Cockeyed Optimists
Wonderful column by Patricia Calhoun on the legacy of Gary Hart's Monkey Business ("Ship of State," March 26). It's hard to believe that this country has gotten even more cynical than it was a decade ago, but reading through all those hopeful letters to Hart, I realize it's true.

We Americans have lost a lot in the last ten years--our optimism most of all.

Rita Harms

I would like to remind Mr. Hart that two wrongs do not make a right. What Clinton is doing is wrong, and what Hart did was wrong.

The people were right to feel let down by him.
Jeannie Frankel

Return to Sender
In response to Eric Dexheimer's "Go Postal, Go for the Green," in the April 2 issue, I am greatly saddened to say that I can relate to it all too much. I am a postal employee of seven years and know only too well of the stress and aggravation postal employees endure.

In my opinion, the U.S. Postal Service is once again on top, leaving its employees to deal with the rats in the sewer. I realize that I have a good-paying job and do not take it for granted, but I'm starting to wonder if the pay is really good in relation to the stress employees deal with every day. This has long been a problem among employees and will continue to be as long as the Postal Service is in operation.

Thank you for the article. I feel as though someone understands us "going postal."

Name withheld on request

I found your article about the postal hostage situation insulting. The primary issue should have been the health of the people involved, not the failings and inadequacies of the Office of Workers' Compensation system, although it has a good many. Many claims of legitimately injured people are denied at the local level. I am sure the only reason the claims of the hostages were approved quickly was because it was such a high-profile case. I prefer to let a neutral party, the Department of Labor, decide whose case has merit, especially since it can demand repayment in cases where injuries cannot be substantiated. If I were you, I would focus my attention on two subjects: red tape at the labor department and the root cause of the hostage crisis, which I believe is postal stress. There is one rule of thumb that I have learned about postal management in my decade-plus with the U.S. Postal Service, which is that they believe in numbers only and they push people until they reach for guns.

Martin J. Spielman Jr.
Edison, NJ

I found Eric Dexheimer's article interesting. Another way that "Go for the Green" could be looked at: The Postal Service deserves to pay for those claims because it created the situation. If postal managers were held as accountable for their wrongdoings as the workers, they would not have the problem of paying comp claims. Even the citizens of this country are held accountable for their wrongdoings.

I know that in the media it is fashionable to blast away at people on comp. But the fact remains that some people cannot get back on the horse. Dexheimer mentions the shooting in Arkansas. Does he really believe that no one in Arkansas has or will have problems because of what happened? I do not necessarily agree that some of the people in Denver are taking advantage of the situation--maybe they looked at it as an opportunity to be free of a mean, vindictive and oppressive workplace.

I have worked for the postal service 32.5 years and have been an advocate for the oppressed postal/federal employee for most of those years. Believe me when I tell you that for outsiders, it is unbelievable what goes on in the various agencies. No, leaving and finding another job is not an option; bringing accountability is the only option. There is no way for you or any other outsider to comprehend what it is like unless you live it. I wish there were some way to have judges, reporters, congressmen, senators and critics, etc., go into the workplace as an employee and work under the conditions that we do. Then write the article, pass the law or judge the case.

I know there would be different outcomes.
Andy Crowbridge
Milwaukee, WI

Bonds on the Run
T.R. Witcher's "Bondage & Domination," in the April 2 issue, was an embarrassment to honest, reputable and adult bail-bonding agents--which most of us are. Remember the adages "consider the source" and "you get what you pay for."

I will continue to avoid these factions; they are hurting our industry.
Donna Wood

Rants in His Pants
Regarding Michael Roberts's "Double Trouble," in the March 26 issue.
Probably nothing I say would convince Westword or Jay Marvin that he's a mediocre bottom feeder. If he's a credit to mental health, then Patty Calhoun's a humorist. Boring.

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