Screw Thy Neighbor

Letters published March 22, 2006

No good deed goes unpunished: I'm responding to the First Punch item "Got Bullshit?" [March 8] about Millersburg farmer Arlie Stutzman, who lost his dairy license for selling "milk directly" after an undercover agent from the Ohio Department of Agriculture brought his own "unmarked container," asked to buy a gallon of milk, and "insisted on leaving two bucks."

This is tearing down a good person who responded to a cry for help. Stutzman did not want to sell the milk. It was not his idea. He helped a man who seemed to be in need. Has our country changed so much that what it stands for is now just an illusion?

Since when is it a crime in America to be a good Samaritan?

Jeanne Coppola

Easy Time in Elyria
A bad guy lucks out:
Your article on sex offenders and predators ["Luck of the Perv," February 1] shows how necessary it is to have consistent law in Ohio. We must demand, in the interests of justice and safety, that sex predators be contained. Right now judges can have a field day letting these predators out early.

In Elyria, Judge Kosma Glavas said that prison is no place to rehabilitate these predators. He freed a child molester who had served only 15 months of a three-year sentence. The sex offender had molested a nine-year-old girl five times. She asked why she should have told, if these people are allowed to go free before their sentence is complete.

I have that same question.

Kathleen Wilhelm
Avon Lake

Man the lifeboats:
Have school history classes made many of us blind to the simple understanding that title never dictates behavior?

Pete Kotz's inspired "Whores and Queens" [March 8] had me contemplating how too many of us are willing to let someone else do the job -- which allows the type of corruption and perks that comes with doing the job. No matter what party, the flawed nature of many of these politicians continues to be ignored, despite ample evidence suggesting that perhaps the democratic system needs an overhaul.

Jim "Jimmy Danger" Petro and Alex "Loves His Leather" Arshinkoff are only the tip of an immense iceberg that continues to sink the ship of principle. Throw in the sharks of patent lawyers, a university, and a rube touched by the hand of God, and what you have are waters that would be considered off-limits to anyone with nautical experience. And yet year in and year out, under the name of democracy, we set sail on these waters -- and have nothing at all to show in the way of a truly progressive culture and society.

Kotz could easily generate enough material to create an ongoing series, capturing the corruption and the perks that men and women of power are always seeking while continuing to recite "under God, with liberty and justice for all."

Can't we all wake up to the knowledge that those history lessons didn't prepare us for what happens outside the textbooks?

Osa Womack

Rootin' for Damon
We need a champ:
That was a great piece you wrote on Damon Jones ["Always Open," March 8]. It captured both the person and the player. I hope what Damon is going through will motivate him to raise his game. Cleveland sports fans can be tough, but we are scarred by decades of not having a championship team in C-Town.

Richard White
Maple Heights

Wha'd He Say?
Incomprehensible -- but interesting:
That review about Coldplay and Chris Martin has to be one of the oddest ones yet ["Beatific Love," March 15].

Brother, you are way too deep! Interesting take. I tend not to agree with most of what you said, but it was an interesting read.

Jeri Zimmerman

True Believer
Let's hear it for the North Coast:
You hit the problem right on the head! Great article ["Dear Cleveland," March 1]!

As a lifelong Clevelander, I keep hearing time and again about our inferiority complex. I couldn't help but laugh at the comments from virtually every local publication, great and small. It's the classic insult: comparing us to Manhattan, Chicago, La-La Land, or any other "world-class" city, at our expense. To those who believe that real feelings should always overrule excitement and celebrity, such comments are demeaning, tasteless, and frightening. I fail to see how referring to anything or anyplace here on the North Coast as something to belong to another city will benefit Cleveland. In fact, it only reinforces that attitude of "We're crap/We suck/We don't deserve to live." It is sickening and demoralizing.

I am proud to be a Clevelander. I have met many out-of-towners who are surprised at what we have here, especially the Manhattanites who find our most expensive hotels and restaurants a bargain. Many Angelenos love how close everything is without requiring a car, while Detroiters live it up in our downtown clubs.

Yet as Linda Abraham-Silver of the Great Lakes Science Center said in the "Believe in Cleveland" ads, "The only people who questioned my move to Cleveland were people from Cleveland." It's shameful how people in La-La Land look at us with jealousy and we can't even see it. Are we so ashamed of our own city that we do everything possible to destroy anything good about it? Do we really think so little of ourselves? I hope not.

Erick Adam Sanders

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