A Republican Black Man is a Stupid Black Man

| 16 Feb 2015 | 04:54

    FACE="New York" SIZE=5> Thomas Hamlin, Manhattan We're Often Mistaken for It Just found the New York Press website, and am glad I did. You aren't The New York Times?that is what is most refreshing! Ron Culver, Los Angeles

    Teenage Lobotomy To have someone of the stature of Kirsten Dunst interviewed in your periodical shows nobility (4/19). To have her submit to George Tabb's questions shows stupidity. Next time have a real cinema expert such as Godfrey Cheshire or Armond White conduct the interview. Fred Mades, Manhattan

    Don't Help Us I read Robert Alan Hornak's piece ("Where Are the Black Republicans?" 4/19) about why there are no black Republicans. The man, like most Americans, either doesn't know history or is very selective. True, Republicans did "free" the slaves and offered them the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. However, they sold blacks out in 1877 and thus ensured a Democratic party regime that lynched and disenfranchised blacks until the mid-sixties. Tell Hornak to look up the Hayes-Tilden election of 1876. The whites of both parties got together and worked out a deal?the Compromise of 1877?which left blacks in the South (black Republicans, mind you) under southern bootheels. Federal troops were removed, and that's when lynching became a Southern thing.

    Second, a reason why most blacks are not Republicans now is due to the fact that the GOP is now host to all the Solid South racist Democrats who fled and joined the party of Lincoln. One of McCain's aides was one of those "Southern heritage" hypocrites. These guys sit around and disparage Lincoln! That they're bad-mouthing him probably makes blacks feel they've got plans to reinstitute slavery.

    Also, that "majority of Republicans" who supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 consisted probably of moderate or liberal GOPers, a species that's practically extinct. According to a 4/21 New York Times editorial, Barry Goldwater, patron saint of conservatives, voted against the bill and basically wrote blacks off as a people worthy of Republican interest and support. Blacks know that the GOP isn't really friendly to them. Look at the kind of bullshit that both Bush and McCain did over the Confederate flag issue. (Which, in my opinion, is a non-issue, and shows how bankrupt "black leadership" is.) The GOP conservatives who beat up on gays are only a generation or so removed from beating up on blacks.

    Sure, the Dems are cynical when it comes to blacks?aided and abetted by sycophantic black Dems and intellectuals. But the GOP really is hostile to black people. Nixon's contempt for them is legendary, and then you have all those conservative think tanks (e.g., the Manhattan Institute and the Heritage Foundation) that come up with all sort of ways to demean and debase them. Code words for blacks like "crime," "the war on drugs," "welfare" and "freedom of choice," and the Republicans' pushing of Willie Horton ads are part and parcel of the Republican party's "southern strategy" playbook. Republican conservative intellectuals market these themes today. Black Republicans like J.C Watts usually end up sounding like caricatures of their white counterparts in order to gain and stay in office. Remember Colin Powell, black Republican? White conservatives let him know in no uncertain terms that they would make life for him a living hell if he ran for the White House, because he was an "Eisenhower" Republican, meaning a moderate!

    Finally, Bill Clinton isn't a racist, but he is expertly cynical when it comes to blacks. If he can steal from the Republicans (he's "tough" on welfare and crime), they ought learn from him how to kiss blacks before they fuck them over.

    Norman Kelley, Brooklyn

    Dubya Brothers Does Robert Alan Hornak really think people are that stupid? Or maybe he thinks minorities are that stupid. His essay about the merits of blacks and Hispanics joining the Republican party was laughable, and is as dubious as Dubious Dubya. C'mon?nobody thinks the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln's day has any relation to today's right-wing freaks. The same can even be said of Teddy Roosevelt's GOP.

    Forty percent of Hispanics voting for Dubious George doesn't mean a damn thing. Rapemaster Clinton got the majority vote of women, didn't he?

    Let me put it this way: Why did the former Grand Wizard of the KKK, David Duke, join the Republican party instead of the Democratic party? See if you can guess why, Hornak!

