Monday, February 16, 2009

Letter to the Editor

I wanted to respond to a number of items in the news and in the Chicago Tribune's Voice of the People (letters to the editor) column:

(News item: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) decided McDonald's isn't executing poultry properly.)

I. Why does anyone still pay attention to PETA? This is a group that wants veganism to be enforced by Congress. What credibility does it have with regard to animal cruelty?

(Chicago Tribune Voice of the People, Feb. 13: a senior citizen defends former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's free rides for seniors on CTA and Metra. Naturally, he believes he's entitled to them.)

II. Proud senior citizen Paul Straka may be "tired of hearing people calling for dumping the free rides on CTA for senior citizens." (Voice, Feb. 13) I'm tired of hearing their pathetic justifications. "Seniors have earned their rights to free rides," Mr. Straka tells us. Just like they've earned their right to help themselves to 15 percent of my paycheck, I guess. And "they may choose to pay for their rides if they want to"? The next senior citizen who voluntarily gives up a senior citizen discount will be the first!

(Chicago Tribune Voice of the People, Feb. 15: a writer objects to Manny Ramirez turning down the L.A. Dodgers' offer of $25 million for one year and insults those of us who attend games, believing we're in need of being told to wake up. I truly resent that.)

III. I appreciate Richard C. Buielski telling me, "People: it's time to wake up," in regard to sports salaries (Voice, Feb. 15). Now I know what he thinks of my intelligence because I choose to attend professional sports events. I know the salaries are obscene and that the ticket/concession prices are outrageous. I enjoy the games. Mr. Buielski, I know what I'm doing, and I'm wide awake. Thanks for the insulting heads-up.

(A Chicago 2016 Olympics official stupidly compared the Chicago transit situation with three previous Olympics that have absolutely no relevance whatsoever.)

IV. Doug Arnot's comment in Jon Helkevitch's article about the Chicago Olympic bid's transit plan speaks volumes about how woefully unprepared the plan is. ("Olympic Transit Plan Could Go the Distance," Main, Feb. 15) He refers to plans that "worked" in Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. Atlanta 1996, by all accounts, was a logistical disaster, with media, spectators and even athletes unable to reach venues on time. Salt Lake City hosted a much smaller Winter Games, and Los Angeles hosted the Olympics a generation ago that was one-third the size of the modern Summer Games. If Argot is using those cities as a reference, the Chicago Games will suffer from truly poor preparation.

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