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Thursday, May 26, 2005 11:57 am

letters 5-26-05

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We welcome letters, but please include your full name, address and a daytime telephone number. We edit all letters for libel, length and clarity.

Send letters to: Letters, Illinois Times. P.O. Box 5256. Springfield, Illinois 62705. Fax: (217) 753-3958. E-mail: editor@illinoistimes.com

THANKS FOR STORY ON 1544TH

Thank you so much for the heartwarming story about the 1544th Transportation Co. [Dusty Rhodes, “Sister soldiers,” May 12]. My young cousin and several of my son’s classmates from Marshall, Ill., are in that unit and it was such an enormous relief to have them back. Now, a co-worker from Barnes & Noble is headed over there in another Guard unit and our thoughts and prayers go with her.

I don’t support this war at all, but I do support our troops. I served in the Navy during peacetime in Japan so I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be in the middle of a war zone.

I have talked to several young people who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and they all have one common thread: They all watch each other’s back and as Jennifer Buffington said, “You wouldn’t want them to go without you.” This seems to be the comment made most often by all of the soldiers I have talked to. My son, who just graduated from college recently, made a comment to me that totally surprised me. He said, “If called, I will serve — someone has to watch out for them.”

Jane Carrington
Springfield

PORTRAYAL OF DAD WAS UNFAIR

I felt that the article “Got water?” [Todd Spivak, April 28], which covered my father, Melge Meier, extensively, was unfair. The article used pictures of a sick baby and reported the stories of people who are getting sick because of the water and how their “rights” to water were being denied. You labeled my dad as part of an “old guard” and used only his quotes that would portray him as being cold and almost uncaring.

But did you bother to find out about the great things he has done in his capacity as water-board president? You did mention that board members are uncompensated, but did you know they do not even get free water? My father gave 16 years of service, including many nights and other extra time, all without pay or free water. Why? It is called community service — something that rarely gets done or is appreciated by the community served. My father has a long history of giving his time and effort to the area: He probably got that way after being the oldest son of a farmer with a strong work ethic.

I remember, as a child, moving to the country, where we had a well, a septic tank, average roads, propane delivery, and no cable television. Perhaps my father should organize a group named “We Want High-Speed Internet” and demand that they get that to his house. After all, he needs it — how are people supposed to live without that?

You brought up Todd Folder [a veteran water-district employee whose employment was terminated] and I have to ask why. I felt like that was a cheap shot and deserves a follow up, if in fact your paper believes there was retribution.

You mention a statement by Jim Mitchell [chairman of We Want Water], who said that the board failed to aggressively pursue grants and other federal money, but what facts do you offer, other than Mr. Mitchell’s statement? My dad said the board was always was seeking ways to get more money for upgrades, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

Did the group wanting water remember when Pleasant Plains School District tried to raise taxes for the school? It barely passed after several tries. They demand that a minority be accommodated by higher rates for the rest. Did they say how much the rest of the district would have to pay? My father had a simple philosophy: good water, cheap rates, and steady growth for the district. Did your article point out how much it costs to run water lines? Did your story explain how long the approval process is to get grants? Did the people say what their motives might be in this? Maybe there are some people in the group who have land they would like to develop but cannot until they have water. Did you also investigate that? People are not wrong in wanting water, but they are wrong to just make accusations without offering real choices on how to make it happen.

As the son of Mel Meier, I can say that I am proud of my father’s service to the area. They lost a good man with years of business experience and, contrary to the way your story portrayed him, a decent man in an age of selfishness and greed, which is sadly the way I see some of these We Want Water people.

Jeff Meier
Peoria

IT LET A VIRUS SLIP THROUGH

You mistakenly attributed a letter to the editor in the May 19 edition, titled “Frist offers fair compromise,” to Douglas R. Turner of Springfield. The letter should have been attributed to its true author, Kenneth B. Mehlman of Washington, D.C., because it was the product of a letter-generating program found on the official Web site of the Republican National Committee.

A quick Internet search using phrases from the letter reveals that, in the past two weeks, this piece of “Astroturf” (fake grassroots advocacy) has appeared in a number of newspapers across the country, including the Houston Chronicle, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Albany Herald, the Nevada Journal, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the Tallahassee Democrat.

Recent front-page articles in this paper have tackled the authenticity of claims to medals and the prepackaged advocacy-disguised-as-news imposed on viewers by Sinclair Broadcasting through its affiliates nationwide. In the May 19 issue, the This Modern World cartoon was subtitled “Language is a virus: an ongoing look at the myriad ways in which really, really stupid ideas infect the political mainstream.”

I hope, in the future, this fine paper will continue diligently to defend the public by uncovering the truth while at the same time remaining vigilant in protecting itself from becoming a vector through which such viruses may be transmitted.

Ross Silverman
Springfield

ANYBODY SEE THE IRONY?

Newsweek publishes an article that touched off some small-scale rioting in Afghanistan, and the White House is all over it, somberly stating that such erroneous fact-finding is lax in the extreme, that an apology is insufficient, calling for “heads to roll,” and so on. And yet, with credible evidence from MI6, the British intelligence service, that the Bush White House knowingly and purposefully manufactured “evidence” that would turn the country and the world toward the U.S. invasion of Iraq, nobody seems to see the extreme irony. Tens of thousands of American and Iraqi citizens die in this invasion — and journalists are almost completely silent. Yet 12 or 15 people die in Afghanistan, and the president’s spokesman calls for investigations. Has our country gone to sleep; have we become hypnotized? How in the world is it possible that we don’t hear loud cries for impeachment of this president?

Tim Slack
Newburgh, Ind.

EXPLAINING THE “EXODUS”

When does the mainstream media “err” on the side that benefits America? It seems suspicious that they constantly release “news” that works to destroy the most precious entity that allows their lying bigotry to exist: America. The list of deceptions is too long to ignore. Scandalous events range from Jason Blair’s admitting he falsified stories [at the New York Times] to CBS and Dan Rather’s infamous debacle.

CBS recently deliberately edited Kenneth Starr’s interview to have him say exactly the opposite of what he said about Democrats’ filibustering against President George W. Bush’s judicial nominees. The next day, Starr felt compelled to make public their crooked scheme and set the record straight.

Now we see false reporting by Newsweek that kills innocent people overseas. No wonder there is an exodus from the mainstream media.

Todd DuFresne
Carpentersville

MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE

Red, white and blue
It flies for me and you
A symbol that we are free
For all the world to see.

Down through the years
Some that were with tears
It unites us to our stand
One flag for our land.

Ever proudly does it wave
For all that were and are brave
And to the downtrodden giving hope
That they too might cope.

At times our flag has been lowered for a while
As we mourn and ponder the next mile
Just as surely as day follows night
Our flag will rise to again be in full sight.

God bless America.

Fred “Uncle Sam” Adamski
Girard

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