Letters to the Editor

Published the week of June 7

As you pointed out, Ray, a normal adult male (I know, some will argue with my kind characterization) can have a "few drinks" in an evening and remain substantially below the legal limit -- even below the proposed lowered limit for a DWI arrest. It takes a good bit of drinking, in amounts that would significantly impair most of us, to get to that 0.08 level.

The alcohol-industry lobbyists would have everyone believe that lowering this level would put everyone who drinks at risk, overload the courts and have -- in the end -- no real impact on alcohol-related crashes, injuries and deaths. In reality, only serious drinkers who are indeed impaired and dangerous would be likely to be affected by a change in the law.

Unfortunately, those who generally speak up for such changes are often connected with alcoholism-treatment or -prevention organizations such as MADD or the State Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. The lobbyists, like court jesters, prance around legislative gatherings guffawing, winking and crying "neo-prohibitionists, neo-prohibitionists," and the legislators, like rubes at the circus, dismiss good science as well as common sense in responding to these clowns. Anyone who has been around these parts very long knows that, whatever names Ray Hartmann may be called, "neo-prohibitionist" is not one that would ever stick. Wonder what name they will call him to discredit his honest, straightforward and important message?
Dick Dillon

I don't know whether to kiss or curse Laura Higgins and The Riverfront Times for the recent story about Wendy Huddleston's being jailed for contempt on being behind with child-support payments ("No Way Out," RFT, May 24).

My main question: Why was a woman's story used? True, on its face it seems unusual. But things like this happen to countless men everywhere, every day, and there is no sympathy. There is no mechanism in place to help them get free help. All the laws and low-cost law centers are designed to help women hiding behind the children screw and strip money and rights from men. The number of women ordered to pay child support is statistically insignificant compared with men. Would these lawyers and law centers help poor men enforce visitation orders? I doubt it, as the former city prosecutor Larry Johnson -- er, ah, George Peach -- once put it, "Visitation doesn't cost anything." Some might differ, but way too many concur.

Huddleston got caught up in the machinery designed to trap men, but in the end she was spit out the other side with the help of sympathetic women -- lawyers, a newspaper writer and donated money. Not so for far too many men. Welcome to a man's world, Wendy.
Gregory Allen

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