A bus rider's lament
Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz wants to raise bus fares so more "poor people" can have free bus passes and to "increase security at transfer points?" (Letters, 11/14/08.) Which poor people? I live under the poverty level and don't get a discount on the $47 monthly pass, which Mayor Dave wants to raise to $55.
What security at the transfer points? Does he mean security cameras?
Groups of loud, aggressive, idle and sometimes drunk boys and men frequently rule the transfer points I use. They threaten and shove each other, ignore the trashcans as they throw their litter around, and harass women. The cameras are only useful after the fact, if they manage to record a robbery or assault.
It's not safe on the buses either. All it takes is one loud, aggressive male to intimidate everyone on the bus, including the driver. Most drivers are afraid to confront any behavior whatsoever and refuse to do so when asked. Can you blame them? Security cameras, on the buses that have them, do not stop this behavior.
Before I sacrifice any more money that should go to food and medical care, I want security guards/ bouncers on every bus. They can photograph and ban aggressive behavior, halt language that creates a hostile environment, tell misbehaving students to knock it off, and make people who are not elderly or disabled give the designated seats to those who are. (This is an everyday problem.)
Security guards can give tickets to people who smoke in the bus shelters and Taser anyone who attempts to assault a driver. Until this happens, is it any wonder so many people refuse to use public transportation?
Republicans must get real
What an incredible story, on "Dane County's Secret GOP Chair" (11/14/08).
We read again and again in "This Modern World" about the conservatives' non-reality-based reality. This story helps us realize that those conservatives really exist, and right here in Madison! They really think that way! They really are that paranoid! How sad!
Haven't they noticed? The wackiest of "conservatives" have been in the saddle since Reagan in 1980, save only for the rightist George H.W. Bush and the Dead-Centrist "neo-Democrat" Bill Clinton.
Didn't Harry Truman once say of the conservatives' Republican ancestors, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"?
Ted Voth Jr
Lost in translation
Although he was rejected by his peers, I hope David Hillman can take some solace from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics in Greek or English ("Everybody Musta Got Stoned," 11/6/08).
My only access to the antiquities is through English translators, for whom I am thankful. But I expect honest translations. Even though I love the poetry of much 19th-century work and earlier, I know there are more accurate, studied, fun and randy translations. Anybody who has ever read Catullus knows this. He is enough to make one want to learn Latin.
Goethe was in his 40s when he wrote that he finally understood he couldn't be taught. Perhaps Hillman has reached that point for himself. Now he has the freedom to learn.
Patrik Vander Velden, Monona