TO THE EDITOR: I want to deeply thank Dan Savage for his clear and convincing exposition of why the US must go to war against Iraq ["Yes to War with Iraq," October 24]. My eyes were opened by Dan's explanation that President Bush has solemnly promised that after our victory, the US is going to set aside and spend billions of dollars to build democracy and civil infrastructure in Iraq. Clearly, if President Bush says this then it MUST be true. After all, the depth of George Bush's--not to mention his friends' and advisors'--commitment to honesty, democracy, equality and human rights is well known! I feel ashamed that I ever doubted the righteousness of our President's war plans.

Scott Parker


TO THE EDITOR: The Mercury's recent Election Guide was fairly disappointing ["Back-to-Basics Election Guide," Oct 31]. Phil Busse, usually adept at covering local political issues, fumbled this time in his coverage of local third parties. Busse claimed that the lack of Green candidates in this cycle was "interesting," yet failed to inquire about the matter with local Green representatives, as a responsible journalist should have. The answer to WHY the Pacific Green Party chose not to run candidates in the 2002 election cycle could have been explained fairly quickly had he bothered to contact us.

For a variety of reasons, we chose to focus our local energy on supporting issues instead of candidates this fall. We've worked hard on grassroots efforts to support measures for universal health care, raising the minimum wage, and labeling GE foods. We're also working hard on the effort to take PGE's service territory away from Enron and establish a People's Utility District. Even though these efforts don't provide us with as much visibility, we decided that supporting them would be the most effective application for our current resources and volunteer energy. In addition, we've already begun recruiting viable candidates and developing our strategy for the 2004 election, in which we'll have a far more visible presence.

Pacific Greens are actually working hard to build a solid grassroots infrastructure to overcome the obstacles that money in politics and one-sided journalism place before us. We'll continue to pursue meaningful campaign finance reform and uphold our place as the fastest growing political party in Oregon.

Jeff Cropp

Pacific Green Party

The Mercury responds: Actually, we did call your organization to find out the status of the Pacific Greens, and no one returned our call.


TO JULIANNE SHEPHERD: "What up," "dog"? "Yo," you "gots" to stop writing the adjective "mad" so much. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be actually hip, or if you're using it ironically. I don't mean to "dis" you. Normally, you're a pretty "dope" writer "and all dat."

"Peep to this," though--slang is time and context sensitive. "Mad" is "played out," and is definitely not a good use of language at this point. The "heads" who first uttered "mad" are undoubtedly onto other new signifiers. In other words, it's no longer "fresh," nor is it "bangin'," "illin'," or even "stoopid." Shizzle, ma nizzle--nothing is.

"Keep ya head up," "shortee."

RC, The Dirty Souteast


DEAR BELOVED MERCURY: I have no problem with the content of your paper. In fact, I LOVE IT! I laugh out loud every week to Ann Romano's column ["One Day at a Time"]. The thing is what is up with the ink you use? I inevitably get black all over my hands and then somehow get it spread across my face, and don't notice for hours, thereby looking like a big jackass all day long. Is it some sort of eco-friendly ink? If not, WHY do this to your loyal readers? Oh, and is it necessary to keep running those annoying Johnny Sole ads with the "Solettes"? If the La Cruda ad changed after someone bitched about the little girl, let's hope someone will take charge and get rid of that stupid, stupid ad. Other than that, thanks for all the laughs.

Jenn Kickstart

CONGRATS TO JENN for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" We appreciate her constructive criticism, and thereby award her two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater. Covered in ink and looking like a jackass? Write in, and you could be our next winner!

HEY EVERYBODY! Are you creative? Do you like to win MONEY? Then see page 14, and enter our "Holiday Festival of Holiday Lights" Contest!