The FBI's cronyism
Regarding your Jan. 25 cover story about the FBI's Citizens' Academy: You should've asked about the history of the Phoenix FBI Citizens' Academy, which was found to have improperly spent public funds (taxpayer money) during its first few years of cultivating relationships with private businessmen and other important citizens.
Cronyism has a pejorative connotation while “community policing” has a good one. But, in any event, the FBI's InfraGuard and Citizens' Academy furnished opportunities for FBI agents to meet CEOs, so when it came time to retire and go through the “revolving door,” the agents could secure lucrative second careers in corporate security.
It's also been reported that another main purpose of the FBI's Citizens' Academy included recruiting people to become “informants.” After the black eye, the FBI got in the press from the Ruby Ridge and Waco incidents, the FBI's Citizens' Academy was justified as a way of countering the FBI's bad press. That's probably why the program was put under the Public Affairs office.
retired FBI agent,
Apple Valley, Minn.
A rant, not a review
I was disturbed to read your review by Seth Combs about a local band named Endoxi titled [“Notes from the Smoking Patio,” Feb. 1]. I have read many negative reviews about bands that I love, but I can respect them and take them for what they are: critical opinions. However, this piece by Mr. Combs is much more of a rant than a review.
Although the [online] piece is called “Endoxi Drops a New Album,” I learned nothing at all about the actual album except the name. The author spent more time criticizing the band members' personal characters and dedication than actually writing beneficial information or news.
Anyone who's been to an Endoxi show or knows anything about them can tell you they put their heart and soul into what they do. They are most certainly not doing it to “pick up chicks,” as Mr. Combs is so quick to assume. I believe that Endoxi deserves a fair and honest review by someone who knows how to praise good music and critique where needed. Endoxi is one of the few unique and truly entertaining bands that have helped shape and define our music scene, and they deserve more. People searching for great music deserve more from music critics than what Seth Combs decided to write.
If this is what passes for a music review (or even a newsworthy piece of work), then I will happily be spending my time on Facebook where I can read that kind of music review in much fewer words.
I listened to most of the tunes in your article, “A sexy playlist for music lovers” [“The Sex Issue,” Feb. 8] and didn't agree with the author's opinion of those tunes. Rather than just complain, I wanted to contribute. So, here's my list of sexy tunes. I began by thinking of sexy jazz tunes, then shifted to this century. Even so, some of the more recent tunes may not be current enough for some of your readers, but here goes:
“Poor Butterfly” by Phil Woods and Kenny Burrell, “Love for Sale” by Billie Holiday, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman (the whole damn album) by John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. More current: “Hey Mr. DJ” by Madonna, “Liquid Dreams” by O-Town, “Fire” by Babyface, “I'm Missin' Your Love” by Kem, “Beat of Love” by En Vogue, “Temptation” by Diana Kroll, “Wish I Didn't Miss You” by Angie Stone, “Faded” by Soul Decision, “Straight to Number One” by Touch & Go, “I'm in Chains” by Tina Arena.