All of the Scene’s death penalty stories have been great, and the latest one is no exception (“Killing Time,” Sept. 4). I just hope that Gov. Bredesen will read it. One would think that pointing out the arbitrary nature of the whole thing would persuade even people who believe the death penalty is a good thing that it just isn’t fair. I suspect, however, that it’s mostly people who are already convinced of the point you’re making who actually bother to read to the end of the article, sadly enough. Don’t despair: It does provide fodder to those of us crusading at street level to present to people who aren’t reading the Scene.
Caroline T. Trost
Thanks for the great article by Bruce Barry about “The Deaning of Music City” (Sept. 4). As the article points out, there have been those who have doubted whether Dean can win in the South. I hope their doubts are fewer since Dean won the Democratic Straw Poll at the Labor Day celebration in Adams, Tenn., on Saturday, Sept. 6, winning handily over Gephardt, Edwards and the other candidates. This was the first straw poll in the South, and it bodes well for Dean’s appeal across the varied core Democratic groups. For anyone interested in joining our grassroots movement, please e-mail us. We have plenty of opportunities for volunteers.
Dean is more Hart than McGovern
As last week’s story, “The Deaning of Music City,” pointed out, comparisons of Howard Dean’s 2004 candidacy to George McGovern’s 1972 campaign proliferate now. This undoubtedly serves the polemical purposes of conservatives and the man-bites-dog temperament of journalists, but it is also uninformed. Dean’s campaign is more reminiscent of Gary Hart’s 1984 primary campaign against Walter Mondale. Hart offered an alternative to both his party’s status quo Humphrey-Mondale machine and right-wing Reaganomics. Unlike the current Democratic establishment stalwarts (Kerry, Gephardt, Lieberman), Dean pursues support outside party mechanisms and in the face of Bush’s popularity. Just as Hart’s popularity alarmed Democratic leadership, so has Dean’s growing grassroots support garnered resistance from the Democratic Leadership Council.
Hart appealed to young, upwardly mobile professionals (a.k.a. “yuppies”); Dean’s primary audience is young professionals who aren’t quite as upwardly mobile. Hart had a nuanced stand on defense (strong opposition to nuclear proliferation; strong support for modernizing the military), as does Dean (strong opposition to the Iraq war and to cutting the military budget). Hart’s campaign strategy was to “triangulate” between “Reagan democrats” and his party’s faithful to assemble a broad-based coalition; Dean has called himself more of a “triangulator” than Bill Clinton to break both the Republican stranglehold on the federal government and to shake up Democratic smugness.
Dr. Michael Byrd
The editorial in your Aug. 21 issue certainly caught my eye. But when I read the piece, I found nothing to factually support the headline. While an editorial is obviously an opportunity for the writer to express an opinion, I’ve never read an editorial that quotes a quote from an article that is identified only as “the AP story” or “the Associated Press story about the case last week” authored by an individual described only as “the reporter.” I then proceeded to search for “the AP story” on the Internet. Without a reporter’s name or the name of the participating AP paper, this search took more than several hours and was, not surprisingly, fruitless. Without the original article, I certainly could not, with any accuracy, judge the value of your opinions based upon the context of the quotes in the original article.
The editorial notes that even if the quotes were “factually correct,” they were in “poor taste.” How could the questions have been answered to suit the Scene? Would “no comment” have been more polite? I doubt it. It’s apparent that the Scene, with flat-line advertising sales, is trying to create a news story based upon something less than a hint. A quote of a quote attributed to an unnamed source? Definitely poor taste and a substandard editorial.
Victor Paul Soto
In the Sept. 4 edition of the Nashville Scene, a Love/Hate mail letter was published in my name. I would like to state clearly that I did not write that letter nor does it reflect my opinions.
As was written in the letter, I am in fact reconciling with my ex-wife. The fact that a local Southern Baptist congregation will not allow me go to services with my ex-wife and children is the choice of a local body, not the entire denomination. I have a great deal of respect for the Southern Baptist Convention. A true man of God who was a Southern Baptist Minister, Paul Durham, went home to be with the Lord on Sept. 4. He will be sorely missed.
America is the greatest nation on the face of God’s earth. The First Amendment protects our freedom of speech. I served in the United States Air Force to fight to protect that right. It’s a shame, however, that some people forge letters in other people’s name instead of expressing their own opinions.
1026 Glastonbury Road (Nashville)
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