The bird's a thug

I was wondering why the picture of the pigeon shows him drinking a beer in a bag and holding a gun `"Bird of paradise," June 1`. The caption says they are "hip and cool." I guess a person drinking a beer is cool?

Jim Gregory, via the Internet

Editor's note: You are right about the beer, Jim. But there's no gun — that's his wing. We draw the line at arming pigeons.


Cooing is cool

In reference to the article "Bird of paradise" `June 1` by Sara Kelly: I liked the article, but Sara left out what really makes pigeons cool — the cooing sound they make.

Wes Pierce, Orlando

Been there, done that

Thanks for keeping the story of the homeless in the forefront `"The tree people," May 25`. I lived behind a lawyer's office downtown. I ate at whatever food thing was happening at the time. I didn't want to eat at the Coalition `for the Homeless` too often because of my problems with drugs which, before I left that area in January 2006, were rampant in that area.

I did all this not because I wanted to, but because I had to. No one but another addictive-type person would understand how much degradation, stress and strain we can put ourselves through while "functional." When I became non-functioning, I didn't want to do anything except get my drink or my drug. That became paramount. And I have family in Orlando and a wife in North Carolina.

There's a lot more I could tell, about nights in Orlando, about celebrities I met, about the hell on earth I created for myself, but today I don't live in that and they're just memories that I use to keep myself motivated to not do that anymore. I live at home with my wife now and we are getting our lives together again. The Internet allows me to keep in touch with what's happening in Orlando and I always loved to read the Orlando Weekly (the paper is useful for a number of things).

I'm happy your paper is trying to keep the debate going about people like me, not the drunk or addict, but the homeless person with a problem, be it mental or physical, who is here now in your neighborhood, city, town and county without something being done, or more being done.

Larry M., via the Internet

Support the war, lose a limb

America has required tens of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children to lose a limb or be otherwise horribly disfigured, or just die, so that we can pursue our agenda, whatever it is. George Bush never asked them what they thought about this sacrifice. He just imposed it upon them.

The same should be required of every American who supports or supported the so-called war. How many hawks would have remained hawks if this suffering had been guaranteed for them?

If the question had been put to them, "Would you support attacking Iraq if it means many Iraqi children will be killed and maimed?" clearly the answer was a resounding "yes," because everyone knew this would happen.

"Would you support the attack if it means you must be maimed or die?" The answer would be "no." Mitigating circumstances would cloud the path to war and it would be abandoned. Interesting difference, that.

Dick Cheney said the day he shot his buddy in the face was the worst day of his life. What was it that bothered him so? Certainly not the carnage, as every day people are blown apart and shot to pieces with his blessing. More likely it was the bad press he got, or the bird he missed on the other side of his friend's head. It's the little things, really, that we find annoying.

Tom Levine, Orlando

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