Cops on Wrong Track -- In your article, "Busy Signal," by Pia K. Hansen in the Nov. 21 edition of The Inlander regarding the poor police response to meth houses, drug dealing and other crimes that most law-abiding citizens would consider "real" crime, one quote hit the nail on the head. You wrote "the level of law enforcement SERVICE depends on how a police department allocates its resources..."
In Spokane, it would seem the allocation has been shifted to the traffic beat. The Spokesman Review reported a 300 percent increase in the amount of traffic tickets written compared to the same time last year. Police representatives will tell you there are no quotas or that they are not doing "special patrols."
But who are they targeting really? Career criminals and drug dealers? Hardly! More like hardworking members of society usually on their way to work, people who won't take the time to fight a ticket. Most people will just send in their money, costing little to the courts and making pure profit for the police.
So the next time you need a cop, don't call Crime Check. Just exceed the speed limit during commuter hours... you'll get their attention.
I'll Look Elsewhere -- Thank you so much for portraying Republicans as white racists in the story, "Flying the Flag" in the Nov. 14 edition of The Inlander. I guess I'll look elsewhere for unbiased media coverage.
A couple of states back east does not equal the entire country, I don't care where Mr. Wilentz teaches [the author of the article in question teaches at Princeton]. I have one question for The Inlander -- if Republicans are all white and conservative and racist, then what are Democrats? Judging from the local campaign mudslinging ads I could take a guess -- but that would be very non-biased now wouldn't it?
Igloos are Dangerous -- The article by Mike Corrigan in the Nov. 14 winter sports edition of The Inlander should have described the dangers of building igloos as well. As a kid, I once had an igloo collapse on me. The weight of the snow completely forced the air from my lungs. If I had been alone, I would not be here today.
My little brother Kenny was also buried in an igloo that we built. He was three years old. When it fell on him, I will never forget how I thought that he was dead. We all frantically dug him out and were relieved that he was alive. This is a very dangerous thing.
Even though it was over 45 years ago that this happened to me, the memory rush is like it just happened. I have a similar feeling when I think of the baby girl that fell down the oil-drilling hole in Texas.
Scott [last name withheld]
Big Brother is Watching -- I feel very uneasy about the whole package of viewing, scanning, intercepting and outright eavesdropping Americans are being sold. I'm still not crazy about being filmed everywhere I go. It's nearly possible to thermal-scan the rooms in your house from space. Yikes! There are some things we like to do in private, ya know?
Years ago, we began scanning bar codes. No big deal, right? Well, now I can check on everything I've rented at the video stores and bought at the hardware store for the last thousand years. What ever happened to the Fourth Amendment? And what was the reason that it was included in our Bill of Rights if the information's so harmless? One reason is that information can be twisted to serve devious purposes and pre-ordained agendas. Advertisers use this info to sell their products on impulse. Marketers use these stats to stock the shelves with everything new and trendy.
My next objection may sound extreme to modern ears, but it wasn't so to our founders. If ever the government should become destructive of our rights and freedoms, people have the right to overturn that government and institute a new one. I like the idea of politicians sweating whether they're going too far and inciting rebellion among the populace. It's about accountability, a word that gets lots of lip-service and no active support. Yet that is precisely what the founders envisioned -- accountability.
Violence has increased in my lifetime, and I don't need FBI stats to prove it. I remember when we didn't lock anything, and my sister could walk downtown at midnight, and the worst thing she feared was being escorted home by the police. I couldn't get away with anything, no matter how far away from home I was. My mother got the report within the hour. And this was in Massachusetts, not rural Pennsylvania. What happened?
A police state can't be the answer. Either we want to live happy, peaceful lives, or we bring calamity on ourselves. No amount of technology will change that.