The letters to the editor in my local rag are getting prickly. It's hard for people here, they like being seen as cool hippie-liberal types, driving their priuses with Obama bumper stickers and buying kale from the farmer's market, but the news that my county may actually have to live up to their affordable housing agreements with the state seems to have unleashed some conflicting thoughts in some of my neighbors.

I thought I'd start posting some of these letters so we can all see through the cloud of smug a bit.

Glaring double standard

Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy was visited by journalists who wanted his side of the story about not paying for grazing land on government property.

The old coot, an inarticulate cowboy who talks way too much, mused on racial issues which evidently have been stored in the dark, deep, cob-webbed corner of his early 20th century brain. His comments were labeled racist and made the national news and radio talk shows for days. The public feeding frenzy was akin to pushing an old, crippled cow into a pond over-crowded with starving piranha; all went from uh-oh to real ugly, very quickly.

It occurred to me that there seems to be a glaring, double standard applying one way toward cowboys and another to artists.

When rappers (eg, Mr. R, Sniper, Tommy Boy, EMI, Nubian, Ice T, Ice Cube, Dr Dre, Gravediggaz, De Lench Mob, Terrorists, Kill Army etc.) use the most offensive language and thoughts to harmonize on extreme physical violence, criminal acts, women hating and sexual abuse, murder and racism, they get a Grammy — the music industry's highest award. Yeah, really. Go figure?

- [name redacted by me]