TO THE EDITOR—Wm. Steven Humphrey begins his review of the new movie, Flags of Our Fathers, by referring to "the self-congratulatory backslapping of 'the greatest generation'—those who lived and fought through World War II" ["World War II Adbusters!" Film, Oct 19]. The "Greatest Generation" label was concocted during the 1990s by individuals who either were children during the war or, like myself (and presumably, Mr. Humphrey), were born after the war ended. With the exception of a few organized veterans groups who, in the immediate aftermath of the war, correctly felt the need to loudly advocate for veterans' rights, very few American adults who lived through the war, either overseas or on the home front, have ever blown their own horns about what they did at that time. I've known many WWII veterans over the years, and I've never heard any of them speak of, for example, how they "saved the world"—despite strong evidence that they did just that. Self-congratulation was never their style, and still is not. I find elements of "greatness" in this.

 Steven Frumkin


EDITORS—May I suggest a different tack: Un-train the officers ["Putting $581,550 Where Your Mouth Is," Feature, Oct 26, wherein Matt Davis puts forth a proposed budget for better training Portland Police to deal with people who have mental health problems, in the wake of schizophrenic James Chasse's death in police custody]. As a society we have been trained to stereotype in mental health, and we respond to that stereotype. The training police officers receive from the society is not undone by that [training] they receive on the job. Police Chief Rosie Sizer told the Mercury last week she "hopes" her department will do better. Ms. Sizer, tell that to your female officers. You would clearly not "hope" male officers would respect them. Tell that to your African American officers—you would not "hope" the department would do better in respecting them. Please do not offer that statement to any of the people that your department is statutorily responsible for protecting. We do not want your "hope" that your department will protect us, we expect it.

 Harold A. Maio, Former Consulting Editor,

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal


DEAR MERCURY—[Regarding the] death of my friend JimJim [James Chasse] by "law protectors." [According to] excerpts from newspaper related eyewitness accounts and photos, officers tackled and Tazered him down, then began to kick and beat him. One witness recalled, "They punted his head like a football" until he was unconscious and bloodied. He [was] handcuffed and arrested without care, and died. I met JimJim through the music scene. Shy, withdrawn, mildly mentally ill, an absolutely harmless gentle being, he would barely meet your eye when spoken to. He would visit our apartment to listen to music, a safe haven. What threat did officers see in this man? (Serve and protect WHOM???) Congratulations Portland, your officers just killed a lamb. Talk about terrorism. One of the shyest, gentlest creatures I ever met is at rest beyond further torment by so called "humanity!" Rest in peace, JimJim. Condolences to the family, I know they love him very much.

Nancy Kendall


DEAR EDITOR—Life is short and sometimes so hard. We need a good read and a good laugh. You deliver every week! The Oct 26 One Day at a Time and your "The New Face of Terror" article [Feature, Oct 26] have kept me laughing for days. Hey, why isn't Frank Cassano running for office this election? I'd vote for him!

Eloise McCullenCONGRATULATIONS TO ELOISE for her inspiring suggestion that the esteemed Frank Cassano should run for public office. Imagine the parade of imbeciles that would be expunged from city government in one fell swoop of his ire! Until that day of political triumph, Eloise may tide herself over with two tickets to the Laurelhurst and $30 to No Fish! Go Fish!, which Cassano will surely allow to remain in operation under his impending reign.


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