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Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006 06:07 am

Letters to the editor

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Craig Nall holds a copy of David Herbert Donald's Lincoln. Nall, a volunteer at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and an employee of the Horace Mann Cos., says he was intrigued by Donald's account of how then-Congressmen Abraham Lincoln and Horace
Photo by Eugene Knox
Untitled Document We welcome letters, but please include your full name, address, and daytime telephone number. We edit all letters for libel, length, and clarity. Send letters to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.

THE SILENCE OF THE CATS Amid all the chatter about ephemera like Iraq and the election, I’m thankful that Illinois Times provides a forum for readers to address the issues that really affect our lives. Specifically I refer to recent submittals [“Letters,” Oct. 26 and Nov. 9] that examine a matter that should concern all of us. Should American citizens, who have spent $3 of their hard-earned money for a cat-show ticket, be denied the opportunity to make eye contact with the feline competitors? While the previous letters on this issue considered the conflicting opinions of a show attendee and a cat exhibitor, they failed to take into account the feelings of the cats on display. Anyone familiar with our feline friends knows that they are not shy about expressing their preferences. How do these pampered pets really feel about locking eyes with the people attending their show? Just who are the real snobs? Are they the owners of these pedigreed champions, or the pussycats themselves? Illinois Times has a proud record of uncovering important stories that the daily papers do not or will not bring us. I hope that Dusty Rhodes will focus her investigative talents on this matter. Interested readers should also continue to share their thoughts. Together we may be able to resolve this matter soon, hopefully before Springfield’s next cat show, making it possible for us and these elegant felines once more to see eye to eye.
Ed Hoffman
Springfield
 
 
QUITE A QUAGMIRE, INDEED I am a Springfield native and moved to Chicago four years ago. I try to make it back to Springfield about three times a year to visit close friends and family members. I had a disturbing incident happen during my most recent visit.
     I planned to meet a close friend for coffee during my weekend trip. She introduced me to a friend of hers and told me he had been out campaigning earlier that day and would be doing more later. Within seconds after meeting him, he told me he was running for a government office (I don’t remember what he was running for) and he asked me if I would go out and help him campaign that afternoon. I explained that I don’t make it back to Springfield that often, and I really wanted to spend time with family and friends. I told him I wouldn’t have time to help him. He asked me where I was staying while in Springfield. I told him the name of the hotel. To my surprise, I received a phone call in my hotel room the next day. He asked me what I was doing — I told him I was going to lunch with my aunt in about an hour. He then proceeded to ask if he could pick me up before I went to lunch and we could go campaigning for an hour. I told him I was busy and had a lot of people that I was trying to see that weekend. Then he told me if I went campaigning with him, I would be sure to meet a lot of people! Again, I told him I would not be able to help him — I wanted to spend time with close friends and family.
I was shocked when he asked me — an out-of-towner who knows nothing about him or the issues he stands for — to go work on his campaign on my weekend trip to Springfield. I was even more shocked when he called my hotel room and kept pressuring him to help him. What kind of person is that unprofessional and rude? His name is Sam Cahnman. Shayla Sargent Chicago
HOW TO HONOR AMERICAN INDIANS I would like to respond to the letter by Patrick Johnopolos [“Hail to the Chief,” Nov. 9]. I do find the names “Fighting Illini” and “the Chief” offensive. My grandmother’s ancestors originally got to relocate to Illinois via the Trail of Tears. I admit it was a free trip, but the accommodations were terrible. Let’s ignore the fact the Europeans committed a three-century-long genocide on the aboriginal people of America. Let’s overlook the fact that Native Americans were never compensated for the systematic destruction of their people and way of life. Let’s forget about smallpox blankets and dogs (mastiffs) that were bred, for among other things, to hunt Native Americans. I think we should honor all parts of our culture. I suggest these names: the Georgia Crackers and the Hannibal Honkies. These don’t sound offensive, do they? If you want to honor Native Americans, give them back their lands. Brice Brinkman Springfield
A FEW QUESTIONS FOR SENATOR OBAMA Regarding your story on U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, “Watching Obama grow,” I would like to read Obama’s book but do not intend to buy it [Fletcher Farrar, Nov. 2]. Could you loan me your copy? You see, I have many questions that I hope the book will answer. Here are a few: Why does he spend more time in Africa than he does Peoria or Decatur or Springfield? I know his search for his African roots must make him look very attractive to other African-Americans, but do they realize that his roots are not with slaves but with those Africans who sold their brothers into slavery, then stayed in Africa? Just a point to ponder. I wonder if he will ever search for and write about his Muslim roots? His father and stepfather were both Muslim, and he was raised in Jakarta and went to a Muslim school. Did the search for his religion ever include praying to Allah? I also wonder if he will be making a trip to Kansas soon, where his white grandparents who actually raised him lived. Bet you will not see nearly as many reporters on the excursion down to the Kansas farm. Also I hope he wrote about how he was able to get a free Ivy League education and who he may consider to owe a debt which will someday have to be repaid. How did he make money when away at school? How was he able to buy the drugs that he used at school? I would also like to know what happened to his mother and stepfather and why her parents had to move from Kansas to raise Obama in Hawaii. This all seems very strange to me. His father left him when he was 2 and returned to Africa where he had three other wives. I was wondering if this did not make him think his father did not really care about him and why he never formed a bond with his stepfather, who raised him from the age of 2 until at least 10. And yet Obama has not gone halfway around the world to seek out these roots. Does he plan a trip soon? Since he purchased property from Tony Rezko, who was a friend of the governor and is now indicted, does he think it strange that this is the same man who arranged for many millions of dollars to flow into the governor’s reelection campaign? Was this not an incredible coincidence that he would bump into such a man and then buy property next door to him? Is this a small world or what? I do not really care if Obama runs for president, because he is useless to me. I do not know who he is; that is why I need to borrow the book. Obama surely does not know me, even though he claims to represent me; perhaps I should write a book about who we are in Illinois and he could buy it. Sorry, I digress. I have seen nothing from him which indicates we have anything in common, but I am looking to buy a nice piece of lakefront property in Chicago if the price is right. I wonder if he knows anyone I could call? Would that be in the book? Jerald F. Jacobs Springfield
CORRECTIONS The organization formed after the Iraq measure was placed on the Capital Township ballot was Operation Home Now. The wrong group was named in a recent story [R.L. Nave, “Change course,” Nov. 9]. Last week’s cover illustration was by Paul Lachine [“Cold comfort,” Nov. 9]. Illinois Times regrets the errors.
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