    Meanwhile, I've got a better suggestion for all minorities out there: Vote Green Party! To hell with the Democrats and the Republicans.

    James Carpio, Manhattan

    Vicious, Stupid Hicks Robert Alan Hornak wonders why blacks haven't joined the Republican party. He might as well ask the same question about other minorities, such as Jews and immigrants. Being both, let me offer him a hint with this gem of a quote: "They can kiss my ass if they can leap that high." That's from former California Gov. Pete Wilson, about his Hispanic critics. Or how about "Every case of AIDS can be traced back to a homosexual act"? That's Sen. Jesse Helms about gays.

    Perhaps Hornak should study these wise words: "I'm going to sing Dixie to her until she cries." That's Sen. Helms in reference to former Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, who is black. Sen. Helms also calls blacks "Freds." Not being a member of the Klan, I don't know why.

    Speaking of the Klan, only one Republican Congressman disparaged David Duke publicly during his race to replace Bob Livingston. And that member, Billy Tauzin, used to be a Democrat.Minorities have a choice at the present time. We can be taken for granted by Democrats, or ignored and despised by Republicans. Granted, Democrats don't actually care about us, even as they expect that we will vote for them and give money to them. But they don't go out of their way to show contempt for us, either. I'll take exploitation over degradation any day.

    Zoltan Boka, Manhattan

    What Broadsheets? I thought the idea behind publications' websites was to give the web audience a taste of the real thing, but for the full monty they'd have to acquire the dead-tree version. It seems that I was mistaken. I consider "The Mail" column to be as important as any other aspect of New York Press. Actually, it's much more entertaining than anything George "The Idiot" Tabb contributes to a given issue. So how come I now have go through the hassle of wrestling with those queen-size broadsheets to read the first part of "The Mail," skip over to the tabloid section to get the middle part, then boot up, log on and go to your website for the finale? This situation sucks. Why not go all the way and trash all those green boxes, spare hordes of innocent trees and just do the thing as a website? I'm sure the Village Voice won't mind, as they love trees and local ad revenues equally.

    Speaking of advertising and parts of New York Press more amusing than Tabb: the "Bargains Under $50" classifieds have been especially moribund lately. Have Our Glorious Leader's crack Sanitation Troops finally got that recycling thing figured out?

    Jim Wilson, Manhattan

    Spewsday MUGGER: Appreciated your referring to Jimmy Breslin as a "geriatric hack" in your online 4/14 column. Seems he gets up in the morning, vomits on his keyboard, calls it a column and goes back to sleep. Lisa Benedict, Farmingville, NY

    Hacky Smack MUGGER: I loved reading that old hack Jimmy Breslin bitch last week. And now your comments. This is better than the movies. Thomas Paynter, Las Vegas

    Fat-Assed Clytemnestra MUGGER: You made a number of good points in comparing the 2000 and 1964 New York Senate races (online 4/14), and I'm surprised that more people haven't caught on to something, namely that RFK's major appeal was his close relationship to a murdered president. If Hillary is using that campaign as a model, perhaps Bill should notify the Secret Service to be on the alert. Mike Harris, Los Angeles

    Soccer Moron MUGGER: The President saved the Constitution by thwarting a coup d'etat by right-wing extremist conspirators. You should know that. Name Withheld

    Worts and All Laura Moser: Great article on the "Rushmore" school ("Prepped in Texas," 4/19). As a 1989 graduate, I also miss the "simple" life of St. John's. Mark Lum, Houston

    Remember Tribeca's Neediest In the past, MUGGER was always the primary (and sometimes the only) reason to read your paper, but lately, the column has just been too damn... boring. Although most people simply don't yet care about the upcoming presidential race (if they ever will!), week after week you continue to spew out paragraph after paragraph about how this non-event is being covered by a bunch of (mostly) obscure journalists who wouldn't get read even if anyone did care.

    What happened to those personal restaurant reviews? They were a hell of a lot better than the ones from Andrey Slivka.

