May 9, 2005

So Sexy, It Hurts
Alert the art department! Not all promiscuous men look like the guy on the cover of your magazine [“ Sex + the Supervirus,” by David France, May 2]. Let’s kill that myth, too, while we’re at it.
—Shahnaz Mohammed, Riverdale, N.Y.

Meddling With Honor
Steve Fishman’s “ Hell’s Kitchen” [April 25] was captivating. In war, you hesitate and you’re dead. There is no question: An American life is worth more than two Iraqi lives. When our troops grant the enemy the benefit of the doubt, their decision can wind up costing them their lives.
—Emily Cochran, Arlington, Va.

Last May, I was dining in Hell’s Kitchen when I noticed a man sitting at the table next to mine. He was wearing a pin that said give war a chance. I couldn’t help but remember him while reading your biased story on Ilario Pantano. So he went to Horace Mann and NYU—who cares? He allegedly executed two men for no good reason. What is the connection between Iraq and 9/11 anyway? And it’s shameful to depict Sergeant Coburn, who seems to be a man of integrity, as someone driven by the need for vengeance.
—M. G. Gantenbain, Manhattan

What a disgrace. Bush, Cheney, and Rummy got us into a war with no rules, and the military has to suffer? Ilario Pantano is a credit to the Marines. In a war that is being fought mostly by our National Guard reservists, Pantano was an educated, dedicated leader. War is hell. He made an executive decision in a no-holds-barred war zone. That was his job. Who are we to judge?
—Jennifer Hummel, Fredericksburg, Texas

Ilario Pantano’s situation seems like a handy metaphor for the whole Iraq episode. If he’s found guilty, so is the country that will have convicted him.
—Mike Curran, Manhattan

Long Live the Gipper
I thought Daniel Gross’s “ Don’t Hate Them Because They’re Rich” [April 18] was excellent. It’s great that you recognize that Reagan’s trickle-down theory of economics actually works and that you point out, however inadvertently, that Republicans have it right.
—Charles A. Treviso, Fairport, N.Y.

Policy Change
Amy Sohn’s “ The Lying Game” [“Mating,” April 25] implies that New York women are looking for honesty. As a 38-year-old, educated, employed, and reasonably attractive man, I have learned from experience that this is not true. When I make a point of divulging relevant information (i.e., that I care for my 3-year-old son from a previous relationship), I can almost hear the sound of deflating illusion, like the air rushing out of a perfect balloon. Women eliminate honest men in favor of guys who tell them what they want to hear. Though I persist in being candid, I’ve learned that honesty doesn’t get you very far.
—Robert Pagen, Forest Hills

Jersey Jets
Most of us who came of age during the “Broadway Joe” era don’t suffer gangrenous memory loss [“ The Imperial City: Too Big Not to Fail,” by Kurt Andersen, April 25]. Let’s bring our Jets back to New York, to the west side—of the George Washington Bridge. Mere minutes from midtown are 500-plus acres in Orangeburg, replete with tailgating space. How quaint it would be to play football in “the country”! How reminiscent of the Jets’ first training camp at Peekskill Military Academy! And how great for Gothamites and traversers of that pitted, pitiful West Side Highway.
—Barbara Lima, Stony Point, N.Y.

Not Funny
The quotes Jonathan Mahler attributed to me in “ What Rupert Wrought” [April 11] were inaccurate and most damaging [“‘I haven’t met many Jews,’ said Michelmore. ‘We were always taught that they had horns on their head.’ ”]. I worked in New York for twenty years before Rupert Murdoch hit town; during those years I interviewed dozens of renowned physicists, many of them Jewish. To be made the butt of an asinine joke was deeply hurtful.
—Peter Michelmore, Palisades, N.Y.

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May 9, 2005