DEAR EDITORS: A decade ago, I argued with friends and family that the Supreme Court decision allowing the right to flag burning would actually nullify this inarticulate act. I believed that making the "taboo" legal would wash most of the shock right out of the flag burner's temper-tantrum. I feel somewhat exonerated by the Mercury's report on a recent Portland rally and subsequent mass flag-burning [News, Dec 20], as the report makes the mass burning appear contrite and meaningless.

While my impression of the burning may be due to reporting spin, I'll give the Mercury the benefit of the doubt--as long as it makes my decade-old point. (Wink. Wink.)

Kurt Kemmerer


TO THE EDITOR: In her interview with arch-racist Tom Metzger [News, Dec 6], Katia Dunn posed the following question: "Like WAR (White Aryan Resistance), environmentalists in Portland are concerned about FBI scrutiny. They actually seem to share your general distrust of government. Any thoughts on this?"

Both Metzger's response, "we have a lot of supporters in the environmental movement, because the two are not that far apart. Open borders means more consumption of living space. With hundreds of thousands of Mexicans coming across the border, the biggest environmental problem is immigration," and Dunn's assertion demand a reply.

Having worked on the local environmental scene for over thirty years, no environmentalists I know would agree with Dunn's question, or Metzger's racist, anti-immigrant diatribe. A few rabid anti-immigrant zealots may ascribe to Metzger's venomous views but they are racists, not environmentalists.

You did the community a service by allowing Metzger to expose himself for what he is. Your readers should know, however, that environmentalists, at least the ones I work with, share neither Dunn's shallow and simplistic assertions about our collective "general distrust" of government nor Metzger's repugnant ravings.

Mike Houck


TO JULIANNE SHEPHERD: Thank you very much for reviewing Kankick's From Artz Unknown [CD Review, Oct 4], which I was featured on. I would like to just clarify that the song "The Finer Things" wasn't "denouncing the ghetto shit," but denouncing the material shit, and was more about enjoying some of the things considered "ghetto" particularly by those not from the ghetto. I am from the ghetto and take offense to the word being used negatively as an adjective (i.e., to indicate something is less than socially acceptable because it reflects the culture of poor blacks in America). I would never say anything bad about the ghetto. In fact I am of the opinion that "good food/good weed/good women and good music" all originate in the ghetto before becoming part of popular culture.

Dr.Oop M.D


TO THE EDITOR: John Dooley's story about becoming a "Not Smoker" through hypnotism was cute ["You Are Getting Verrry Sleeepy", Dec 13], but deserved a better headline.

Let's see, he started smoking apparently because he was afraid of looking like a "pussy." He increased his habit because a "friend" questioned his commitment to being a "real smoker." Then, when he finally decided to quit, he paid a stranger to tell him to do it.

Maybe he should have called the story "Diary of a Feeble-Minded Sheep," or "Desperate to Look Cool." But the most accurate headline for Dooley's essay would simply have been "Twit."

A Big Pussy!


TO THE MERCURY: This is to Chuck Sloan, the asshole who thought it was his business to inform us that Julianne Shepherd sucks [Letters, Dec 6]. Mr. Sloan, I have an idea the would make you and me happy: DON'T READ THE FECKING THING!!! If you don't like Julianne or Katia Dunn, that's fine. Just don't bring your prepubescent nasal whining to the other readers of this fine magazine. They are the greatest thing since sliced beetles. And while you were in your basement smoking crack and touching yourself, the people at the Mercury were working hard to bring us a fabulous new issue. They have so many loyal readers that your presence would not be sorely missed. And remember, I feed stupid stuck-up wino losers like you to my Chihuahua everyday for breakfast. Ya hear me?!?! BREAKFAST!!!!!

Miss Rachel

Congrats go out to Miss Rachel for winning the Mercury's "Letter of the Week" contest. For her maternalistic diatribe, Rachel will receive two free passes to the Laurelhurst Theater. Send your naughty or nice missives to the address above and you could be next week's winner!