    What happened to all the non-political digs at your competition? (Jeez, how I long for the days when no column was complete without a comment or two about that fine publication, Loot.)

    And what happened to all the commentary you used to provide about nothing more than day-to-day living in New York? You know, all that stuff about the cab drivers, the deli clerks and the cable tv repair guys?the salt of the city, man! Now when you're not writing about all that boring political stuff, you're writing boring stuff about your kids' soccer/t-ball/baseball games (I'm sure they're nice kids, but no one cares, Russ), or else you do something really obnoxious such as, apropos of nothing, make sure to let us know that when you flew the entire family to Europe, it was on the Concorde.

    It used to be that I couldn't wait to pick up the latest issue of New York Press. Now, if I missed it...

    So, I missed it.

    And that ain't good.

    Mark Spiegel, Manhattan

    Russ Smith replies: I've never thought that MUGGER was the "primary" reason to pick up New York Press; in addition, I prefer Slivka's restaurant reviews to my own. Readers have complained for 12 years that my column is too boring and I suspect they will for another 12 years.


    Both: White, Red, Spherical MUGGER: Did you intend to equate Jimmy Breslin's newspapering to Ted Williams' baseball? Mort Weintraub, Larchmont, NY

    Poor Li'l Jimmy MUGGER: Ah! Here we have a typical "compassionate conservative" doing what he knows best?picking on an old and somewhat handicapped man, Jimmy Breslin. Helen Bott, Indianapolis

    Off the Sauce Re: John Strausbaugh's "AIDS Heretics," 3/8: Wow: I am finding more and more information that contradicts what I am being told by my doctor. I am planning on presenting this information to her and getting her reaction. I am on the cocktail, and have been for three years with no health problems. However, there have been many minor side effects. For about two weeks I have gone on a drug holiday, and have not felt as alive and full of energy in about three years. I am seriously considering staying off the cocktail. Jeffrey Allan Lee, Manhattan

    It Parses, Dude When I read Armond White's phrase "...both rap and academic analyses charge every scene..." ("Film," 4/12) I slid out of my chair and into a coma. My pulse almost stopped. You editors are exposing yourselves to serious legal action when you permit such gibberish. John Frary, New Brunswick, NJ

    Three on the Tree Critiquing the critics: Armond White ("Film," 4/19) and his "Actors can be whores..." Such an original thought. But I'm sure he realizes that anyone can, and usually does, whore themselves at some time in their professional lives. We all have to compromise at some point. Actors have to work with the scripts available. What's amazing (and admirable to those of us not sitting on our high horses) is that so often they are able to do such splendid work with so much crap. That's professional integrity?to put your heart and sweat into something that really doesn't deserve it, and by so doing sometimes managing to turn the mediocre into art. The real meaning behind White's cliche is that he, of course, is not a whore; he is above reproach and we should pay heed to the shining standard he sets for us all. Of course this has nothing to do with movies, but then, his pieces are mostly about himself.

    Godfrey Cheshire ("Film 4/12") whining for paragraph after paragraph about his indignation and outrage at Rules of Engagement. What is this guy?12 years old? Never seen a bad movie before? Yeah, Godfrey, bad movies get made, the president cheats on his wife and there is no Easter Bunny. Grow the fuck up. The real meaning of Cheshire's diatribe is that he, of course, is not such a whore. He really, really cares about movies, damn it! That's why he gets so upset! Of course this has nothing to do with the meaning of film, but then, his pieces are mostly about himself.

    Matt Zoller Seitz ("Film 4/19"), on the other hand, has a genuine passion for movies. You can feel it in his writings, which, strange as it may seem, are actually about the films he's reviewing. Disagreeing with Seitz is a pleasure, because he actually gives you something substantive to argue against. In fact, I'd love to dispute his take on Barry Lyndon. Unfortunately, this would entail actually sitting through the movie again, and I don't think that's fair to ask of anyone. Kubrick, like Coppola, burnt out after making several masterpieces and never caught fire again. His films became cold and too calculated; as Pauline Kael noted, it's telling that the most memorable Kubrick character is HAL. I sat through the first hour of Eyes Wide Shut, got up to get some popcorn and just never made it back into the theater. One can only wonder at the bizarre pairing of Tom Cruise and Kubrick. What a laughable scenario that conjures up: Kubrick the "perfectionist" asking his lead to perform take after take to capture just the right moment, while Cruise runs the gamut of emotions from A to, well, just A.

