Cow Tip

Raw deal: Regarding Eric Barton’s “Cattle Call” (March 2): Good article. I like that it is purely informational, and to be honest, that is what makes it so gruesome.

I know when I talk to people about the ways that factory farm animals are murdered, they often don’t believe me that heads are chopped off and stun guns are used by shoving them into the brain or rectum. This has come straight from the cow’s mouth, so to speak, and I really hope that people are sickened by it. Not sure this was your intention, but it worked for me.

Robin Lonborg
Shawnee

Think Tank

Army of one: Tomas Young is a little bitch (Ben Paynter’s “A Tale of Two Soldiers,” March 2). It’s OK to hunt bad guys in Afghanistan but not Iraq? In a fleeting moment of 9/11 patriotism, he decides to serve his country — but on his terms. And now Bushy has gone and hurt his feel-bads by sending him to the wrong war zone.

I think that spoiled, immature punk oughta show some accountability for the situation he volunteered for. Disgusting. Young is a complete disgrace to the truly brave, committed troops serving in all armed forces.

Jason West
Scottsdale, Arizona


Theater of war: Simply put, “A Tale of Two Soldiers” was one of the best articles I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Right from the first sentence, Ben Paynter’s writing skill made me feel as if I were seeing, not reading.

J. Osborn
Kansas City, Missouri

The Decline of the West

It’s curtains: I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that Nadia Pflaum’s article on Rick West was right on the money (“Horn Dog,” February 16).

I have a daughter who was also a part of all those early “auditions” at the Rick West Theatre. My daughter’s stage name is Michelle Lea, and she performs at many opry houses in Kansas and Missouri. Even I was told that Michelle needed to wear high heels and wear dresses and skirts to rehearsals. I felt this to be strange at the time because my daughter was only 12 years old. She is now 14.

We went to the many rehearsals every Sunday evening for more than four months. Michelle sang song after song for that man, with the promise that she would be the first “guest performer” on the show. We never got that call. But then again, I refused to help Rick West in the construction of the theater. Maybe that is why we never got that call. We knew Michelle had enough talent to be on his show, because by the time we were going through these “auditions,” Michelle had earned second place in a citywide contest for Radio Disney and had performed at many opry houses in Kansas and Missouri. All had required only one audition. She is scheduled to perform her next guest appearance at Annie’s Country Jubilee in Tonganoxie, Kansas, on April 15.

We still have not gotten a call from Rick West, nor do we want that call.

Ken J. Sciortino
Via the Internet

Vision quest: Nadia, do you realize the twisted information you wrote about Rick West, Barry Bouse and myself? I gave you nothing but good, decent info on Rick. You don’t really know him, Barry or myself.

I have known Rick since the ’60s, and you did not portray him as he really is. How long have you known him? A few hours? You don’t have the correct info, my dear. As far as Barry is concerned, he has an IQ of 135. He’s far from the hick you made him out to be. What is your IQ?

As for myself, I have never worn my hair piled on top of my head with two black swipes of eyeliner under my eyes. How could you see my eyes anyway? I wear glasses with a thick frame.

As far as Rick’s talent is concerned, he has always had the art of music and dance. He was born with it. He is a natural! Rick and I are friends, so I like to embarrass him playfully at times, just to throw him off. So what is wrong with that? Rick is a Christian man from a Christian family. I told you that. But you didn’t print it, did you?

I am a practicing Catholic, and Barry is a nonpracticing minister. You should be ashamed. But what you did is between God and you, and He will judge you. So I will leave it at that, and I will pray for you.

Marianne McGrath
Independence

Leo Rising

Weight a minute: Regarding Jason Harper’s Wayward Son (February 16): Is it really necessary to describe someone as you have done here (“Pudgy singer and guitarist Tyler Lyon”)? I don’t think that this has anything to do with one’s musical talent, since you said yourself that the Leo Project was the best performance of the evening.

Holly Johnson
Lee’s Summit