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We welcome your letters to the editor.

Robinson's Karma

To the Editors:

I found Tara Servatius' article on Brian Robinson ("Get Out of the Way," January 16) quite interesting. As a stakeholder regarding this topic -- I live on the street where he moved the fixer-upper house in Tara Woods -- it is tempting to launch into a tirade about how Robinson's business ought to be shut down. (By the way, the house in Tara Woods was moved almost two years ago and it is still not finished.) But her article prompted me to shift gears and pursue another line of thought. How sad that someone would choose to go through life the way Robinson seems to: namely, a screw-you, get-out-of-the-way approach. If there's such a thing as Karma (and I tend to think there is), then the wake of ill will that Robinson seems to leave behind everywhere he goes deserves my concern, not my anger. I hope that Robinson will one day find an approach to life that doesn't alienate so many people in the process.

Steve Hagwood


Film Isn't Propaganda

To The Editors:

Why do you guys waste column inches on pontificating windbags such as the tree-hugging, granola-munching, tofu-slurping, Birkenstock-wearing friend of the whales, Danny Schechter ("Black Hawk -- and Truth -- Down," January 23). He implies that Hollywood released Black Hawk Down at the government's behest as part of a "propaganda strategy" brought on by 9/11. Excuse me! That movie was filmed way before the events of last September. Also, Hollywood is not leaping on any propaganda bandwagon nor are they -- for once -- guilty of cashing in. In fact, they've withheld a lot of films because the subject matter was a little too close to home.

As for the soldiers in the movie not being motivated by a cause or an ideology, they never have been in real life, why should they be in film? I've been in combat (five years in the French Foreign Legion to be exact) and first and foremost you fight for personal survival. Second on the list is the survival of your friends. Next comes the Unit, then the Company, then the Regiment. Queen/God and country come way down the line and are usually concocted by some deskbound fool in the propaganda office.

Next, Mr. Schechter claims the Americans were defeated. Huh? Nineteen dead Americans versus over 1,000 dead do you figure that's a loss? I'll break it down for you. For every one of us they got, we killed 52 of them.

Also, the Americans didn't underestimate the Somalians at all, which is why they sent in Marines, Rangers and Delta Force. Underestimation would have been sending in regular Army Units or National Guardsmen. I also take umbrage with the whining assumption that America became a warlord itself. The mission was a UN mission to distribute food among the starving. The warlords were preventing that from happening which is when America stepped up to the plate -- again -- and tried to take them out of the picture.

But what really rankles me is the fact that the Rangers who Schechter denigrates in his piece, and others of their ilk, are out there putting their lives on the line so that he can sit back and enjoy freedom of speech. Maybe Schechter should move to Somalia and write as critical a piece and see how long he lasts. He who desires peace prepares for war.

Nicholas Hughes


Angry, Selective Tolerance

To The Editors:

The picture of Charlotte's dysfunctional mover and my love of the Providence Road area compelled me to pick up a copy of your recent issue. The Letters section, however, compelled me to contact the school system to confirm that Lucy Perkins was in no way associated with the excellent high school that my daughter attends, Myers Park.

Indeed, the alternative press is filled with many diverse voices. However, many of these voices come across as intelligent and well spoken, a direct contrast to the bitter selective tolerance that Ms. Perkins promotes. While Ms. Perkins clearly follows the teachings of her own Bible, she has no problem whatsoever with the act of burning the Bible followed by others, namely the majority within the Christian community who are decent, hardworking and patriotic Americans.

I realize that many liberal hacks and cowards within the alternative press find it chic to attack certain Constitutional Amendments, namely the 2nd, and they freely distort the 1st. And I further realize that they have yet to accept the reality that President Bush is the finest leader that this nation has been blessed to have in many years. Gore lost in Florida my friends and, along with his loss, your socialist vision of a gutted and impotent America died along with the sorry legacy of the Clinton White House.

But, alas, while I seldom see the value or merit of angry Lucy's rants, like most decent conservatives I would defend her right to say what she says. After all, without writers like Lucy, we might run short of the newsprint needed to cover the bottoms of America's cat boxes.

Kelly Boatright


Lucy's Swill

To The Editors:

While subscribing to the Charlotte Observer for more than 15 years, only once have I managed to read an entire Dave Barry column. It was the one on low flush toilets. For me, Barry is not funny, and wading through a column is not worth the effort. It's a simple editing technique I use whenever I read the Observer's Sunday paper.

The same technique is used whenever I encounter a Lucy Perkins column in Creative Loafing. I suspect trying to get through one of her articles would be nauseating because of the dumbed down pedestrian swill she peddles. Lucy's material appears to be sour, over-spiced pap that "pisses" some people off and delights other who would not have the nerve to publicly echo similar poorly expressed sentiments.

While I enjoy Creative Loafing and applaud your discovery of an English teacher (you keep reminding us of Lucy's background -- should we pity her students?) who can stimulate many of your readers, let me suggest that the individuals who are annoyed by Ms. Perkins engage in a little rational censorship and simply stop reading her. Frankly, based on your readers' letters and skimming her stuff several times, I have never started.

Chris Scobie


More Than Malls

To The Editors:

Since Tara Servatius seems so smug in her rejection of spending public monies for such projects as downtown arenas and trolleys (CL, January 9), I would pose two questions to her:

1) Can she articulate a vision of a city consisting of more than a loose assortment of subdivisions and strip malls configured in a random manner?

2) Given her reluctance to spend tax monies on public projects, how does she justify the use of public funds to build schools, sewer and power lines to serve new subdivisions that primarily benefit those living there?

For many of us, having a vibrant downtown is well worth paying for. After all, who would travel to Rome or Paris if all they had to offer was a suburban moonscape?

Matthew Alexander


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