TO CHARLES MUDEDE: Have you ever been to New Orleans, or even the South ["Third World," Sept 8]? Indeed, I have been to Kenya, and the first thing I said when I moved to New Orleans, driving through potholes at 10 mph, was, "Shit, this is worse than Kenya." Needless to say, I am now homeless.

New Orleans has almost always been a Third World country. There are novelty T-shirts that say, "Louisiana, Third World and proud of it"—or there were. What I find so laughable is that this "Third Worldness" has existed since the Americans took over New Orleans (the French were much kinder to blacks than the Americans), yet it's taken a tragedy like Hurricane Katrina for any politically correct Yankee or Northwesterner to actually take notice. Maybe you have been to New Orleans, but likely you have not strayed from the French Quarter, or even gone to Rampart Street or the Marigny, which was at most six blocks from Bourbon. If you had, and you had seen how people actually lived, you would not be so shocked by the "racial divides."



TO JOSH FEIT: I couldn't disagree more with Josh Feit's article on Governor Gregoire's absence from the I-912 debate [CounterIntel, Sept 1]. He claims that Gregoire is "intimidated by preliminary polling on the gas tax," and that she's proof that "Democrats don't stand up for their convictions." What he doesn't get is that Gregoire showed as much leadership as a governor can when she persuaded her Democratic colleagues—and more than a dozen Republicans—to pass the gas tax last spring. Do you think she thought it would be politically popular? Of course not, but she did it because it was the right thing to do.

Now that that I-912 campaign is running strong, she knows that her involvement will only fuel the opposition's fire. It's not an issue of being intimidated; it's political savvy. She got her job done by passing the tax in the first place, now it's on the rest of us to make sure I-912 fails.

The anti-government loudmouths would love to welcome Governor Gregoire into the ring. But it's not her fight. It's ours. We must persuade our family, friends, and neighbors to preserve this critical investment in our state's infrastructure.

Richard Myers


TO SARA DICKERMAN: Not interested in the baby. Not interested in the husband. Not interested in the father-in-law. Not interested in the assorted and sundry friends. Not particularly interested in you.

I read a restaurant review to learn about... the restaurant. Whatever culinary expertise you can bring to the job at hand is valuable, but your personal life adds nothing to my understanding of the place. I realize that peppering one's restaurant reviews with anecdotes from one's life is the rage, but I urge you to buck the trend. It's as unpalatable as a week-old Mostly Muffins pastry.

Elizabeth Cross


POSTED BY JASON HARRISON (BOBCAT): Have you seen someone right before they are about to die? Well I did last night.

I was doing my DJ duties at Kincora last night. Around 1:00 a.m. someone came up to me and said, "Dude there's someone who got stabbed that just walked in here!" There was someone laying down right inside the door clutching his stomach screaming about not wanting to die. Another man was outside and holding his forearm. His arm was slit from the wrist on down. A tendon was hanging out. It looked like a horror movie prop.

After calling 911, we put the people outside and gave them towels to compress their wounds. At the street corner, there was blood everywhere. A couple crackheads were wandering around, one had his shirt off and ran away. The man who came in clutching his stomach was freaking out. They were all high as fuck. The police, two fire trucks, and a couple ambulances arrived shortly, and they had to practically restrain the man with the stomach puncture. I doubt the man with the slit wrist lived five minutes past him being put in the ambulance.

The policeman told the owner of the Kincora he was "helpless" to move the crackheads that gather just west of the Cha Cha. SPD has been doing a "stop and pop" program downtown, busting dealers, and the dealers have started to move up the hill. The crackheads walk around the block and do their deals and smoke their poison in apartment entryways. With the addition of the quickly dilapidating Section 8 housing across the street and the several halfway houses in the area, it's getting bad. A friend was stabbed earlier this year and about bled to death. Some crackheads wanted his used, beaten skateboard.

There are fucked up things going on. Women, remember Mia Zapata. Please call a cab or have someone walk you home.

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