Coe's Low Blow
Some words got no reason: I found David Allan Coe's letter [August 4] appalling, repulsive, and repugnant. His defense only makes him look like a fool. He states that he did not write any songs titled "My Wife Ran Off With a Nigger" or "Nigger Hatin' Me," but then says he did write a song with the line "Workin' like a nigger for my room and board" and one titled "Nigger Fuckers." Is that supposed to make us feel better? Anyone, black or white, who uses the word nigger is ignorant. The word has only one connotation. It's always offensive.
You, sir, are vile scum. Stay at home with your white sheet, hood, and inbred clan. Stay off the airwaves.
As for the song "Nigger Fuckers": I indulge in interracial relationships, and it delights me to know that every time I sleep with a white woman, I piss you off.
The magician of evidence-enhancement: In response to "Truth Makers" [August 4]: From the oxymoronic title to the final quote, this article exemplifies the cynical prostitution of our justice system and the techno-whores willing to swallow for the almighty dollar. "I used to worry about this, thinking I was working for the wrong side, the bad guys," states Dave Voytek, man with a conscience -- oops, he sold it!
Who cares if the guys he and his staff represent are guilty or not? They work on a first-come-first-served basis. That they manipulate reality in one of life's most difficult situations is nauseating to me. I would not wish ill upon any other human, but if ever these leeches should find themselves in a bind within the legal system, I hope their prosecution is aided by one of their "virtual" counterparts.
He Shot First
Shooting back was just self-defense: Why, when Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton publishes personal information for all the concealed-carry license holders, is it a public service [First Punch, "Locked and Loaded," August 4]? Yet, when OFCC posts Clifton's information on its website, it is, in Clifton's words, tit-for-tat and intimidation? I am still waiting for him to cite the legal authority behind his claims of "the public's right to know." Enjoy the loophole while it lasts, Mr. Clifton.
Name names, go to jail: In your story about the conflict between concealed-carry advocates and Plain Dealer Editor Doug Clifton, you neglected to mention that the concealed-carry bill includes felony charges for revealing private information about licensees. Revealing information endangers those who are hiding from stalkers and abusive ex-spouses. In confrontations, it prompts criminals to shoot first and ask questions later. The advantage of concealed-carry is that criminals will avoid confronting all citizens, because they won't know who might be armed. Burglars will target unoccupied homes where they know firearms are kept, getting more guns into criminal hands.
The Plain Dealer has endangered people's lives by publishing lists.
The gray area has two sides: The Courage to Heal is a controversial book. Many say it's the best therapy they ever experienced, and others say the book is only good for destroying families. That being the case, it is irresponsible to publish an article presenting only one side ["The Lost Years," August 4].
There is a tragic gray area in which some victims who disclose sexual abuse are neither believed by their parents nor vindicated by the judicial system. Presenting the stories only of those who claim to be falsely accused is simplistic, and it works to discourage disclosure by those who have actually been abused.
It's true that some maliciously invent stories of sexual abuse and that some "remember" memories that didn't actually happen. But neglecting to acknowledge the wider context is a journalistic failure. I urge your paper to be more evenhanded when dealing with such topics in the future.
Studies prove what studies find: "The Lost Years" was loaded with inaccuracies and bias. Had your reporter taken the trouble to talk to other sources, she would have learned that many people who have never been in therapy have recovered memories of sexual abuse, that researchers have done studies that confirmed the truthfulness of recovered memories, and that recovered memories are no less accurate than other memories. This issue deserved investigative reporting; instead, it got only propaganda.
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
All Things Considered
Don't shoot the messenger: July 7th's Scene featured yet another ethically and morally considerate article by Rebecca Meiser ["Forces of Nature"], but I was disappointed to see two letters recklessly criticizing it. When confronted with an uncomfortable truth, it's easiest to criticize its messenger. Week after week, Ms. Meiser has been writing selflessly, smoothly, and with sublime sensitivity. Her work should be appreciated, not maligned.