Straight shooter: Loved Robert Nelson's assessment of Arizona's governor ("The State of Her State," October 26) in your "Deconstructing Janet" series:
"Physically frumpy, asexual and thick, a voice somewhere between that of an adolescent male and the overexcited Howard Dean; brusque, oft combative, grudge prone, hints of Girls State I'm-Trying-Too-Hard rah-rah; more hints of really, really wanting to be somebody."
Might as well call her an ambitious lesbian (see The Bird).
The story does go on to give her credit for intelligence and hard work. The world is filled with hardworking, intelligent homosexuals in government. Not that they are exemplary, but, according to various news accounts including New Times' own Michael Lacey's ("Pervgate," October 26) both ex-Florida Congressman Mark Foley and Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe pretended to be straight when they first ran for office. Maybe Janet will come out, too, once she's reelected? I've heard she denies she's gay, but . . .
Nelson ended his piece with an interesting thought about Napolitano's lack of good (or bad) works. Comparing her to Arizona Cardinals QB Matt Leinart, he wrote: "In time we will demand more success from both our heroes. The charm of not-totally-sucking will fade."
K.W. Thompkins, address withheld by request
The browser is mightier than the sword: I just got through reading your article about Jon Kyl ("Stealth Zealot," Robert Nelson, April 13). I'm not impressed with Senator Kyl's record. He is a George W. Bush clone.
I Googled "Jon Kyl," as anyone can, researched his record, and advise anyone with a computer to do the same before they vote. This senator, in my opinion, should not be reelected!
George Kearney, Apache Junction
Blogged down: Republicans are sure to cry foul over a campaign by liberals to get certain stories Googled countless thousands of times before the upcoming election, including one headlined "Stealth Zealot" in New Times on Senator Jon Kyl. The New York Times wrote about this blogging campaign on October 26 ("A New Campaign Tactic: Manipulating Google Data," Tom Zeller Jr.).
To me, this is just smart politics. It's not like anybody's asking voters to read stories that aren't true. I went back and reread Robert Nelson's New Times story, and found it to be highly objective. The writer even gave Senator Kyl more than his due by reporting his stated accomplishments after an extensive interview.
The Republicans have been up to dirty tricks for years. John Kerry would be president today if not for the successful smear tactics by George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove to make Kerry seem like a wimp militarily. Never mind that Kerry had served two tours of duty in Vietnam with distinction! It's high time that liberals took off the gloves and bloodied the noses of conservative assholes!
Jim Bradley, Phoenix
Dazed and Confused
Piling it higher: I read the intellectually flaccid story in which you quote me ("Pride vs. Power," Brendan Joel Kelley, October 19) and spotted an error. Nowhere in my story ("Rap's Captive Audience," Los Angeles Times, September 25) do I refer to Woodpile as a "white-power group." I say the group's album boasts of their affiliation with the Woods, a white-power prison gang.
Based on your misquotation and exaggeration of my article, perhaps it is not so strange that you feel I misrepresented the group. Further, if you were so "confused" by my story, you have a funny way of showing it, listing all the ways in which my story does not portray the group as racist.
In "Pride vs. Power," you cite my story's "white pride but not white power" explanation of Woodpile's muddled politics, and you point out that the group's label chief, C-Bo, is a black man (never mind that my article includes a large portrait of C-Bo). After partially quoting my e-mail exchange with you, you quote T-Po [co-owner of West Coast Mafia Records] saying that a closer reading of my story does not result in any confusion about Woodpile's politics.
I have to assume that because you are nearly a month late in reporting this sensational story unfolding in your backyard and were scooped by a paper hundreds of miles away you felt compelled to come up with some defense of a local group.
Chris Lee, Los Angeles
Brendan Joel Kelley responds: It wasn't the existence of Woodpile that I wanted to enlighten New Times readers about, but L.A. Times writer Chris Lee's boneheaded critique of the group. As for my alleged misquotation of what Lee wrote, here's what it says in his front-page story: "It's ironic, perhaps, that a white-power group like Woodpile would turn to rap as the musical genre best suited to their expressions of their prison experiences." When I proved to Lee that he must have forgotten what he wrote, he rescinded his demand for a correction, saying in an e-mail: "My bad. Story is still B.S."
Image Is Everything
Let the love flow: First off, I don't think New Times reader Tom Lawson ("Bad Rap," Letters, October 19) could tell his own dick from his forehead with the way he spit ass-conscience unknowledgeable ramblings about rappers being "bad."
Even in the era of gangsta rap, rappers still weren't "bad." Tupac wasn't "bad"; he was just like everybody else back then and now; he was marketed to a set image to appeal to numb-nuts like Lawson.
It's true that the majority of hip-hop is shit now. But Lawson shouldn't be ranting about New Times' story on some little girl in Phoenix who may be being forced to just like in the rock industry churn out assembly line music for the masses ("Super Star Search," Serene Dominic, October 12).
Tom Lawson should take his head out of his fuckin' ass and let the girl flow. She might craft into the next Missy Elliott, the next Salt-N-Pepa, the next Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. We might all be goin' damn! I'm saying, encourage the kids, don't break 'em down.
Christopher Dellacioppa, Boston
Attack this!: The latest rantings of The Bird and his bleeding-heart followers about Russell Pearce have proven at least one thing. If you can't intelligently defend your opinion with facts, attack the person ("Mesa Muttonhead," Stephen Lemons, October 19).
Apparently the only thing you need to do to qualify as a racist anymore is to refuse to be a bobblehead and get on the bandwagon of Mexican illegals as the new harp seals of our country.
According to The Bird, just being born on the shit side of the border qualifies you for diplomatic immunity and the eternal handout.
Truth is, the only thing America has accomplished with all the bleeding-heart compassion for illegals is becoming the northern branch of Mexico's welfare office. And, believe me, Bird brain, Mexico is grateful!
Shiloh Hawkins, Goodyear