Cashed Out

Presumed innocent: Regarding Jack Cashill’s letter in the January 9 issue: It sounded rational until his “pro-life” nonsense! First of all, when did God repeal “original sin”? In the Christian and Jewish faiths, no one is born “innocent.”

Second, pro-life is more correctly pro-famine, pestilence and poverty! After birth, the innocents have no value to the anti-abortion bigots!

P.S.: I am a disabled reader and a “conservative” who enjoys your “liberal,” yet often very fair and balanced reporting. Sometimes, the ads that make the Pitch free interfere with reading long, valuable articles — the cost of a “free” newspaper!

David Watson

Kansas City, Missouri

Bombs Over Baghdad?

Five easy peaces: Thanks to C.J. Janovy for her recent column about the court appearance of five anti-war protesters (“High Five,” January 2). Here’s hoping that other local media outlets will follow the Pitch‘s lead in providing intelligent coverage of the city’s growing peace movement.

And here’s hoping that more Kansas Citians will follow the protesters’ lead in taking action to prevent an unjust war. Too many lives — both American and Iraqi — are at stake to ignore this issue until our bombs are once again falling on Baghdad.

An American invasion of Iraq would also set a dangerous precedent. President Bush’s tough talk on North Korea signals his intention to set this country on a path of perpetual warfare. While this cycle of aggression may please the defense industry, it will produce ever-increasing levels of conflict, suffering and fear. That’s not the kind of world I want to live in. Do you?

Greg Belshe

Overland Park

Whitlock and Load

Race to the finish: Regarding Greg Hall’s article on Jason Whitlock (“Black Hawks Down,” December 26): That African-American male sells The Kansas City Star. If the Pitch is going to attack an African-American male whom very few people take seriously anyway, why doesn’t your paper use this energy to attack racism in KCMO? Oh yes, racism is alive and well in KC.

I guess the one question I would like to ask is: How many Trent Lotts are out there in the United States? Forget about Jason.

Albert Burton

Kansas City, Missouri

Cop a fee: Regarding Kendrick Blackwood’s “Cash Test” (January 9): He failed to mention that Claycomo officers will go out of their way to harass Ford workers because “we are all rowdy alcoholics,” and they hate our kind (meaning autoworkers).

I am sick of the way Claycomo treats all Ford workers. Period. If you get arrested, you have to see their good-ol’-boy-recommended bail bondsman, who recommends this lawyer only because he’s the judge’s friend, etc. If you want people to feel sorry for the village — sorry, we don’t after years of harassment. That’s why it stays a village, not an incorporated city, so they play by their rules.

Sorry, Claycomo; there wouldn’t be a Claycomo without Ford, but they don’t act like it — they want more and more! So if you want sympathy, I wouldn’t give one dime to the village.

Name Withheld Upon Request

Night Vision

Shots in the dark: Regarding Jen Chen’s Night Ranger column: Great byline — keep up the good work/fun! I enjoy her articles on KC nightlife; it’s a very good addition to the Pitch.

Can I also tell her that I have enjoyed the humor in her columns as well? Loved that quip about how the line outside of KC bars usually means it sucks (“Life in a Fishbowl,” December 5) — HOW TRUE!

Thanks again.

Tom Gryska


Package Deal

Market research: Andrew Miller’s article on Avril Lavigne was most excellent! (“Stormy Whether,” January 9). He took a neutral stance and raised some very interesting points.

Clearly, the Avril Lavigne product is quite a phenomenon. The burning question in my mind is: How much did she really contribute to the writing of the songs? There were four different writing teams working with her on the CD. I wonder if the claim that “it’s all Avril” is just slick marketing. She certainly has a good voice and probably did have at least some part in the writing process. The writing credit for each song is stated as “Avril Lavigne & (name of co-writer).” But I am interested in knowing to what extent her writing contribution actually was.

The reason I am wondering is because my twelve-year-old daughter (and I imagine many like her) wants to take singing and guitar lessons. I would like to provide my daughter with a realistic assessment of what it really takes to “make it” à la Avril Lavigne. If Avril actually did write those songs mostly on her own, then that would be a very tough order to fill! On the other hand, if Avril simply provided the voice and teen image, and the songwriting was mostly done by others but packaged as “Avril Lavigne,” then that order may indeed be doable.

I would appreciate any insight anyone could provide; feel free to e-mail me at

Brian King

South River, New Jersey

Shake Down

Hip hip hooray: Great review of Bellydance Superstars (Hear and Now, January 9). One of my belly dance students brought the CD to class last week, and I concur — it’s a fantastic compilation. I certainly recommend it to anyone interested.

And by the way, two thumbs up for the praise of belly dancers and how they do/don’t compare to Hefner’s lot.

Anya Lahara

Overland Park