Riled by runaway tuition
Re: your lists of costs as they've increased over time ("News Flash: Life Gets More Expensive," 1/1/10): I found particularly interesting the increase of UW-Madison tuition (both in percentage and absolute dollars). I've known the cost of college education has been sharply escalating, but these stats really show how bad the situation is.
Curiously, we see no concerted pressure on public higher education to reduce costs, reduce waste, eliminate bureaucracy, etc. I was shocked when the Board of Regents decided to pay the new UW-Madison chancellor more than President Obama, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
We get all exercised about hikes in Madison Metro's fares (100% since 1990) and city of Madison property taxes (142% since 1989) and rightly so. But how does UW-Madison get so little attention with an increase (306% since 1990) that makes the former almost pale into insignificance? Who is minding this store?
Ross Reinhold, Mount Horeb
Hip-hop deserves bad rap
Emily Mills' opinion column "Making Peace With Hip-Hop" (1/1/10) is a thinly disguised effort to assign blame everywhere but where it belongs.
Among the pervasive nonsense Mills serves up is a reference to the "overreaction" of the police to what she describes as a "small fight" that occurred during a hip-hop performance. Have you ever been involved in a fight, Emily? Hello. These are events in which people are usually injured and property damaged.
Isthmus readers who need a more in-depth exposure to this disgusting genre should catch a bit of the program on WORT (89.9 FM) Saturday night through Sunday morning. You'll be inundated with lyrics that glorify violence, denigrate police, focus on racial inequality and demonstrate that questionable talent is easily overcome by a liberal use of such words as "f_ _k," "motherf_ _ _er," "n_ _ _ _er," "b_ _ _h" and the like.
James E. Murray, Sun Prairie