Snakes in the Desert

Letters published April 23, 2008

Iraq War fish tales racism

"No Oasis," April 9

Abusers slither everywhere in Iraq: I thoroughly enjoyed Lisa Rab's story on KBR's treatment or mistreatment of its female employees in Iraq. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. I was never prouder than the day I watched my daughter graduate from Air Force boot camp. I even harbored visions of her as the pint-size pit bull in the Smokey Bear hat, leading her troop on that field. I would've hitchhiked to San Antonio to see that, if I had to.

I was very supportive of her enlisting. Then certain incidents happened to change my opinion. First was the wine party with senior officers. Then she did a tour in Bahrain, then Kirkuk. It was in Kirkuk that I think she was assaulted by a superior officer. After that incident her and her husband's relations with the Air Force seemed to sour. He was not allowed to re-enlist, and she was scheduled for another deployment. This time it would've been pulling convoy duty out of Balad, the epicenter of the Sunni loony triangle.

I think that after breaking the sacred code of "What happens on deployment, stays on deployment," they wanted to kill her off. Fortunately, she was able to get out on a medical discharge.

I still support our troops; they do a really tough job, in spite of the thieves' paradise the Bushites have created in Iraq. But if I had another daughter graduating this year, I wouldn't be so supportive.

In the Army, someone always has your back. The trouble is, if the assailant is an officer, more people will have his back than yours.


"Big Fish," April 9

This Fish Stank
Reader gets wild-eyed over wide-eyed:Your comments about the people who were financially affected by Jim Malkus and his buddy Renie made them out to be less than intelligent and backwoods. Why? Describing some as wide-eyed and saying Roger Kepford was too busy tending his marigolds to notice the con is deplorable.

The Dziorneys have been in the wholesale fish industry for 20 years, serving some of the finest restaurants in Cleveland and Columbus. Maybe they were just upstanding people who were looking for the opportunity to bring their excellent products and service to a retail market. They were even presented with a multiple-page lease, prepared by an attorney representing the con-artist duo as owners of the building. These people work endless hours to make an honest living while trying to overcome the financial deficits created by Jim Malkus.

Roger Kepford does live 100 or so miles away in Marion, but he also farms over 4,000 acres and runs multiple businesses. When his impatience with Malkus' runaround brought him to the building, they packed up and ran. If you had seen the unsanitary mess where they serve the food, all the critics who loved Malkus would have been disgusted.

These people are far from wide-eyed and stupid. They were just trusting, hardworking people who were profoundly affected by this guy you gave kudos to for basically being the second coming in the industry.

Karen Gillespie
Fireside Lobster and Chop House

"Sucker Punched," April 9

I Spy Racism
Color-blind judgment is called for in bar deaths: It is truly sad what happened to Matt Hockey and his family. I couldn't imagine having to find a family member in that position. But I must use this incident as a public service announcement.

Let the reporting of this story be an example to those who watch TV news and say, "Those black kids are animals, and they're ruining the Cleveland club scene" every time something happens near a black club. All the incidents are unfortunate, but the slant is blinding.

I find it interesting that I have yet to hear how partying at Malloy's is unsafe, or how the bar should be shut down for not preventing this. Short math:

Happens outside of Malloy's = Sad tragedy.

Happens outside of Spy Bar = Rap music thuggery with a negligent-club-owner cherry on top!

Today's lesson? Everyone should take a fair assessment when judging the awful.


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