Letters from the week of

Seeing Stars  

Letters from the week of

Flag down: Thanks for C.J. Janovy's June 29 column on burning the flag. Her closing comments, in particular, describe an unfortunate but nonetheless true circumstance.

My thought for some time now is that a much more stirring symbolic act is flying the flag upside down. Granted, it isn't "officially" allowed, but just like burning, it isn't illegal and is a definite statement of discontent. I suppose you do run the risk of getting your house fire-bombed by some patriot, but my guess is that most people wouldn't know the real significance of the act.

To a pre-boomer who still cares, this truly is a time of utmost despair.

Jim Skinner
Kansas City, Missouri

B Afrade
Hooked on fonics: Regarding Justin Kendall's "Meet the Parent" (June 15): furst off lemme make it cleer im a big fan of kansas an i think its as big as i think it is.

now a frend tole me thet th kansas bord of edjicasion wuz gonna overhall ther curent classes on s-e-x edjicasion. he sed thay wuzn't gonna even use th S-word enymore atall. no sirree. He sez thay gonna b callin it "th birds and th bees 101" now an th advanced clases ar jus gonna b called "th facks of life" and he tole me thay decided th best way ta teech thet subjeck wuz jus ta let Muther Natcher do it fer em. whut better techer culd yew get than thet?

peeples r allus makin fun of em but personaly i think theys gots some purty good ideers over ther in kansas an i happen ta think its one of th more pergessive states but I dunno fer sure tho whether thet storey is true r not cuz anuther frend tole me thet guy wuz jus pulin my laig. hail i dunno. do yew think he wuz? enyway hoss dya kno wen th next turnip truck is due? i need a ride.

Charley Hutto
Kansas City, Missouri

Kick Butts
No kidding around: Regarding Charles Ferruzza's "Kids or Cigs?" (July 6): I live in Washington, D.C. My husband and I are currently doing market research for a casual dining child-free establishment, and it is being greeted by either complete disbelief that we would even THINK of such a thing or an appallingly negative approval of the idea.

This idea stemmed from many a disruptive experience at a diner or "family" restaurant. It's hard to convince parents that you don't hate their children and just want to have a peaceful meal without it breaking the bank. Unfortunately, we cannot tell offhand whose kid is going to just go off during a meal and, if they do, which parent will nip it in the bud! Our only option is a child-free establishment. I'm so glad someone finally addressed the concept in a positive light!

Name Withheld by Request

Cig heil: The larger issue here is a mat-ter of liberty — and liberty is empty without choice.

Some people feel that one of life's great pleasures is an expertly prepared meal topped off with a cigarette. Some people feel that one of life's great pleasures is making children.

The beauty of liberty is that if it's not your choice, nobody is requiring you to do it. If you are offended by children or smoke, you're free to dine in adults-only or nonsmoking restaurants. How a proprietor chooses to accommodate her clientele should remain the owner's choice.

The fact that a given consumer's choices may thus be marginally limited by others' choices does not grant that consumer a license to revoke everybody else's ability to choose. You wouldn't suggest that my disapproval of a given store's inventory obligates them to stock other products, lest I be inconvenienced by being forced to shop elsewhere. I may request they carry the products I like to buy, and they may determine whether it's in their interest to do so. We call it the "free market." When the government dictates the minutiae of how private business is managed, it's called something else.

Thus, I would dispute your characterization of Marion County's government-imposed smoking ban as a "compromise." Unless you mean that it compromises individual freedoms in the same way that "free speech zones" compromise political speech.

Maureen Lawlor
Kansas City, Missouri

Voice Mail
Hair to stay: Regarding Darryl Smyers' "Hagar the Horrible" (July 13): Dude, I was not at the show you attended, but I have been seeing Sammy Hagar for years now, both in and out of Van Halen. The man knows how to put on a show.

He is the first one to start partying and the last one to leave. He is glad his fans are there to have a great time with him and it shows.

I have also seen David Lee Roth live. He wants you to look at him like it's still 1984 — jumping around and preening, saying "look how cool I am."

Sammy gets up there and sometimes puts on a three-hour show and rocks almost every night that he is on tour, with or without Van Halen. And this time he has Mike Anthony with him!

I'd like to see you do that when you are 58 years old!

Tom Rice
Galesburg, Illinois

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