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Criticism magnified
We were sure that there would be a comment or two about the print size of the new Independent for we two were most frustrated with the print format.

Your articles are wonderful and your calendar of arts and entertainment is most informative, but how do you expect to communicate if the reader is still unable to comfortably decipher the small print? You have not made a significant improvement in the size of the print (in the 8/11 weekly) to make the Independent readable without a great deal of eye strain.

Take a lesson from the advertisers. Their message is loud and clear.
Dr. and Mrs. Donald Foreman
Chapel Hill

Third pary press
I enjoyed reading Bob Geary's article "Court Ruling Could Help Nader" (Aug. 11). Unfortunately, it is extremely hard for third party candidates to get on the ballot in all states. In addition, it is currently impossible for third party candidates to be included in the presidential debates. I applaud the Independent for bringing up this issue. I also urge anyone who wants to see third party candidates included in the presidential debates to sign the Open Debates petition at opendebates.org .

I was also happy to see that the Libertarian party was briefly mentioned in this article. Michael Badnarik is in fact the only third party presidential candidate on the N.C. ballot, and is also the only "peace" candidate who would work to bring our troops home from Iraq. Currently, the only way to learn about the Libertarian party platform is to visit lp.org or badnarik.org, because the party gets almost no press coverage. I hope to read more about the Libertarian party and other third party alternatives in the Independent in the future.
Elise Gallivan

EDITOR'S NOTE: We received several reactions from members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans about Jon Elliston's article, "Sam Currin caught in the crossfire," which ran in our Aug. 18 issue. Following are some examples.

From Texas
Mr. Elliston,

Sir, if you are going to attack somebody you should at least get an occasional fact right to back up your boorish rantings.
J. Benton
Winnsboro

From Alabama
In today's edition of the Durham Independent, Jon Elliston criticizes the Sons of Confederate Veterans for denying Walt Hilderman admission to the recent SCV Reunion in Dalton, GA. Hilderman has repeatedly claimed that the SCV is being taken over by radical extremists, a claim that is repeated in this article. The SCV lawfully (and understandably) chose not to associate with Hilderman at its annual reunion.

Elliston attempts to smear SCV Judge Advocate-in-Chief Sam Currin of Raleigh by associating him with the "radical" element of the SCV. However, Elliston is unable to draw a connection between Currin and radical extremists. The Independent is forced to admit that Currin has "successfully prosecuted members of the White Patriot Party, a neo-Nazi paramilitary group in North Carolina."

On the other extreme, the article portrays the Southern Poverty Law Center simply as a "nonprofit watchdog group." Elliston does not mention that SPLC founder Morris Dees was removed from Federal Court in North Carolina for suborning perjury. More information about this truly unethical lawyer can be seen at www.patriotist.com/dees.htm .

Does the Independent really expect readers to ignore the lack of journalistic integrity displayed by Elliston, with his unbalanced reporting and his attempt at character assassination (without supporting evidence)?
Mike Helmick
Gurley

From Georgia
What a rotten article by the Scalawag Elliston.
Elijah S. Coleman

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Got something to say about an Independent article? Send no more than 300 words to backtalk@indyweek.com; to P.O. Box 2690, Durham 27715; or fax 286-4274. Include your name, phone number and mailing address for verification; we cannot publish a letter without confirmation from the writer. We reserve the right to edit letters for length, style and clarity.

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