JUST AN ORDINARY GIRL (WITH A WHOLE LOT OF CASH)
I found your article on Sarah Palin ("Sarah, Inc." July 17) to be surprisingly informative and balanced. Usually when there are media articles about Palin, they are loaded with personal attacks against both her and her daughters — something we Republicans call "PDS," or Palin Derangement Syndrome.
I personally love Palin, and all these personal attacks do is make me more immovable and uncompromising in my support for her. To many of us on the right, she is someone who is traditional, started out small as a city-council person, and then suddenly found herself a governor running for vice-president. The fact that she is an unpolished speaker and makes mistakes just shows her supporters that she is an ordinary person trying to get by like the rest of us. Many of us are also very angry with the guttersnipes in the McCain campaign that attacked her after the election was lost. The fact of the matter is, McCain would have been wiped out far worse had Palin not been on the ticket.
Still, I wanted to tell you that the money machine you described as being a tool of the "far right" certainly isn't limited to the far right or to Republicans. We actually learned it from watching George Soros and moveon.org. They are still the masters of it; we really haven't become as good at it as the "far left."
REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE OF MAINE
A BLACK MARK ON LOCAL AUTHORITIES?
Before you get flooded with letters about Gates vs. the Cambridge police ("Gates-Gate," July 24), I'm going to try and get in a few words about the Bay StateBanner and the city "loan" from Mayor Tom Menino that is now keeping it in business.
Mel Miller, the founder, owner, and publisher of the 44-year-old weekly community paper made the decision to accept the loan. I disagree with that decision, but it's his paper and his credibility. My ire is reserved for the mayor. A newspaper is like a trust — inviolable and free from blandishments and threats. Some people say what Menino did was good politics. I say it was nothing short of playing on sympathy and buying votes — bribery, pure and simple.
His reasoning was as bogus as his offer, which reeked of criminality. My most fervent wish is that every business in the city hurting from the economy will call his office and scream for the same kind of assistance the Banner received.
I am not surprised by Professor Henry Louis Gates's "run-in" with the Cambridge police. It is my experience with Boston-area cops that you do risk confrontation if you approach them on the street with some criticism, or even a question, about what they are doing.
We can all imagine how upset and angry Gates must have been to find himself locked out of his own house. The officer should have sized up the situation a lot better. Still, you don't argue with the cops in Cambridge or Boston. They will come down hard on you. I suggest Professor Gates get to know his neighbors.