Letters, calls and the roar of the crowd:
Oresto Digion, Arbutus: I sometimes enjoy reading your columns aloud to my wife. She usually finds an urgent reason for not having time to listen, but I read them aloud anyway.
Her verdict on your columns is generally that they are "stupid."
I have been surprised lately at her reaction to your stories about Judge Ito.
She has pronounced these "cute."
I find this to be an interesting development and thought you might like to know.
COMMENT: I knew your wife could not keep up the act forever. I knew she would weaken and slip. Do not blame her! She could not help herself! All women find me irresistibly stupid/cute.
Melvin Gibson, New Windsor: I have read your column where you gave the percentage of the people who voted for the Republicans. You said the entire country has not expressed their opinion.
So what? How about your Marxist-Socialist in the White House? He won with 43 percent of the vote.
Mr. Simon, the only reason Clinton won is because of a little egomaniac with a bad haircut by the name of Ross Perot.
But you will [soon] see one hell of a change for the better. This to me is snatching my country out of the hands of socialism and restoring America back to decency and values.
Just the fact that people like you don't get it shows how very abnormal you are.
COMMENT: Even though we disagree, I loved you in "Mad Max" and "Lethal Weapon." And please give my best to Danny Glover.
Derek Wallace, Denver, Colo.: I am a firm believer in my constitutional right to free travel. I realize that riding without [motorcycle] helmets may cost taxpayers' money, but what doesn't?
The stinking president wastes our tax dollars every day, but I never see anything done about it.
There is nothing like the feeling of taking your girl out on a long ride on a nice day. Often times I wear a helmet, but I want it to remain my choice.
These are my thoughts and thank you for taking the time to read them. I hope I've made you think of what our Constitutional Right to Free Travel means to some of us.
COMMENT: When you ride in a car, you must put on a seat belt. The law says so. A motorcycle helmet is no different. The operation of motor vehicles is a privilege, granted by the state, and therefore amendable and revocable, and not a right granted by the Constitution.
You want to take your girl out on a long ride on a nice day without wearing a helmet?
Fine. But the trouble comes when you come to a sudden stop, go over the handlebars and end up a vegetable. A vegetable without catastrophic health insurance, which means the taxpayers have to pick up your medical bills, which can amount to millions.
Personally, when it comes to the choice of spending tax money on motorcyclists who don't want to ride with helmets or spending it on free lunches for hungry schoolchildren, I'll take the free lunches for the kids.
Howard Schlossberg, Schaumberg, Ill.: You want to do away with Indian nicknames for sports teams? Let's start, instead, with Indian reservations -- how about a column, oh, great Chief Roger Cloud, on problems there that need to be dealt with: education, drug and alcohol abuse, unemployment, health care, et al. Doing away with the name Kansas City Chiefs is going to solve that, isn't it?
COMMENT: No, it will have nothing to do with that. But it is tough to help people while you are still insulting them.
Since you are so concerned about the plight of Native Americans, I would like you to ask yourself two questions:
First, have you ever done anything about the education, alcohol, drug, health care or unemployment problems on the reservations?
And, second, what harm do you do by using insulting terms and caricatures to refer to the people who live there?
Here's something that will bring back the '60s for you, Howard:
If you aren't part of the solution, at least don't be part of the problem.