Ponzi, schmonzi

RE: “The Net as Ponzi Scheme


What an abhorrently slanted story. Your total lack of understanding of the financial markets is so obvious that you should have either recognized your lack of qualifications or used a qualified financial-markets journalist to write it.

The current market conditions lack two major Ponzi scheme characteristics: a scheme leader or organization, and deception. Without those two elements, your analogy is just a scare tactic.

You try to tug on the reader’s heartstrings with the “working poor” angle, saying they “will be left holding an empty bag.” How? You make a point of saying that the working poor aren’t even participating in the markets or working at these “dot coms,” so how can they be left holding the bag?

You seem to forget about the fact that people CHOOSE their professions in this country, so that if there is someone to blame for their lack of participation in an economic or market movement, they only have themselves to blame.

Moreover, survey after survey confirms that most lay people UNDERESTIMATE the growth of the stock market. If you simply want to push the “I remember the good old days of union solidarity in Detroit when I was a boy” angle, just write about that. Don’t propagandize that the movement toward individuals taking the risk of leaving their jobs to start Internet businesses is part of some big Ponzi scheme.

David J. Brennan

Stars & bars silk purse

RE: “Flying the Flag of Fairness“”


Every group hell-bent on lowering the Confederate flag in South Carolina is missing a very good bet: Let the flag continue to fly, but use it as a very visible symbol of tyranny and oppression. Establish a yearly march to the capital building to pay homage — right under the despised flag — to all those who paid the ultimate price fighting for their (and our) freedoms. Turn that pig’s ear into a silk purse and fry the bigots in their own fat. It would be an annual macabre gesture that would garner media attention from around the world. The Holocaust is remembered because the gas ovens are still there.

William F. Brabenec

Perfect Pronouns

RE: “Boys Do Cry


The piece on Brandon Teena is one of the best I have read. Quite a few people felt that you did not emphasize enough that Brandon Teena had a transgender identity. It is not your article so much as the general feeling that the memory of Brandon is being disrespected by his mother and others who do not accept him as “him.”

Many articles and comments refer to Brandon as “she” and treat his life as a man as if it were a short deviation from his real life as a “woman.” I thought your article avoided this trap to a great extent, for which I am very appreciative.

Rusty Mae Moore

Durst he say it?

RE: “Political glass houses“”


Will Durst should know that confession is good for the soul and good politics.

Some 20 years ago a rash of Congressmen were caught with their pants down in the red light district of Salt Lake City and in their offices — with congressional pages. The ones who claimed they were “meeting with a constituent” and the like had their asses drop-kicked out of Congress. The ones who confessed and promised not to do it again are now Congressional leaders.

More recently, the news media had great fun tormenting Pat Robertson, who claimed that he was “married in his soul” as an explanation for the birth of his son a few months after his official wedding. When journalists discovered that Jesse Jackson also had a son born a bit too soon after the wedding, the Reverend called a press conference, confessed to sex before marriage, said he didn’t approve of that, and that he loved his son. The journalists yawned.

M. Mark Miller
Journalism professor
University of Tennessee

Transgender 101

RE: “Boys Do Cry


I would like to commend you for writing a sincere, sensitive, and compelling article advocating an end to the growing wave of anti-transgender violence. As a member of the transgendered community, I find it refreshing to come across media examples of accurate representations of transgender events and situations. With your permission, I’d like to make some copies of the article to distribute at some of the “Trans 101” presentations I give to local universities and agency trainings.

PJ Two Ravens, MSW

That’s Mr. Fag to you, Bubba

RE: “Flying the Flag of Fairness“”


There is nothing wrong with flying the rebel flag! It’s not just stupid toothless “crackers” with greasy baseball hats that proudly support the rebel flag. College educated “crackers” also proudly fly there (sic) rebel flags. Oh, and fuck you for you (sic) pathetic comment on the South being nothing but losers, you fag!

Jason Haviland