I find it very disturbing that area government officials, such as county prosecuting attorneys, choose to file criminal charges against people because of their sexual behavior behind closed doors. The recent charges against Tom and Suzi Wahl in St. Charles and St. Louis counties are another example of out-of-control government officials trying to control the personal lives of citizens ("Short Cuts," RFT, Aug. 30). As if the concept of outlawing "sex for something of value" wasn't ridiculous enough (it is a primary reason most men and women get married; he wants sex and she wants financial security), now we have a ludicrous interpretation of a prostitution law as a small but powerful group of government officials attempt to use their positions to impose their personal morality (or their perception of the majority's moral beliefs) on others.
I wonder if the next time my dog barks it will be because the county prosecutor has directed the police to peek into my bedroom window to see if my wife and I are engaged in any illegal positions (there are several in Missouri). It seems these dictatorial tyrants would be ousted at the voting booth by Americans who value their freedom, but Bob McCulloch was re-elected after Kinkogate. If we value our freedom, more of us better start paying attention, remembering and voting! As Thomas Jefferson said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
I'd like to thank Ray Hartmann for his touching column on Jake McCarthy, a man whose writing inspired me over the years with his humanity and the passion of his ideals ("A Good Jake," RFT, Aug. 30).
I was fortunate in my youth to meet Jake through his son, Ty. I found him to be approachable, funny and warm. He told me once that the power of words could move the world, but that you had to speak out to be heard. I never forgot that, and for the last 30 years, I have used my voice to rage at injustices and hopefully make people think about the way they treat other human beings. Perhaps others over the years have also inspired me to use my voice to be heard, but none more than Jake McCarthy. When I was trying to figure out my own views of the world, somehow when I'd read his columns, I knew someone else felt the way I did. He had a gift, an ability to infuriate or inspire.
Jake McCarthy will be missed, but he was one for the ages. What a life!
Dennis M. Gilbert
Thank you for your excellent article on Jake McCarthy. I always read his columns with great pleasure, knowing they would be intelligent and humane. His viewpoint is much needed now to help "center" our nation and remind us of the truly important values. He will be much missed.
One of my aunts says often that the trouble with common sense is that it isn't all that common. Thanks again for offering a forum to my favorite "common man."
Congratulations on your straight-to-the-point article on the so-called presidential debates ("Party Crashers," RFT, Aug. 30). Nobody but nobody denies that the corporations and the media have stolen our political process. The same people who have inundated the land with casinos and lotteries have rigged the presidential election. So what else is new? The Democrats and Republicans have near-imbeciles -- I'm sorry, I forgot this was a "virtual reality" election. Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan would wipe the floor with Al Gore and George W. Bush, and certainly we would hear the words "trade deficit" and "Constitution" more often than "tax cut" and "education." To see the United States of America as it really is right now is quite unsettling. To believe the American public is helpless and will continue in its mind-numbing apathy is spirit-crushing.
NOW IS THE TIME
Thank you for a most comprehensive and enlightening article on downtown residential development ("True Believer," RFT, Aug. 30). All the developers, en masse, should be banging on City Hall doors to get the Kiel Opera House reopened and the Old Post Office alive again. There are no more beneficial projects than these to support with Jerry Schlichter's tax credits. The Opera House is a six- to seven-minute walk for most of the lofts.
I am sure another letter will mention the need for better lighting, parking, visible police presence and dealing with regressive taxes.
Carolyn Toft is right -- sports meccas have not done it and are not enough for downtown St. Louis. Cultural attractions, residential and close-in shopping will. And (Deputy Mayor) Mike Jones: There may be no planning commission as such, but the St. Louis Development Corporation is the "daddy" of all planning organizations. Fewer planners and no more "studies," please. It is fair to point to some bad decisions in the past, but now is the time to "course-correct."
Ed L. Golterman