    Harold Courtney, Manhattan

    Lyndon, Johnson As a young man ever-entrenched in the world Stanley Kubrick left for us, I would like to emphatically thank Matt Zoller Seitz for his reverent, spot-on article on Barry Lyndon. It is truly a misunderstood masterpiece, meant to be grasped, perhaps, by only the most discerning, literary filmgoer. It spits in the eye of both traditional commercial cinema and pseudo-avant surrealism. If ever there was a perfect culmination of sight and sound, it is somewhere in Barry Lyndon. Thank you, Mr. Seitz, for an intelligent look at this film. It's long overdue.

    Craig Michael Johnson, Atlanta

    Nuclear Families A friend recently told me about Andrey Slivka's 4/12 "Nuclear Fools" article, knowing I was looking for information on Indian Point. So I looked it up via the Internet. Mr. Slivka is a brilliant writer who kept me in stitches throughout the entire piece. Very funny! Yet, oddly enough, a touching tribute to the entire problem that the Buchanan area is facing. I've read the rebuttal statement in "The Mail" ("Old Fission Hole," 4/19) and couldn't believe that someone could think that any mother would be upset at the closing of a nuclear facility. When you live with low-level radiation exposure, you are not only inviting a host of cancers and weakening your immune system, you are messing with the very genetic code our society is made up of. Are we to become a planet of mutants? Maybe not now. Maybe not in 20 years. But sure enough, if nuclear proliferation continues, it is inevitable.

    Pamela Slater, Manhattan

    Epidemiology for Poets It is quite possible that if I lived near a nuclear power plant I would want it closed, just like a sewage-treatment plant or a late-night disco. But the scientific evidence advanced by Andrey Slivka for the proposition that Indian Point causes cancer is thin or non-existent. He notes that New York City cancer rates declined in the early 1970s after the city stopped drawing most of its water supply from nearby Croton Reservoir. But cancer is not like influenza or the common cold. After a young person is continuously exposed to tobacco or asbestos, they typically do not develop cancer for at least 30 years.

    Slivka entertainingly caricatures the appearance and the corporate-speak of the panelists defending the plant, but what about the audience? We do not read any descriptions of how they looked or what questions they asked. Without having been there, I am sure some of their remarks were poorly phrased or brainless.

    Epidemiology is a scientific discipline that tries to account for numerous variables. It is not a field for amateurs and English majors.

    Kenneth Hermann, Manhattan

    Grating Expectorations Taki: Don't waste your time trying to figure out why some people spit in public ("Taki's Top Drawer," 4/5) and some don't. As an old liberal, I wouldn't admit the truth to myself for years, but take it from me: the world is divided into spitters and non-spitters. I used to think that education, admonitions and good examples would make the spitters at least aim for the curb, but I am convinced that punishment is the only thing that such people understand. Let City Hall get an old bathtub and encourage every citizen who comes in to spit in it. When it is half full, let every slob who hawks a gob of phlegm onto the sidewalk where I may step on it be taken to City Hall, stripped naked and immersed for an hour in this tub of cold spit.

    T. Weed, Hoboken

    She's So Unusual I very much enjoy the writing in "Taki's Top Drawer." It exposes the infirmities of our liberal socio-political cesspool with a fearlessness, clarity and humor that is seldom matched elsewhere, in my opinion. And just if I didn't think enough of you already, the David Irving/Deborah Lipstadt libel trial comes along, and "Taki's Top Drawer" (4/19) publishes two articles that demonstrate that your backbone and your sane approach extend also to the controversial and taboo issues surrounding this trial.

