Andrew Earles' article ("Goner," September 22nd issue) about the growing musical, cultural, and influential Goner Records mini-empire was informative and enlightening. In this cynical, apathetic age, it is wonderful to witness a grassroots creative movement spring from a shared love for a nonmainstream musical genre. Such passion is rare in today's overhyped and overamped milieu.
Another reason for Goner's success is the owners' business sense. They treat people with fairness and respect, and people respond in kind. That's a winning combination that will take them far.
The House Republicans have voted to rewrite the Endangered Species Act, and, like so many bills they have passed and the president has signed, it will pile more debt on our children and grandchildren.
So far, the GOP has endangered relations with our allies, endangered our health-care system, forced our budget surplus into extinction, and turned ethics into an endangered word. They have endangered the environment we will leave our children, endangered the middle class by providing incentives to send well-paying jobs offshore (and making bankruptcy more difficult), and refused to protect our borders from an invasion of illegal immigrants.
They have endangered our economic well-being by making us more dependent on imported energy and endangered our nation by appointing nonqualified cronies to important positions. It's about time Americans decided to put Republicans on the endangered-species list.
What About Veronica?
In his City Beat column about the U.S. attorney's office (September 22nd issue), John Branston takes care to point out that former U.S. attorney Terry Harris was a "veteran state prosecutor" and that Hickman Ewing was a "career prosecutor," but when it comes to Veronica Coleman-Davis, he has a memory lapse. He describes her as "having worked in corporate law," omitting the broad base of experience she brought to the U.S. attorney's office from both the public defender's and state prosecutor's offices, as well as from the corporate sector.
Branston gave short shrift to a woman who served seven and a half years as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.
Nancy B. Sorak
The ever-articulate Arthur Prince is correct in pointing out that the Flyer has long published letters to the editor that reflect diverse viewpoints (Letters, September 29th issue).
However, the Flyer's editorials, columns, features, news articles, etc. far exceed in number and volume the few letters to the editor in each issue. These other items focus on advocating partisan viewpoints rather than discussing or exchanging a variety of diverse opinions.
If you don't believe me, here is what Flyer editor Bruce VanWyngarden wrote as part of a frank e-mail exchange with me in December 2004: "We strive to present a consistently progressive point of view because A) we believe America needs all the help it can get against the forces which seek to secularize our democratic institutions and demonize dissent and free thought; and B) because we serve as a balance (however modest) against the increasingly right-wing chorus of corporate media. If you want to 'appreciate and understand' the other side, there are plenty of outlets for you to listen to or read."
Herbert E. Kook Jr. Germantown
Editor's note: Amen.
The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court should not surprise anyone familiar with the modus operandi of President Bush. Team loyalty and cronyism always trump competence. That's how we wound up with "Brownie" leading FEMA.
Of course, Miers could prove to be a decent justice, but she is simply not one of the most qualified candidates for the position. The choice of a poorly qualified candidate like Miers should be particularly troubling for women, just as the nomination of a lightweight like Thomas was a poke in the eye of the many African-Americans who were highly qualified for the job.
But any candidate who makes Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Cal Thomas, and William Kristol nervous can't be all bad.
B. Keith English