I don't know if Bill Peterson is referring to bloggers or radio call-in people or what ("Mystery Achievement: Reds Doing Better Than Critics Admit," issue of Aug. 23), but I suppose I'm one of Reds manager Jerry Narron's critics. On my Cincinnati Reds Blog (www.shawns.blogspot.com), I have tried to be even-handed in my evaluations of the team's managers from Bob Boone through Dave Miley to Narron.
I grant that Narron is a good communicator with his players, far more so than his two predecessors and significantly better than both as a leader of men. I think one good reason for this season's improved play has been Narron's skill in this area.
Still, when I believe he deserves criticism I will criticize him. He isn't a strong manager strategically. To his credit, he's also better at this than his two predecessors. But some of his choices — playing Rich Aurilia over Edwin Encarnacion for a long stretch when Encarnacion was obviously one of his best players, mismanagement of the bullpen, leaving starters in for too long, not resting Ken Griffey Jr. or Ryan Freel when they've been obviously tired and/or not playing well — have been less than optimal.
I will not now, and I will never, simply stand by and say, "Oh well, he's the manager, so he must know better than I." I've been a baseball fan since 1972.
I know something about the game. And I can tell when a manager makes a bad decision.
Sometimes bad decisions succeed. Sometimes good decisions fail. If the men working in baseball can't take the heat of the fans' questioning their performance, they should give up those lucrative jobs in the entertainment industry and get real jobs out here with the rest of us. That's my two cents.
— Shawn Weaver Cincinnati Reds Blog
What Can Brown Do for You?
John Fox's editorial "Electing to Cover Politics" (issue of Aug. 16) was right on the money! When he said, "This is the most important election in your lifetime," he wasn't just blowing smoke. In only five years, George Bush has taken us from a comfortable surplus under Bill Clinton to the worst deficit in our history.
You can't see it, hear it or smell it, but a deficit unchecked can ruin the value of the dollar and throw our great country into bankruptcy. Bush is headed in that direction with tax cuts for the wealthy and a costly no-win war. Only a newly Democratic Congress can stop him.
We are lucky in Ohio to have a candidate who can be one of the six Democrats needed to turn the U.S. Senate around. Sherrod Brown, a congressman from near Cleveland who is well-liked by progressives there, can defeat Mike DeWine. He is leading in the polls, but the important poll is Nov. 7.
The nation is watching, Ohio!
— Kathy Helmbock, Oakley
Facing Obscene Fetus Photos
A few years ago I wrote a letter about my concerns with the state's treatment of women's choice rights in Ohio. But in the past two days I've encountered something far worse than just the overturning of Roe vs. Wade.
Yesterday I was driving to work when I saw a plane flying above Cincinnati with a picture of an "aborted fetus" and "This is Roe vs. Wade" in tow behind. This astounded me and made me feel unsettled.
Every day I have to drive by these photos placed in front of clinics around town, and every day I think, "Doesn't anyone realize how wrong this is?" Then this morning, I saw a truck — again displaying the same images — driving down McMillian Avenue and then Auburn Avenue and finally parking in front of the Planned Parenthood clinic. I was disgusted.
Anyone with any common sense should know that these photos aren't real. In no way, shape or form do clinics abort full-grown children from the womb. But beyond that, what about children who see these photos?
Where is the line drawn at protest and obscenity? If I were to stand in a public space with a full-grown, dismembered adult, I know someone would complain and I'd be forced to move on. And yet this is acceptable?
I support everyone's choice to do what they feel is right. And I appreciate and support every man's and woman's right to protest what they feel strongly about. But this is wrong. This is disgusting, false propaganda, and no one should be subjected to horrible images that they don't choose to see.
Isn't that was the obscenity laws are about? Isn't that our right as citizens? Our society shouldn't be brought down to such a level, where rather than intelligent arguments we replace facts and opinions with images procured just for shock.
I wonder what would happen if I were to stand next to these sickening images with photos of consensual adult sex. Would I be forced to shut down and move on?
— Sarah Nichols, Cincinnati
A story in last week's issue ("WAIF Votes on Its Future") gave the wrong date for the upcoming election of the WAIF-FM Board of Trustees. The election is scheduled for Sept. 17.