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Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007 01:51 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.
UNITED IN OUR SPOOKINESS Rumor has it that Abraham Lincoln roams around downtown at midnight, ducking, I imagine, in and out of restaurants looking for some sort of redemption from whoever stole his horseshoe recipe. Our historic town, it seems, has had quite a few scary happenings. Remember the face in the tree — the boyish “woody” visage that poked its head out only after sundown? This hometown phenomenon actually drew thousands of visitors, some armed with camcorders, ladders, and flashlights, hoping to gain some sort of understanding into this odd apparition — only to have it chopped down by an annoyed landlord. Let’s not forget the many haunted tales of the old Lake Club, including that of a head named Rudy that appeared in midair, mouthing off to an unsuspecting waitress about the imminent demise of one of the club’s owners. Apparently bodiless Rudy didn’t stop there; again he decided to tantalize another waitress by refilling a few drinks with chocolate! Oh, that Rudy was quite a character, wasn’t he? Springfield may not have won the Simpsons Movie premier, but guess what? We have our very own haunted movie theater. Once again, rumor has it that the former Springfield Theatre Centre is haunted by a sometimes wicked ghost named Joe who smells of Noxzema. Some folks will do anything to break into pictures. Last but not least, one of our local high schools is said to have been built on top of a cemetery — don’t worry, they didn’t just remove the headstones — and it seems that there is one student who absolutely refuses to graduate. She has been seen robotically roaming the hallways, corridors, parking lots, and the cafeteria of Springfield High School, but she has never been seen in the classrooms. For some reason, she avoids the classrooms. Hum, this one rings a bit of truth. Whether we are called Springpatch or live along the Cabbage Patch, we are a town undivided when it comes to our spooky history. E.A. Haley Springfield
THEY’RE JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS I have to ask: When will people get it through their thick heads? The armed forces are made up of some of the highest skilled and most professional citizens that our nation has to offer. As trained professionals, these soldiers go where they are ordered to go and fight and kill whomever their orders cover. As for Gen. David Petraeus: A “poor” man? A “liar” [see “Letters,” Oct. 11]? I say Petraeus, like the rest of the military, is a victim of Washington politics. As a professional soldier, the general takes his orders from the Pentagon and carries out the whims of the White House. Sure, American generals can question orders. That is, if they don’t mind being court-martialed, and losing their careers. I just wonder how many of us civilians would challenge a boss for recklessly endangering the lives of our co-workers — especially when such a challenge would end with the worker being left unemployed. Simply put, challenge your boss, lose your job, and your family goes hungry. How many of us, safe, here at home, would risk this? Good orders or bad, our soldiers have proven their dedication too many times to list here. Don’t blame these professionals for the stupidity of politicians!
Norman Hinderliter
Springfield

LIFE IS FULL OF REGRETS I went shopping this week and noticed something odd. I shopped for apple juice. I picked up the store brand. The label said that it was made from concentrate. If you looked at the neck it said, in blue ink, “Concentrate from China.” I know that this country has more apples than we can eat. We have a lot of apples — why do we need to import it from China? Isn’t our trade debt to China big enough? I bought a more expensive juice from here. I also shopped for pineapple chunks. There were three brands. Here is the info on each: Store brand was $0.99 and came from Thailand, big brand (Libby, I think) $1.09 and from the Philippines, and the Dole brand $1.19 and from Thailand. I could not get Hawaiian pineapple at any price. Americans need jobs, American farmers need sales, and state and the federal governments need tax money. We are told to buy American but are not offered a decent shot at it. I did not mind spending 20 cents more for U.S. goods. Wish I could have bought U.S. pineapple. Patrick Johnopolos Springfield
WORLD WAR III FOR OIL? Pentagon officials are now saying that the war with Iran is a near certainty, that Dick Cheney will get his war and that Condoleezza Rice caved in to him (previously she had tried to put he brakes on his plan for invasion) and will go along with the plan as long as he builds a case for war over the next several months and consults meaningfully with Congress. Nothing can prevent this train wreck now except perhaps impeachment, which Congress seems disinclined to do. Gen. Peter Pace, the former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was against the war with Iran and against the use of nuclear weapons, so he was replaced by Adm. Michael Mullen, who seems willing to go along with Cheney’s plans. Mullen is a Navy man, and it is the Navy that will do the air strikes. The Bush administration has used the events of 9/11 to justify virtually everything they’ve done since then, including attacking defenseless countries and gutting the U.S. Constitution. They have said that 9/11 “proves” that diplomacy doesn’t work. They say that military action is necessary in the case of Iran, because diplomacy has not worked there either. Well, real diplomacy of the kind used with Libya and North Korea has never even been tried. Furthermore, having three carriers sitting in the Persian Gulf is not going to do much for diplomacy. The Bush administration has never really been serious about diplomacy with Iran. Back in May 2003, Iranian authorities presented a very generous diplomatic initiative. But, flush with the success of “Mission Accomplished,” the Bush administration rebuffed them. Iran is in a much better position than it was back in May 2003. Under Ahmadinejad, the new hardliner who was elected in 2005, they have restarted uranium enrichment, which they claim is to be used for civilian purposes only and perfectly legal under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which they signed. Shia control the Baghdad government in Iraq, and for those who believe that Arab Shia would never hook up with Persian Shia, as the Bush administration has, they have been proven wrong. Iran stands to gain, more than any other country in the area, from our mistakes in Iraq. Real diplomacy (“carrot and stick” diplomacy) is the only viable answer to the Iranian situation. A military attack on Iran would be counterproductive both politically and economically, not only for the Middle East and Central Asia but for the entire world. An attack on Iran could lead us into a World War III scenario. Cheney has stated that we cannot allow Tehran to control a region that has the largest known reserves of oil in the world. So the real reason we are invading yet another Middle East country is oil. Beni Kitching Springfield
FOR ALL FATHERLESS CHILDREN I don’t think Amanda Helm’s letter to the editor regarding Amy Alkon ever said that she wanted her fired [see “Letters,” Sept. 27 and Oct. 11]. Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that 70 percent of fatherless children grow up to be sociopaths. I know a girl who grew up without a father, and she is well educated, has a great job, and is a great mother. What about kids who grow up without a mother? What about kids who grow up with two moms or two dads? What about kids who have a mother or father that is never around? What about the kids who grow up with a mother or father who is always drinking, partying, beating their kids, and getting high? Are they all sociopaths, too? I am sure all the people who grew up without a father and read [the letter] didn’t appreciate it.
Jessi Shoup
Springfield

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CORRECTION
For information about Springfield Slow Food, call Deanna Glosser at 217-629-8948 or e-mail dglosser@insightbb.com. Her phone number was wrong in a recent story [“The pleasure principle,” Oct. 18].
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