To Phil Busse: I was disappointed with the article "Thanks For Your Contribution" (August 29), because it takes what is a very important policy issue and spins it as partisan politics. I think you are right that it is unfair for elected politicians to expect the taxpayers to pay for their fundraising "milk runs." However, you present the issue in a way that implies that only Bush would do this sort of thing.

If you were to research the issue, you would find that in his last year in office, political fundraising took up more of Bill Clinton's agenda (and travel expenses) than any other single issue.

Your article would have been much more persuasive if you stayed away from the political spin. As written, you sounded more like a whiney liberal hypocrite whose beef is not that politicians should "pay their way" when they go on milk runs, but that you wish that it has been Al Gore raising millions for Bradbury, not Bush raising money for Smith. Are you going to bitch the next time a big shot Democrat rolls into town? I doubt it.

Andrew H. Stamp, Esq.


TO PHIL BUSSE: While I heartily share the growing fear of a fascist crackdown on free speech rights, I feel your editorial ("The Scarlet T," Sept. 5, where Busse discusses the dangers of prosecuting "eco-terrorists" as terrorists) negligently conflated non-violent "speech" with violent protest. Since when was arson a legitimate form of protest? Sounds like "terror" to me. If the arsonists were swarthy al-Qaeda conscripts, would they thus be rightly tried as "terrorist?'" When (and if) I read of someone charged with terrorism for RESPONSIBLY and peacefully exercising their right to free speech, I will be alarmed. In the meantime, don't give free speech activists a bad name by equivocating speech with arson.

Charlotte Cooper


TO THE MERCURY: I am not sure if you are aware that cough syrup is much more fun then cocaine. You've obviously tried cocaine, but have you tried cough syrup? It's the shiznit bombdigity. If you down a whole 4-oz bottle of Maximum Strength, uh, cough syrup, you can get pretty fucked up. Its kind of like Ketemine, but you don't drool all over your self. You could even say it's better than Ketemine because you don't tear up you nose. I wouldn't call downing cough syrup desperation, I would call it using your head.



TO THE MERCURY: I would simply like to share with you my hatred for the appearance and testosterone-fueled qualities of actress Kathleen Turner. Lately she has been on some publicity junket and her aging manliness has been brought to the forefront of the American public. This Man/Beast/Woman must be stopped. She is not elegant or refined or sexy in any human way. Perhaps on some anthropological scale she could make an acceptable example of evolutionary failure and the downfalls of a vestigial penis.

Wes Wightman


EDITORS: What is with everybody bitching and harping on Ann Romano? My roommates and I religiously read her column aloud to each other, next to the fireplace, while drinking hot chocolate and dreaming of a world where Ann Romano is president (or dare I say dictator?) of all those lame-ass PC hippies who think eating a carrot makes them a better person.

Bitch on, you stupid asses--but the rest join me in my vote: ANN ROMANO FOR DICTATOR!!

Lindsay Ballweber

DEAR MERCURY: I recently came across a photo of a small-town watering hole in Alaska with a cardboard sign on the door saying, "hippies use the side door." The photo of the side door showed a sign saying, "Closed." Why don't we show them hippies the side door: Ross Island. Yes, this is an undeveloped island in Portland crying for attention. Dredge and dump no more. Wildlife refuge--hardly. Hippie commune--you got it! We should force them, or rather offer them, the property as a relocation camp. Our Australia, their Liberia!

I suspect the flood plain and fallowness of the island is just right for their agrarian lifestyle. I see fields of marijuana, patchouli, and lettuce. The stank of the Willamette will sequester the stink of the hippie. They can sleep under the stars and swim to shore. They love that shit.

Phillip G.

Props to Phillip for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week," and two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater! Have the answer to a social quandry? Write in and you could be our next winner!