Letters from the week of January 1, 2003

Rally Ho 

Letters from the week of January 1, 2003

Patriot missile: I have difficulty grasping the degree of sarcasm, condescension and triviality expressed by Tony Ortega regarding the arrest of Bill Douglas (Kansas City Strip, December 11). Granted, Douglas was in custody only a short time, yet I believe the treatment and interrogation he experienced are symbolic of tactics of repression rooted in the Patriot Acts and Homeland Security Act.

Regardless if he was held for two hours or twenty years, Bill Douglas felt it necessary to report his experience so that others may become aware of his situation, to alert folks of the potential for similar treatment and to educate the public in general.

It seems ironic that the drive to expose truth and work toward justice in America translates into jeopardizing one's own personal freedom from interrogation and incarceration. Why should any peaceful protester be willing to spend a night in jail? In such cases, fundamental rights appear to be violated.

I admire Bill Douglas' courage in his work and writing. He is not whining; he is attempting to inform and educate. He is not part of the propaganda machine. Perhaps this threatens Ortega, which prompted him to minimize what Douglas was kind enough to share.
Audrey Klopper
McLouth, Kansas

March madness: As a progressive and longtime peace and justice activist, I am highly offended by the derisive and mocking article Tony Ortega wrote about Kansas City activist Bill Douglas.

Clearly it is Ortega who needs a lesson in activism as well as journalism. Attacking activists who have been victimized by the police while engaging in constitutionally protected protest activity is inexcusable, especially for a journalist claiming to be progressive. It sends absolutely the wrong message to the general public as well as to the authorities who violated Douglas' constitutional rights.

Douglas should be commended for his efforts to expose the Bush administration's 9/11 cover-up, an issue spearheaded by the victims' families and largely ignored by the corporate-controlled media. How ironic that a semi-independent newspaper has even taken it a step further by running a story ridiculing an activist working in support of these families.

Who needs a lesson in patriot activism?
Emanuel Sferios

Lords of the ring: It's sad that the Pitch doesn't have the courage to print real news but manages only to deride those who seek truth. Bill Douglas has been fighting bravely to help expose the truth about 9/11 while the whining little twerps at the Pitch work so hard to keep the truth hidden. It is reasons like this that keep the Pitch in the class of nonsensical drivel.

The freedom of the USA is at stake, and all you can do is search for a new style of belly-button ring to worship. What a pack of losers.
Richard Asmus
Lee's Summit

Growth Spurt
Club to death: Regarding Ben Paynter's "Last Call?" (December 11): Jim Grow is keeping an American tradition alive: Moving in and moving out what was already there. American pioneers did it with Native Americans, so why not Mr. Grow with Westport clubs?

The fact that Mr. Grow was unaware of the clubs being there is just nuts. It's Westport! You'd think anyone wanting to move to the area would look at where the clubs are and what's next to them, besides looking at schools in the area.

Mr. Grow and the members of the Westport Neighborhood Association should look into the many nice, quiet suburbs here in the city. They're all over the place. No fights, no sex in cars, no peeing on yards. Just look out for a possibly noisy strip mall or T.G.I. Friday's when checking out the neighborhood.
Rusty Jones
Kansas City, Missouri

Ex-O:Hey, Pitch, the XO story missed the point, in my opinion.

One, law exists before any business, and you conform to the law, do time, pay the fine or change the law. XO has been notified that they were violating the law.

Two, the amount of money that was levied by the court is secondary to the requirements the court placed on the shoulders of XO. If XO wishes to do business, they must meet the minimal standards the law requires of a business that abuts a residential area.

Three, the cart full of papers that was pushed into court carried the material acquired during the discovery phase of the lawsuit. Included in this material were several inches of complaints to the police by others than those involved in the lawsuit, records of the numerous busts made near XO and letters of support for owners of XO from elected officials.

The real story is the fact that the XO trial decision is a major indictment of the city's deferential treatment of the liquor industry, allowing seepage of these large entertainment establishments into residential areas at the expense of residential quality of life. The records as revealed in the discovery phase of this lawsuit show that the case of XO is particularly extraordinary. Does anyone at the Pitch want to ask the deep questions on XO -- i.e., how does one get deferential treatment?
Name Withheld Upon Request

Drink tab: Ben Paynter's "Last Call?" was a great article. Judge O'Malley also ruled that the building at 1103 Grand be either sold or demolished. The Missouri Appeals Court reversed the order. Sounds like Judge O'Malley is trying to make everything right for everybody. Sorry, it doesn't work; the bar was there first. I don't drink, but this is a freedom issue, and I am free to live by a bar or live elsewhere.

This is very much like the old vs. new in neighborhood gentrification as discussed in Casey Logan's "Captain Blight" (December 4). Mr. Mugg should have gone to a more spiffy neighborhood with his $25,000. He doesn't have the right to make everyone else conform to his lifestyle. Neither does Mr. Grow.

Leave these things alone and let the laws of supply and demand work. Government can't make everything right for everybody. And it has gone broke trying.
Charlie Williard
Kansas City, Missouri


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