Blame the pencilnecks: Crime is around every corner and under every rock. This city is swirling right down the toilet, and the cops can't do enough to clean it up ["Loose Cannon," September 8]. The one thing that really burns my ass is you media-know-it-all pencilnecks take heroes (like Daniel Jopek) and turn them into criminals, and take criminals (like Stanley Strnad) and turn them into victims.
The guy was a career criminal. Cleveland is better off without him. It is too bad that his family will have to do without him, but he should have thought of that before he ran from the cops. One of the reasons Cleveland is so bad is because of you and the rest of the bleeding media. "Oh, woe is the crook that got slaughtered by the bad cops. He was such a great guy, blah, blah, blah."
Next time, try picking up a gun and standing next to the cops making Cleveland a better, safer place to live, instead of picking up a pen and making it worse.
Visitors bureau, take note: Great reporting. Daniel Jopek is a pretty good argument for suburbanites to stay the hell away from C-Town. He's also another reason why Cleveland residents should make sure union boss Bob Beck's proposed 12-1/2 percent increase in the city payroll tax never sees the light of day.
If Cleveland's finances prevent the likes of Jopek from being called back to work, then there's a silver lining.
Killer on patrol: This is clearly a travesty. How can this happen to two families, and yet this man walks away? And to top it off, he could be back on our streets to "Protect and Serve." What a joke! I don't really feel safe with the man patrolling our city, and I really wonder, when Haley grows up and finds the truth out about how her father died, what feeling will she have for our justice system? God bless both of these families.
Tell it to the heroes of the twin towers: This sad story of another cop murdering someone is typical. The police are our enemy. They pull over people who pay their salaries and rob them. They bust into the wrong homes and murder someone who did nothing wrong. They're power-hungry lunatics. Their motto is "To Protect and Serve" -- an abbreviation of "To Protect Their Own Asses and to Serve Themselves Whatever They Want."
Where There's Smoke
Crawl the pubs, hit the showers: Pete Kotz's article could have been ghostwritten by the tobacco industry ["The Last Refuge," September 1]. They want us to think that we can't enjoy drinking in bars or gambling in casinos unless we have a cigarette in our hands. It's just like their bullshit magazine advertising, where all their actors are lighting up while they are mountain-climbing or water-skiing.
The fact is that no-smoking restaurants and bars have increased business in California and New York. Why? Because people who were previously allergic to smoke now feel free to come out and dine and drink more. Patrons appreciate not having to wash their hair and clothes when they get home to get the tobacco stench out!
Suisun City, California
Put the pencilnecks on it: I agree with your comments concerning the smoking ban. The ads they're running are portraying the worst-case scenario. Scare tactics are their last resort and their final push to completely outlaw smoking everywhere.
I read in Sunday's paper about the woman in Virginia who was sentenced to 10 days in jail for smoking in the presence of her children. The law is going crazy. Even Hitler didn't condemn people for their habits. And they never tell you about us smokers who are in our 70s and 80s, and still going strong.
The statistics never tell you the other factors involved in lung and heart problems. They don't consider weight, alcohol consumption, poor diets, and most important, genetics. If smoking were as fatal as they imply, our generation would have all died by now. The mayor and others just ignore individual comments by ordinary people. We need the power of the press to explore and expose lies and half-truths. Bombard the antismokers the way they're bombarding us.
Even more lethal than cigarettes: I always enjoy reading Pete Kotz's features, and "The Last Refuge" was no exception. His description of Union Club Tavern habitué Cliff as being "apolitical," in light of a subsequent comment by him, has to be the understatement of the millennium. Cliff is quoted as saying that the U.S. has had 43 Presidents and asks rhetorically, "How bad can they hurt us?" Well, fatally, for one.
In 1966, when I was a 23-year-old assistant editor at a trade journal, President Johnson sent me a letter that began "Greetings from the President." He was not inviting me to a soirée in the East Room. Twenty-one months later, I was dodging 122 mm rockets and mortar rounds during the Tet Offensive.
I received nary a scratch during my year "across the pond." No physical scratches, anyway. Emotional wounds? I'm not going there. More than 58,000 of my colleagues -- and untold numbers of maimed and wounded -- have experienced a world of hurt not only at the hands of Johnson, but also at the hands of President Kennedy and President Nixon. George W. Bush is continuing that fine tradition in Iraq.
So, Cliff, do you really believe presidents can't hurt us? You might want to reconsider that question.
Louis H. Pumphrey