Web Letters | The Nation


Descent into March Madness

Great article. I was fascinated to learn about the Drake Group, an organization which is actually fighting the academic abuses by athletic departments.

Yes, the system fails so-called "student" athletes, even the European-Americans. It is good to learn about it.

It is appalling to note that young African-American males are far more likely to be in prison than college.

But pop a brew and have some wings, enjoy the game. No racism here, thank you!

Adam Burke

Iowa City, IA

Mar 23 2007 - 2:36pm

The Many Man-Crushes of Chris Matthews

When I listen to Chris Matthews I feel like I'm listening to my fifth-grade teacher discuss the most basic elements of politics, but she was at least speaking to fifth-graders.

For a person who has spent 30 years of his life in and around Washigton politics I would expect to hear something significant. How many times is he going to bring up Hillary Clinton's high pitch voice which makes her sound like she is screaming?

I never thought anyone could make Joe Scarborough sound informed until I listed to Chris Matthews talk politics.

Tom Pisano

Shirley, NY

Mar 23 2007 - 12:29pm

Gary Tyler's Quest for Justice

Unfortunately, there are a lot of Gary Tylers in the criminal justice system.

Until more Americans start giving a damn, as opposed to telling adults how to live their lives, there will continue to be more added to the ranks of those already wrongfully convicted.

Sharon E. Dupree

Worcester, MA

Mar 23 2007 - 12:15pm

The Many Man-Crushes of Chris Matthews

Wow! I truly wondered if there was anyone out there that really watched Hardball.

The one thing overlooked in your on-cue article is his inappropriate comments to female guests. He comments on their looks in a manner that is way, way out of line.

I'm surprised the guy hasn't been sued. That may be the average guy on the couch thing but some things belong to the guy on the couch, not on television.

Jeanette S. Harris

Hornell, NY

Mar 22 2007 - 6:39pm

The Care Crisis

While I deeply respect Ms Rosen, this article, these heartfelt comments and the dire need to recognize the care crisis in the workplace, I would like to point out that there is going to be no real reform until we start to mention one more component that usually gets overlooked: the professional care provider.

Especially in the field of children's care this is an underpaid, undervalued professional that the working world depends on. The typical working parent expends little effort to bolster the lot of the person they pay to care for their precious children. I don't think that we can lobby for business to support the right for workers to afford quality care for their loved ones without also supporting the caregivers in their quest for respect and fair wages.

I've expounded more on this topic in an article "Be It Ever So Humble" on my website at http://www.joyfulnoisedaycare.com/humble.html


Christine Bazzett

Traverse City, Mi

Mar 22 2007 - 5:32pm

The Many Man-Crushes of Chris Matthews

We tune in to "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart because we want to laugh. We tune in to Chris Matthews for serious news commentary. If you happen to get a chuckle while watching Hardball...well that's a bonus.

Chris Matthews combines true, tough journalism with occasional, but reliable "regular guy on the couch" comments. The viewer is allowed to enjoy a few "Hey I thought that, too" moments.

I would liken it more to Seinfeld than to a Man Crush. Chris Matthews, like Seinfeld, notices that socks disappear in the dryer. But instead of socks, Matthews observations focus on Barack Obama's slight love handles or Dick Cheney reminding us of the crabby old neighbor we stayed away from when we were kids. "Hey, I thought that, too."

Kim Stanley

South Riding, VA

Mar 22 2007 - 4:35pm

The Porn Plot Against Prosecutors

There is a very interesting twist concerning the "obscenity case that Charlton did file – United States v. Five Star Video, LC, et al – [..] and it's one that the Justice Department may have found so embarrassing that Charlton's firing may simply have been another casualty in the cover-up surrounding it." This quote is from Mark Kernes, ‘Attorney Says Justice Dept. Sold Same 'Obscene' Material As His Client’, posted March 16, 2007 on an "not safe for work" website.

Apparantly, the attorney for Five Star and others, filed a Motion to Dismiss on Aug. 31, 2006. The defendants are accused of selling and distributing adult videos. It turns out that another company in Arizona had sold had distributed the very same adult videos. That company however is under the supervision of the U.S. Trustee's Office of the Department of Justice, and the United States Bankruptcy Court of the District of Arizona (because it had gone bankrupt earlier).

In Kernes words: "How can it legitimately argue that the four features under indictment violate Arizona's community standards for obscenity when other stores in the same state, all under the control of U.S. government employees, have been selling those same features – and in two instances, sold one of the features in two different locations several days after the indictment came down?"

Mark Kernes has written several articles about this case.

Wim Prange

Nijmegen, Netherlands

Mar 22 2007 - 3:02pm

Descent into March Madness

As my first City Editor told me many times, "So the hell what?"

Give me a (censored) break, Bob. Doesn't The Nation/et.al have better things to wring its hands about? Wait, what am I saying? I know the answer.

The Upper West Side, Berkeley and Dupont Circle resent the fact that they have to pay attention to sports once in a while, so we're going to trot out the old Adolph Rupp quotes and hear about what a dark and seedy business it all is, and that there is deeply masked racism hiding inside every money-grubbing coach's heart?! Can we just hang up the white guilt for one @#$!@! month and just enjoy it?

I'm not a sports fan by a long shot, but March Madness is still pound for pound the greatest event in contemporary athletics--take away the endorsements, the egos, the coaches, the deals and what do you have left?

You get a month of nothing but 40 minutes at a time of the best basketball you will see all year, kids going hard or going home. Kids from places like Winthrop, Eastern Kentucky, Butler and little Texas A&M Corpus Christi get their chance to knock off the Big Guys. The Tournament is the Great Equalizer, something I thought you Limosine Collectivists would appreciate.

I watched all three of the O.T. games last Saturday.. six hours! It felt like twenty minutes because it was that good.

Bob, chill out, grab a High Life and some wings and enjoy the game with the rest of us. It's only once a year, after all.

Marcos Sanchez

Arlington, Virginia

Mar 22 2007 - 12:49pm

Descent into March Madness

Are you kidding me? The article about March Madness was absolutely ridiculous!

I'm sorry that a coach said the N word back in the 60s. It's really too bad. BUT it is absolutely condescending to assume that the N word is reason for a talented kid to quit playing basketball.

I'm sorry that March Madness has turned into a corporate event, but so has about everything. The kids love the attention and excitement, and I love watching.

Christy Fisher

Tucson, AZ

Mar 22 2007 - 11:05am

Who's Afraid of Gardasil?

I am trying very hard not to take the well-intentioned comments of the other readers personally.

I was first diagnosed with HPV in the spring 2000. I had a hysterectomy during Hurricane Katrina (at the ripe old age of 33).

I went through years & years of biopsies, surgeries & phone calls to my office that started, 'Well, we've determined that you don't have cervical cancer, now we think that you might have.... Come in for the test tomorrow.'

Did you see the woman on NOW discussing how she & her husbands were virgins when they got married? Then she was raped in the grocery store parking lot. Now she is fighting for her life.

Parents can opt out. Mandates force insurance companies to cover the bill. And Medicaid to cover girls that are going to have enough problems. I had a hard time covering co-pays for the years I was averaging a test or biopsy every 3 weeks.

If I was uninsured and/ or still in school, I would have been even less equipped.

Honestly. Tell me why I am supposed to be grateful? Or why I should ask my niece to forgo the vaccine? (Since I will certainly never have my own child.)

Why do you people think that we deserve the lot we have been dealt?

Meg Warren

Little Rock, Arkansas

Mar 21 2007 - 7:36pm