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Katrina's lessons

I wanted to pass along accolades for the article on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina ("Are we next?" by Jason Berry, Aug. 30). Well done. What most people don't realize is that New Orleans is yet another front line on the war against the American people by the current administration. Bush is bound and determined to turn this country into his own little fiefdom, complete with secret police and removal of our basic rights to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Can anyone draw parallels between our imminent ruination and the old U.S.S.R.? Give it some thought. KGB; NSA. Gitmo; Gulag. The list could go on for quite a while. We've never seen a president who is so focused on taking total control, while ignoring his job: doing what the American people tell him to do. We have the right to change our government, but it is just too bad that it isn't until 2008 that we have the real opportunity to do so. I urge everyone to vote for sane government when the opportunity presents itself, before it is literally too late. God help us all.

Kelly Wade
Raleigh

Party on!

Jason Berry's article showed Katrina was a microcosm of America's unsustainable policies. Environmental destruction, political corruption and incompetence, greed, corporate myopia and the growing divide between rich and poor; and all of it held together by Mardi Gras.

Americans have not yet connected the dots that align our moneyed political system with these outcomes, and continue to dance to the music supplied by the present political/corporate alliance.

I have not sent money--other than tax dollars--to help rebuild New Orleans or Louisiana. I believe that until we change the fundamental structure of political power in this country, we are just feeding another failure, and covering up the same system that got us here.

Peter Childers
Mebane

Eye of the beholder

Now that photography has become "art" for John Menapace and the rest of us ("Solitaire with pictures," Aug. 30), we must stand in front of a picture and ask: "What part of Walter Benjamin or Roland Barthes is this supposed to allude to?"

If photography is a cable transmitting ideas and emotion, then all of them--the ones stretched across 10-story buildings, the ones projected onto our faces all day by toobs, the ones being pumped about by cell phones--are helping us learn how to edit away the predictable and the commonplace. In John Menapace, we discover a uniquely good eye, looking to help us see, not manipulate us.

Jimmy Kellough
Durham

Mixed messages

Funny, isn't it, how the Indy can sing the praises of An Inconvenient Truth one month, and write about the joys of amateur auto racing the next (Annual Manual, Aug. 23)? Has the American memory become that short-term? The Indy admits it: Global warming is real, and it's real serious. So if you're going to drive, you had better have a good reason. Driving around a big circle a hundred times is not excusable just because you get kicks out of it. Have y'all even considered the real meaning of the term "inconvenient truth"? I consider myself to be a pretty Southern boy, but I know enough to know that not every bit of Southern Americana is as harmless as The Dukes of Hazzard might make one think. Either Grayson Currin does not know this, or he's intimate with that other intrinsic part of Americana: looking the other way.

Jonathan Pattishall
Durham

Vets' advocate

In the overall scheme of things, the August 2006 position of Congressman Bob Etheridge on the war in Iraq is not all that significant. His lack of applause for it certainly tells us something. Bob Geary, though, should not be so dismissive of Etheridge's strong efforts on behalf of veterans ("Etheridge on the war: not my issue," Triangles, Aug. 23). For reasons I will never understand, the current administration has been terribly anti-veteran, though the president talks a good game. Veterans' healthcare benefits is simply an issue that doesn't resonate with Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

James B. Craven III
Durham

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