    My dictionary gives one meaning of peculiar as: "belonging to one person or thing and not to any other; special; particular." The wisdom and insight found within "Taki's Top Drawer" is certainly special and particular, and there is no doubt that the "brave" part fits you as well. So perhaps "Taki's Top Drawer" is also peculiar and brave. If more were peculiar and brave in the same way, the world would be a better place!

    Karl McCarron, Langely, British Columbia

    Singapore Swing I wish to comment about the letter of Lorraine Diehl ("The Mail," 4/12), who discusses Alan Cabal's somewhat inaccurate comparison of Rudy Giuliani to Jimmy Walker. Diehl is correct to note that Jimmy Walker's magic, the reason why the people loved him, was that he never placed himself above them. In his own way, Walker (who fought the bond holders and who singlehandedly kept the subway fare from rising during his time in office) was a strong supporter of the middle class. Perhaps the most apt comparison is between Walker and Ronald Reagan, a basically decent man who, unfortunately, was used as a figurehead by a powerful and sinister organization.

    Diehl notes that "Giuliani is a nasty, vindictive control freak" (true) "who wants to turn this city into Singapore" (not so true). Ms. Diehl, are you aware that in Singapore, buildings, houses and all improvements are completely exempt from taxation and the real property is restricted solely to site values? Land speculators are taxed very heavily in Singapore, which is one of the central reasons for the extremely dynamic economy, a "shining jewel of the Pacific."

    If Giuliani really wanted to transform New York City into Singapore, he would be doing his utmost to tax the land speculators of the Big Apple into smithereens. If he has expressed a desire to do so, I, and everyone else, am totally unaware of it.

    Perhaps The New York Times reporter was sleeping when Giuliani made that statement, which was why it was not reported.

    Clifton Wellman, Manhattan

    Tokin', Swiggin' Philip Morris and Anheuser-Busch are two of the biggest drug dealers in the world. Why does George Szamuely ("Taki's Top Drawer," 4/12) decry the fact that they have been invited to sponsor this year's televised presidential debates, debates closed to all but the two mainstream candidates? How else does he expect the American people to win the war on drugs without the help of these wonderful people and their chosen candidates?

    Sal Kanbierello, Manhattan

    Anglo-Saxon Epics John O'Sullivan: Your 4/19 "Taki's Top Drawer" piece was very entertaining, and quite correct. I would quibble with two assertions, but not to the point of rudeness: The first great smear on the WASPs was in The Graduate, in which Mike Nichols portrayed all of the Graduate's fraternity fellows as blond, blue-eyed ninnies. Interestingly, Mr. Nichols is himself blond and blue-eyed; but, of course, Mr. Nichols is not a ninny, he's Jewish!

    Whew. That was a close one.

    I agree that Titanic was a titanic misrepresentation of the actual events that occurred that terrible night. Or so I hear. I have not seen it; writing to editors and pundits is far more satisfying, I find, than watching fiction dressed up as fact.

    The second is the term "redneck," which, I am embarrassed to relate, referred to Roman Catholics in the midwestern U.S. for many decades. I do not know the origin of the term; I am pleased to say that my Protestant, generically WASP family looked down upon all who used vulgar terms to describe absolutely anyone. Just wasn't done, damn it. That's a little known aspect of the true WASP culture.

    We do?or, perhaps more accurately, I do?also have a graveyard full of skeletons in the closet. It's infinitely pleasurable to be reminded that one is still part of the human comedy. I confess I am genuinely pumped up by the prospect.

    With sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr. O'Sullivan for reminding us all that there is hope of redemption, regardless of frailty, which appears to be my own rather bewildered contribution to life.

    Judith Willms, Omaha, NE

    Soup Bones Why is MUGGER in favor of prosecuting Bill Clinton and not Bill Gates (4/19)? I know, because he thinks Gates hasn't done anything wrong. Well, if there's a problem with the law, then it should be changed. But meanwhile, if the guy has broken the law, let him face the consequences. I'm pretty much beyond being shocked by Clinton, though his "we saved the Constitution" quip came close. At this point I cannot even fathom what he means. Now imagine what it would take to stay married to this guy.

