9). All I could think of were the other 21-year-olds--you know, those mindless morons on autopilot, protesting the war from the safety of college campuses all over the country. Vietnam was a nightmare, but this Iraq is no Vietnam. Yet this gutsy young man was there as a volunteer, and the liberal media in this nation continue to soil his honorable service by fraudulently misreporting his campaign. It would have been nice to see this article's title on the cover of your paper, rather than page 15 where its impact was diminished, but I'm grateful for any attention, however small. Isn't it interesting how liberals are the first to invoke the freedom to dissent yet are the last to acknowledge and celebrate the instrument which protects that freedom--namely, the courageous young Americans like Corporal Strange.

Early Van Cleve
Double Oak

Iowa, Racial Nirvana

Taking a step back: In the Full Frontal section of your October 9 issue, Zac Crain and John Gonzalez refer to the Midwest as the "Klan-robe white Midwest" in their spoof on Reggie Swinton ("Swizzle Shtick"). I am from the Midwest, have lived there for 35 of my 41 years before moving to Dallas, and I have never seen a more clear case of the pot calling the kettle black in my life. When I lived in Iowa, integration was much more evident than here in Dallas. When I moved to Dallas, I honestly felt like I was going back in time with regard to race relations. In Iowa, we don't have black communities in an uproar over fired black police chiefs. In Iowa, we don't have black leaders calling for a recall of the local mayor on the grounds (true or not) of racism. In Iowa, we don't have dozens of Hispanics falsely charged with drug possession with nothing more than drywall as evidence. In Iowa, we don't have black activists picketing the mayor's house (justified or not). In Iowa, we don't have rural high schools publicly reprimanded for using the Nazi flag in their halftime shows. In Iowa, we don't have black activists holding up "wetback" signs at city council meetings.

Kevin Christensen

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