Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email deisen@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject.

Mixed Reaction to Amherst State Rep. Leaving Democrats

In response to “Bravo to Goldstein-Rose for Declaring Independence from Democrats”:

Solomon Israel Goldstein-Rose

Completely agree with this article, and Goldstein-Rose’s decision. Enough with the two party system.
—B. Omar Acevedo, website comment

To me this looks less like a principled stand and more like a calculated move to position himself to run against Stan Rosenberg in two years.
—Ted Chambers, website comment

We had a young rep leave the Donkey party in Keene this year. Rep. Joe Stallcop. Methinks the party elders are losing touch with the younger generation.
—Steve William Lindsey, website comment

Got his foot with the first shot… impressive…
—F. Michael Addams, website comment

Words of Encouragement Make All the Difference

In response to “The Art of Laughter: A Conversation with Comedian Kim Deshields”:

Kim Deshields. Courtesy photo

I performed at the Peking Garden with Boney in 1998. I had performed once in NYC and this was my next show. She walked up to me, jittery, and asked, “have you ever done stand up before?” She was shaking and nervous. I had to walk away from her to maintain my own calm so I sat down in the audience. I think she went up third but I know that she DESTROYED and then I thought, “Fuck, I just alienated the funniest person in the room.” I went up and did my small, flatly delivered jokes and walked to the ladies room. Once in there I heard someone come in. I was just in there to sit down and take a quiet moment. The other person didn’t move. I turned the knob and opened the door and there was Boney, saying: “I think you are very funny.” For ever I have remembered those words and say them to any comedian that I like. It’s extremely powerful and Kim DeShields taught me that. It makes all the difference.
—Kathleen Kanz, website comment

Capitalism Holding Up Gun Control

The way it goes is, people have been dying from opioid addiction for years. It wasn’t until the wealthy people’s kids started becoming addicted and overdosing that it became an epidemic. As with gun control, not until their kids’ private boarding schools start to have mass shootings will it become a problem that we must deal with. We should all know now that to them it’s all about profits not people until they have these problems knocking on their front doors. Capitalism at its greatest. I hope it doesn’t take this long, but with their track record, we’re in for a tough predicament.
—Pat O’Connell, Holyoke