Capitalism discounts its defenders: Excellent article ["Discarded Heroes," January 18]! The abject neglect shown to many of our returning veterans does not surprise me. As the promise of capitalism declines further and increasingly treats human beings as dollar objects and alienates them, we will see more of this. Our system is run by the wealthy for the wealthy, and the callousness shown even to those who put their lives on the line is abhorrent and a shameful reminder that we have our priorities all screwed up in this country.
Combat vets should come first: There is no greater sacrifice citizens can make than to die for the defense of their country. One who survives being placed in harm's way is worthy of national honor. Our country needs to provide a lifetime pension (including all medical benefits) to any military personnel who served directly in a combat situation. This should be provided regardless of whether a person sustains injury.
To accomplish this, certain budget criteria must be adjusted. For example, eliminate the G.I. bill for non-career personnel. There is no reason to subsidize people's education as compensation for a brief stay in the military so that they can decide what to do with their lives at the taxpayers' expense. If they pursue the military as a career, however, their increased education will have a direct bearing on the defense of this country.
The way we have treated combat veterans and the families of deceased veterans appalls me.
It's Not Just Vets
The sick and injured get a lousy deal too: Great story ["Emily's Law," January 18]. I'm an attorney, and a large part of my practice is representing injured victims. The Lawson decision has emboldened many health-insurance carriers to take unreasonable stances -- to the detriment of victims.
When I explain Ohio law to people and tell them that their insurance company is going to try to take the first dollar in any settlement, they're usually appalled. Often they're not aware of how the system works. This is but one example of how the Ohio Supreme Court has chosen corporate interests over those of the people of Ohio. Great work on exposing a real problem.
Where's the Beef?
Gotta get some kinda bang for those bucks: The failure of the current resurrection of the Barons can be attributed to one and only one reason: Mediocrity sells no tickets [Kotz, January 18].
Folks in this burg -- particularly those willing to part with some important pocket change -- won't back a loser. The whole shebang blew into town, co-opted the name, slapped a fancy logo on the parent club T-shirt (the one with the ugly colors), and threw open the gates to fleece the unwary. Surprise, guys. We're smarter than you think we are.
The game was successful here when there was local ownership and the folks in the ticket window didn't point a .38 at you, demanding that you empty your wallet (metaphorically speaking) for the privilege of watching this version of the Keystone Kops on ice. I won't go into the concession prices or what was demanded for the privilege of toting their logo around town.
Let's all dry our hankies by waving them in the breeze as the bus to Worcester pulls out of town.
City of Taverns
Remix priced itself out of the neighborhood: I was rather amused to hear former Remix Lounge manager Ted "DJ Cable" Carter comment that the rising price of gas killed business at the club [Around Hear, January 18]. As a longtime DJ at the Remix and the other Phantasy venues, I can safely say it had more to do with the high price of alcohol than of gasoline. When you can walk a block in virtually any direction in Lakewood and get a drink for far less than the Phantasy venues charge, it's amazing that any of them stay in business at all. Not to mention their refusal to turn on the heat during the coldest weeks.
It's too bad, since musically the Remix was a refreshing, cutting-edge antidote to our hip-hop-dominated club-music quagmire.
Donn "DJ Guy Wires" Nottage
Even child abuse has a financial angle: Excellent reporting ["The Prisoner and the Millionaire," January 11]! What comes out of this is the terrible manipulation of children for money -- and the pedophiles lurking in the general population. I wonder why no one has gone to the trouble of getting Misty and her siblings the professional help they need. This mess will have a major effect on their lives as they hit their 30s and 40s.
If You've Got the Clams
You can shell out for a tropical paradise: Instead of reporting on all these people landing jobs after donating to this person or that party ["All the President's Men," October 19, 2005], could you tell me whom I can pay . . . er . . . um . . . "donate to" in order to land an ambassadorship to Puerto Rico or any of the Virgin Islands?
Please don't publish this. I don't want anyone to beat me out of a government job in St. Thomas!