McCain Is a Hero; Ted Rall Is a Clown

What a sad, hateful and intellectually challenged little man Ted Rall must be ("Puffing Up McCain," Feb. 7). It is good to know that there are still some painted-face, big-red-nose, floppy-shoe-wearing dudes still out there, and Rall now ranks with the best of them.

Although I disagree with Sen. John McCain on many issues, it is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that regardless of his politics, McCain is an American hero, first, foremost and to the highest degree. That is a fact and one that cannot be tarnished or taken away.

C.T. Bannon

McCain Is a Phony; Ted Rall Didn't Go Far Enough

Ted Rall's article on John McCain, while straightforward and accurate, fails to tell the entire history of the oft-referred to "great American hero."

McCain's history is one of astounding arrogance, self-gratification and betrayal. The stark truth is that he's no hero, despite what the pundits and talking heads would have us believe.

For decades, Ted Sampley has been telling anyone who'd listen just what a phony John McCain is. And while many have tried to silence him, no one has actually been able to dispute Sampley's accusations. Readers can find the real McCain in the pages of Bill Hendon's book An Enormous Crime and the recently released DVD Missing, Presumed Dead: The Search for America's POWs.

By this spring, the country is going to find out a lot about McCain that they've never known. And if folks thought the accusations against John Kerry were bad (and ultimately true), the revelations about McCain will destroy him.

Richard Montgomery

It's Not the Time to Close Schools; It's Time to Break Up TUSD

Schools need not close in order to educate our kids ("Academic Question," The Skinny, Feb. 7). If the Tucson Unified School District broke into smaller districts, each of those districts would receive state funds appropriate to the state formula. A southwest-side district would have more schools.

The TUSD survival plan involves elaborate transportation schemes, school closures and program terminations. Our children's survival plan should involve the dissolution of the biggest educational impediment in the community and an attempt to learn from focused districts such as Flowing Wells and Tanque Verde, which successfully serve very different populations.

Now is the time to break TUSD into smaller, more responsive and responsible units. Evidence of oversize includes the expensive technology-funding gaffe, the expensive health-benefits gaffe, the chronic inability to comply with a 30-year-old desegregation order and the presence of political aspirants on the governing board. You can Google the rest.

TUSD will say that no state money exists for district partitioning, but public action can change that, too. Instead of closing schools and gutting nationally acclaimed programs, why not dissolve the overextended, underperforming district?

Stuart Slonaker
Teacher and parent, Jefferson Park Elementary School

Bob Grimm Was Mean to Sly!

I've been a huge fan of Sylvester Stallone for probably more than 20 years! The very first film I saw him in was Rambo III. I was staying with my folks in a timeshare up in Sedona.

Out of all the reviews I've read over the years, I don't think I've yet read anything quite as mean and disrespectful as what Bob Grimm wrote about Rambo ("To the Rescue," Cinema, Jan. 31)!

Believe it or not, actors do have feelings, just like we do! It's OK for you to not like how Sly made this film. What's not OK is the way you put him down! He is not a Cloverfield monster, nor is he the equivalent of an Arby's giant shredded super roast-beef sandwich. Don't worry about what size he is ... look at the talent that he has and the heart he puts into every movie he makes! To me, he looks strong and very fit. I only hope I look that good when I turn 61 years old!

We all have different personalities. That is what makes Sly's movies so unique. Stallone is a good person and deserves respect! You would want the same if you were in Stallone's shoes.

Consider this food for thought before your next brutal review!

Ryan Kallis

Gallery Owner: Artist Was Right to Take Umbrage With Reviewer

The ignorant and complacent of Tucson will never get it ("Gallery Owner: Complaining About Reviews Is Not the Tucson Way" and "When Discussing Art Opinions, Don't Play the Race Card," Mailbag, Jan. 24).

Award-winning Chicana artist Tanya Alvarez is also a tireless community leader. Her art exhibition at Ojito Springs was a very eye-opening experience to me and many community members in Tucson. Sometimes, we old Tucsonans need to see a different perspective, especially when it comes to issues such as the brutality that Mexican illegal immigrants face every day. We need to encourage and support our artists. There is a war on the border.

I am appalled at the art critic ("Dislocation and Separation," Visual Arts, Dec. 13, 2007), the gallery owner and the European guy who commented. Chicano art is the voice of our people, our community--open your eyes. So I salute Tanya, Ojito Springs and other artists who are brave enough to strike a few nerves and controversy in Tucson. Job well done! We need to share our inner spiritual understandings through our art and defend our freedoms and rights, and the rights of people less fortunate who don't have a voice and risk their life to find it.

We need art critics and galleries who have integrity and knowledge, not ones with ignorance and complacency. Did Margaret Regan ever accept Tanya's invitation? If you can dish it out, you should also learn to take it. Or as my nana used to say, "Sometimes you have to stir the caldo (soup) once in a while to make it taste better."

Richard Bazurto
Clan-Wise Gallery

And Finally, We Close With a Little Dose of Crazy

Dear editor, or as I refer to you, dear stupid sonuvabitch:

If you'd bothered to pull your head out of your butt and review my recently released books, Movies, Movie Stars and Me and Precious Tribes, Vicious Lies, you'd know that I was a true artist, and that I was a movie reviewer for the Seattle Gay News for 10 years. I have interviewed the biggest stars in Hollywood. Ipso facto, my left ball knows more than your two creepy reviewers, Bob Grimm and James DiGiovanna, combined.

Despite their advice, I will never again degrade myself by seeing any film recommended with the words "zoo" or "sheep" in the title. I will take their massive generosity toward anything that plays at the Loft with a grain of salt, and I will try to remember that Grimm is only in the third-grade and not expect too much from his "book reports."

By the way, the last time you printed a letter to the editor from me, a local theater icon (Kevin Johnson) who I had been unsuccessfully lobbying, or stalking, saw it and was intrigued and finally contacted me. Imagine my surprise. This time around, I'm hoping Broadway will call for my newest product, a tawdry '30s musical.

Alan Neff


Due to incorrect information provided by an event coordinator, an actress in The Vagina Monologues pictured in City Week (Feb. 14) was misidentified. The actress in the photo is Sara Thompson, not Dallas Sherwood.
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