Warped patriots put sanctimony on the air: In response to the article "Indecent Proposal" [April 20], I can't see how in the hell the FCC can fine someone up to half a million dollars for saying, playing, or doing something indecent, when dumping nuclear waste into the ocean is only a fine of $60,000.
What is indecent is relative anyway. It's the right-wing, usually Christian do-gooders in their patriotic, warped sense of what is good for the whole, who are responsible for all this crap. We (real patriots and free-thinkers who believe in our hearts that the First Amendment is what makes this country great, even with its mishaps of history) need to complain to the FCC every single time we hear any religious anything. Is it not offensive to us?
It's offensive to me to hear from someone over the public airwaves that I'm going to burn in hell. Sure, I could change the channel. But so could they, when Howard Stern does his spiel. If the good Christian right-wingers are going to destroy free speech, why not separate religion from public airwaves, just like separating church from state? The way things are looking, church and state will be one.
Blame the Left
Greedy unions force jobs overseas: As far as Lou Maholic's letter regarding scabs goes [April 13], I'd like to enlighten Lou about the union he either doesn't know or doesn't want to admit to.
The unions today are nothing more than a political pawn of the socialist, liberal Democrats, who despise and bleed to death the corporations who feed them, and whose mantra has nothing to do with the working people, but only the union working people, who prostitute their vote to the low-rent pimp politicians of that party.
Working in the mecca of unionism, the great Northeast, I have been told to my face that nonunion families were not worth feeding, and I have seen good, qualified, and talented nonunion people replaced by union workers who didn't have a clue.
Many union people couldn't make it on their own. As far as "unions striking to defend their families" goes, may I suggest that your selfish demands for a lifestyle and liberal environmental demands have driven most of the manufacturing jobs overseas? When Jack London was around, unions had credibility and purpose. Now you're just a bunch of greedy whiners, who blame everyone else for what you have caused.
So much for seat-of-the-pants leadership: I loved the article ["What? Me Work?" April 13]. Showed insight and intolerance for the BS. As a lifelong Democrat, I think your article captured core concerns. I was part of one of those few grassroots organizations that helped with the petition campaign, while the county Democratic chair sat on his butt.
Teens and the Law
Shedding more light on the Ohms story: Your work, I hope, carried the load in court ["Ghost in the House," April 13]. I think Judge Stucki was pleased to be informed of the complete story. Mr. Ohms is a nice old man with plenty of stories to tell. Rocco is doing well in school and at the parish, and really happy to be home. Thanks again for your good work.
Father Ed Gretchko
Thanks for telling the story: I am writing in regard to "Ghost in the House" by James Renner. I just wanted you to know not only how pleased we are with the article, but also to tell you what a wonderful, articulate, and sensitive person you have in James Renner. We found James very thorough and fair, and also sensitive to the children's needs. I feel that, if not for James, the children would not have been released early from the attention center. I wish to express my gratitude to James and your staff for a job well done in getting some public exposure for the injustice done to all the children.
Regina Walter (Alyssa Vaughn's mother)
Not exactly blind justice: Judge Stucki seems to have tried and convicted the youngsters before they were even arrested. Why wasn't Mr. Ohms at the trial? And why was he seemingly the last person interviewed by the police? Theoretically, when Ohms said nothing happened, the case should've been closed without further "investigation" (read intimidation).
If the alleged victim didn't appear in court, then the charges should've been dropped. This is how our legal system is supposed to work. Even juvenile offenders have the right to face their accuser in court. I hope the voters remember Judge Stucki in the next election.
A look at both sides: I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your story. It was a good story until the very end. Then it became a great story. You represented both sides, and while you did not make the kids out to be angels (which they are not), you did make them real (which they are) and helped show that they really were not treated fairly.
Renner achieves academic citation: Great story by James Renner. Having just finished a comparative piece on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," I went back and cited this story as a depiction of what Poe must have been imagining when he wrote his essay! Since you just might have helped me get a good grade on the paper, it was the least I could do to write and say thanks!