Cover, July 27, 2006
Low and sleazy: Your depiction of President Bush as a terrorist, specifically Osama Bin Laden, on the cover of your paper is a tribute to just how low and sleazy you will sink to make a point. To superimpose any American's picture onto the body of Osama Bin Laden is an insult to the thousands of American civilians and military who have died as a result of the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I have always found your paper's politics to be questionable, but this cover leaves no doubt in my mind that your morals are beyond questionable; they are nonexistent. Have some respect for your fellow Americans, even if you have none for President Bush, and apologize for the abomination that is on your cover.
Susan Boland, Chesterfield
Pandering to our demographic: I happened to notice the cover of your "news"weekly and was appalled by what I saw a picture of the president of the greatest country in the world made to appear like Bin Laden. You traitors are a real treat. You can't stand the fact that someone has the balls to stand up for what is right while you hide behind the First Amendment with your cowardly selves trying to get your worthless message across to any high-school-dropout, drug-using anal-copulation queen who will read it. Good luck.
Call me sometime, pussy.
Kurt R. Kostecki, Cottleville
Feature, July 27, 2006
Oh, the insanity! I was appalled by the photograph depicting President Bush as Osama Bin Laden. As a soldier in the U.S. Army, I find this photograph very disrespectable and insulting to the commander-in-chief and president of the United States.
I also find the implication that 9/11 was a conspiracy and that no airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon simply insane! This "theory" is also a total act of disrespect to the memory of those Americans killed by the terrorist attacks.
I believe that Dave vonKleist and his so-called "followers" should be labeled "anti-American terrorist lovers" and forced to leave the United States of America.
Luis Martinez, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland
Remember Galileo: Please accept my gratitude for the deeply patriotic feature piece you published on the 9/11 Truth Movement. Much as it was heresy to suggest that the world was round in the days of Galileo, today questioning the notion that dark-skinned people from far away are out to get us is the distinguishing mark of brave journalism. Indeed, what if the inconvenient truth is that the war on terrorism and its opening act the events of 9/11 are not, and have never been, what they seem?
It is the irresistible call of truth that propels the men and women of the 9/11 Truth Movement whom you interviewed for your piece. I recommend a follow-up piece looking into the hard physical evidence of the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. Let the honest facts speak, and let the chips fall where they may. That is the journalism we need. Patriotism requires that we exercise the rights our ancestors fought and died for. We must have the courage to investigate, as you have done with this piece.
Tony Brasunas, San Francisco, California
Cafe, July 27, 2006
Long-distance love: How sad I was to read at the bottom of this article that this would be Rose Martelli's last food review for the RFT. For quite some time, I've looked forward to her reviews that gave a fair and unpretentious view of the restaurants around St. Louis. It's a testament to her abilities and personality that I still read her reviews religiously even though I've been living in Indiana for a year. Her reviews were always a breath of fresh air, very rarely shortsighted and unafraid to be scathing or lukewarm if the situation warranted (unlike other Homer Simpson-esque food critics in the city).
A cheerful farewell to Rose and her wonderful way with words. I can only hope that the next critic is as eloquent and honest.
Dean Berry, Columbus, Indiana
Keep It Down, July 27, 2006
Mmm-mmm menudo: Malcolm Gay's "Keep It Down" column about Juanita's Foods Hot & Spicy Menudo was fun. Here's a tip if you can't get to one of our better Mexican restaurants (Arcelia's or Pueblo Solis) that make fresh menudo: You can make Juanita's almost palatable if you add chopped onion, minced jalapeño, garlic powder and chili powder during the reheat process.
There is one redeeming value to any menudo. It has amazing restorative powers for immediately curing hangovers.
Tom Cobb, Ballwin
Feature, July 20, 2006
Think locally, eat locally: In reading Kristen Hinman's "Bounty by the County," we found ourselves feeling both amused and cynical about Beth Barham's grand vision of establishing AOC regions in the land of a thousand box stores. As organic vegetable farmers and vignerons in the Ozark hills of Jefferson County, we admit to being obsessed with understanding the complex interaction of soil, aspect, climate, variety and growing practices that form the inherent, natural qualities of a product. In a word, terroir.
This is very much a central concept of the Slow Food movement, which at its core holds natural and traditional production techniques to be the basis for the most delicious products to be found whether AOC French cheese or a beautiful goat cheese from Goatsbeard Farm in Harrisburg. But in my experience this type of quality-driven producer is extremely rare in Missouri, and those who are of this mind struggle to attain economic viability in a market obsessed with one-stop shopping. Paradoxically, as the demand for quality artisanal foods has increased exponentially in recent years, farmers' markets have seen a significant drop in sales.
Beth Barham's dream of establishing appellations for Missouri regional producers is a noble one but seems to be a classic cart-before-the-horse scenario. How can Missouri's artisan producers compete in a global market when they're barely rewarded for their endeavors in their own backyard? Shouldn't our producers be in high demand in the local market first? If Missouri's growers are ever to need such a protective structure as the French AOC, then it will come out of necessity because our wine, cheeses and meats are of such a high quality and in such great demand that people are trying to make forgeries of these products.
In the age of "We Sell for Less" and the Martha Stewart grocery-store experience south of the Galleria, Barham's vision is nothing short of a fairy tale. We too dream of a thriving rural economy in the Midwest, but it can only happen if the people of the urban centers want to buy the farmer's bounty. "Eat it to save it," indeed.
Sam Hilmer and Joanna Duley, Claverach Farm and Vineyards, Eureka
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