Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the July 22 "Half a Six Pack" questions (an abbreviated version of "Six Pack to Go"). Each question has five responses from readers. (Sorry, but Russ serves as the "gatekeeper" - he determines the five answers to accompany each question.) In order to make this a reader-friendly feature, some lengthy answers submitted by readers may have been shortened.
1) Doesn't it seem rather odd that, in Ohio, wearing a seat belt is required but wearing a motorcycle helmet isn't? It makes no sense. You have a better chance of surviving a wreck in a car not wearing a seat belt than you would on a motorcycle without a helmet. Bike riders must have better lobbyists, or more money, to buy off the politicians, but good for them. It does seem odd. On this issue, I would suggest that personal choice makes the most common sense. Those motorcycle riders who do not wear helmets probably like the "wind and the rain in their faces." They look better when they are laid out in the coffin. Not if you remember the fight the motorcycle people put up over it.
2) Can you believe Big Tobacco's Philip Morris actually said that tobacco could save a government millions in health care and pensions because many smokers die earlier? Sure, I can believe it. Pretty cold, callous attitude, but considering how long they hid the fact that smoking caused numerous ailments, it does not surprise me in the least. That statement ranks right up there with Carty's about moving the deaf by the airport. I am surprised that the tobacco company committed this public relations blunder and told the truth. As cruel as it sounds, a big savings in medical and retirement could be accomplished by giving cigarettes to school children (I do not support this, but facts are facts). Can I believe it? Absolutely! If you think propaganda was a fine art with the Nazis, take a good look at big business, especially tobacco. Sounds much like the same appeal that Adolph Hitler made where the Jews were concerned. The only difference is that Philip Morris has spin doctors ready to handle the collateral fallout. Outrageous! Compassionate conservatives could agree with that.
3) From a reader: When did it become acceptable for men of all ages to wear a cap indoors? About the same time women quit wearing hats indoors. Insecure macho-type males insist on wearing cowboy hats or baseball caps indoors as some sort of First Amendment statement. They also park their trucks in the wrong direction in supermarket parking lots. When it became acceptable to wear ripped, tattered, dirty jeans to church. When it became acceptable for society as a whole to become so self-absorbed as to ignore the needs of others. There is a lack of civility that pervades modern society. The wearing of caps is just a symptom of a larger issue. Such behaviors are taught at home (at least they were in my generation), but so many of today's young adults spend their formative years in impersonal day-car settings, or in an environment where manners were considered "old-fashioned" and, therefore, not rewarded. Allowing such a price simply brings about some degree of gender equity regarding hats and caps. Women have always been allowed to wear hats indoors. I don't think this applies to all age groups - just the last two generations. And the parents are the fault of the current crop. Morons. It doesn't really bother me that much, except at sporting events. I've never tapped anyone on the shoulder and asked him to remove his cap during the playing of the National Anthem, but I've seen it done. And I would not take action if an offender was within shoulder-tapping reach. Just goes along with the current lack of civility, respect, and common sense in general. When we threw out our morals, dress codes, courtesy, responsibility, and polite manners.
I agree with you about the coverage of Condit and the missing intern. While sorry about her disappearance, I think the constant messages about their relationship is completely unnecessary. We've been told, so let it go. I think we all better get used to the new school of reporting. The American public has become so dumbed down that the tawdry and sensational will outweigh the sensible and ordinary. If the press of today goes after a Democrat, he must be an outcast. Dan Rather is so blatantly biased that I tune him out whenever he appears in my sight on the tube. Bill O'Reilly (Fox News Channel) put some hard questions to him recently which he ducked or lied out of. Do conservatives overreact to the liberal media bias? Sure they do. Is their a liberal media bias? I guess not in your world . I guess the only way to escape the CNN/Fox News Condit feeding frenzy is to keep your TV tuned to C-Span.
What a boring mayoral race so far. Let's try and stay away from kissing every group we can find. Wrapping themselves in the flag is a politician's second-favorite activity. Saving "the children" is first. As for Rush Limbaugh, I believe his views are racist and divisive! I can see The Blade building from my apartment windows. In spite of the news I see, your column was like a breath of fresh air on a hot afternoon. I would pass on (Mike Karabin) as (UT's) athletic director. He is a mature adult and knows better. He should have not taken the chance - anyhow, why was it necessary to drink so much when he had to drive such a distance? Ginger Ale, soda water, etc., would have been just fine at some point.
Russ Lemmon's column appears Sundays. Readers may contact him at 1-419-724-6122, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.