Home / Articles / Commentary / Letters to the Editor / Letters to the Editor
Print this Article
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 07:37 pm

Letters to the Editor

Untitled Document We welcome letters. Please include your full name, address, and telephone number. We edit all letters. Send them to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.

PUBLIC DISCOURSE ALIVE AND WELL In Fletcher Farrar’s May 31 column, “The ‘assault on reason’ in Illinois,” he takes up the banner of Al Gore and his supporters by claiming that America is experiencing a failure in the art of public discourse. Mr. Gore sells the American public short, and Mr. Farrar sells his own publication short.     The American public’s ability to sift through information, formulate intelligent opinions, and articulate those opinions in open forums is as strong as it has ever been.The explosion of information technology has given us far more methods and opportunities for meaningful discourse than previous generations dreamed of. Furthermore, we as a society are only beginning to learn how to use them effectively. For a wonderful example of reasoned discourse, Mr. Farrar needs to look no further than his own desktop. Illinois Times provides a very effective forum for the exchange of ideas on critical issues. I must admit that I disagree with many of the views expressed, but I read them and reflect upon them every week. 
Al Gore likes to introduce his arguments with “Today, America is waking up to find (insert your favorite rant on the failure of discourse),” as if America has been asleep at the switch. America may have been up very late watching some TiVo’d O’Reilly, but we haven’t been asleep. The fact that Al Gore has marginalized himself is not a sign of the apocalypse. Public discourse is alive and well. But, as Mr. Gore is discovering, it’s not just the medium, it’s the message. His message does evoke a meaningful response. It’s just not the response he has been hoping for.
Rich Allen

THE PUBLIC BE DAMNED To respond to Fletcher Farrar’s implied question “How did democracy get broken?” I would say that democracy has always been broken; we are just seeing the flaws clearly for the very first time [“The ‘assault on reason’ in Illinois,” May 31]. We give one person, our president, incredible power. That is our first flaw.
The second flaw that has come to light is the American people. A democracy can only be effective as the citizens within it. A litmus test for conscience and reason was given to this country and we failed, miserably. We saw the unfolding of an illegal and immoral invasion of an entire country and did not stop it. Al Gore is generous in saying that Americans might have objected more strongly if only we had the Internet news as it is today. I would not be that generous. People simply chose not to think or care about the Iraqi people. The cost has been and continues to be staggering to our country. Ironically, this damage can work for us (if we learn from it), because we know now that the price is high when you don’t pay attention and speak out. 
Anne Logue

ENJOYED BOURDAIN INTERVIEW Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the article on Anthony Bourdain [Julianne Glatz, “Hanging with a bad boy,” May 31]. Bourdain is really quite a talented author, and my husband and I both laughed out loud when reading Kitchen Confidential and Cook’s Tour. We just ordered Nasty Bits. Thank you for highlighting one of our favorite people and composing such a fun, accurate article. My husband is a chef here, and I often read the “RealCuisine” column to him. Thanks for the great work.  
Karen Perrin Springfield
TOM IRWIN KEEPS ME IN TOUCH I am a Springfield native but now reside in San Diego. I moved out here three years ago to play in a large West Coast band called Spoken Gun. I just wanted to write and tell you how I have enjoyed Tom Irwin’s articles in Illinois Times over the years. They have kept me informed on the music scene in my hometown. After playing in so many different cities all over the county the past few years of my life, I just wanted to say that I think Springfield still has a pretty unique little music scene. Although I would like to see more diversity, people are still interested in hometown musicians. That can’t be said for many other cities across the country.
Ryan Daley San Diego, Calif.
WHY MY EARS ARE HURTING Interesting article on the use of words [Dusty Rhodes, “Capital offenses,” May 24]. It dredged up frustrating memories. It’s bewildering, to say the least, that a company would use the word “Capitol” to describe its business without researching the word. More curious is the use of “further” for “farther” on a regular basis by our TV personalities (as well as national media giants). For example, they tell us that today’s Springfield weather will be clear while “further” west there will be rain, or whatever. As a kid in grade school I was corrected by my teacher in front of the class. I’ve never forgotten that scolding. Nowadays it hurts my ears whenever I hear the word “further” used in place of “farther.”
Stan Zielinski Springfield
I read your “capital”-versus-“capitol” article today with interest but take minor exception to the notion that “Capitol City” is necessarily incorrect. After all, “Capitol City” could refer to any city with a capitol in it, just as “River City” could refer to any city with a river in it.  Granted, a “Capitol City” is going to be a capital by definition. But a city that is a capital could lack a capitol — it may have burned down, or it may have another name, such as “Governmental Center” or “Reichstag” or whatever. My high-school physics teacher, trying to instruct his charges in elementary logic, was fond of saying, “All horses are animals, but not all animals are horses.” Just so: All capitol cities are capital cities, but not all capital cities are capitol cities. Anyway, the use of “capitol” as part of a trade name isn’t restricted to Springfield. What about Capitol Records? Capitol College? And check out this Web site: www.capcitybrew.com. I have a capitol, er, capital, idea for a future column: Write one on all the knuckleheads in the world who habitually confuse “its” and “it’s” or think an apostrophe is part of a plural noun. They drive me crazy!
John M. Myers

