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Letters to the Editor 

Week of January 1, 2003

Turning the Tables

Wake up, folks!: Your columnist Matt Smith is one of the great American heroes of our time for turning the tables on Total Information Awareness and publishing John Poindexter's personal information ["Calling All Yahoos," Nov. 27; "The International Poindextering of Poindexter," Dec. 11; and "The Poindexter Effect," Dec. 24].

I think his story will wake the sleeping giant aka the American people.

I am going to write about his column, provide links to my readers to the photos, and keep an ear to the ground on other information that is coming out about other officials in the government.

As a good and faithful American, I am going to do my part. I will trumpet these successes to my 62,000 readers each and every time someone is uncovered. And, I am going to provide a list on my Web site for all to see.

I would like to thank Smith for his article. I consider it the first shot in the new American Revolution.

Virginia McCabe, Editor
Atlantic Daily Sentinel
Galloway, N.J.

Not a fan: Matt Smith is an asshole.

Charles Garrison
Via the Internet

My hero!: Absolutely brilliant piece of work! Smith is my hero! Was considering a move to Australia, but I might hold out for the new "Canada." Current Canada too cold! I'm a lifelong Floridian and experiencing the double Bushwhack. It's not pleasant.

Keep on keepin' on, man!

Eileen Shannahan
Via the Internet

J'accuse!: One of the reasons journalists are routinely considered to have great jobs and at the same time are next to the bottom (above only politicians) in public esteem polls -- that is, they are viewed as contemptible -- is that they hold themselves above the rules. They can publish information on someone they don't like -- such as Adm. Poindexter -- and bask in their moral superiority at the same time.

A mediocre j-school grad in a third-tier weekly got his day in the sunshine and he got to do it according to j-school rules: A journalist can vent their spleen in ways that damage others so long as they attribute it to their commitment to their own higher morality.

I disagree with the government but I'm nauseated by the kind of high school bravado of your grandstanding columnist -- he does more harm to his cause in the long term than he does good.

Of course, at our j-school he is now looked up to -- the entire lower one-third of the program want to pull a stunt like his. He entertains the jackals and has bragging rights in the break room. The SF Weekly is about as high as this boy's career is going to go -- I hope he likes it there.

Carson Bennett
Via the Internet

Cut off his goodies: In South America, the people have taken to doing just what Smith describes in his article: not serving those public officials complicit in crimes against the people (the "disappearing" of people for political reasons). Restaurants will not serve them, newspapers are not delivered to their houses, store clerks do not attend to them, taxis will not pick them up. That sounds like a very nonviolent response with a very sharp point. Why not here?

Tina Alvarez
San Francisco

Who's in charge of this playpen?: Amazing how predictable are the shrill voices of your news reporters. However, it appears that the inconsistency of privacy-rights advocates such as Matt Smith to invade privacy escapes them. Perhaps more adult supervision is required.

Derrick Brown
Via the Internet

Opposites attract: I'm sure Smith and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum but I'm in his corner when it comes to this federal government snooping into our personal lives. I hope he can make life miserable for Poindexter, that sorry, Gestapo-like bastard.

I voted for Bush, but I don't trust him. The only terrorists I see, other than Timothy McVeigh, are Arab Islamic extremists and now we are having to all live by the same rules they do.

Bill Quattlebaum
Evans, Ga.

Good for something: Bravo! Although Bush commands us to be docile and subservient, it is good to see that Smith prefers the more traditional patriotic response, which used to go something like "Get your goddamn boot off my neck!" I find it passing strange that the right-wing cowboys pride themselves on marching in such lock step with their "leaders." It seems like tough guys like them would think for themselves now and then.

I have SF Weekly's Web site handy now. I confess that I didn't know about you until I saw the story on the Drudge Report. I guess he is good for something after all.

Charlie St. Dizier
Lake Charles, La.

Take this a little further: Right on with posting that Maryland guy's address and phone number. I hope his mailbox is flooded. His address he can't change easily, like his phone number which now says he's not available for calls. You should find his new contact info and post it. Anybody dumb and inconsiderate enough to do what he's trying to do isn't going to learn that easy. You should even post the make, color, and plate number of his car. Shit, he'd do it to me and you, wouldn't he? It's not just California that thinks the way you do!

Denis Tessier Jr.
Newmarket, N.H.

Poindexter's no hero to me: I resent the implication that Poindexter has "long [been] a hero to Republicans" for staying out of prison on a technicality. A hero to Ollie North, maybe, but not me.

Many people like myself vote for the GOP and also strongly support maintaining privacy and personal freedoms. Note the farewell speech of retiring Republican Rep. Dick Armey, who spoke on the theme of protecting and preserving our rights, including privacy. Stereotyping is wrong, no matter to whom it is done.


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