TO THE EDITOR: Okay, here's what we learned from Ezra Ace Caraeff's "review" of the downtown foodcart Soul Shack ["Last Supper," Oct 31]. 1) Ezra Ace Caraeff regrets moving to Portland from Southern California. 2) Ezra Ace Caraeff doesn't know any native Portlanders. 3) Ezra Ace Caraeff is unfamiliar with popular retail apparel outlets. 4) Ezra Ace Caraeff comes from a dysfunctional family. 5) Ezra Ace Caraeff cares nothing for "the Easter and Christmas holidays." 6) Ezra Ace Caraeff is disdainful of food sold by street vendors. 7) Ezra Ace Caraeff, a Californian, is here to tell us that southern cooking is "crap," yet uses the term "fixins."

We may not have learned a lot about Soul Shack, but I think we now know this much about Ezra Ace Caraeff: He should take his stupid-assed name and his eighth-grade journalism skills and move the fuck back to wherever he came from.

Mimi and Katzl


TO THE EDITOR VIA VOICE MAIL: Hey is this the editor? Nice cover this week ["Mercury for Youngsters," Oct 24]. I was getting ready to hand your magazine to my seven-year-old and just happened to see the porn ads in the back. I hope your "Mercury for Youngsters" thing was a joke, because it's really misleading and it's going to get some parents really angry. There are a few militant parents out there who won't sit down for this. So uh take care of it, guy.



TO THE MERCURY: Congratulations on outdoing yourselves yet once again. In what I thought was the "highlight" of the Mercury, when that girl came in and puked all over you guys, you proved me wrong by ripping off the Highlights for Children magazine. The October 24 issue ["The Mercury's Annual Halloween Dress-Up Issue," where we disguise ourselves as a different magazine] was a complete carbon copy of the children's magazine, from style of the lettering to the artwork--only with twisted content not suitable for children.

You could never make the Mercury as successful as Highlights is, and knowing this caused you to throw a temper tantrum and dis all over it. This is the Mercury's most childish and unprofessional venture thus far. Now go sit in the corner and think about what you've done!

Andraes T.


TO THE EDITOR: Dan Savage's Brave New World isn't pretty ["Yes to War in Iraq," Oct 24]. Dan, you really should read up on your history. If you read a few books (like A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn), and any alternative news at all, you'll see that the United States does nothing to spread democracy around the world. In fact, I'm sure most of your readers know the U.S. government funded Osama bin Laden and the Taliban with weapons shipped covertly through Pakistan. I'm also fairly certain readers are aware that Iraqi deaths from U.S. sanctions are four times the deaths from the bombing of Hiroshima.

Furthermore, as long as the U.S. government and the media claim that sex, drugs and rock and roll are responsible for the ills of our society, then they can be certain people like you will focus on little else. I am certain the U.S. government and corporate elite have no real moral position on sex and drugs, since they have the time and money to indulge in all sorts of "liberating" behavior.

The real issue is, they don't want poor people to have access to sex education, to have safer sex, to use birth control, or to have the freedom to choose abortion. They also love putting poor drug users in their prisons, a big money maker. If the media told the truth about the true causes of society's ills, people might pick up an alternative newspaper once in a while (although I wouldn't recommend yours).

Kary Aloveah


TO THE EDITOR: Count me as another leftist against Saddam Hussein. Dan Savage's column made all the arguments better than I could; the incoherent responses to it only show how weak the antiwar movement's position is. As a veteran of the Gulf War, I hope our nation will have the courage to do what needs to be done this time.

I support campaign reform, social justice, an end to corporate control, and sustainable, ecologically sound industrial policies. And I support democracy--in America and in Iraq. Call me a liberal for liberation.

Asher Abrams

CONGRATS TO ASHER for winning the "Mercury Letter of the Week!" For his continuing service to our country, Asher will receive two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. Support Democracy? Hate Democracy? Send us your letter and you could win big!