TO THE MERCURY: I remain outraged that Portland continues to put up with Police Assisted Suicide ["News," May 26, regarding the most recent incident in which police shot and killed a downtown homeless person]. Why is the general population not outraged when a mentally ill, homeless man is fired upon and killed for wielding a knife? And what about Robert King's comment--about not allowing Grand Jury testimony to be open to the public because it's not "in our best interest"?

What if your brother, sister, mother, father, was mentally ill, failed to take their meds and ended up downtown one day? Do you not fear that they too might be fired upon and killed?

It's scary that our police are not properly trained enough to maybe shoot the suspect in the leg. I'm scared that someday I will get pulled over and shot and killed if I'm having a bad day. And god forbid I happen to--say something wrong or make a "suspicious" gesture.

Kelly McKnight

TO EZRA ACE CARAEFF: I recently read the article you wrote about Bloc Party and the Vice empire that you have so mistakenly described ["Once More With Feeling," May 26]. --While there is truth in the fact that most people in this world are followers, it's way too easy to criticize the companies that at least attempt to make money on a path they themselves have forged. What is the point of your little article? Don't like something because there is a whole team of people working behind it? Vice is not a corporate giant by any means. --

Do you know what it takes to launch an album, start a company, or even build a brand?--I'm guessing not, because you seem like a smart dude and wouldn't have written so much bullshit in your article. --I know people at Vice and most of them just want to pay their bills and enjoy their life. --That's it. --Don't blame the company, blame the consumer and America for letting its standards of society slide so far so fast.


TO THE EDITOR: What? Hillbillies are not a protected class? ["Letters," May 26, in which Chezz informs us it is "not OK" to make fun of hillbillies.] How can that be? Are we really able to make fun of those poor uneducated folks? Who's next: Yuppies, Metrosexuals, Big Hair types? Be afraid, be very afraid, as no one is safe.


TO THE EDITOR: There are so many reasons to hate hillbillies that one couldn't fit them in an entire issue of the Mercury, let alone the letters section ["Letters," May 19, May 26]. One thing is certain, though--rednecks vote against their own interests even more than most dumbshit Americans. I mean, if anyone could benefit from contraception or the occasional abortion, it's the rural folk with their notoriously taboo sexual proclivities. And those clearly are not the sons and daughters of members of Congress getting blown up in Iraq, so it must be that many of our straw-chewing, cousin-shagging, gay-hating, God-fearing hayseed brethren are the ones paying the ultimate price for George W Bush's ridiculous, failed, disastrous war. Better them than me, though.

Maybe someday, after the supreme court eliminates reproductive freedom, a sensible administration will be elected, and commence to sterilizing the hillbillies.

Ed Harley

CONGRATULATIONS TO ED for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" However, while hillbillies are certainly fun to laugh at, mass sterilization may be going a wee bit too far. After all, hillbillies are useful in certain situations: fighting in wars (as you mentioned earlier), producing buxom and promiscuous farmers' daughters, and providing an easy scapegoat for all the woes of knee-jerk liberal tabloids such as ourselves. Therefore we say "Hurrah for the hillbilly!" And also "Hurrah to Ed, who wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst, two passes to see Maximo Park at Dante's on July 2, and a $30 dinner gift certificate to No Fish! Go Fish!, where you should make a point to try their delicious venison." Hurrah!