Letters for November 4, 2004

Just another mainstream rag
Re “The Big Issue,” (RN&R, Cover story, Oct. 28):

The complete indifference you have shown Democratic State Senate 3 candidate Cameron Crain is shameful. Crain is an enthusiastic progressive, a voice of compassion and civility, and an alternative that your newspaper should have at least investigated. You recently ran a big, fat story featuring the Republican incumbent but never gave your readers a chance to know anything at all about the Democratic choice. Your paper is not the alternative. It’s just another mainstream rag.

Maria Bustamante
via e-mail

Better late than never
Re “Let everyone speak,” (RN&R, Letters, Sept. 9):

I would like to respond to a few points about Mike Lafferty’s recent column, “Let everyone speak.” I agree with Lafferty when he says we can choose to read his column or not. I think it is wonderful to have a point of view substantially different from most of the editorial content of the RN&R, and it is space well used.

With respect to his chagrin about a correspondent’s suggestion to “please fire him,” does everyone automatically lose their sense of humor when writing about politics?

Regarding the Swift Boat Veterans, the pros and cons, the veracity of the claims, the molding of the facts to benefit either side, these have all been examined ad nauseum. Everyone should be encouraged to investigate the charges and countercharges and form their own opinions.

I don’t think Bill Clinton got a free pass on his service record. The way I remember it, the public was given the fact (he obviously didn’t serve) and the public, taking this into account, voted the way they did (twice). I do think John Kerry would have been better off by not making his military record a central issue of this campaign. All he needed to do was let the public compare his service record with that of George W. Bush and let the public decide how much weight to give this issue.

As much as we would like to think otherwise, the right to free speech is not absolute. To use trite examples, I can’t yell “Fire” in a crowded place, nor can I accuse you of something patently untrue. I do not think the Democrats or Moveon.org are trying to restrict anyone’s political free speech. I think they are stating their own positions and are questioning the truthfulness of the claims of others.

Please continue the column. I urge you to positively put forth conservative viewpoints and encourage all to discuss the issues and not get bogged down with negative attacks.

Daniel T. Earl

Make love, not war
Re “Extremist leftist drivel, (RN&R, Letters, Sept. 30)

Lee Cotton-Thomas’ vituperative castigation of Deidre Pike and others of her “two-faced ilk” is one of the strongest arguments I can think of for doing all we can to prevent war and for treating our veterans with the respect and appreciation they have earned. Of course, I am assuming Cotton-Thomas’s venomous diatribe has its roots in his war and post-war experiences. I would rather believe this than think that the man was just born vicious, or that he was infused with such hatred by his family and childhood experiences.

In any case, his words reveal a deep disdain for and a profound fear of ideas and opinions that differ from his own. Am I deluded, or does this run counter to what America stands for? I try to imagine a nation populated only by individuals who share Cotton-Thomas’ beliefs and attitude. Wouldn’t such a nation more closely resemble a Taliban state or an al-Qaeda empire? It certainly would not be the nation envisioned by America’s founders.

I’m sorry that Cotton-Thomas was the undeserving recipient of such despicable treatment after his valiant service to this country. However, I see nothing to be gained by narrowing his mind and perpetuating the hatred. It will not heal his wounds, rather it will only harden his heart and wither his soul. My wish is that, from this day forward, he encounter far more of the love that has apparently eluded him in the past.

Carl Sharp

What about the chariots?
What would life be without the car? There would be no highways, freeways, expressways, turnpikes, spaghetti bowls or toll things. There would be no road construction, expect traffic delays, asphalt, grid lock or road rage. No speeding, drunk drivers, mothers against drunk drivers, .08s, traffic laws, traffic violatiors, etc., etc.

Princess Di would still be alive, along with many others. There would be no urban sprawl; if there was, the fittest would live the furthest away. We would stop and eat, not drive through. No car washes and no car wash fund raisers. How would we ever get around? Like all other life in the universe, without help. Exercise and diet programs would not exist. If we were healthier, which would make us happier, perhaps the medical industry would not be what it is.

Michael Ahles