WHENKILLINGISNECESSARY . . . Once again the nuts are trying to run the nuthouse. Anne Logue of Springfield has all the answers but knows none of the questions [“Letters,” May 31]. Her letter titled “Too many idiots with guns” couldn’t have been farther from the truth. First, it is possible that a law-abiding gun owner could become trapped in an emotional dispute and end up shooting someone, but the statistics, probabilities, and likelihood are much greater with an unlawful owner of a firearm. It only takes a check of the records to show that the facts do not support her paranoia. The Second Amendment was not created by anyone. The Bill of Rights identified the right to defend one’s self as being a right that existed before our nation was formed. The Bill of Rights only identified this as an inalienable right.
Do we see the people rising up to overthrow the government? We have. In the past we prevented our government from becoming excessively abusive simply because we have the capability to defend our freedoms “from enemies both foreign and domestic.”  The police force does not, nor can it, protect us from those who would chose to harm us. They are there to fill out forms and catch the bad guys.
As a law-abiding gun owner, if I am awakened in my sleep by an intruder seeking to do me or my family harm, am I going to respond by shouting, “Stop or I’ll call the police,” or am I going to slide the pump action on my shotgun, causing the perpetrator to wet his britches as he flees my home? Am I prepared and trained to use that firearm if need arise? You can bet your bullets I am. I am glad to note that Ms. Logue is comfortable with the notion that multiple restrictions will place her in her home as a willing victim of someone even less concerned about her safety than she is. The likelihood that that person, breaking into her home, will be a law-abiding gun owner is slim to none. But rest assured, the odds are that the obituary listings will have misspelled her last name and we can only pray that the police officers will be able to apprehend her killer. However, a jury of liberals like herself will be glad to sentence her killer to life in prison, with parole in 15 to 20 years for good behavior, because they don’t believe in the Second Amendment or the death penalty. Ms. Logue is correct about one thing: “Killing people isn’t a good thing.” But sometimes it is a necessary thing. Jay Gaydosh Lincoln
FIGHTING FOR EVERYBODY’S RIGHTS As a U.S. soldier defending the country on my second tour overseas, I feel that my purpose here is being destroyed. I joined the Army to help defend each person’s rights. But large portions of our country seem to have a problem with the GLBT community. Hating someone for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender is no different than hating them because they’re female, black, Hispanic, or Jewish. Hate is hate and a crime is a crime. [That’s why] the Matthew Shepard Act should pass with no problem.
Everyone is free to have their own opinions but not free to violate someone’s rights for being different. Seeing something like this going on, with so many closed-minded people, destroys my pride in doing what I do. We are over here, constantly in fear of enemy attack, so that U.S. citizens don’t have to be worried about that kind of thing. Spc. Michael Bounds Springfield U.S. Army, Iraq
MY EARLIER LETTER HAD A MISTAKE I mentioned that the microwave was a space-program project. I was wrong [“Letters,” May 31]. The microwave was discovered by an operator who noticed that his candy bar melted when near the set. What the space program did was develop the shielding and safety procedures that made it safer for home use. I am sorry. Patrick Johnopolos Springfield
WHERE WAS BISHOP LUCAS? I am a proud parent of an Ursuline junior who has been forced to alter her immediate life plans as a result of the decision to close the high school by the Benedictine board of directors.
I can accept that the decision was made as this is an ever-changing business environment that we live in and many times while we do not like the decisions we can understand them and accept them. I also can accept that nothing in life is guaranteed except death and that changes come about that, while not popular, must be made. What I am not proud of is the fact that through this ordeal our Catholic diocese sat in the background and offered no provision for aid to keep the 150-year-old institution open. When the question was raised as to financial support from the Catholic diocese, the answer that was given was that Bishop George Lucas felt he could not offer aid to Ursuline as there are seven high schools in the diocese and it wouldn’t be fair to help one without helping the others. The bottom line is that the others do not currently need the aid that Ursuline needed.
Using the philosophy of our bishop, we would not have services like the St. John’s Breadline because it wouldn’t be fair to help the small percentage of Springfield residents who use the services there for fear that we could not offer those services to the entire population of the city. Likewise, we would not have any services that serve only a small percentage of the city for fear that we couldn’t offer those services to the entire city population.
It is rather hard to accept the lack of support from the diocese while since 2003 the same diocese has managed to find more $6 million in their coffers to settle litigation claims brought against them. All I can say is shame on you, Bishop Lucas, for allowing this travesty to occur under your watch!
Terry Young

IMPORTANTQUESTIONSONABORTION After reading the letter describing how the Democratic Party should consult the pope and Catholic Church on abortion teachings, I felt there were a few inaccuracies and misleading statements that needed to be cleared up [“Letters,” May 31].      First is the use of the term “conservative clergy.” That term would imply that there is both a conservative and a liberal clergy in the church. That’s not true. Catholic leaders take only one position: the Catholic position. There is no “conservative” and “liberal.”
     Is it a sin to vote for a politician who supports abortion on demand? That depends. I was taught that a sin is when you perform an action that is wrong, you know is wrong, and yet you do it anyway. If you vote for a politician when you know that politician’s actions will definitely contradict your own moral upbringing and beliefs, then you may be committing a sin.      As to saying that the pope and other church leaders don’t want this teaching to be clear: That is completely false. The pope and other leaders will be perfectly willing to clarify. The problem is that most won’t like the answer. You really don’t even have to consult the pope. The teachings are written down in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is readily available in most bookstores and on the Internet.      Democrats don’t need to consult the pope; they need to consult their own leaders. They need to ask questions such as “Why is it so important to support abortion on demand when so many others are against it?”“Why is it important for us to alientate those who vote based on their own moral and religious upbringings?” “Why does abortion even have to be a political issue?” If Democrats want to understand voters, those are very important questions to ask. Steve Marley Springfield
Log in to use your Facebook account with

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on IllinoisTimes


  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed