Two-faced: Readers debate the actions of Jeff Smith, Kurt Greenbaum and Rachel, a transgendered woman headed to jail

DAILY RFT, NOVEMBER 23, 2009
CROOKED KIN
Shame on your brother: Dear Andy Smith: In your letter to Judge Jackson you proclaim that your brother's crime hurt no one ["Last Jeff Smith Post: The Letters," Kristen Hinman]. You are incorrect. Your brother and his criminal cohorts — in their haste to save their asses — told their felon bagman that as long as he kept quiet about their crimes, they would take care of him. So they entered into a deal with the devil, whereas their debt could never be fully repaid. Such an enormous debt ended up being paid by the citizens of Missouri and Jeff's own constituents. So, please, save the nonsense. Your brother is a despicable crook.
Anonymous, via the Internet

Dear Anonymous: Read the letters. "Despicable" isn't the first word that comes to mind. He made a mistake and compounded it when he didn't fess up. But 250 people don't vouch for a "despicable" man in such glowing terms.
John, via the Internet

DAILY RFT, NOVEMBER 20, 2009
SOCIAL MEDIA MALPRACTICE
Damaged goods now: You're overstating this so much ["Vigilante Website Out to Destroy STLtoday.com Editor Kurt Greenbaum," Chad Garrison]. Talk about sensationalism! Anyway, what Greenbaum did was ridiculous, and he should pay for it. He's done a hell of a lot more damage with his reaction than was done with that single — only mildly offensive — word. It's going to be a hard row to hoe for the "STL Social Media Guy."
Ira Mitchell, via the Internet

Clueless Kurt: I think it's ridiculous that Kurt Greenbaum took the time to contact a school over a silly comment. Delete the comment and move on. Nobody collects negative comments and hunts the people down so they can complain to them about it. Either reply, "Hey, that's not very appropriate for this site," or delete the comment and move on. For a so-called "social-media editor," Kurt seems pretty clueless of how the 'Net operates.
Kevin.R, via the Internet

FEATURE, NOVEMBER 19, 2009
BABE UP IN ARMS
Transsexual Rachel still furious with ex-wife: Looking at this article in the most unbiased way I can, I would say that the editors took great liberties with your story of me, Nick ["Babe 'n Arms," Nicholas Phillips]. There seems to almost be more quotes from "Karen's" perspective than mine. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining story.

It is true that my journey has been atypical for most transsexual women. The major difference is that most others do not have hate-filled ex-spouses who cannot move on with their lives. I feel sorry that "Karen" cannot move past her hatred of me.

I know that I was a difficult person in the past. For that, I do apologize. I own those past shortcomings and have resolved the reasons for them. The best contrition is active, positive change. I have done that. Anyone who knows me now can attest that I do not feel, think or act as I once did — anyone, except "Karen."

My advice to those who think they may be transgendered is simple: Appreciate yourself as a unique person, and come to terms with your inner feelings. God has transformed me, and although to many it might seem odd, I feel happier and fulfilled now as a woman. If going to prison is part of my journey through this life, then I will approach that with a positive attitude. I've lost everything to gain myself. The loss of my freedom for eighteen months is just icing on the cake.
Rachel A., via the Internet

Real monster was "Karen": The picture that I saw was one of a man (Thomas Hibdon), who, because of repressive societal norms, had to suppress who he (she) really was and because of that, developed residual psychological problems. These problems were exacerbated by "Karen." Instead of being a loving, supportive wife, she was the real monster of the story because of her refusal to accept who her husband really was and support his needs. I am not surprised that Thomas' anger and rage have all but disappeared now that he is Rachel. Now that the repressed feelings are allowed to flow in a healthy and free way, there is no need for the anger and rage.
Daniel, St. Louis, via the Internet

Patent transphobia: We at TransHaven Missouri find the story appalling and abhorrent. It provides unnecessary and lurid details of a transwoman who is facing time in prison. The story subjugates this woman beyond comprehension and shows absolutely no respect. It also goes beyond the boundaries of decency of the personal and private parts of the life of one who is a transgender.
Robyn Carolyn Montague, via the Internet

 
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