Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Readers' Views

Court's bickering is unprofessional


My compliments to the Enquirer and reporter Dan Horn on making the reader aware of the unprofessional bickering that takes place in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ("Political divide sparks disorder in the courts," June 22). I had not been aware of the local situation, although I was familiar with the sophomoric bickering at the Ohio Supreme Court over the past two decades.

Unfortunately, too small a percentage of people read newspapers and TV journalists won't touch this kind of subject. It can't be handled in a two-minute sound bite. So, the public cannot be widely aware of the unprofessional that is becoming widespread in the courts. The burden of this situation falls heavily on the legal system's professional associations whose No. 1 duty and obligation is to see to it that its members act professionally. But, obviously, in the case of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ohio Supreme Court the professional associations have failed miserably.

Gil McLean, Westwood


Let people vote on slot machines

Sunday's story ("Support fading for slot machines") seems to be just another slanted piece of reporting on the effort to place slot machines at Ohio's race tracks.

This is a proposal that would bring in $500 million in the first year for essential programs such as prescription drug relief, college scholarships and funds for school construction. If indeed this is a gambling issue, then consider the governor's hypocrisy. There are lottery machines in every poor neighborhood in the state, and Gov. Taft allowed the Mega Millions game to come into Ohio to increase lottery play and revenue for the state. People are going to gamble, and Ohioans take their gambling money to Indiana and West Virginia. Ohio loses millions of tax dollars every year because of it.

Another goal the proponents of the bill have is to try to save a faltering important Ohio industry: horse racing. If race tracks don't get slots approved, they will have to close their doors. The state would also lose the substantial tax revenue the tracks are currently paying. In every state where slots have been approved at racetracks, tracks that were ready to go bust are now flourishing.

In the article, reporter Spencer Hunt says that Sen. Louis Blessing, R-Cincinnati, is proposing an amendment that would allow "casino-style gambling at horse tracks." There will be no table games or any other casino gambling other than slot machines. Let's give the voters both sides of the story. If they get a chance to vote, they'll know the score.

Burch Riber, Anderson Township


Portman remains Bush's 'yes' man

Carl Weiser's article ("Congressman has finger in every pie," June 22) on Rob Portman was as good as could be written about the usual ho-hum Hamilton County Republican congressman. Portman's voting record confirmed him, as always, the proper little "yes" man for Bush.

Elizabeth Paquette, Cherry Grove


Portman is a great role model

Thanks for printing the article on Rob Portman. He is the most hard-working and trustworthy congressman. He really cares about the people in his community and state. It is good for the kids, especially our teens, to see such a positive role model who lives right in our neighborhood.

We are so fortunate to have him in Terrace Park.

Gail Nickum, Terrace Park


Once, players could display self-control

On a warm spring day in 1959 the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Parochial School eighth-grade safety patrol volunteers were invited to Crosley Field for a Reds game sponsored by AAA.

We came on a bus from Dayton. We sang songs, ate our bag lunches at a park, and were very "well behaved." Forty-four years later this remains a vivid memory of a fun, exciting day. Unfortunately, after two new stadiums and millions of dollars, it is no longer possible to bring groups of children to Reds games. This is due to players' inability to "play well with others" and "exercise self-control."

Rosemary V. Wenz, Anderson Township, St. Albert The Great School, Class of 1959


Hakeem Olajuwon was best NBA foreigner

I wanted to comment on the story ("'Made in the USA' tags fading in the NBA," June 22) written by Dustin Dow previewing Thursday's draft.

He forgot to mention the best foreign player, Hakeem Olajuwon. He was the first-draft pick (first pick overall) by the Houston Rockets in 1984. He was the most valuable player in 1994 and playoff most valuable player in 1994 and 1995, when he took the Rockets to the championship.

He was an All-Star 12 times. The Rockets with Hakeem would have beaten the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan if they had met in the playoffs. He averaged 21.8 points and 11.1 rebounds during his career and has a quadruple double. He is much better than Dustin's pick of Vlade Divac. Hakeem earned his rings and didn't get them because he was on the same team as great players.

Gene Pierce, Burlington


Bush has economy on a roll again

The Dow is past the 9,000 mark again, consumer confidence is up and commercial revenues are much better. In the last couple of months, both my wife and I have left our jobs for higher-paying ones. I know there is a population that can never let itself be satisfied by President Bush, but all my indicators tell me his policies are working well. And let's not forget that the primary reason we are recovering from anything is eight years of former President Clinton's leniency with al Qaida.

Robert Moon, Colerain Township


Church sex abusers should resign, period

I attended Mass this past Sunday at a local Westside Catholic Church and received instructions on how I was to now bow before receiving Holy Communion. While listening it dawned on me that more time was being taken on how to bow than to explain the sexual abuse of children under the age of 18 by priests.

As a Catholic who struggles on a daily basis with his faith, I am dismayed by the American bishops' latest, senseless, symbolic decree. There are more pressing issues that need to be addressed.

In light of Frank Keating's resignation from the National Review Board studying sex abuse in the church, why is it so difficult for the bishops to say, "If a priest has sexual contact with a male or female under the age of 18, he can no longer be a priest." There should never be a second chance. If you are a bishop or cardinal and intentionally covered up for a priest who had sexual conduct with someone under the age of 18, you should resign.

In the struggles with my faith, I've come to one conclusion, whether I attend a church, Mosque or Temple, the deity I worship will be there.

Frank P. Mueller, Bridgetown


Catholic Church must rectify abuse issues

During a recent television interview, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk described his lack of full cooperation with the Hamilton County prosecutor as a service to the community because it protected the attorney-client privilege. Hogwash! Any activity, which impedes society from dealing with child abusers, is a gross disservice to the public.

Over the last few years, I have felt betrayed and hurt by priests of my church, as revelations of child abuse have been made. Now, the remarks of the archbishop make me ashamed of our church's leaders. Doesn't the archbishop realize that any efforts to shield child abusers and slow their removal from contact with children will perpetuate the problem?

The Catholic Church's dignity and respect will be restored only when its leadership unequivocally decides to identify abusive priests, remove them from the priesthood and assist victims and their families with recovery.

David W. Huster, West Chester


Everyone should earn own way

Why is affirmative action limited to African Americans, Hispanics and Asians? I am a second- generation Italian-American. How many points can I get? I did not come from a wealthy family, and I still did not qualify for a Guaranteed Student Loan at the University of Cincinnati in the mid-1980s. It is time that this country made people work for their education and stop giving free rides.

Kathleen Hein, Covedale


Keep application process race-neutral

Why do we have to check the block stating our racial and/or ethnic background on such things as college and loan applications, etc.?

If we do not have these things on applications, then the people who can approve our loans or accept us into college do not know our racial/ethnic background. If they do not know our racial/ethnic background, we cannot be judged on it.

We will be judged on ourselves. So, why in this day and age does anybody need to know if we are black, white, Asian, Greek, or anything else? We should not be judged by these things. But if we put it on the application, we are setting ourselves up for rejection.

If we do not tell people what we are, then we will stand on our own laurels.

Terrie Pullen, Burlington


America can't creep back to old ways

On the day of the affirmative action ruling, I spoke to some of my white co-workers, and the same argument comes up: It's always about police/firemen losing jobs or the tired argument about working hard. As if black people don't work hard. Many white people won't come out and say that past racist practices have led us to this point.

Affirmative action needs to stay in place so that America does not creep back to her "old ways."

Donald Landrum, Madisonville

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Readers' Views