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Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Vail Daily staff

Where’s the story?

I was very disappointed in the Vail Daily’s coverage of this year’s Snowshoe Shuffle. I would hope that I share in this disappointment with the other racers, sponsors and contributors/donors. The Vail Daily included two photos on Sunday (the day after the race) followed by one photo and the race results on Thursday (granted, the first file sent by Highline Sports was the incorrect file, causing the race results to be delayed).

As this is a major fund raiser for cancer awareness and early detection, with hundreds of local participants, preceded by a well-advertised media and radio campaign, I would have expected at least an article describing the success of the event, the money raised, the number of participants, the team winners, the individual winners, interviews with cancer survivors, etc.

I think we deserve better coverage of this local event, and the Daily missed here. And the Daily was even a sponsor!

Scott Plumb

Edwards

Threat to safety

I see that the Democrat members of Congress are again expressing outrage over the fact that more than 3,000 servicemen and women have died in Iraq. Where is their outrage over the deaths caused by illegal aliens in the U.S.?

More Americans are murdered each year by illegal aliens than have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined!

You read that right. According to a report by Rep. Steve King of Iowa:

– 12 Americans are murdered everyday by illegal aliens, and 13 people in the U.S. are killed by illegal alien drunk drivers daily.

– That’s 9,125 Americans per year murdered and killed! That’s more than 45,625 innocent U.S. lives cut short by illegal aliens since September 11, 2001.

Why is this happening? Millions of dollars are being pocketed by businesses and open-border advocates who support politicians who say illegal aliens are needed “to do the jobs Americans will not do” ” code words for exploitative, cheap labor, and for a criminalized underclass and shadowy underground economy more compatible with impoverished third-world corruption than the standards necessary for responsible self-government.

The death of legal U.S. citizens at the hands of illegal aliens is an unacceptable price to pay to keep the cost of apples from going up 5 cents.

– If the death statistics aren’t enough to sicken you, King also reports that eight American children are molested by illegal aliens every day.

– That’s 2,920 innocent children annually whose lives are ruined each year by criminal scum who wouldn’t be here prowling for American kids if the federal government simply enforced our immigration laws.

Yet, according to recent news articles, “Congress will approve an immigration bill that will grant citizenship rights to 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S. now that the Democrats have taken control.”

This estimate may even prove low, as illegal alien advocacy groups think the Senate bill is still too harsh because it imposes fines on all illegals and excludes others with criminal records. Those groups also insist future illegal workers have a direct path to citizenship. This agenda translates into an open-door policy with amnesty and citizenship for the entire world.

Where’s the outrage?

John Bade

Eagle

Persuade, don’t insult

While reading Matt Zalaznick’s editorial today, I was distracted from his statements by the colorful names he used to refer to members of President Bush’s administration. Vice President Dick Cheney was “Darth Cheney.” Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was “Rummy, his flying monkey.” And “W.’s quagmire kids” I assume referred to everyone else on the president’s staff too insignificant to earn a nickname of their own.

When I was a child, if I called my sister a name of any kind in my parents’ presence, I was reprimanded. It didn’t matter what she might have done to me first. My parents expected me to express any complaint I might have with her clearly and logically, with out any name-calling. It was a valuable lesson.

I revisited this same lesson again as a graduate student. My argumentative writing professor would not accept name-calling in print either.

Any student using such methods would be rewarded with harsh criticisms in red ink like, RUDE, JUVENILE, UNPROFESSIONAL or IMPRESS ME WITH YOUR ABILITY TO PERSUADE INSTEAD OF YOUR ABILITY TO INSULT.

In my experience, when engaged in an argument in person or in print, calling someone an unflattering name does two things; first, it elicits applause from those who already agree with you, and second, it causes those who disagree with you, or are somewhere in the middle, to ignore the rest of your arguments.

I’ve always believed that the purpose of columns was to persuade readers, to encourage them to rethink their ideas and positions. I read columns because I hope that someone may be able to make some sense of a difficult question in the world today. I hope that a new perspective might help me see things more clearly. If I want to hear public figures called silly names, I’ll watch “The Daily Show.”

Mud-slinging and name-calling in the media are by no means new concepts. If I’m watching a Republican Party function on TV, I expect to hear House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Hillary Clinton called any number of names. By the same token, when listening to a Democratic Party fundraiser, I’m not surprised to hear President Bush or members of his staff called names, either.

I’m not surprised to see some silly names in print, particularly when they come from readers who are trying to make a statement quickly. Nor am I offended by name-calling. I think it’s silly, but I’m old enough to handle it.

However, when I read a columns written by the Assistant Managing Editor of a newspaper I respect, and the only one I read daily, I expect more professional statements. This is by no means the first time I’ve notice Mr. Zalaznick’s use of unflattering names. And the names seemed to be used exclusively for one side of the political landscape. That makes me question Mr. Zalaznick’s professional objectivity.

The manner in which an editor of a newspaper writes sets the tone for the entire paper. If the Vail Daily hopes to avoid turning into a tabloid of yellow journalism, it would do well to scale back the name-calling used by its staff writers and editors. Is it so difficult to refer to public figures by their proper names and titles?

So I challenge all members of the Vail Daily staff, impress me with your ability to persuade, not your ability to insult. Or have I misunderstood the objectives of the Daily?

Ross Wagner

Avon


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