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Mirage of Safety

Letters published January 9, 2007

"The Wild, Wild West Bank," December 12

A grande latte, with a bullet on the side: A few weeks ago I opened Scene and read someone talking about how bad the Mirage and Metropolis are, but mainly noted the comments about the woman who was shot. I, along with my cousin, were there that night, and the supposed woman who was shot is a friend of mine. There is no alleged. She was shot.

But I am just as likely to be shot at the Starbucks in Crocker Park as I am at the Mirage. It's not the area — it's the people. These people obviously don't watch the news and see people being killed east and west, suburbs and inner city.

The point comes down to this: Our mayor sucks ass. The police don't police. And the city is going to the shitter. The Flats didn't rank in the Top 20 in murders this year — Cleveland did. Why not just shut the city down?

Ray Ross
Cleveland

"Cosmic Consciousness," Letters, December 26

Barkin' at Larkin
Is Brent dogging Cleveland? While other local politicians have sold out to and serve the wealthy big businesses that finance and bribe them, Congressman Dennis Kucinich remains incorruptible and serves the public, as Ken Ilg's letter pointed out. That is why aristocratic, longtime Plain Dealer editorial director Brent Larkin, the most powerful person in Cleveland, snidely opposes and dishonestly tries to discredit Kucinich and sold-out to big-business puppet Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, just one day after Cimperman announced he's running for Congress against Kucinich.

Cimperman's claim to fame is trying to run poor, homeless, freezing, hungry beggars out of downtown for his sugar-daddy financiers and downtown big businesses, run by people such as mean-spirited, attack-the-blacks Tower City owner Sam "The Sham" Miller.

Ilg is sadly mistaken to respect Larkin, who propagandizes us with his elitist views and unethically wrote numerous slanted news stories to send Bay Village doctor Sam Sheppard to death row for the murder of his wife, to sell more newspapers for the Cleveland Press when he worked there years ago. Later Sheppard was ruled not guilty and released from prison, proving that Larkin, an unprincipled opportunist, was very wrong, and gladly would send any innocent person to the electric chair to advance his career.

Cleveland's biggest problem is Larkin, followed by the worthless mayor and city council, who should all be elected every two years (as used to be in the past) to make them more accountable to the public they pretend to serve. Frank Jackson and most of city council should be replaced in a recall election now.

The only reason lousy Councilman Joe Santiago narrowly beat his recall election vote in December is because Mayor Frank Jackson, Council President Martin Sweeney, County Democratic Party Chairman Jimmy Dimora, and other sleazy local politicians spent at least $40,000 in a misleading public-relations campaign to fool the voters and help Santiago. Where did they get that money — from bribes? The entire self-serving, no-good council supported Santiago for fear that if he was removed by that recall election, they might be next.

Jim Reynolds
Cleveland

"The King of Spin," December 5

Fashion-Forward Zebras
In this zoo, changeable stripes are the hot accessory: I do not deny the factual information about Dennis Kucinich's past contained in Denise Grollmus' article. But she misses the sad truth about politics and politicians — whose first priority is to get elected, even if they lie or flip-flop on issues.

Wilson, Roosevelt, and L.B.J. were all re-elected to keep us out of war, all the while preparing for battle. Republican icon Ronald Reagan began as a liberal Democrat, but seeing the way the wind was blowing after World War II, joined the snitch-on-your-friends, anti-Commie crusade and became a conservative Republican.

I do not believe that Kucinich is a racist now and may have changed his image and politics to court the left. But our great humanitarian presidents, Jefferson and Lincoln, made racial assurances, seldom quoted, to warm the heart of a David Duke. And the once-prejudiced Harry Truman made a complete turnaround when he stunned the South with his politics of inclusion and told rednecks: "Boys, you can't keep a black man in the ditch without a white man holding him down."

So, sincerely or not, politicians change their ideas to suit the times and get elected. While surely no Gandhi, I still think Kucinich deserves a fair chance.

Stanley J. Niemiec
Cleveland

Sticker shock, Kucinich-style: I've lived outside of Cleveland most of my adult life, but have never missed much of this guy. It may have been his second run for mayor when I got a firsthand view of what sort of "people's politician" this guy is — or rather, what a control freak he is.

I approached one of his workers, who was handing out bumper stickers. I wished to put one on my truck, but the worker wouldn't hand one over. He insisted on installing it himself. Well heck, I didn't want to be picking bits and pieces of the sticker off my vehicle after the election — I wanted to put the damn thing on my way.

Obviously, the paranoia of Kucinich — and my possible misuse of the sticker — was was more important than the message.

The biggest thing Kucinich has brought to American politics is the continuation of the asshole politico jerk. He knows how to get elected and earn a living as a windbag.

Greg Marlo
Northfield

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