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Wednesday, May 28, 2008 12:25 am

Letters to the Editor

Untitled Document We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.
PIZZA WITH TOPICAL TOPPINGS After reading the praise heaped upon the Lake Pointe Grill, I just had to go there [see Julianne Glatz, “Burning wood,” May 1]! Wow! I had not realized until my visit there just how upscale it is! Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I hadn’t brought the clipping with me, instead trusting my aging, pitiful memory to find the place. But for whatever reason, perhaps the absence of a lake or a lake point anywhere within shouting distance, the name just wouldn’t click. I searched Toronto Road: No, I don’t think it was Antonio’s. Why couldn’t the name be something obvious like Hot Wood Stove Pizza Place? Then I remembered the address and found it. It was so busy! Cars were circling the lot like sharks at a tuna fest, and we all ended up parking along the curb, no legitimate places to be had. I checked out the bar upon entering and couldn’t believe it was shoulder-to-shoulder on a Thursday evening. After placing my to-go order, I returned to the bar to wait and actually saw a vacant barstool partially hidden from view by a group of women. As I sat, my attention pingponging between the twin TVs — basketball to my right, soccer to my left — a fellow came up to my right shoulder so near that I thought maybe it was his seat I had taken, still not believing my luck. But he just wanted to scream his order at the bartender, then proceeded to loudly greet the fellow to my right. They started discussing politics in a way that revealed at least one of them to be from the Legislature. I wish I had a name I could drop. I could not believe that guys in a bar would talk loudly and proudly, displaying their affiliation with a Legislature that is cleaning the clocks of every Illinois citizen, striking down the recall legislation (where’s a real Democrat when you need one?), voting themselves pay raises (have they no sense, no shame, no sense of shame?), and holding us hostage with special sessions while our infrastructure collapses around us. Why wasn’t this guy somewhere else, perhaps in church praying for divine guidance or out mending a road or two?  I cannot believe that it is within their power to vote themselves a pay raise so they can whoop it up at a place I can’t afford to go to but every other year. OK, I exaggerate. But, as a worker, I sure as heck can’t grant my own pay raise! Not meaning to be too ugly about this, but, watching Bush in office, it’s impossible for me to believe that anyone would ever again have the gall to claim he or she was a Republican. But after seeing the Democrats in action in Illinois, how on the blessed, black, fertile earth of this state can anyone be proud to be a Democrat? That guy at the bar needed to be home figuring out how to do more with less, just like the rest of us now that they’re near sunk this state with their version of the audacity of hype. As we have now learned, the recall initiative did not pass. Not only did it not, but the governor is now punishing anyone who voted for it and rewarding anyone who voted against. Why don’t we just change the name of this state to Rodcockystan? And gee, maybe it’s up to the people to draft legislation referring a recall initiative to a vote of the people, by the people, and for the people lest we perish from this earth, sunk by the decrepitude of endless legislative boondoggles and gubernatorial power plays. Thanks for letting me rant. Oh yeah, the pizza was great! Pricey, but great. Chris Gilbert

HAS MEDICINE REALLY ADVANCED? I thought the article on Civil War medical practices [Tara McAndrew, “Cutting-edge,” May 13] was humorous, in a strange sort of way. “Civil War medicine is notorious for being gruesome.” Wow, we sure have advanced a long way since then. Or have we? Back then they treated diarrhea with calomel, which contained the toxic element mercury. How barbaric! Today we put mercury in flu shots and highly encourage young children and the elderly to take them. Some required childhood vaccinations and most dental fillings contain mercury. Progress? Today we sometimes treat cancer with radiation. Radiation causes cancer. Today we sometimes treat cancer with chemotherapy, a known poison derived from World War II nerve gas. People’s hair fall out and they feel worse. Today we sometimes treat problems by surgically removing the damaged body part. Something like “Well, we’re not really sure how to heal this part of you, so we’ll just remove it. You didn’t really need that part anyway.” Progress? It is ironic that we think we have advanced so far in 150 years, yet some of our medical practices are still a little barbaric. Bill Wellington Springfield
DEMAND FOR OIL OUTSTRIPS SUPPLY For those who still think that peak oil is just a theory, the day of reckoning has come. The New York Times recently reported that rising oil prices have failed to bolster output. Why is that? It is because, as Matthew Simmons and, more recently, T. Boone Pickens (both oilmen) have said: Peak oil is here, and demand is outstripping supply. Yes, speculators are also driving up the price in the oil markets, but that is possibly because of the perception, at least, that peak oil is here or coming soon. Why has our head been literally in the sand for so long — the sands of Saudi Arabia, to be exact — where we have trusted that the supply of oil will just keep coming? Well, that is no longer a sure thing. Simmons, for one, suspects that the Saudis are overestimating their reserves. It is also the case that their exports to the U.S. have declined since 2002, while their exports to China have increased. The warning is coming from none other than the International Energy Agency that “current investment will be insufficient to replace declining oil production.” A crisis (that is, an abrupt rise in oil prices) could come as soon as 2012 to 2015. Think: apocalypse. Beni Kitching Springfield
MAKE ’08 THE YEAR OF THE BIKE Although it is nice that May is National Bike Month, and we had one whole day devoted to promoting bicycling to work, why not declare the rest of 2008 as National Bike Year? Yes, it is almost June, with only about seven months left in the year, but just think of all the money the public could save, even if we just stopped driving 25 to 50 percent of the time. For those who are interested, high-quality rain suits cost only about $20 (or about 4.5 gallons of gas) at Big R, on North Dirksen Parkway, and these suits work very well. As for what type of bike to use, let your riding habits decide this question. If you just ride around the block, then Kmart and Wal-Mart bikes are fine and will only cost as much as 1.5 fill-ups at a gas station. If you want a bike for grocery shopping, running errands, or paying bills, a good bicycle shop, such as R&M Cyclery, 832 W. Washington St., would be my own choice. Ask yourself this question: Even if we replaced only one-third of the private cars, trucks, and vans on the road today with bikes, how much money could the public save, just over the next six months? Why not give it a try? All we have to lose is excess pounds, stress, and the annoyance of finding parking spaces. Norman Hinderliter Springfield
THE COST OF LIVING In case you missed it: Gas is more than $4 a gallon, food prices are skyrocketing, CWLP electric just increased rates to build, CWLP water wants a rate increase to rebuild, the sewer district just increased rates to rebuild, District 186 wants $261 million to build and rebuild, Ameren electric wants an 8 percent increase, Comcast just increased rates — and ethanol is a boondoggle. The shell game that politicians are running has diverted our attention from the real issues facing America today, such as health care, Social Security, a crumbling infrastructure, and education problems. Throw the bums out. Greg Kruger Springfield
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