Columbia's final flight: Of everything I've seen, read or heard, nothing brought me to tears like this story ("Last Rites," by Jim Schutze, February 6). You brought it down to such a human level...one that touched my heart in a way that CNN, local news, the paper, the pictures, Dan Rather could not. Excellent writing.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Grief along the debris trail: Mr. Schutze's column "Last Rites" was bittersweet. The last paragraph moved me to tears.
Waking up the Snooze
Love them 'burbs: I read your article on Bob Mong ("Snooze Alarm," by Eric Celeste, February 13) because he and I started at the same paper--the Palladium-Item, by the way, is a daily, and larger than the Delphos Herald--and I used to work there with his sister, although I have never met him.
Alt-weeklies always have their view of the dailies, and that's fine. But as one of the 12 progenitors of The Philadelphia Inquirer's suburban plan, I was really offended by your characterization of the Dallas suburbs. I've never been there, but I suspect they're a lot like Chester County, Pennsylvania, or Gloucester County, New Jersey.
To argue that metropolitan dailies should concentrate on their core cities is a reasonable position--self-defeating from a business sense by today's rules, but reasonable; one can appeal to different advertisers, etc. But to say we should not cover the suburbs because only brain-dead people live there is just ignorant.
Are there no minorities in the suburbs? Is there no political corruption? Is not sprawl an issue of social class, of haves vs. have-nots? Can you cover this from downtown Dallas? Is the Plano News going to cover it? To simply say that these people do not go to clubs and galleries, and do not appreciate Almodovar or good architecture, and eat at Applebee's, and thus are not worth covering, is in the end the same approach every paper once took toward African-Americans--not like us, so forget them. The fact that they have clout, and African-Americans did not, is not the point. They are citizens of the area, and their issues--those they have, and those that their presence raises--bear equal attention.
Assistant Managing Editor
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Icing on a rotten cake: I find it incomprehensible that you would do anything with that bunch of anti-Semitic morons ("Get on the Bus," by Mark Donald, February 6). These people would have no problem killing you and the rest of us that share our belief system, and many of their fellow travelers would just look the other way, as long as we weren't going to war with Iraq. Do you have no self-respect? One of the reasons most people in this country are not anti-war is the intellectually empty arguments the anti-war crowd have come up with, but the nasty anti-Semitism is just icing on the cake. I'm afraid to let my daughter wear a Star of David necklace in public because of the people you marched with. Thanks for helping make the world a better place (at least for non-Jews).
Constant whining: Oh goody, another allegedly reasonable person who feels the need to lecture the world (or at least the Dallas Observer readership) on the perils of Christian fanaticism. I am referring to Neil Hoey's letter to the editor on February 6, in which Jerry Falwell is equated with Osama bin laden, and Christian fundamentalism with Islamic fundamentalism. Strange, but stranger still is that these sweeping conclusions are based on your Rusty Yates article ("Tracks of His Tears," by Carlton Stowers, January 23). The line of reasoning seems to be this: One alleged Christian has his head up his ass, therefore we are justified in our hatred of Jesus Christ.
No factual comparisons of Falwell and bin laden, nor of their respective religions--just "bad husband/bring on the lions." And screw homeschoolers and the Bible while you're at it.
As for Falwell, do his enemies think that every Christian household is equipped with a secret transmitter that receives ongoing directives from Falwell HQ, which are carried out by zombie Christians à la Village of the Damned? Please--Christians are a diverse group (can we say de-nom-i-na-tion?). Even the 12 apostles were free to disagree politically, but they were unified in their love of the Savior.
Therefore, while it may be fashionable to rail against fundamentalism, it is truth and love that are the biblical fundamentals. That humans fall short is to be expected, but instead of the constant whining against imperfect Christians, suppose for once you show us how it's done? The Bible speaks against "zeal without knowledge." Mr. Hoey has expressed an emotional opinion not based on the whole truth.
That, my friends, is the very description of fanaticism.
Down on the Farm
Just what we need: Why can't they just leave the farm alone ("Farm Teams," by Charles Siderius, February 6)? Why is it, if there is an undeveloped piece of land, they just have to cut down all the trees and put a bunch of concrete there? With all the schools and parks in Dallas and Mesquite, the last thing they need is more soccer fields. Mr. Samuell meant for the farm to stay a farm. I am sure he didn't want it torn up and made into a concrete lot. What greedy, insensitive people they have running things at the city of Dallas. It's so sad.