Letters

Week of September 19, 2001

After the darkness of this destruction, there shines a bright light of goodwill upon us. We have paid dearly for it, but now we can use this goodwill to help secure justice and to help make the world a safer place, or we can squander it on a quest for vengeance.
Mark Frank
University City

Why prove the terrorists right? Ray Hartmann advocates the death penalty as a way of showing our attackers some new face of the United States when our legacy in the last few decades, especially in the Middle East, has been to fire missiles into whatever nations we're not supplying with arms or buying oil from. If these terrorists have seized on our support of Israel, our 10-year siege of Iraq and other activities to cast us in a satanic light, why should they be proven right?

As I mourn the thousands of Americans who have been brutally torn from our national embrace, I can't help feeling a twinge of sadness, too, for a monumental opportunity that we will almost certainly forego: to prove the eternal triumph of law over brute force and to halt the endless cycle of futile vengeance.
Chad Parmenter
via the Internet

Hold United and American accountable, too: I agree on about half of your editorial. If it is Osama bin Laden, yes, he dies -- publicly. Let us watch him or whoever did this hang. We definitely could take an example from Israel, who deals with this terrorism every day.

But after we bury the dead and rescue the living, we need to do a little justice at home.

The fact that four aircraft belonging to two major U.S. corporations can be so easily hijacked and used as weapons of mass destruction is an example of gross criminal negligence.

The airports and the airlines are concerned with profit first; safety and security, to include national security, have come a distant second.

I was in the U.S. Air Force for eight-and-a-half years. This crap would not have happened on any U.S. military plane because the military puts national security first -- it is fully aware of what could happen if even a C-141 fell in the wrong hands. If what happened Tuesday had happened on a U.S. military airplane, the entire chain of command that was responsible for that aircraft would be dealt with with speed and severity! Justice would be quick and hard and exemplary. Then we'd go after the evil SOBs that did this.
Rich Quinn
St. Louis

Frank and Jim
Love is still alive: Elizabeth Vega's "Dead Wrong About Frank" was an excellent, heartwarming story [Sept. 12]. You should write more success stories like it. God is truly in the blessing business. Frank is a very blessed child, and God has put him into the position to be a great man. Jim has shown that love is still alive. Jim stepped forward and took the responsibility for another, and for that I admire him, for he has changed a life. Thanks, Riverfront Times -- keep on keeping on.
Roxanne Olunloyo
St. Louis

Second Helping
I have never read a more disparaging review: While I love reading the Riverfront Times every week, I was appalled at the viciousness of Melissa Martin's review of C. Whittaker's ["Dead End," Sept. 12]. My girlfriend and I live in the Central West End, and from Friday-Sunday we eat virtually every meal in our local establishments. We have eaten at C. Whittaker's at least three times and have found the food and service to be good and the overall dining experience to be pleasant. What precipitates this letter is the calculated "fire for effect" prose that was so carefully written to injure the image and reputation of this restaurant. I have never read a more disparaging review of any business, let alone one that is a tenured part of our community. There is something seriously amiss here, and it has nothing to do with mediocre food, poor service or dirty restrooms. Martin's review is a classic example of exploiting the media for some motive as yet to be determined.
Dick Bruce
St. Louis

Her experience mirrored mine: My experience during my one visit to this establishment about a year ago almost mirrored Melissa Martin's experience. The service was worse than the cleanliness of the place, and the attitude was absolutely smug. Not only was the waiter rude and inefficient, but when my guest and I finally had to ask the management for our check, we were again forced to wait close to 15 minutes. Believe me, not leaving a gratuity was not enough to express our displeasure.
Joe Thele
St. Louis

If I could, I'd spill stuff on her: I am sick of reading reviews by Melissa Martin. She is the most nasty, evil-tongued bitch to grace your paper. If the restaurant was so awful, maybe she should review another. Silly me, of course she can't, almost all of the places she goes she has a problem with them. Funny, I have eaten at most of the same places and never had a problem. If I waited on her, I would probably spill stuff on her and not bother to come back, either.
Karin Ransden
St. Louis

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