TO THE EDITOR, VIA VOICEMAIL: "This is a longtime reader of the Mercury. I'm not going to patronize the gay populace by saying how my mom's gay, and how I'm a member of P-Flag, and I have all this gay credibility. But I believe that ad showing the gay bathhouses [April 3] is extremely irresponsible. These houses were part of the centerpiece in the San Francisco scene for the original spread of HIV/AIDS. On top of that, I urge anybody involved to ask themselves, how would they like it if their lover went someplace like this, caught a fatal STD, and gave it to them without their knowledge. I understand you received money from them, but come on. That's just not cool. My name's Michael, and again, I'm not a homophobe, I'm not anti-homosexual, but I do believe that precautions should be taken and that people should be responsible regarding themselves and other people. It only takes one person with HIV, herpes, or genital warts to give it to 10, 15, 20. Thanks for your consideration, and I really do not wish to portray myself as a homophobe. Thank you, have a nice day."


TO THE EDITOR: This is for the gentleman who was delayed by protesters and said, "I just want to pick up my son from school." [News, "The Superpowered Activist," March 27] I'm going to ask him to take a leap of imagination: Put yourself in the position of an Iraqi father. You've had no reliable access to clean water, food, or health care for the past 11 years due to sanctions imposed on your dictator by the UN. Your son was born deformed due to radiation poisoning caused by the use of standard issue depleted uranium shells during the first Gulf War. Your brothers and father were murdered in the Shi'in Muslim rebellion, which was encouraged and then abandoned by the USA after the first Gulf War. Now the bombs are falling from the sky and you're huddled in a dark corner with your son, trying to comfort his tears while the screams of citizens fill the air.

Now think back on your objection to this traffic-stopping protest. Was the small inconvenience of sitting in traffic even marginally comparable to the suffering of your Iraqi counterpart?

Claire Lutts


TO WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: Your latest article, "Urban Warfare for Protesters," [April 3] easily qualifies as the silliest thing ever printed in the Mercury. You claim the protests have not been successful because they have not been organized enough. That's like saying a two-year-old who doesn't get what he wants and throws a temper tantrum isn't successful because he's not organized enough.

We're killing innocent people with bombs. Boo-hoo. Every day 30,00 children quietly die of starvation. Where's the protests for that? Countless are the injustices in the world, both obvious and subtle. There ARE activists who are organized--but they're not in the streets. They're in the soup kitchens, washing dishes, or in Planned Parenthood centers, or even--god, forbid--in college, that they may better those around them in the LONG RUN. All doing their work quietly, far from the spectacle of the media. There's a reason most protesters are young. Most grow up. I wish your publication would do the same.

Joshua Dallman, Former Anarchist


TO THE MERCURY: Humpy, you fucking rock. I just flipped open the Merc and read your bit, "Urban Warfare for Protesters." All I can say is that cocaine must kill off all the weak brain cells leaving only the brilliant ones left to do the thinking. That article was some good shit.

Corey Maust


HEY MERCURY: Two things about this stupid war: city hall needs to put a sock in it and start thanking the protesters for the opportunity to temporarily boost the economy, and for the in-your-face reminder of how skewed priorities are here. Overtime every day to Portland's finest? Make the city spend till everybody on the police force can buy a new hot tub! Maybe THEN we can talk about hunger, the issues that are real in this city, and start looking for someone who can truly lead! Also, Wm. Steven Humphrey made a good start educating us on urban warfare. Omitted, however, was how difficult it is to hit a moving target. Protesters: Get on a bike, and move around. Critical Mass--there's a powerful statement!

Jule Conover

CONGRATS TO JULE for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For introducing the "Hot Tubs for Cops" program, Jule will receive passes to the Laurelhurst Theater as well as two free tickets to Dante's to see The Kills on April 21st. Wowzee-woo!