Crudely Insensitive

Although a healthy skepticism in the field of psychic phenomena is usually appropriate, to cynically equate psychics with psychosis (Gregory Flannery´s ¨Psychotic Festival,¨ issue of

Although a healthy skepticism in the field of psychic phenomena is usually appropriate, to cynically equate psychics with psychosis (Gregory Flannery´s ¨Psychotic Festival,¨ issue of Dec. 12) is a crudely insensitive comparison for such a PC publication as yours. Even psych patients can see and experience the benefits of smoking cessation — a common psych comorbidity — but Flannery is free to mix his ¨healthy¨ cynicism with his unhealthy, and possibly deadly, habit.

Along with many other attendees, I saw abundant evidence of Victor Paruta´s many talents during a Baker-Hunt course and found a recent personal reading by him to be insightful, enlightening and well worth the expense. A reading by a reputable psychic can often be a life-changing experience.

— Michael Eilers,

Fort Wright

Having Fun
One thing that seemed to be missing from CityBeat´s cover story on the Victory of Light psychic festivals (¨Psychotic Festival,¨ issue of Dec. 12) is the fun attendees are having. Entire families show up, groups of girlfriends spend the day at the festival and the seminars, lots of kids are running around.

There is way more laughing than tears at the festival, and lots of incredible shopping — clothes, books, art. People I know come to hang out with friends, learn something knew and have a great time.

This festival is one of the best in the country and draws folk to Cincinnati from our entire region. Victor Paruta has put in a lot of hard work over many years to make the festival the success that it is.

It takes a lot of organizing to provide such a great venue for everyone to have a terrific time.

We are all proud of what he´s accomplished and amazed at how easy he makes it look.

— Patricia Garry,

Walnut Hills

High on Life
Just read Larry Gross´ column in CityBeatDrug Choices,¨ issue of Dec. 12), and I about died. I´m probably a bit younger than Gross (42), but like him I´ve reached that point in my life where I can´t smoke weed without freaking out, drink a beer without thinking I´m going to drown or even smoke a cigarette without thinking I´m going to have a heart attack.

I thought I was losing my mind, and maybe I am. Anyways, his column really helped me out by letting me know that I´m not the only one out there who feels this way.

Ain´t nothing wrong with living a clean life. Get high on life, man.

— Randy Hessman,

Colerain Twp.

Be Happy for Your Conscience
I wish I had some words of inspiration for Stephanie Dunlap. Others probably will, but me? I feel every bit as disheartened as she sounds in her column, ¨Courage and Creativity¨ (issue of Dec. 12), and maybe then some.

To understand how far off track this country has gone, one has only to consider that, this time next year, two moral imbeciles will have spent almost eight years in the White House unimpeached. Think about that. What decent human being wouldn´t be pulling her hair out?

Dunlap´s column did give me a new appreciation, though, for reporters (of conscience) who cover politics close up. Being short on courage and creativity, I´ve been following politics closely for six years from the comfort of my living room, and I´m practically suicidal. She has a right to be ¨tired.¨

If, in a world of murder and mayhem run by assholes, people can find peace of mind in the Buddhist philosophy, bully for them. When they start self-immolating in protest in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, I´ll be impressed.

About all I can say to Dunlap is, for what it´s worth, I´m glad you have a conscience. You´re far from alone.

— Jim Byrnes,

Hyde Park

Close to Irresponsible
Is Larry Gross sure he´s not smoking crack or weed? Certainly his columns are always to the left, but this week he´s way out in left field (¨Drug Choices,¨ issue of Dec. 12).

Yes, everything Gross mentioned in his column are drugs, though some more expensive than others. Crack, coke, acid and some of those pills are very addictive, so addictive that people have to rob other people to pay for that addiction. How do you think the police should handle that? Let the person off because he has only an addiction?

Addictions lead to crime. They can also lead to violent behavior.

I won´t say his column was irresponsible, but it came pretty damn close.

— Tom Andrews,


Old Spice and WWII
(Re: ¨Women Fall for Man in West Chester Because of His Scent¨ post on CityBeat´s Living Out Loud blog.) Old Spice is a performance-enhancing substance. Without it, the Baby Boom would have never occurred.

It´s the real reason why we entered World War II against the better advice of isolationists and lesbian activists of that era. Who knew?

— Aromatic Bud, posted Dec. 15

Don¨t Micromanage
(Re: ¨What to Do About Streicher¨ post on CityBeat´s Porkopolis blog regarding City Council´s feud with Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas Streicher Jr.) Council should make policy. Its policy in this regard should read along the lines of ¨Within the constraints of budget leverage available Cincinnati Police Department resources to prevent the occurence of crime.¨

CPD´s strategy then might be to employ Police Visibility overtime (why not PV straight time?), and its tactic then might be to deploy officers to walking patrols. Council really shouldn´t micromanage how officers are deployed; they do so in this case to make themselves look good and keep the Mary Kuhls of the world placated. If crime is down without them, one can argue how much lower crime rates might be with them, but that is academic.

Not sure how someone who works for the City Manager can be insubordinate to City Council?

— Not the Mamma Cass!, posted Dec. 15

Payback Can Be a Bitch
(Re: ¨Two Big Rats¨ post on CityBeat´s Porkopolis blog regarding, in part, U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman´s endorsement of Republican Sen. John McCain for president.) Such ugliness! Wouldn´t Sen. Lieberman be more of a rat if he didn´t act upon his own conscience and beliefs? Or would that make him a sheep (or just a good Democrat)?

I suppose you expect him to endorse and support the same cast of characters that did everything in their inept powers to end his political career last year? Payback at that level can be a bitch!

— Mark in Newport, posted Dec. 18

Christmas Is About the Spirit
(Re: ¨And Now a Few Words from Jesus Christ¨ post on CityBeat´s Living Out Loud blog reporting the Lord´s displeasure with the consumerism that accompanies his birthday celebration.) I´m going to take your advice. Christmas has been completely out of hand for the past several years. My wife and I have spent hundreds of dollars on this holiday, and for what? Gifts that aren´t even liked by most.

Christmas is about the spirit, not about money spent.

— Tom, posted Dec. 13

No Presents This Year
(Re: ¨And Now a Few Words from Jesus Christ¨ post on CityBeat´s Living Out Loud blog.) That´s great, Jesus. I´ll tell my kids that you told me not to buy presents this year :)

— Mary, posted Dec. 13

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