Mixed messages

Letters to the Boston editor, May 29, 2009

In Adam Reilly’s “Don’t Quote Me” column (“Trans Fact”), he asks: “When a person in the center of a media maelstrom has had a sex change, is it fair game for the press?” His question may be rhetorical, but he must know it is also irrelevant. Media like Fox 25, whose emphasis of this item you cite in their reporting about the MBTA driver who crashed the Green Line train recently, seem to groove on sex, as does Fox nationwide. I’ve always thought it bizarre that an aggressively conservative, Republican-channeling TV network such as Fox would be so enthusiastic about featuring sex (and other sensationalism), but I guess they know their audience.

Don Carlson

A song for Dan Grabauskas
Let me tell you all the story of a man named Danny/and the strange way he earns his pay/He gets up every morning, genuflects toward the union/and then lets them wreck the MBTA

And the wheels do not turn/while the passengers burn/and Danny is unconcerned/We may stew forever ’neath the streets of Boston/while that man refuses to learn

Oh, hear the operators as they moan about their workdays/They get only five breaks a day/“Forget about the schedule, order me another cruller/let ’em wait there for the MBTA”


Stuck there at the station as the operators fiddle/It’s so crowded that your body’s pinned/Then finally some clockwork, and the only on-time service/when another train comes plowin’ right in


Danny doesn’t hear it, he says that all the people/tell him he is just doin’ fine/But when Danny says “the people,” he doesn’t mean the riders/He means Local Five-Eighty-Nine


Danny has a boss who doesn’t see the problem/’cuz his commute is never hard/He ain’t been late, ’cuz his name is Deval Patrick/and he rides a chauffeured Escalade


Hearken unto me, all commuters here in Boston/Why must we have to wait and pray/Fight the fare increase, cut the operators’ paychecks/Get GRABAUSKAS OFF THE MBTA!

Henry Fitzgerald

Putting words in the President’s mouth
Regarding your editorial “Despot for Attention," Obama should say to Cheney and other critics: I don’t want to hear any more about the “goodness” of torture. No actionable intelligence is gained by it. If we are attacked again it, will not be because we failed to torture. Indeed, it may be because we did torture. To advocate for or practice torture is to violate the laws of the nation and the laws of the international community. Anyone who makes excuses for torture is un-American; anyone who approves or advocates for torture is a criminal according to law.

Furthermore, we and President Obama need to question why anyone would push torture. Whom does it benefit? The only reason to advocate for torture is to put fear and terror into the hearts of any who would oppose us. This is not the way to win wars, nor hearts and minds.

I wish Obama would promise to prosecute those who approved our use of torture, and would seek to prosecute those who advocate for it. But how can we get him to say these words?

No matter how good the economy gets, nor how green, so long as we torture and detain without justice, we are no better than Mussolini’s Italy nor Stalin’s Russia nor Hitler’s Germany nor Pinochet’s Chile.

Lee Stephanie Roscoe

In last week’s cover article “Boston Reggae City,” we misspelled the name of the deejay on WMBR’s Bovine Ska and Rocksteady. His name is Generoso Fierro.

Related: Patrick's latest train wreck, The 12th Annual Muzzle Awards, State of the State House coverage, More more >
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