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FROM A SKEPTIC

WOW. You ran a full page article by someone named “Barry Martin”, entitled “From the Dead Liberals Society” [Aug. 25, 2010].

There are so many assertions and figures cited in that piece! I would LOVE to pass all this along to others, to have them read your paper, to get them moving about demanding something be done to resolve the illegal aliens problems in the USA, one way or the other.

But then I realize — all this could be made up — by some — even by you.

I don’t dare use this information. Why? Because you put this stuff out there with no sources cited, nothing about the writer, nothing I can check to be sure what I would pass along would be the truth. Trying to Google this writer or the “Dead Liberals Society” brings me no new information.

For all I know this is a complete FICTION piece — made up by someone on your staff. Otherwise, why would you put it out there with no backup… or is that how your paper works now… just put stuff out there to see who you can reach and stir up, with no idea as to whether it is true or not.

Maybe I had better not trust what I read in YES!

Weekly any more. If so, why read it at all? There is enough fiction out there to avoid these day that “spins” or confuses me and everyone else.

Please try to do better. I really do want to believe in you and your publication.

Wil Courter, Greensboro

Editor replies: “From the Dead Liberals Society” was a Local Vocal, where we sometimes run longer letters by readers. The piece was a genuine letter from a man named Barry Martin, whose opinions we don’t endorse and whose facts we don’t confi rm.

INFORMATION WITHOUT AGITATION

I think Jim Longworth’s recent piece, “Iraq War Has Cost Us Dearly,” [Sept. 1, 2010] was extremely well written. It is perhaps the best critique I have read of this huge fraud perpetrated on the American and Iraqi publics.

The only point you fail to make is the need to take concrete action against our corrupt rulers. The 1960s demonstrated that tyrants only relinquish power or alter corrupt practices under pressure from the electorate, never willingly of their own accord.

Today’s public knows more about government corruption than any time in our history, thanks to the internet and other news sources. But it also is more apathetic and less able to organize to take effective action against this corruption than any generation in American history.

This is the vital element missing from our civic life.

Information without agitation is perhaps worse even than total ignorance, since we no longer have an excuse for our apathy.

Michael Korn, Triad

IN DEFENSE OF TONY BENNETT

I would like to let you guys know that Ryan Snyder’s comments about the Tony Bennett concert were really off base [Forecast, Sept. 8, 2010]. Please help this guy with his journalism. If I drove to Richmond to watch Tony Nov. 5 the average ticket price is around $120. I would also have to pay for fuel, food and lodging. I paid $125 at Stevens and supported the local economy by eating downtown, then went home to sleep in my own bed. Also, the Hannah Montanna and stamp collecting comments were juvenile. How old is this guy? There are so many events taking place this weekend that Ryan should be forced to walk all over downtown and cover every single one of them. Give this guy something to do which will make a difference in Winston.

Wayne Graham, Winston-Salem

Thanks for listening to my criticism of Ryan Snyder’s woefully inaccurate article about the opening of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts. We are extremely dismayed and disappointed in the quality of his reporting about opening weekend. He never contacted us for accurate information and appears to have done no research into the abundance of publicly available information on this event. His article is damagingly misleading about our event and harmful to the success of our operation.

The Light Up the Arts Gala with Tony Bennett presented by Hanesbrands Inc. was NOT sold out.

The fact that he characterized Community Weekend, presented by Reynolds American and Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company, as only for people interested in Hannah Montana and collecting stamps shows blatant ignorance of the massive arts festival at the Rhodes Arts Center. We had dance, music, theatre, film, activities for children, seminars on how to get a job in the arts, winning works by the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, an appearance by the historic Wells Fargo Stage Coach, conversations with famous artists, tributes to African American heroes, opportunities to Fly Like Peter Pan, and much more.

Additionally, Rocco Landesman, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, joined us from Washington DC to open the center.

We appreciate the fact that Ryan is a reviewer of music CDs and bands; and if he had wanted to review the actual performance of Mr. Bennett and our jam-packed weekend, we would have welcomed that, because he would have seen the inclusiveness of our City of Arts & Innovation. Instead, his article merely portrayed a sarcastic, inaccurate and damaging perspective, all wrapped together in a poorly researched, sloppy piece of journalism.

Siobhan Olson, Board Member, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Co-Chair, Opening of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts

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