    I agree that he should be prosecuted, but it's not going to happen. Despite what Robert Ray says, the president and his wife are above the law. They come into office and immediately fire all the lawyers and replace them with their lackeys. The attorney general is in their pocket. They simply have too much power to obstruct, stonewall and cover their tracks. When really unscrupulous people like the Clintons get into such a high office, they're like candiru; it's practically impossible to get them out. Conservatives are afraid of indicting the president because they respect the office too much, and liberals don't see what there is to indict.

    Starr's team had the goods on Hillary on Whitewater, and they declined to prosecute only because they felt it just wouldn't do to indict the First Lady. So she skated. Of course she doesn't understand that; she thinks she got away with it because it's her divine right.

    The only way Clinton could be prosecuted is if he did something so massive that public opinion (and his buddies in the media) turned overwhelmingly against him. Like treason in wartime.

    Joe Rodrigue, New Haven

    Lone Star Kulchah MUGGER: Um, a rather sloppy jeremiad this week. It's not enough to cavil that Al Gore is attacking George W. Bush on health care, abortion, the environment, guns, Lone Star culture and excessive capital punishment (in Texas). If one truly desires to adhere one's lips to Shrub's ass, then a little defense or refutation is probably in order. But hey, why attempt the impossible? His record on health care, the environment, guns and capital punishment in Texas is dubious at best, venal at worst. (And with regards to capital punishment, murderously stupid.) As for Lone Star culture...oh forget it?for reasons I'm yet to fully comprehend, you've decided that slavish devotion to an idiot is a small price to pay in the service of greater ideological goals. Hey, wait a minute, isn't that how Clinton got elected? Okay, Gore is an oily motherfucker and Bush is fucking moron and we'll all hold our noses come November. But this much seems relevant?Gore has had an absolutely awful couple weeks, pandering here, wandering there, and yet according to my favorite website (pollingreport.com) the latest numbers, 43-41, show them in a dead heat. My interpretation? Folks start to step away from Gore because they just don't like him (and they liked Clinton, much as this must pain you), but they find themselves peering into the smirky Bush vacuum...and step in the opposite direction. This dynamic will probably continue right into November, which means it's anyone's White House, and any gaffes along the way (debates, etc.) will probably hold more sway than usual. Which makes me think Tipper will be picking out an appropriate inaugural dress.

    Harley Peyton, Santa Monica

    No Equal Time MUGGER: Where to start? Okay, I will grant that Gore is a "congenital liar." I will also grant that Gore panders to any constituency that he believes will provide votes.

    But you must know that George W. Bush is guilty of these transgressions as well. Do you really believe Bush when he claims to have had no foreknowledge of the Wiley Brothers' sleaze campaign against John McCain? Do you really believe that Bush has anything but contempt for homosexuals? Do you really believe that any man can undergo the miraculous transformation from a coked-up party hound into an image of the Jesus-loving family man that we see on television? Do you further believe that someone could perform this miracle in his forties?

    I must take exception to you letting Dubya off the hook for all of the same things that you gleefully excoriate Gore for. You describe Gore's "constant self-aggrandizement," but you fail to mention the "Reformer with Results." You criticize Gore for "flipflopping on the issues," but there is no talk of Bush's mad dash to the left after the South Carolina primary. You then state that Bush would, "...never exploit his family for political gain," Oh really? This statement would be laughable if it were not so patently absurd. Have you not seen or heard the elder Bush stumping for his son? Have you never considered the fact that Dubya's record would not qualify him for the presidency in the absence of his famous last name?

    You go on in your column to complain about the coverage of Bush by the "liberal media establishment." I do not see the problem with the coverage. Is it not true that Texas has the worst pollution in the country? Is it not true that Texas has the highest percentage of people without health insurance in the country? Is it not true that Bush rubber stamps any execution request that passes his desk? Just what exactly is the liberal media guilty of?

