TO THE MERCURY: A few days ago I accidentally picked up a copy of the Mercury. Curiosity led me to glance through it.

Please know that I am not an old "fuddy-duddy." "Bad language" does not shock me, but it does offend me. Reading through your publication, I discovered (from some of the readers' letters) that the Mercury prints "stuff" that you're not "supposed to say" in polite circles. Reading farther on, I stopped counting the number of times I came across the word "F- - k." I am not "shocked" since that word has become ubiquitous among a certain class of people whom I call "vocabulary-deprived."

My question, and feeling, is "Why?" Like an antibiotic, when used so frequently, it loses its potency. I am not above using that word in a joke, but I find nothing "with it" in that word. When used by a male, it does NOT make him sound more "manly." Yes, sadly, WOMEN use it too but ladies don't. A gentleman may be excused for using it in a locker-room, but NOT IN PUBLIC, and certainly not in a publication. Do you think you are "educating" the reading public? A really bright mind can find much more devastating adjectives or comments to insult someone than that tired, over-used substitute for illicit copulation.

Baroness Lizette Solomon


DEAR EDITORS: This is directed to the reader from Mission Viejo, CA ["Letters," Patrick Mallon, Dec 6]. He states there is a "moronathon with (Portland) Police Chief Kroeker's decision to ignore Ashcroft's request to question non-citizens"

Talk about the pot calling the kettle "black!" We all support our country and brave service men/women in this "WAR ON TERROR." But does this mean we should become narrow minded, bigoted, and embrace widespread hatred?

This kind of attitude is what created the internment camps for thousands of innocent Japanese during World War II. It is also the attitude that allowed millions of Jews to be slaughtered in the camps of Nazi Germany. If we forget history, we are doomed to repeat it.

I agree with Chief Kroeker's stance, and unless there has been a criminal act or suspicion of a criminal act, then to simply interrogate a person based on his/her ethnic background is just plain against what we stand for in this "Home of the brave and land of the free." I see that Chief Kroeker "IS" defending America's sovereignty by defending the "rights" of the people in America!

Ray Gregoire


TO THAT JERK FROM CALIFORNIA: Do you really think you know the first thing about Portland? Politically correct, my ass. How about I smash your face in with a crowbar!?! I guess by your letter that you would really love living under martial law. I hope you and the rest of California Über Alles just fucking kill yourselves. I know that if I was a Nazi rat like you, I'd shoot myself in the face. And in case you didn't know, Chief Kroeker is from L.A. So how ya like them apples!?!

P.S. Go fuck yourself!!!

Josh Jensen


DEAREST MERCURY: I am writing to formally thank you for suggesting the PKC All Breed Dog Show ["My, What a Busy Week," Dec 6]. My roommate and I attended the dog show and, in the midst of observing beautiful and talented dogs and some puzzling human behavior, I stopped by the humane society booth. Here I found a picture of an Australian cattle dog that was up for adoption. This dog, who is called Munya, now lives with us and possesses the intelligence of a high primate. You should all feel very warm and toasty inside.

Trish Schlobohm


TO OUR READERS: In order to properly celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus (as well as those less important religious observations), the staff of the Mercury is taking a week off, and that means you won't have a paper to read next week--unless, of course, you like reading crappy newspapers. However! This is not to say we won't be back the following week. Because we will. We'll be back on the streets with a brand new highly entertaining issue on THURSDAY, JANUARY 3.

So just in case there's any confusion: We are NOT going out of business. The Mercury is doing GREAT. We're only taking one week off to get really stoned and read comic books, and then WE WILL BE BACK on Thursday, January 3. And one more thing: We'll Miss You THIS MUCH!!! Have a great holiday--from all your friends here at the Mercury!