Letters to the Editor
In and around Springfield
MORE THAN A FEW BAD APPLES
I agree with Ron Vose that “It makes me feel bad that the disregard for policies and procedures was that widespread within the [Springfield Police] Department” [Dusty Rhodes, “Above the law,” Sept. 28]. Your review of the Illinois State Police report regarding Springfield police officers Paul Carpenter and Jim Graham has to shake the confidence of every resident of Springfield.
As much as I want to believe that there are always going to be a few bad apples in every organization and that this should not taint the entire bushel, the facts in this case implicating so many others makes it nearly impossible to believe in the integrity and professionalism of the SPD.
I try to promote and defend the SPD to some of my skeptical associates, but this story makes that difficult.
NOT HARD TO CONNECT THE DOTS
Your issue on the top underreported news stories of the year was excellent [Sarah Phelan, “Ten big stories the media missed,” Sept. 14]. How Americans have swallowed so much in the last three years is very discouraging to me.
At first you think, well, most Americans are just trying to get by, make a living. But when you really think about it, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the dots. If we invade a country, we bring war to innocent civilians. What is bone-chilling is that at least half of our country, with their voting of Bush back in office, basically said, “Oh well, my peace of mind trumps an illegal invasion.”
A cold-blooded, chillingly cruel group of people runs this country. They may be religious, but they are without a conscience — and it doesn’t take a college degree to figure that one out.
WHY NO SINGLE SINGLES WINNER?
It seems curious to me that in other categories, Illinois Times lists specific businesses, locations or people, while in the category of Best Place to Meet Singles it groups together “the churches of Springfield” [“Best of Springfield,” Sept. 21]. The statement that the “the church on the corner” is “almost certain” to host activities for singles is simply not correct. In fact, only a small handful of churches in Springfield host events for singles.
While the intention of the writers may have been good, the inconsistency with other categories and the inclusion of an inaccurate statement are disturbing. The same can be said with regard to the runner-up in this category, for some downtown bars are more conducive to singles’ mingling than are others. Because opinion and taste are both subjective, the whole “Best Of” issue must be taken with some grain of salt. Nonetheless, the failure to treat each category consistently challenges the concept’s intent and credibility.
THE BEST IS IN DECATUR
Did I miss something, or was there no category in your excellent “Best of Springfield” issue for local movie theaters? A few Springfield fans have suggested it was because the Avon Theatre is located in Decatur and not Springfield! Would that be a hoot? Springfield’s “best” movie theater is located in Decatur!
Works for me!
Huston’s Avon Theatre
ELBOW-DEEP IN SAUCE, TOO
Your article on Vito Randazzo was supreme and a tribute to this wonderful man who has fed me and mine through out the years [Julianne Glatz, “Gooey, messy, and gorgeous,” Sept. 14]. I just have a postscript to your article. The woman behind the man — his lovely wife, Dee — has been beside him his whole trip of restaurant world. She has been elbow-deep in sauce while raising two very successful children.
THE RICH DON’T CREATE WEALTH
Illinois Times ran a very long letter from a Seth Bohlen that contained little but distortions and downright falsehoods [“Here’s why they’re rolling . . . ,” Sept. 14]. I think that unfortunately he actually believes it and I would like to correct and possibly educate him.
He talks of the founding fathers’ “strong Capitalistic ideals” and I capitalize “Capitalistic” on purpose: Capitalism is a religion to many of today’s Americans, such as Bohlen. The founding fathers were religious, but their predominant religion wasn’t Capitalism; it was Christianity. Capitalism teaches that you get what you can by any means. Christ taught that if a man asks for your coat, you give him your cloak as well. Capitalism teaches that love of money is everything, while Christianity teaches that it is the root of all evil. Capitalism says that wealth is the most important thing, while Christ said that it is as hard for a rich man to go to heaven as it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.
The Bible says that collecting interest on a debt is a sin. Capitalism demands you collect interest on a debt.
The founding fathers did not worship money, as Bohlen seems to. Also, when they lived, one could survive without money at all — you could “live off the land,” hunting, fishing, farming. That is impossible today, thanks to 18th- and 19th-century capitalists.
Bohlen seems to equate the minimum wage with a welfare state, undoubtedly not realizing that wealth is not created by the rich — it is created on the factory floor, behind the fry grill and the cash register, in the programmer’s cubicle, and in the shipping centers. The poor and middle classes create the wealth; the rich merely aggregate and control it.
The wealth is redistributed, all right — from the poor to the rich, not the other way around. And although the rich reap most of the benefits of government, the poor pay a far higher percentage of their earnings in tax when you figure all taxes and the myriad deductions the rich afford that the poor cannot.
Bohlen rails against the “public-aid system” that “perpetuates poverty,” obviously not realizing that a bipartisan Congress and President Bill Clinton completely changed it 10 years ago. We no longer have “public aid” at all; we have “transitional aid for needy families” with the primary goal of getting employment for people. Aid for Dependent Children was an entitlement; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is not. There is a lifetime limit of five years on TANF.
He says, “European nations are even showing the consequences of socialism with bad medical care, high unemployment rates, and high gas prices,” all of which are false. Our medical system is the most expensive in the world, yet we have a shorter lifespan than any European country, we are sicker, and our infant-mortality rate is worse than not only every single European country, but, embarrassingly, many Third World countries, as well. Even Cuba has better health care than we do! Is this not disgraceful? Europe’s gas prices finance their health-care system. Pay my insurance premiums and doctor bills, and I’ll gladly pay five bucks a gallon for gas!
Bohlen makes the tired claim that raising the minimum wage has “been shown to increase unemployment rate” when, in fact, it never has. Not one man or woman has ever lost a job because the minimum wage increased. How many folks do you know who got laid off when Illinois raised its minimum wage two years ago? None — Illinois’ economy grew. However, a man I know will lose his job next month because of a corporate buyout; an Illinois company is being bought out by foreigners.
FILM FEST SAYS THANKS
The Route 66 Film Festival, held at the Hoogland Center for the Arts on Sept. 16 and 17, showcased several local filmmakers along with those from California, New York, several other states, and England. Friends and families of the central-Illinois filmmakers should be proud of the fact that they have the talent to compete on an equal footing in an international competition.
Thanks to all who supported the festival. Next year I’m looking forward to seeing more people who will give up a beautiful afternoon to sit in the dark and share the filmmakers’ unique visions.
Director, Route 66 Film Festival
Veronica Robison is among local African-Americans whose interviews were recently donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Her name was misspelled in a recent story [R.L. Nave, “Legacy project,” Sept. 28].