    You and I agree in several instances concerning Gore, but your whitewash of Bush and his sorry record leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    Lou Brocksen, Oakland, CA

    Russ Smith replies: It's a shame that The New York Times is available in Oakland, CA, for Lou Brocksen is parroting that paper's party line about George Bush. Bush hasn't exploited his family in the same way that Gore has. Of course his parents and siblings campaign for him. That's what close clans do. But has Bush ever used the death of his young sister to garner votes the way Gore exploited his own sister's premature demise from cancer? Of course not. As for Bush's "mad dash to the left," I think that's a pretty silly argument. Bush is pro-NRA, pro-life, pro-capital punishment and pro-tax cuts. If that's an example of a leftist politician, then maybe this country isn't as polarized as I've always believed. Dull and Drones MUGGER: Reading your 4/14 online column, I saw you claim that: "Bush was also born into an aristocratic family, but his easygoing nature is apparent to campaign crowds, even if his speeches seem stiff, and it's clear he'd never exploit his family for political gain." If this is true, then why did I see Bush's parents on stage with him in New Hampshire? That's not exploiting family for political gain? Or what about his history of using family influence for business purposes? If I recall correctly, George Jr.'s first successful business venture was his part in the Texas Rangers.

    All in all, though, I love the column.

    Keep up the good work!

    Dave Mackie, Raleigh, NC

    Goat Girl MUGGER: I'm writing to comment about the enjoyment you get from watching your kids play t-ball (4/19). I raised three sons and have always been one of those nutty moms yelling to (and embarrassing) my kids from the sidelines. They all played sports?baseball, football, soccer and basketball. My fondest memories are of my boys participating, and learning all the good things associated with participation. Just one cute story: After my youngest son's baseball game, I walked past a little girl's team playing t-ball. They had little pink uniforms and their parents were trying very hard not to yell at their six-year-old's efforts to hit the ball. Anyway, one of the little girls hit a ball and the parents erupted in directional encouragement. The little tyke started toward first base very hesitantly, but picked up speed until a slight breeze knocked her pink baseball cap off. The fans and parents held their breath?no one said a word?while she stopped and looked for her cap. She slowly walked over to her errant headpiece and then carefully put it back on her head. Not a word from anyone as she happily walked her way to first base. I was proud of those parents, as they politely applauded her efforts and reminded us all of the real reason we were there.

    Thought you would enjoy this.

    Judith Fredrickson, Conifer, CO

    One Word: Bronx MUGGER: Has it ever occurred to you that Manhattan is the home of the New York Yankees? Sometimes I wonder. Your early-and-often mentions of the Red Sux (4/19) and their players never fail to irritate. Surely I cannot be the only New York Press reader who is offended by this. I do, however, have a suggestion to offer you. How about this: Move to Boston. (Might I suggest the pricey and overrated Newbury St.?) Change your name to Christopher Caldwell and change the name of your column to "Hill of Beans." (Alternate suggestion: "Heap of Dung.")

    My guess is that none of your readers would notice the difference.

    Just a theory.

    Dirk Lasseter Palmetto, Manhattan

    Money Good, Ethics Bad MUGGER: Bill Clinton prosecuted (4/19)? For doing nothing more than trying to hide an extramarital affair? It was a big waste of time and taxpayer money to bother with the investigation. Particularly when you consider that JFK made Clinton look like a Mormon. George W. Bush may be on top of the polls right now with respect to leadership and personality, but wait till he has to debate Gore and stand on his own two feet without his handlers giving him all the answers. He'll be exposed before the nation for the intellectual siv that he is. Not to mention the possibility of Bush's skeletons dancing out of the closet in the latter days of the presidential campaign. Maybe some drug fiend comes out and says he snorted coke with Bush. Maybe Larry Flynt finds some bimbo who talks about having an affair with him.

    A scandal-ridden Clinton Gore administration? That may well be the case, but those scandals pale in comparison to this administration's presiding over one of the greatest economic expansions this country has seen.

    Peter Fleetwood, Seattle,