Regarding your article about the ACLU ["The Life and Death of Houston's ACLU," December 23, by Steve McVicker]: I am a former contributor to the national ACLU at what is for me a significant level, and to the Clark Read Foundation at a somewhat lesser level.
When the trouble came up, I wrote to the national president and, failing to hear from her, to Ira Glasser, the executive director, asking for some clarification. Neither of them replied. I later received a fundraising letter from Molly Ivins (along with a number of solicitations from the national office), so I asked her to enlighten me about why the local chapter was disbanded. Again I did not receive a response. Now a new Houston chapter is being organized. I think those of us who have been donors are entitled to some explanation from the powers that dissolved the local chapter.
...or Good Riddance?
Your recent article on the ACLU was interesting until I reached the paragraph which stated [that the ACLU tries to] "protect against the erosion of constitutional guarantees." One must remember the guarantees they protected -- ensuring that vicious criminals receive all their rights in court, to the total absence of regard for the civil rights of victims; the use at any time and place of four-letter words of filth because they are protected under the Constitution; the exposure of genitalia by artists who claim it is art; their hypocritical stand when a Nazi group in the north was denied a permit to demonstrate and the Union refused to support their civil rights -- to name a few. Yes, they protect our constitutional guarantees -- the devil they do. They protect only if it suits their purpose!
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William L. West
One cannot wholly fault Peter Szatmary for misspelling "Ben Bradlee" as "Ben Bradley" [Movies, "Pretty Woman, Bad Movie," December 23]. I suppose, given the limitations of genre, Deep Throat was not a bad little movie either. His editor, however, must have been chewing gum or walking when he signed off on the galleys.