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Week of November 8, 2000

Mass Delusion
Sounds like a gathering of 5,000 suckers: So let me see if I have this right. There were 3,500 people that paid to be packed into a warehouse with limited exits, poor ventilation and poor plumbing [Randall Roberts, "Radar Station," RFT, Nov. 1]? There were another 1,500 outside that wanted to get inside as well? All just to dance around in baggy pants to some guy playing records? Neat.

I guess the old saying is true. There is a sucker born every minute, and [it takes] two to catch him and take his money. Super.
Tim Jamison
St. Louis

Rush to Judgment
Rush is not a lost cause: I am ashamed by the way Paul Friswold represented Rush in this article ["Party Poopers," RFT, Oct. 25]. I guess Rush's music is "too smart" for some people. Take, for example, Mr. Friswold. And last time I checked, when you read something by such an important writer, such as Ayn Rand, you should take it seriously. And Rush is not a lost cause. They are coming back!
David Warner
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Not just that '70s show: I run a Rush Web site named Counterparts. The site can be found at One of the members on the site posted a link to your article describing the candidates and what bands they closely resemble. The article is well written and thought out. But I do disagree with the theme of the comments of Ralph Nader and Rush.

If you talk to many Rush fans worldwide (and, yes, Rush fans are worldwide), you will see that the music and lyrics of this band have helped many come out of stages of doubt, insecurity, etc. Yes, Rush's lyrics in the era of the songs you mentioned have been heavily based on the writings of Ayn Rand. But did you know that Rush is still around? And that Rush's lyrics have switched from a "Live for yourself" attitude to that of a "We are not alone, is there anyone else out there?" mentality? Such lyrics like that off of the Test for Echo album state that you, the individual, are subjected to various forms of opinions from even more forms of media (TV, Internet, etc.), that we are not alone, and that realization makes you wonder what and who else is out there. It gives me a good laugh that those who are not knowledgeable of Rush's complete history, still view Rush today as Rush in the mid- to late '70s. Just by listening to some of their recent albums such as Roll the Bones, Counterparts and Test for Echo, you will hear a band that has gone through a complete transformation from a bunch of Led Zeppelin copycats to their own refined entities that have inspired some very popular bands of today. You may have heard of Metallica and Smashing Pumpkins. Haven't you?
Ken Hoffman
Walnut Creek, Calif.

Pregnant Pause
Working to end abortion is not radical: Your misrepresentation of American Life League [Ray Hartmann, "The Two Faces of John Ashcroft," RFT, Nov. 1] deserves a response. The American Life League works to defend human life from fertilization. The human person exists from fertilization. This is not a "radical" work, as this article states. Defending innocent pre-born human persons should not be denigrated as "radical," but it is an honest and noble work, and it is natural work, because a human person exists from fertilization. Hence, working to end all abortion is in keeping with this truth. American Life League is consistent in its mission. Yet it is inconsistent to predicate "radical" of our work, yet omit this description of groups like Planned Parenthood which fight for partial-birth abortion, which essentially is infanticide. That truly is a radical, inhumane and ugly endeavor.
Scott Weinberg
Media Director, American Life League
Stafford, Va.

Gee, Nice Profile
Green article made him see red: On first reading "The Accidental Politician," I thought that Darlene Green must have ghostwritten the piece since it was so complimentary [Laura Higgins, RFT, Oct. 25]. Isn't this the same lady who, upon assuming the position of city comptroller, strongly insisted that the city of St. Louis was not losing any of its population to the county? After maintaining such an absurd position, many of us city dwellers started to wonder if someone so ill-versed in arithmetic could seriously control the city coffers. The article would have been more credible had the writer not buried Green's faux pas.
Richard H. Gerding

Design Flaw
The thrill is gone: You have failed on all counts: The old design was far superior (eye-pleasing in color, clarity, etc., while the new design is busy, uncoordinated and blah). I picked up my weekly copy in the past with enthusiasm for anticipated delights with "News of the Weird," Mike Peters, and "Life in Hell."

Since I still am generally interested in the cover story, as in the past, I will still read the RFT. But the joy is gone. By the way, I'm 58.
Bob Bainter
Creve Coeur

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