STRANGER: With joyful anticipation I pick up your happy little rag each Thursday, but I was more than a bit annoyed with the "Stupid, Stupid Baby" thing [Feb 17]. What the hell is that? Isn't this world fucked up enough without my favorite leftie paper getting weird and negative about babies, for god's sake?! I'm sure it was all in good fun, but raising kids is no easy task, and saying a baby is stupid really bums me out.

Miffed, Shelley Dillon


"YES, HELLO. I'm just calling to let you folks know that there are three of us who were very greatly offended by 'Stupid, Stupid Kitten' [Feb 24]. The article, complete with a picture of that little kitten, seemed to perpetuate a hatred of animals. We were wondering, was the article supposed to be humorous? We didn't get it. And we were really hurt, and it really bothered us. There's a lot of sick people out there, who might think you folks think it's okay -- and it isn't."

Anonymous caller, Stranger voice-mail


Look at this stupid paper. Who could read such a stupid paper? It pretends to have journalistic integrity, but its writers seem to make up as many facts as they look up. You're better off reading a phone book. At least that publication serves some kind of purpose. If it weren't for their cutesy, arrogant personality cults and juvenile shock humor, everyone would know how stupid these writers really are! What a stupid paper. Stupid, stupid paper.

Jim Walls, Seattle


TRACI VOGEL, Could you have a more naive, rosy-colored, and misled idea of feminism? ["Who Wants to Coerce a Millionaire?" Feb 24.] Men and women are not equal on the scales of wiles and sexuality, as this show clearly demonstrated. Women tip the balance in their favor because women CAN have it all: brains, looks, and money. It's about assets, baby. The show was merely candid about an ancient trick in the feminist book: Take him for what he's got!

These young women on the show WERE in control (fuck that "slave trade" bullshit). The power to be a star, have a chance to be honest about the lust for greed, and annul this farce of a marriage are all characteristics of the INDEPENDENCE of MIND that is the historic crux of feminism. NO ONE can say a woman does not have the same kind of superficial drive and desires a man has. NO ONE can criticize her choice and desire to FUCK FOR A DOLLAR (or so). You're just disappointed that these women wore push-up Miracle bras instead of getting up on stage to burn them. Get over it.

Chris Catalano, via e-mail


EDITORS: It's rare for me to see an article about black people in The Stranger, so I was eager to read "Can I Get a Witness?" [Phil Campbell, Feb 24.] Unfortunately, Phil Campbell makes some assumptions about the black church that are more stereotype than reality: (1) "In a black church, the quiet can only be interpreted as disagreement or general discomfort." Wrong answer. The volume and boisterousness of the church is a function of the sect, the region, and the temperament of the pastor and the congregation. Not every black church is full of noise. (2) "These aren't typical 'black preacher' issues, the bread-and-butter topics African American ministers frequently use to stir up a crowd. The usual topics include the oppressive nature of discrimination, the callousness of Republicans, the crushing effects of poverty, the latest miscarriages of justice, and the importance of the family." Contrary to Campbell's presumptions, black churches do not spend most Sundays soothing their members' damaged racial pride.

I've been going to black churches all my life, and preachers regularly beat up parishioners for being spiritually lax, self-obsessed, or stingy. The whole concept of "giving back" is a dominant theme in sermon after sermon. The "bread-and-butter" topics Campbell listed -- with the exception of the state of the family -- are usually a brief mention at best, and are rarely spotlights of a preacher's message. It is also revealing that Campbell's bread-and-butter selections were all about the relationship between blacks and whites. Hard to believe, but black people often have more important things to talk about than white people.

A.R. Montgomery, via e-mail


EDITORS: Though I have not had the pleasure of meeting Rev. Leslie Braxton, I felt compelled to write that Phil Campbell's profile came through as insightful and intelligent. But am I the only one who wonders where Campbell was going at times with the article? Just as I was enjoying the shared views of Campbell and the Reverend on economic development among Seattle's black population in the Central District, Campbell seemed to birdwalk into every other "black issue" he could come up with -- from automobile impoundment statistics to inappropriate attention from security in retail establishments to the shifting racial blends in neighborhoods all over Puget Sound.

Not that these concerns aren't necessarily shared by the Reverend, but exactly how much racial injustice does Campbell [expect] the Reverend [to be] responsible for?

Amanda Crawford, via e-mail


EDITORS: A small quibble regarding an otherwise fine review by Rachel Kessler. ["Poem's Gonna Knock You Out," Feb 24] is marred by the assertion that poet Lynn Emanuel "stomps all over Walt Whitman." I've not yet had the pleasure of reading [Emanuel's poem], but it seemed from the tone of the passage extensively cited that the poet is wrongly accused. Rather than stomping, I'd say she pirouettes lightly, the naked soles of her feet dampened in grass fed on Whitman's melting remains below. But that takes longer to say than "stomps all over."

V. Sirin, Seattle


DAN SAVAGE: Enjoyed your pro-Bush article ["Vote for Bush," Feb 24]; however, it's more important now to keep the Republicans confused and off-guard. I don't think there's a chance in hell that the regular Republican suits are going to let McCain be nominated, even if they have to kill him. And I don't think McCain can beat Gore -- especially when his typical Republican characteristics are better publicized. But it's important that someone test him on his alleged "gaydar" capabilities. And that doesn't mean putting him in a room with Richard Simmons and Liberace; that's more like putting him in a room with you and [David] Schmader.

"Aunt Eek," via e-mail


DAN SAVAGE: What's your problem? First you give Gary Bauer more press coverage than he ever deserved ["Germ Warfare," Jan 27], and then you slam Bill Bradley ["Vote for Bush," Feb 24]? Are you on crack? The "there's no difference between Gore and Bradley" angle in your most recent "article" smells like a sellout to me. Gore is essentially a Nazi in a blue suit. If you think anything will get better by electing Gore for president, you need to look at Bill Clinton's record and see what you're going to get.

Bradley, on the other hand, is the savior of modern civilization. If we DON'T implement the plans Bradley is pushing, then, as Hunter S. Thompson put it, we're all going to know more about life in Venezuela circa 1977. Get your lips away from the glass and start kissing Bradley's ass, because he's the guy who is going to make your life worth living for the next eight years. Or maybe McCain will start supporting gays in the military right around the time he starts a war with China.

Charles, via e-mail


DAN SAVAGE: If you liberals weren't so afraid of George W. Bush, you wouldn't be bashing him every chance you get! In your dreams, if you think that Al "Clinton" Gore would beat George W. Bush; so spin it anyway you want!

Joan Piot, via e-mail

DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS: In the Feb 24 issue, we interviewed air safety expert Todd Curtis ["Flying the Deadly Skies," by Wm. Steven Humphrey] about flight mishaps. Due to a miscommunication, we insinuated that he got high in the '80s. This isn't exactly true. According to Mr. Curtis, "I was an Air Force flight test engineer at that time, and during a high-altitude vertical dive in an F-16, hurtling toward the ground in excess of 200 mph, I was on 100 percent pure oxygen, and the only high I experienced was in altitude." We stand corrected.

In our February 24 feature, "Can I Get a Witness?" we mistakenly attributed an in-depth investigation of Seattle's impound ordinance to The Seattle Times. It was actually conducted by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Way to go guys!