The Liar From Tehran

To the Editor:

Re Hooman Majd’s “Mahmoud and Me” [Oct. 2]: Wonderful article. Read it from top to bottom. One observation: The guy sounds like Bill Clinton. He can lie with a straight face. Scary.

Kenneth Parady

Grand Rapids, Mich.

Silver Unfairly Attacked

To the Editor:

The Observer’s editorial page recently took an unfair shot at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver [“Silver’s Not Golden,” Editorial, Sept. 25]. How can Mr. Silver be held responsible for a political culture in Albany that existed long before he came to power? In fact, he has taken some important steps to achieve a more open and inclusive legislative process.

The Observer’s recommendation that Eliot Spitzer, if elected Governor, should take out Mr. Silver in the same way Governor Pataki took out the former Majority Leader of the State Senate 11 years ago is also wrongheaded. That action certainly did not contribute to the reform of Albany. The Observer apparently buys into a negative caricature of Mr. Silver that bears little resemblance to reality. Speaker Silver used his power to enact Mayoral control of the schools and launch reform of the public-education system in New York City—a reform that received The Observer’s endorsement last week.

Speaker Silver also has a solid history of making sure that New York City gets a fair shake in Albany. Our experience in working closely with him over the years is that Speaker Silver is honest and open to new ideas that will make New York stronger and better.

Kathryn Wylde

President and C.E.O.

Partnership for New York City


Death of Superman: A Summer Ruined

To the Editor:

I was heartened to read that Andrew Sarris was as confused by many parts of Black Dahlia as I was [“DePalma’s Disjointed Dahlia; Superman Saves Hollywoodland,” At the Movies, Sept. 25]. And I also enjoyed Hollywoodland.

It’s funny—I believe that in Black Dahlia, they actually showed the “Hollywoodland” sign several times. And I was one of those kids shaken by the death of George Reeves. I still remember opening the New York Daily News that morning, seeing the picture of Superman, and thinking that for a moment I would just pretend that Superman really existed and that this was one of his exploits. And then—boom—I actually read the article, and the rest of my summer was shattered.

I always enjoy reading Mr. Sarris’ reviews.

Tom Brady


Where Are the True Christians?

To the Editor:

Joe Conason’s column “Opponents of Torture Are True Patriots” [Sept. 25] was excellent and provides some measure of hope that our Senators will restore some measure of sanity.

But why have devout Christians remained so silent on the matter? Did they turn out in droves to see Mel Gibson’s film to applaud the torture of Jesus? Why are the church leaders so silent? Why doesn’t the Pope who opposes violence speak out against torture?

And what about George W. Bush? He has stated that God tells him what to do. Does God tell to him to waterboard prisoners, even though information received by torture is notoriously unreliable?

Under the rubric of keeping us safe from terrorists, our Congressional leaders have failed us, have shamed the ideals upon which our nation was founded, and have made us far more unsafe than we can possibly imagine.

Louis Phillips


Preserve My Wednesday Mornings

To the Editor:

Though I have long been an Observer reader, Laren Stover’s mouse memoir struck me so vividly that I felt, for the first time, compelled to write [“Mouse Beautiful: A Furry, Furtive Little Love Story,” New Yorker’s Diary, Aug. 28]. Surrounded by the usual horde of braying, entertaining media-mogul superheroes, it was a thrill to find a sense that real human beings still live in New York City. I hope The Observer of the future can remember to include columns like this one to ensure that its pages (and my Wednesday mornings) fully reflect our metropolitan breadth.

Craig Nelson