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Letters to the Editor 

Sorry, Wrong Brickbat

It was indeed disappointing to read that Gambit had bestowed a Brickbat upon our agency for our efforts to clean up the Medicaid wheelchair program (Aug. 9). Gambit's writer credited the federal government with discovering the problems within the program, but it was a three-month investigation initiated by Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) Secretary Fred Cerise that led to the discovery, as well as a solution. In fact, DHH presented its findings and its plan to reform the program to the Legislature and to the federal government earlier this year. Out of fairness, it is only right that Gambit should acknowledge agencies that ferret out abuses and that implement reforms.

Readers who are interested can read the DHH expose that first uncovered the problem at

Bob Johannessen
Communications Director,Department of Health and Hospitals

EDITOR'S NOTE: Johannessen is right. Gambit Weekly regrets the error. Pass the Hurricanes Andrei Codrescu thinks all the million-dollar apartments in New Orleans will surely be destroyed by hurricanes in five years (Penny Post, July 5)? Well, I guess my place won't last the next rainstorm.


Run! The sky is falling!

New Orleans, Memphis, San Francisco and New York are predestined to become worthless voids, and only fools would live there. Now I will move to Omaha!

I agree that when mortgage payments exceed 25 percent of household income, real estate becomes disconnected from real life, but Andrei doesn't make sense and doesn't seem to realize that our lives are in New Orleans. Adam Farrington Blinded by the Light Reading the article "Love Is Blind" (Penny Post, July 18) left me wondering whether its author was blinded (temporarily, I hope) by mixing sex and love in the dark with Viagra.

True, love can blind us. Sex, lust, hate or any desire driven by volatile emotions can do the same. A blue, green or yellow pill is not needed to do love. You may need one for sex. You do not need darkness for love. You most definitely need it for sex, especially when you're looking for it in "dark alleys, dark corners, dark bars, dark rooms and the night itself."

If your partner during sex shouts "bee bah" instead of your name or the more generic "oh God," then temporary blindness every time you sleep with something for sex in the name of love ain't bad.

Love courts light far more than darkness. Similar to torture, love "always involves bright lights." Love lights up unseen beauty to cosmic proportions, usually in living rainbow colors. Sunshine, moonlight, stars are all brightly lit instruments of love.

For sex and artificial love, use Viagra and risk temporary or permanent blindness. Sometimes, it's worth the risk. For true love, use your imagination. It never fails.

Bassam Messaike


Where's the Alternative?

Iam writing to politely request that you remove the slogan "Because New Orleans Needs An Alternative" from the front page of each issue. There is nothing at all alternative about your publication. Your editorial policy/political slant is identical to The Times-Picayune; only you have more food and entertainment information. A true alternative would be a Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper like the New York Post, which is very different from The New York Times.

For example, if you were truly an alternative, your stance on juvenile justice would be different. Instead of complaining about Tallulah, you would recommend legislation requiring any politician voting to close a juvenile penitentiary to house a few of these predators in his bedroom closet. Also, an alternative newspaper would stop writing the same education editorials over and over again. You know, we should all hold hands and do our part to encourage the little gang members in the public schools to learn. Instead, you would write the truth. Some students want to learn, others do not.

An alternative newspaper should stop complaining about the war in Iraq and would instead write about how in every war we lose people at a much slower rate than the previous one. The Korean War and World War II come to mind. Maybe it was because in the Korean War we had French approval, but in World War II, most of the French supported Hitler every way they could. Or instead, just maybe we should have some confidence in our leaders in Washington. That would be a really alternative idea.

Ian Goldenberg


Rolling With It

I just want to say thank you for knowing how to properly spell "Laissez les bon temps rouler" (Ultimate Shopper, July 27). The butchering of this phrase is rampant!

Thomas Scott Ball Jr.


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