EDITOR: Thanks for three interesting, well-written, and timely articles on the Democratic presidential race in your January 10 post–New Hampshire issue by Eli Sanders ["Left Behind"], Erica C. Barnett ["Why I'm Glad Hillary's Still in It"], and Jonathan Raban ["The Church of Obama"]. Although there are parts of The Stranger that I often find uninteresting or embarrassing, it's your offbeat, articulate, and sometimes sardonic perspective on both local and national culture and politics that keeps me opening your free rag each week.

Don Elman


TO ERICA C. BARNETT: Well, Erica, you do seem to go out of your way to justify supporting Hillary, when you know John Edwards is really what you want her to be. It is not "safe to say he is out of the running" when only 2 percent of the delegates have been selected. It's the delegates, not the press, who select the nominee, and the actual delegate count is much closer than most acknowledge. You should ALL be supporting John Edwards, as everything you ascribe to Hillary was exactly what John Edwards is and was, and it's now being copied by BOTH of them.

Even more curious, The Stranger seems more like the MSM in their fawning over Obama, despite a few tidbits about his weaknesses; you too chose to "believe" in something no one really knows he can pull off. For a rag that claims such fierce loyalty to the LGBT community, you don't seem to acknowledge that John Edwards has the strongest support and endorsements from that same community. Why is that? You can be as hypocritical as anyone else sometimes. Is it because, as Jonathan Raban said in his piece, Obama is an appeaser? Wake up from your intoxication over the cult of personality, or the hangover will be a doozy.

Vote with your heart AND your head. John Edwards will still be around for the finish. You still have time to wake up.

Michael Spindler


EDITOR: Eli Sanders's "Left Behind" article was some really great stuff. Please keep him on the road covering the 2008 campaign trail. I cringe with anticipation thinking what comedic insights he could come up with spending a few days with the GOP candidates!

Ben Schroeter


TO BRENDAN KILEY: I've written to you once before regarding the excellency of your artistry ["The Urban Hunt," Sept 28, 2006]. I would again like to commend you on a beautifully written review on marrow ["Marrow Worship," Jan 10]. I thoroughly enjoy your style.

Timmi Harrop


TO THE EDITOR: My sincere thanks for digging deeper on the story involving last year's New Year's Eve "ecstasy overdose" ["A Death in Edmonds," Dominic Holden, Jan 3]. While the content of Dominic Holden's piece is ostensibly a sad commentary on inhumane laws and social mores, his diligence as a reporter and clarity as a writer also illustrate how ineptly the story was handled in other media. I don't know why I ever expect anything but incompetence from the MSM, but in this case their failure to do anything but regurgitate the police report and promote the empty morality of the drug war was truly galling. Holden makes their ongoing laziness and incompetence that much more egregious.

Matthew Cooke


STRANGERS: This is regarding the Dominic Holden article. I am an ER doc and it sounds to me, mainly because of the seizure activity, like the person died of a known occasional side effect of Ecstasy, which is hyponatremia, or low sodium. I assume this was pointed out to Dominic by toxicologist Tom Martin, as the article did mention he said the symptoms sounded like MDMA toxicity. But the hyponatremia can present with the victim only taking a half of a tablet, so well under the toxicity range. The elevated ketones would be seen in anyone who had been repeatedly vomiting, which the article mentioned the person had been doing.



TO DAN SAVAGE: I just wanted to thank you for your article on Sweeney Todd ["Meat Pies and Razor Blades," Dec 20, 2007]. After having read so many glowing reviews and stories of how great it was, it was nice to read yours. I too have been a huge fan of Sweeney for years, and I saw the John Doyle production just a few months ago so it was very fresh in my mind when I saw the film. I heartily agree with your observations; the gore was so over the top that the ending was missing the emotional kick of the original. I did think the supporting cast made the show, and that kid who played Toby was great. His "Not While I'm Around" was the highlight for me.

I have tickets to attend a discussion with Stephen Sondheim in March and if they open the floor to questions I hope to ask him about a few of the choices they made.

Paul Zindel