God Made Martians Too

Letters published February 28, 2002

40 Days and 40 Nights
The danger of public barometers:

Your defense of teaching intelligent design misses the point ["God, Man of Science," January 31]. Science isn't democratic; it's elitist. Ideas aren't treated equally -- only the ideas that pass in peer-reviewed journals survive. If and when intelligent design becomes recognized as a valid scientific alternative to evolution, then it can and should be taught in science classes. But since intelligent design advocates refuse to publish their work in peer-reviewed scientific journals, this seems unlikely.

Your argument that 47 percent of the public doesn't accept evolution, so intelligent design should be taught in science classes, is off the mark. The general public also believes in UFOs, dowsing, and other pseudoscience, but that doesn't mean we should waste valuable time in science classes treating these issues on par with gravitation and relativity.

Jeffrey Shallit
Tucson, AZ

Beware of charismatic dulcimers:

Of course Board of Education member Michael Cochran "comes off as -- dare it be said -- reasonable" ["God, Man of Science"]. The religious nuts you refer to in your column are rarely sanctioned by well-funded, behemoth religious organizations. Those who are chosen as mouthpieces are usually sweet-sounding, respectable-looking, well-educated people. They have charisma. This special talent is responsible for the rise of seemingly innocuous spokespersons like Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Ralph Reed, and even our own Reverend Angley. However, no matter how dulcimer-like their voices sound, there's always separatism, xenophobia, homophobia, and religious intolerance leaking through in a lower tone.

Bud Perry

Big business puts the "harm" in pharmacy:

Nobody asked us if we wanted dueling drugstores in our neighborhoods; they just put them there ["Drug Overdose," February 7]. They usually take up space formerly occupied by small businesses, which may cause people to lose jobs. This werewolf expansion process, brought on by the need to constantly show profits and "progress," results in one or another store going out of business, leaving an unproductive vacancy that may last years. The resulting loss of ma-and-pa drugstores ends both personalized service and the opportunity for a family to make its own way. The remaining option is to become a corporate drone.

This article shows a small portion of what is happening to us everywhere. It's happened with service stations, appliance stores, food markets -- you name it. It seems the last thing large corporations have in mind is the needs of customers or employees. Importance is given to CEO salaries and stock prices. Small wonder the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

Dave Leeds
Cleveland Heights

Modest proposals and vigorous objections:

This letter is to clarify comments attributed to me in "Their Last Battle" [February 12]. I represent H.R. Kopf.

The article indicates Kreig Brusnahan said that Lorain County Prosecutor Greg White "notified him that the deal was off on the day before the hearing. Brusnahan immediately requested a 90-day delay to get his client's affairs in order. He thought White supported the delay, so he was shocked when Rosenbaum showed up at the hearing the next day railing against the request for special treatment."

What I indicated to the author was that there was never a "deal," nor did White agree to continuance of the sentencing. I had made a series of alternative proposals to White, all of which were met with rejection. The last proposal, made on January 14, was for an amendment of the charge to one of obstructing official business: specifically, the felony provision of that statute. This was also discussed with the officer assigned to both the Urbin case and the Kopf case, who indicated he did not have a problem with the amendment. For this reason, and because it involved a felony of the same degree that Kopf had been charged with, White indicated that he would consider this request. White notified me on January 17 that this proposal would not be accepted.

At that point, I informed him that a continuance would be requested, because my client had to resign as chairman of a local bank prior to sentencing or face stiff fines from the F.D.I.C. White was informed that the recent health problems of other bank directors made it impossible for one of them to immediately assume the chairmanship, thus necessitating finding a replacement for my client. He indicated some sympathy for this plight, but indicated that his office wanted the matter concluded; thus an objection to the continuance would be lodged. The tenor of our conversation made it clear to me that the objection would not be vigorous, but rather perfunctory. Thus, it is accurate that I was shocked at the venomous assault lodged against my client by [Jonathan] Rosenbaum the next day in court. Rosenbaum waved a letter written by my client at the request of Greg White, citing the letter as an attempt to "manipulate" the court and clearly giving the impression that my client sent the letter unsolicited.

The article also contains a quote from attorney James Burge: "Really, you're talking about a guilty plea for bribing someone the court said had not been bribed." My client's exposure related not only to the bribery charge, but to statements made by him in front of the Lorain County Grand Jury. His guilty plea was in response to those statements, not to the bribery charges. Thank you for the opportunity to clarify these matters.

Kreig J. Brusnahan
Avon Lake

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