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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

Chapter 3

Why is it that B.T. Stephans, Marty Lich and Terry Quinn feel the compulsion to start their letters with personal insults? Ad hominem argument, like the use of obscenity, is the attempt of a weak and feeble mind to express itself forcefully. No one who starts their argument with a personal insult is likely to have a very good argument to begin with.

All three of you seem to regard a third- or half-page of newsprint as a “book.” Which leaves one to wonder about your familiarity with the real thing. Or is this just evidence of a vast rightwing, valley-wide conspiracy?



If you have arguments that refute my position, then offer them. I know conservative idealogues believe that shouting louder makes it so. Actually, so do liberals. See if you can do it in print. Preferably without the personal insults, please.

“Negative Misprison of Felony”? ROFLMAO! (Sorry)



The felony in question was one that had been “prosecuted” precisely once before in the entire history of American jurisprudence. So much for proportionality. And, however technical or political the process, wasn’t that guy acquitted? Or was that Senate vote merely an illusion? Was there a criminal court case I missed, and you didn’t? So, technically, if not morally, where is the crime for which Hilary negatively misprisoned her felony? (sic) Talk about specious! What is it about “reasoning” that so rouses the ire of idealogues?

Yesterday, Butch Mazzuca argued for several hundred words basically that “the end justifies the means.” No doubt you fervently agreed with him. He was plausible and fit your preconceptions, anyway. Never mind that every moral authority since Aristotle has rejected that as a valid excuse for any bad act. (That, by the way, includes all U.S. law and legal tradition, both Catholic and Protestant Christian tradition and the Judeo-Christian ethic that comprises the basis of our culture.) Never mind that both the Constitution and the War Powers Act specifically state that the only justification for war is “a clear and present danger” to the country.

Good or moral acts as rationale aren’t provided for in either of them. The founding fathers recognized that “good” and “moral” were subjective terms that might mean just about anything. But it sure sounds good to a conservative audience getting increasingly nervous about their demi-god possible having erred egregiously.



So, Mr. Stephans, et al, I appreciate you taking the time to respond to anything I write. (You three aren’t all the same person, are you?) Maybe though, next time, you might forget the author, and even the massive effort of reading a few hundred words (no one is forcing you, you know), and concentrate on the issues. I know it’s hard, but that is what civil discourse is allegedly about. Issues!

Jim Dorsey

Could be better

Almost all of us would say that we’re in favor of our two-party system and all of us cherish our democracy. Nevertheless …

The Republicans desperately want to see the re-election of President Bush and they would be thrilled if they completely swept the House and the Senate. The Democrats will certainly wish to elect their presidential candidate and to gain clear and absolute control of the Congress. Actually, the leaders of both parties really behave as though they’d like to have a one-party system with their party being it. Because if that happened, there would be no controversy at all regarding the passage of their agenda.

Nonetheless, whichever party wins, you can be certain that they’ll ultimately enact their particular agenda. Furthermore, they’ll do it with almost complete disregard for the thoughts of the opposition.

Probably almost 50 percent of our representatives will effectively be disenfranchised; their ideas and thoughts will essentially be ignored. That is a waste of considerable talent and experience.

Accompanied by considerable rancor, the voting in both houses of Congress will essentially be along party lines. And without a doubt, that means that the specific needs of certain areas of our country and various groups of citizens will be ignored.

But there can be no doubt either that our elected officials – the president and the Congress – have the responsibility of considering the needs and desires of all Americans. After all, the president is the president of the United States and not just the party that he represents, and the Congress is the United States Congress. And with a more tolerant attitude, a little bit of effort, and a willingness to compromise, the government could really be far more inclusive. Accomplishments would be greater, legislation would be wiser, and the approval of a far larger majority of legislators would be realized. And we, the people, would benefit!

And then, what of us – the citizens? Would we give proper attention to the actions and voting records of our elected officials? Would we howl when the unemployment rate goes up? Would we care about the size of the national debt? Would we ever discuss politics with our friends or would our conversation be limited to who won last night’s baseball game? WOULD WE VOTE?

Our country is wonderful, our democracy is without parallel. But we could be so much better!

David Le Vine


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