Letters: Organized crime includes biker gangs

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Law enforcement continue to investigate the motorcycle gang related shooting at the Twin Peaks restaurant, Monday, May 18, 2015, in Waco, Texas, where 9 were killed Sunday and over a dozen injured.

Regarding the biker killings in Waco, Texas, it is interesting to note that reporters and law enforcement officials are finally using the phrase “organized crime” to describe them.

Back in the 1980s, when he was New York’s state’s attorney before becoming mayor, Rudy Giuliani held a press conference in which he identified bikers as one of the numerous organized crime groups his office regularly prosecuted. Giuliani’s main gripe was that the media never publicized the very negative doings of these ne’er-do-wells.

Instead, the focus, then and now, has been on geriatric gangsters with Italian last names, doing perp walks to courthouses using wheelchairs and walkers. Or some two-bit thug who has watched too many Hollywood gangster movies is treated as “proof” that the Chicago Outfit is still a major criminal force.

There are probably more biker gangs in America (and have been) than there are, or were, “goodfellas.” And their drug dealing and violence has gone under the radar for decades, up until this weekend.

The media is now using a spotlight rather than a narrow beam on the subject of “organized crime.” Bravo!

Bill Dal Cerro, Chicago office

Italic Institute of America

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Unfair to single out Catholic hospitals

Tuesday’s editorial (“A patient has a right to know all her medical options”) shows an anti-Catholic bias by choosing to single out a Catholic hospital to make a point about supporting SB 1564.

The editorial asks readers to consider a classic case (whatever that means) of an early pregnancy problem in which there is almost no hope (meaning there is some hope) the baby will survive. It claims that at a Catholic hospital may not take care of the woman properly by failing to tell her of a recommended option of inducing labor. It claims instead the hospital may give her antibiotics as she waits for a miscarriage and runs a significant risk of infection or hemorrhaging. All of what the editorial said sure sounds like it doesn’t want readers to trust a Catholic hospital to do what is right in its opinion.

Donald Nauyokas, Brighton Park

Patients have right to know options

We human beings should not be treated as marionettes, as figures controlled by puppeteers. We should not be regarded by any authority — government flunky, police, prosecutor, doctor or other health care professional — as anything less than full-fledged participants in our own lives.

Depriving us of all information germane to any situation we confront is tantamount to depriving us of an essential part of our humanity. Paternalism has no legitimate role in the nexus between medical professional and patient, nor do other more questionable aspects of this nexus like those addressed by the proposed legislation in SB 1564.

Paul Bloustein, M.D.,Cincinnati

Crunching numbers, benefits

Social Security benefits that most of us receive orwill receive pale in comparison to the pension benefits disclosed in your article “Decades of Denial” (May 18). It would be interesting to see a comparison of the contributions employees make to each system.

C.W. Davis, Oak Brook

Union let down membership

Would someone at the Sun-Times please send Tom Balanoff, president of Service Employees International Union Local 1, a copy of Monday’s Sun-Times (“Decades of denial”)? He needs to look in a mirror to find a guilty party. He and the SEIU did zero to protect its membership. Cleverly, the guilty party always seeks to assess blame on someone else. It’s classic.

Recalling a classic Pogo comic strip quote, “I have met the enemy and he is us!” Shame on the SEIU leadership.

Joseph A. Murzanski, Palos Heights

Stroger’s great expectations

Todd Stroger is “thinking about politics” again (“Reclamation project: Former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger aims lower for return to politics” — May 19).

“I’m just doing a little work for Ald. [Howard] Brookings,” Stroger said. For $30,000 a year. Most people making that much (or little) are looking to pay the rent and put food on the table for their family. Not looking to go into politics.

Kenneth F. Munro, Frankfort

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