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Standard Oil's SOP

Letters published December 8, 2004

Standard Oil's SOP
The shade of Ida Tarbell salutes you:
Michael D. Roberts' critique on Cleveland ["A Century of Bumbling," November 24] was primarily a puff piece, glorifying the pro-corporate and -government agenda, blaming public entities for not going along with sufficient enthusiasm. As if the Bush ideology of subsidizing wealth were lacking cheerleaders.

Obviously, a healthy business environment is necessary for any community. If you look earlier in John D. Rockefeller's career, however, instead of starting at "billionaire benefactor," you learn that Standard Oil succeeded by destroying oil competitors, using collusion, bribery, spying, sabotage, intimidation, threats, and violence. Maybe even murder. He had his own goon squad for people who didn't wish to sell their resources at his asking price.

John D. benefited from government contracts for oil. He also conspired with General Motors. They bought up efficient public transport in order to dismantle it, to create a market for gas-powered vehicles. Rockefeller and GM were found guilty of colluding to destroy a vital piece of American infrastructure for their profit, and were fined . . . minimally. Also, don't forget that roads and highways -- the tracks on which John D.'s market runs -- have always been paid for and maintained by taxpayers.

Rockefeller inevitably made contributions, but he should be honored less for being a pure entrepreneur and seen more as a crime boss and corporate-welfare freak.

Gary Goodman

Wouldn't wanna take that lying down: Great piece by Mike Roberts. But John D. Rockefeller isn't buried in Lakeside Cemetery; he's buried in Lake View Cemetery.

Tom Crea
Cleveland Heights

Indie Infighting
Only the strong survive:
You have the whole situation down cold, as far as attitudes are concerned ["Film-Flam Man," November 17]. I do not personally know Alex P., nor have I seen any of his productions, but I know a lot of folks who do, whose opinions I trust. Alex would consider their, uh, less than generous opinion of his efforts as jealousy.

I've read a lot of scripts by Cleveland's hopefuls. Some have promise. Most are absolutely dreadful. And the writers of the bad ones are extremely annoyed and outright offended by any comments beyond gushing praise. Generally, the response is "How many scripts have you written?"

None. Because I know my dialogue sucks. Why would I want to inflict that on anybody?

I could go on about the sad state of affairs and petty infighting of the local indie film community, but it would do no good.

Alan Tuskes

The subject was irresistible: I am a singer-songwriter and worked with Alex P. on Bloodkiss. It was interesting, to say the least. He turned me on to this story, and I just wanted to give you your props. This story was hilarious and brilliantly written. Thanks for cheering me up today.

Tracy Marie

Charity Begins at Home
Time to start a movement:
I'm an Ignatius graduate and fondly recall going down to venerable Municipal Stadium to watch many Charity Games on Thanksgiving mornings ["Let There Be Pigskin," December 1]. Yes, they were played late in the morning, so families could enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones.

Those were special games, whether it was Ignatius, Benedictine, South, Holy Name, or Cathedral Latin playing. The problem the powers-that-be have with high school games at Browns Stadium is symptomatic of what's wrong with the city. Why can't we package games like Ignatius/Ed's and Glenville/Canton McKinley as a Saturday double-header? Unions and concessions are a stumbling block? C'mon. They would rather sit at home with the remote controls in their hands than work for less at a high school event?

When these games are played at Byers Field in Parma, Fawcett Stadium in Akron, or Paul Brown Stadium in Massillon, it's the city's loss. The Browns should step up to the plate. Lord knows, they need to rebuild their image in this community. If there's a list of people who will work on making this dream a reality, put me on it.

Mark Holan

Open wide the stadium doors: I grew up going to the Charity Games and hoped to play in Cleveland Stadium one day. Several years before I had the chance, it was moved to BW. I lived on East 67th and played for St. Ignatius in the City Championship games in 1972 vs. Collinwood and 1973 vs. East. When I was a child, my father and brothers took me to Cleveland Stadium on Thanksgiving morning. Those games were special.

My son graduated from St. Ignatius last year and mentioned his disappointment in not being able to play at Browns Stadium. Though the St. Ignatius baseball team played at the Jake and the basketball team played at the Gund, the football team did not have the same opportunity.

Ignatius vs. Edward and Glenville vs. Mentor or Solon would put 50,000 people in the stadium. There is nothing better than high school football in Cleveland, and I hope to see some games at the stadium in the future.

Martin Morrow

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