John Branston's cover story ("Homegrown Terrorist," April 20th issue) makes it clear that we have as much to fear from people who look like "us" as we do from those dark-skinned "evil-doers" from the Middle East we're always hearing about. The lesson: Vigilance should be color-blind and unrelenting.
Dance, Dance, Dance
It was fantastic to see the Flyer take an interest in the collaboration between New Ballet Ensemble and True Head Camp ("Breaking Barriers," April 20th issue). NBE is energized by the talent and spirit in the True Head Camp, as we utilize our space and resources to impact lives and the art of dance in the Memphis community.
NBE studios are available to these self-taught Memphis dancers to use whether or not they choose to perform with us. Their participation in the Battle Scene in Nut Re-Mix inspired us both to continue the collaboration. In Next: Springloaded at the Buckman Theater in June, we will present a take on Stravinsky's Petrouchka.
We want to inspire young people to bring exciting change to the culture of our community. These young people need a venue in which to practice their remarkable form of expression, further their training, and receive recognition for their skills. But contrary to the note at the end of Ben Popper's article, Tuesday evening at NBE is not open to the public. Please call or e-mail first.
You can find contact information at newballet.org or by calling 926-9225.
Katie Smythe Thinnes
Artistic Director and President
New Ballet Ensemble
The more things change, the more things stay the same. The newest sleight of hand by the Bush administration is being perpetrated to appease the critics and skeptics clamoring for changes within the White House inner circle.
Scott McClellan was asked to take a bullet for the team, and Karl Rove was transferred to a new assignment within but not outside the White House. This is not a shake-up but a shakedown, and the American people are the victims again. These changes have no bearing on the policy decisions of the White House. They are cosmetic and meant to deflect attention away from the troubles of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
But the architect, Rumsfeld, is still there. Bush's brain, Rove, is still there. And the leaker in chief's co-conspirator, Dick Cheney, is still there. So what has changed? If Bush were serious about change, he would show them the door. But then he would have to fire himself.
I feel for the six generals who have asked for Rumsfeld's resignation. The Bush team treats these guys like gnats on an elephant's ass: They swat them off and keep on trampling dissent. The generals are barking at the moon if they expect this administration to do the right thing. God himself couldn't come down and tell these guys what to do. They think they are gods.
Joe M. SpitzerMemphis
The president is playing musical chairs with the same people who have been in his administration for years. He is trying to convince us this is new blood with new ideas. Bush's latest bait-and-switch move was to appoint Rob Portman budget director. He said Portman had done a great job as United States trade representative. Right. We now have the largest trade deficit the world has ever seen. The Chinese have been very happy with our trade policies. They are building a huge military with our trade dollars and stolen technology. They have, with Bush's help, taken millions of American jobs and own more than a third of our national debt. We will be the ones with our hats in our hands at the trade talks. When other nations hold our debt, the national mortgage, they hold all the bargaining power.
The uncontrolled spending and failed policies of Bush and his appointees have created an America that is the world's largest debtor nation.
Re: Mike Potter's letter (April 20th issue) about replacing meat in our diet and the good it would do for the environment: If God didn't want us to eat cows, why did he make 'em out of meat?