DEAR MERCURY—The July 5 article "Got Khat?" would have been a decent and mildly amusing story—if written by a 12-year-old for his middle-school paper whose only experience outside of his spoiled yuppie existence was reading On the Road. The author DIDN'T even get khat—and then described how he got stoned on another drug and... went to a DANCE CLUB here in Portland! No mention of how the people in the Horn of Africa use the leaf with sugar or peanuts. How the leaf, far from only being a "stimulant," also leaves its users incredibly tired, burned out, and dazed—to the extent that the government of Djibouti made its use illegal after its WIDESPREAD USE NEARLY SHUT DOWN its economy.

Don Lieber


PORTLAND MERCURY—Shame on you for spoiling the end of the new Harry Potter book by printing the spoiler prominently on the cover of your latest issue [Cover, July 19]. I can't understand how you justify giving away which main character dies. And as for your "Bike Issue" [Feature, July 19], five measly pages of mostly re-hashed back patting doesn't make an issue. There's a lot more to cycling in Portland than your "Bike Issue" would indicate. And the absence of the BEST bike movie ever, The Triplets of Belleville, is nearly criminal.

Michael Mann


EDITOR—I think that all of the pissed-off Harry Potter fans who wrote in grumpily protesting the Mercury's "spoiler" of the last/latest in J.K. Rowling's series deserve to win a special something, simply because they are not, shall we say, the brightest sparks in the Occlumen spell. I hope their unnecessary rage and panic burned bright enough to light the copies of Deathly Hallows they begrudgingly scanned in spite of themselves.

Jennifer Nobles


DEAR MERCURY—Zak Zaxon (not his real name, I assume) wrote you a joke email about how Ms. Pac-Man is just about memorizing five patterns [Letters, July 26]. Any true Pac-Man connoisseur knows that patterns are for Pac-Man. The whole point of Ms. Pac-Man is that patterns don't work and you have to react to the ghosts. I'll take on Zak and his Ms. Pac-Man pattern strategy anytime.

Bjorn Warloe


DEAR MERCURY—How presumptuous of Megan Hickey and your writers to assume that David Bowie owes her anything at all [Once More with Feeling, July 26]. Many people have covered David Bowie songs over the past five decades. Without his music, his skills, his abilities to develop musical genres that were obscure before his arrival, this flight of fancy Megan might just be out of a job.

Monica Chase


TO THE EDITOR—Your reporting of the death of Tammy Faye Messner is appalling [One Day at a Time, July 26]. Here is a lady who literally gets off of her death bed when in the final stages of terminal cancer to put on make-up, smile, and reach out to her audience with a message of love. For you to call her a "zombie" is mean spirited, heartless, and cruel. Furthermore, in heaven Tammy Faye does not need gold-plated toilets. She is now walking on STREETS of gold. 

Paula Nielsen


Thank you for your awesome issue on immigrants ["Best of Melting Pot Portland," Feature, July 26]. I love immigrants and their delicious food and their stories of escape, and fuck all you fascist douchebags who want to send them back to their war- and famine-torn countries. People who immigrate to this country usually appreciate it a lot more than us apathetic assholes who were born here, and if we take the time to listen we might actually learn something from them about "family values" or how to make Bi Bim Bop. We're all immigrants, there's plenty of room for everyone. Party at my house.

Dan Kimbro

CONGRATULATIONS TO DAN for his immigrant appreciation! For his open-minded and inclusive perspective, he wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and lunch at No Fish! Go Fish!, where hungry people of various origins are welcome.