Letters to the Editor

From the week of July 26, 2001

Name withheld on request

Paying a premium: As the owner of a shop that deals with older bikes, Legends Motorcycles Inc., I see the insurance problem all the time. My customer base includes a lot of riders whose motorcycles represent transportation, not a lifestyle statement. In the fifteen years I have been in business, I cannot recall a single time when a damaged bike or injured rider got a fair deal. They always had to hire a lawyer to get the insurance companies to deal with them. As a rider of street bikes since 1964, I know that America tolerates bad driving as a matter of fact. I personally am damn tired of motorcyclists taking the brunt of American's inability to drive well and being ignored by our elected officials.

Cliff McGaughey
via the Internet

Manufacturing an Excuse

The blame game: While I cried with the rest of the country after the Columbine tragedy, my anger and frustration were limited to the two people who did the killing. Now, according to Alan Prendergast's "Attention, Kmart Shoppers," in the July 12 issue, Michael Moore has the audacity to take the responsibility off of these murderers' shoulders and try to place it on Kmart?

And to prey on the fragile emotional state of victims to help in his crusade is a tasteless act, no matter what the motives. Kmart is no more responsible for the killings than are the makers of the shoes these killers wore while walking around and shooting those kids. More kids die every day from automobile accidents than died at Columbine, but I remember Moore trying desperately to keep an auto factory open in his hometown. There were murders before there were guns, and whether Moore wants to believe it or not, there would still be senseless killings if all guns and ammo were gone.

And yet Kmart deserves any profit losses it incurs because of this for its lack of a spine in pinning the blame on those who committed this horrible act.

Mike Linneman
Brookfield, WI

To Air Is Human

Fairness to his Airness: Gallo, wake up! What, did you write for your high school newspaper? How dare you defy the most graceful, poetic, masterful athlete of any generation? Michael Jordan stands alone as the bar in basketball. Do not doubt his comeback, for his third coming will be awesome, too. No, do not expect six more championships, but expect Jordan to be spectacular.

He is not coming back "to see how he stacks up against his former self," as you say in "His (Fresh) Airness," in the June 28 issue. He has the most competitive drive of any athlete I've ever seen. He never let me down before, so why should I or anybody predict that he will stumble now? Sure, he'll be 39 years old. Do you really think three years will make Jordan look that bad? The bottom line: Mike wouldn't be coming back if he didn't think he could still amaze and dazzle like only he can.

This delusion of Jordan ruining his legacy is pure hogwash, journalism for journalism's sake. You are comparing him to other, lesser athletes. Jordan will come back and average his number (no, not 45 but 23). He might be old, but even with the loss of a step or two or even three, who can guard him? Vince Carter? No way! Allen Iverson? Definitely no! The only players who could possibly play defense against "His Airness" are Kobe Bryant and Doug Christie, who both play in the West.

My point: If Michael wants it bad enough, he'll get it. His six Bulls teams were not all that good. You have to understand Jordan's raw knack to score. Please, do not doubt Michael Jordan.

Neil Goldstein

Cheap thrills: Bill Gallo's "Twilight of the Baseball Gods," in the July 12 issue, was well done, but I would like to add a few comments about what made the All-Star Game so heavenly.

The game belonged to Ripken. As a result of "modern baseball," his accomplishment of consecutive games will never be surpassed. Seattle's reception of each player was polite and robust -- an unusual greeting, especially for their former players. That was when I got my first big chill. Next came A-Rod's gesture and Torre's instruction to Ripken to play shortstop for the first inning -- a position he changed, allowing for A-Rod's current success, since Ripken was his childhood hero. Finally, Ripken's first at-bat, the first swing at his last All-Star Game, was a home run. That was the final moment of the triple crown that Tuesday night. Some say the pitch was given to Ripken to hit, but he still hit it out.

I hope more of you got the cheap thrills that I got.

J. Matthew Dietz

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